Have you ever heard of the term “introvert hangover”?  If you’re an introvert, you may not have heard of this term, but you have probably experienced this feeling.  You get this exhausted feeling because your energy levels are almost depleted.  You feel drained, both mentally and physically.  You can’t stand to have anyone else around.  Even the simplest tasks become a monumental effort. 

What Causes an Introvert Hangover?

So, why does an introvert hangover happen in the first place?  Well, it happens when you have been around other people too much.  We are more sensitive to stimulation, such as noise, than our extroverted companions.  This makes us more susceptible to becoming burnt out.  The more we socialize, the more likely we will experience an introvert hangover.

My most memorable introvert hangover was when my mom was visiting.  She lives in British Columbia, Canada, which is on the other side of the country from me.  So, we don’t get to see each other often.  When she does visit, I like to entertain her by going shopping and even taking in a theatre show.  I love our time together, but it can be exhausting.  And on this one visit, I just couldn’t take it anymore.  I was trying to unwind by watching tv, but between my husband and my mom, there was no quiet time.  My mom could tell I was upset and tried to give me a hug, but it was just too much for me!  I rejected her hug and left the house, practically in tears.  I couldn’t figure out what was wrong with me.  Normally I love her hugs.  After a long walk by myself, I felt a little better and was able to properly spend time with my mom.

So, what happened?  Why couldn’t I endure a simple hug from the woman I loved so much?  Eventually, I learned that I was having an introvert hangover at that moment and not being able to tolerate having people around me was a perfectly normal reaction.  Whew, what a relief!  There was nothing wrong with me.

7 Signs of an Introvert Hangover

How can you tell if you have an introvert hangover?  Simple – your body will tell you something is wrong – if you’re listening.  Here are seven of the most common signs of an introvert hangover.  You may only experience a few of these symptoms or you could experience symptoms that aren’t on this list.  Some of the symptoms may feel worse than others.  Read through and see if any are familiar to you.  If so, keep reading for what you need to do to cure yourself.

Sign #1: You’re exhausted! 

You feel as though you are about to crash.  You have no energy left to do anything but sleep or maybe watch tv.  At this point, you might not be able to sleep.  Even if you do manage to take a nap, you won’t feel refreshed and ready to take on the world when you wake up.

Sign #2: You’re struggling to concentrate.

When you feel this exhausted, you just simply can’t think.  You struggle to make the simplest of decisions or to even understand what someone is saying to you.  You can’t focus on what is going on around you.  Oh my, this one happens to me a lot!

Sign #3: You feel dazed and “out of it”.

Have you ever felt zoned out?  It happens when you suddenly realize that you have been sitting and staring at the same spot, without paying attention to it.  Or perhaps you have been off daydreaming, with a blank look on your face.

Sign #4: Everything gets on your nerves. 

Normally, you can let go of small little annoyances.  But in the middle of your introvert hangover, you could have a complete meltdown with tears, yelling, angry insults and more.  Any disagreements can quickly escalate into huge arguments.  This behaviour will leave you baffled, as that is not normally how you would behave.

Sign #5: You are having mood swings.

You’re not acting like yourself and other people can definitely see the change in your behaviour.  As much as they don’t understand the changes, neither do you.  You may even feel embarrassed about being out of control.

Sign #6: You feel sick.

In more extreme cases of introvert hangover, you may even feel physically unwell.  It could come in the form of an upset stomach, a headache or dizziness.  You need to pay attention to these symptoms.  It’s your body’s way of telling you to get some rest!

Sign #7: You need to be alone NOW! 

Okay, so introverts are famous for wanting their alone time.  But we can usually tolerate having other people in the room.  Not so when you’re in the middle of an introvert hangover.  You need alone time, and you need it now!

The Introvert Hangover Cure

There is only one cure for an introvert hangover – alone time!  Yeap, it’s time to listen to that feeling that wants nothing to do with other people.  Once you reach this stage, the only thing you can do is find somewhere quiet.  It could mean reading a book, watching some tv or going for a walk in nature.  I find a nice nature walk to be very refreshing and will restore my energy the quickest.

Then, make sure you get lots of rest.  You need a break from the world around you.  No phone calls, no emails, no text messages and most importantly, no social media.  Disconnect from everything and everyone around you.

The most important part of the cure is that you need to be alone.  Even having another person in the same room will aggravate you.  The amount of time you need to recover will depend on how large your hangover is.  The more socializing that you have been doing, the more alone time you will need.

As a final point, don’t feel guilty about taking some alone time.  At this point, it is much needed to become yourself again.  If you ever feel the guilt taking over to push you do more, just think about what the alternative looks like.  Pushing through an introvert hangover will leave you frazzled, angry and short-tempered.  Hmm, not a pretty picture, is it? 

When in doubt, remember the advice they give to passengers on a plane – put on your own oxygen mask first before helping others.  Because you can’t take care of anyone else if you’ve passed out due to a lack of oxygen. 

What do you do to recover when you have an introvert hangover?

Until my next blog post, here’s wishing you lots of joy and happiness!
With love,


Hi! I'm Joanne. I’m a Canadian Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA, CMA). Money management is a life skill that I passionately believe all people need to learn. As an accountant, I love helping people understand numbers and money. At BuildingJoyAndHappiness, I share my tips to money management and make understanding finances simple.

Leave a Reply