Introvert Q&A: Ditching Disney

May 13, 2009

Hello Fellow Introverts and Curious Extroverts–                                                                                                                                                            I am getting more and more requests for tips on asserting introversion in a “extroverted” world. (Note that this is NOT actually an extroverted world. See INTROVERT POWER or the comprehensive research in the MBTI Manual; Introverts outnumber extroverts!)  Thanks to Crystal for suggesting I put up an Introvert Q&A. Though she made the suggestion in February, I did follow through…
                                                                                                                                         Rozanne: Every year for the past five years, my in-laws treat the whole family to a trip to Disney World. It’s an incredibly generous gift but I really struggle with it. We are leaving on Saturday and I find myself getting more and more anxious as departure gets closer. My husband’s family, including my family, are all extroverts. This trip we have my father- and mother-in-law, my sister-in-law and her husband and three kids, and my husband and me and our son.
I have to be honest and say I feel completely overwhelmed at times during these trips. The noise and crowds bother me, and I’m expected to be on the go from the time I wake up until the time I go to bed. If I beg off and say I need a break, everyone wonders what’s wrong with me. My husband also prays on my guilt by implying that I’ll be missing great moments with our son (he’s five). I hate to miss those moments but I don’t know what else to do. My ideal Disney World trip would be to sleep in a bit and wake up slowly, then visit one of the parks for about 3 or 4 hours, and then come back to the hotel and lounge by the pool reading.
                                                                                                                                             Laurie: I do have a suggestion: be honest with your husband about your ideal version of the trip. If he plays the guilt card, ignore it and get back to the point. He is talking about what you’ll miss/what your son needs, but he is really telling you what HE wants. Try to get your son out of the conversation — it’s not fair to speculate about your son’s needs in this situation (perhaps what your son needs is a well-rested, energized and happy mother). Ask your husband what parts of the trip he most wants you to be a part of, and prioritize those. Remember, Guilt is a master distractor, making you focus on everyone’s needs but your own. Don’t get sucked in. If you take yourself and your needs seriously, your husband is more likely to take you seriously. Don’t back down until YOU are in the conversation.

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