Yes, the 'introvert hangover' really does exist. And there is only one cure.

There are certain non-negotiables for introverts that their extroverted counterparts will just never understand.

Like a lizard on a sun-drenched rock, an extrovert gets a buzz from a chockers social calendar.

But an introvert? They need their time in the shade – lest they dry up like an over-socialised prune.

According to blogger Shawna Courter, there’s a name for the phenomenon.

She calls it the “introvert hangover” and explains it thus:

“Introverts have a more limited ration of energy available for socialising, compared to our more extroverted counterparts. When we push past those reserves, we hit a tipping point where we go from being ‘fine’ to ‘definitely not okay.’ An ‘introvert’ hangover is, simply put, a withdrawal into oneself brought on by overstimulation.”

For Shawna, at least, like its alcohol-fuelled equivalent, the “introvert hangover” is characterised by recognisable physical symptoms.

“Your ears might ring, your eyes start to blur, and you feel like you’re going to hyperventilate. Maybe your palms sweat,” she explains in a blog post for Introvert Dear

“Your mind feels like it kind of shuts down, building barriers around itself as if you had been driving on a wide open road, and now you’re suddenly driving in a narrow tunnel. All you want is to be at home, alone, where it’s quiet.”

Rory knows.

And if an introvert doesn't get their much-needed alone time? Well, basically they're stuffed, she says.

According to Shawna, that's when the self-doubt begins to kick in.

"Maybe I am no fun", you'll  think as you're pummelled with a hangover induced waved of self-deprecation - only worsened by some well-meaning busy body asking: "Why are you so quiet?"


It's a cycle anyone who'd rather stay in their cocoon with a good book rather than emerge a social butterfly knows all too well - and one that's often misunderstood.

We asked around our office if the "introvert hangover" was real...  All our resident introverts agreed it was.

Here's what they wished their friends could understand.

Making friends when being an introvert is hard. (Post continues after audio.)

1. Dinner on a school night is not an option.

A 6.30am start. Eight hours at a desk. Meetings. Ringing phones. Your Facebook pinging constantly.

The last thing most introverts want on a week night is dinner with friends, sorry.

It's essentially like running a marathon.

2. You hate answering your phone.

You can't count the number of times you've watched your phone ring out, as you desperately wait for the moment the damn thing goes to voicemail.

Just send a text. Jesus.

3. Visitors are a total no-no.

Okay, so having a friend pop by isn't necessarily the end of the world.

I mean, you love your friends... But you love them even more when they don't overstay their welcomes.

TAKE. THE. HINT. Don't make me fake an appointment.

4. You're not the Piker Of The Century.

You might be a plan-canceller, but not out of choice.

Sometimes you just realise your reserves are all used up and you just can't go on.


5. Group holidays are absolutely not an option.

For an introvert, there is nothing less relaxing than a group holiday with nowhere to hide.

Travelling in a pack might be fun for some, but for others even the thought of it is panic-inducing.

It's pretty much like getting stuck outdoors all night in the middle of winter: it's uncomfortable, you'll probably get sick and you'll definitely need a week in bed to recover.

6. If you do make plans, you're secretly hoping for a cancellation.

Even when you do schedule something in, you're secretly hoping your friend will pull out at the last minute.

Everything in your diary is written in pencil. Everything.

Don't even talk to me about late people.

7. Parties are fine... As long as you have an exit strategy.

Parties are fine so long as you have a good hiding spot sorted on arrival.

Pets help. Small talk is torture.

8. Sometimes you just need a little solitude.

According to Shawna, there is only one cure for the "introvert hangover" and that is being alone.

"It’s not that we don’t want to be around you," she explains.

"It's not that we're upset. It’s not that anything is particularly wrong. It’s just that we need to be alone. We need some time up in our heads with our thoughts. We need time to just breathe and just be.

"We might not need much time. Sometimes just a half hour or an hour can do wonders."

Do you ever had an introvert hangover?