stop-watchAs many of you know, I’m a pretty sensitive guy, and also a hardcore introvert (as I like to say).

I have learned to overcome my social anxiety be social with the best of them, mainly because I had a strong desire to do so. I looked at social and extraverted people and said “if they can why can’t I?”

I spent years getting frustrated, pissed off and straight up resenting those who seemed to be naturally good at being social.

I was bitter.

Those Damn Extraverts?

Don’t you just hate those extraverts? They way they are so socially savvy, and get energy from being around people. Those jerks!

(Ahem. I was being sarcastic.)

Extraverts – they are not to blame, they are just being themselves.

Never blame an extravert for being an extravert.


It does you no good sending hate to others.

Because end of the day, when they are gone and you are still hating, guess who the person is that the hate affects the most.

It’s you.

You’re a Beautiful Introvert, So Don’t Change

Aside from NOT hating on extraverts, you need to accepting your introverted-ness. And you need to do it in a way, where you don’t elevate your self as better than or worse than, just uniquely different than.

Though I have learned to become a pretty savvy and social guy, one thing I can’t really change is my introversion.

There’s no reason to do that!

I have spent the last year (and then some) going out on my own at first, then going out more with friends, so spending a lot of my time networking to grow my business. I have honed and refined my social skills to a great level, even though there is still lots of learning to do.

But I need a break.

Making Time for Significant Downtime

It is not that I don’t make room for lots of downtime in my weekly schedule; I do because I have to, otherwise I will burn out.

I am talking about taking some significant time off for myself not pushing to meet more people because I need to “hole-up” and do some serious life redesign. Sure I will still be social, but not making the pushes I have been doing in the last year.

Why? Because my well-being has taken a toll from pushing a bit too hard in my life.

In fact, I am in a stage of learning big life redesign and transformation right now, so I need that time off.

In my Authentic Social Influence course I created and ran in conjunction with men’s dating coach Dr. Robert Glover, I talk about the cycle of what I call “social bursting.”

This means that we must schedule our time to go out and be social, but not forget to schedule in our downtime.

Otherwise we set ourselves up for failure, when our energy gets depleted, because we are trying to be an extravert and can’t do it.

Don’t do that to yourself, ever.

You probably can relate and have tried to push yourself too far right?

I would love to hear from you and your experience with this topic of pushing yourself to get out of the house, start conversations, and when you plan that necessary downtime.

Here are some questions to answer in the comments below:

What you make yourself get out of the house, in order to help yourself get through your social anxiety, do you make sure to plan in downtime?

If you can’t make it out of the house, what reasons does your “social anxiety mind” give you for not going out and interacting with people?

What life would be possible if you broke through your social anxiety?

Looking forward to your answers. If you are shy about leaving an answer, consider this a safe place to practice and share your experience.

I will be sure to get respond to every comment left here.


    7 replies to "Taking Social Downtime"

    • Aled G Job

      I can relate to the fear that extroverts induce in social situations, always being anxious in social situations, but even more so if there are extroverts around.I’m 50 and it just seems to be that my social anxiety is so ingrained in me I can never overcome it. The reasons my socially anxious mind give me for avoiding social situations are:
      Other people converse better than me/are cleverer than me/are more relaxed than me/are just more interested in other people than me.

      If I could break out of this social anxiety trap, I suppose I would partake more in life and seek to do more things, and maybe consider a change of career. I work as a translator from home, but the lack of social contact with the post is hard- even for a socially anxious person like me!

    • Justin Rooney

      At times I don’t feel like going out because it’s raining. is that a legitimate excuse, and if not, how can I change my mindset to stop making excuses about it? I also find it hard to go out after work. I work in administration so how would I motivate myself to go out after finishing for the day?

      • Edward Mayette

        I’ve been working on these social issues for quite some time now. Over the past five months I have come to realize that I matter to myself. More so than to other people. Other people count of course but they don’t know me like I do.
        This may sound crazy but now when I go to social places like Restaurants or the food markets, I have the mindset as if these places belong to me. I don’t mean that I act like a child although some times I might. I have respect for those around me but If I feel comfortable its easier to maintain calmness around other people. Interacting with strangers has become adventuress to me. Asking for help and inquiring about other peoples thoughts on different subjects has helped me greatly. I’m finally breaking free of what I call, my social security wall.

        • David Hamilton

          That’s fantastic Edward. I really love hearing about your progressnt that’s a wonderful approach.

    • Anna

      Hi David,
      In the past I’ve pushed myself to go out and socialise and just thought oh I’ll just get out there and be fine but my anxiety has then taken over and I’ve found myself either trying to hide and fade into the background feeling miserable and envious watching everyone else around me seeming to interact so ‘easily’ – or I’ve gone to the other extreme and tried to ‘fake’ being the happy go lucky, life and soul of the party (mainly with drink involved) and probably come across as abit ‘outthere’ and ‘over the top’. Then obviously never thought about giving myself or scheduling in any real downtime afterwards.
      I realise now from starting to read your emails and posts how important it is to start with the daily practises you’ve mentioned and also not trying to push myself to appear like an extrovert when I’m not.

    • Ken Schultz

      Sometimes I don’t go out and meet new people is because I feel the trying will not help me. After I go to a party or other social event, I feel worse because I look at all the people around me having fun. If I could break social anxiety mind, life would be less anxiety provoking and I would enjoy people’s presence.

      • David Hamilton

        I hear you Ken. You’re right breaking the social anxiety mind needs to happen. Not only that, the emotions have to be transformed. You’re right just going out won’t help it, but you do have to go out. It can’t happen without exposure, the body knows the difference.

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