Acelli Crippen-Kok · May 15, 2022 · 2 min read

Signs Your Social Battery is Drained

All of us have had a collective traumatic experience these last few years. Many people spiraled into sadness being separated from loved ones and human interaction outside of our homes. However, some people thrived during lockdowns, shutdowns, and social distancing.

Now the world has opened up again for almost everyone. Social gatherings are becoming part of our normal daily routines. We’re back in the office amongst co-workers. Many of us are back to attending conferences and seminars. It’s a huge adjustment, even for the most social of social butterflies.

You may be experiencing social exhaustion without realizing it, and your social battery is drained and needs recharging.

What is a Social Battery?

You may be asking yourself what is a social battery and how do I know if I even have one? Well, everyone has a social battery. It’s not a real battery inside your body, it’s just a term many use when referring to how much social interaction they can handle. It’s how much energy each of us has in order to handle socializing. Each of us has a different battery capacity. Batteries drain for different reasons and in different situations, it all depends on the kind of person you are: extrovert or introvert.

An extrovert wants social interaction and when they aren’t engaged in conversations and involved in group activities, their batteries drain to nothing. On the opposite side of this is an introvert, who finds themselves completely depleted from talking to other people and engaging in group activities.

How Can You Tell You’re Experiencing Social Exhaustion

Full social batteries give people the energy they need to connect with others on a deeper level. So, how can you tell you’re experiencing social exhaustion? A few of the symptoms:

  • You feel tired and bored during a conversation with just about everyone
  • It’s difficult to talk and pay attention to the current conversation you’re involved in
  • You aren’t laughing or reacting in any way when other people share funny or emotional stories
  • Everything people say irritates you, as well as loud noises, loud voices, bright lights, or flickering candles, etc.
  • All you can think about is leaving, and that you should have just stayed home
  • You’re zoning out of the conversation and focused on your own thoughts

When you constantly find yourself feeling out-of-place and itching to flee the scene, it’s a sign social exhaustion is hitting you and it’s time to recharge your low social battery. But how do you recharge your social battery?

How Can You Recharge Your Low Social Battery

Okay, you’re drained. You’re fleeing parties, and avoiding phone calls requesting your presence at another gathering. All you feel like doing is sitting on your couch and eating all the snacks, even the stale chips you dug out of the bottom of the kitchen pantry drawer. Though this is one way to handle the situation, there are a few better ways to charge your social low social battery.

  • Sleep – I know, super simple and basic, but it works
  • Spend time alone – sure, sitting on your couch eating snacks is one way to spend time alone, but maybe spend alone time out in nature or taking a walk
  • Get creative – write in a journal, knit a sweater, paint (art, your living room walls, furniture, your nails)
  • Repetitive activities often help soothe and recharge – remember as a child how coloring felt peaceful and calming? There are adult coloring books – buy some colored pencils and have it. Want something more active? Workouts provide repetitive motions which can help bring calm and peace.
  • Find ways to relax. If you like water, soak in a hot tub if you have one, if not, a bathtub – light candles, read a book, put your favorite music on
  • Relax at home with your pets, or your closest loved ones that know you well and understand you

Now, if you’re in the middle of a social interaction and feel yourself draining, excuse yourself and find a spot you can just be alone for five to ten minutes. If this doesn’t help, just leave. Say your goodbyes, and if people give you a hard time, leave anyway. It’s better than feeling overwhelmed, getting irritated, and it turning into a whole “negative situation”.

Can Counseling Help Handle Your Social Energy Levels

Figuring out the ins and outs of your personality isn’t always something you can figure out on your own. Am I an introvert or an extrovert? Am I both? Why do I feel alienated at most social gatherings? How can I change so I fit in? Do I want to fit in?

There’s lots of questions running through your mind when your social energy levels are low, and you’ve had a rough experience at a recent gathering with people you do actually like and normally enjoy being around. So what’s the deal? Why am I feeling like this?

All these questions are valid and can be discussed with a professional.

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