Maintaining social wellness can be challenging, especially for those of us who find large social situations daunting. And, since social wellness is so important to our overall health, it’s equally important that we maintain our social circles in ways that suit us. We need to think about what kind of social interactions benefit us and make us happy. If you’re an introvert and find this kind of tricky, you’ve come to the right place! If you’re an extrovert, stick around anyways, maybe you’ll learn a little something that could help you out with your introverted pals! If you’re an ambivert, you already know a thing or two about balance, but there’s always more to discover!

Let’s get into it!

What Is an Introvert?

Over the last century, the idea of introversion has been ping-ponged across the scientific community, and as such it’s come to have a number of different meanings. In general terms, introverts are thought to be people who recharge their social batteries by being alone, as opposed to extroverts who get energy from being around other people, and ambiverts who fall somewhere in the middle. 

However, as definitions and ideas have progressed, introversion has come to be subcategorized into four different types: Social, Thinking, Anxious, and Inhibited Introversion. Any number of these categories could apply to an introvert (or none at all) but we thought it may be useful to dig into them a little bit!

  1. Social Introversion refers to a preference for solitude or smaller social groups. 
  2. Thinking Introversion involves a lot of introspection, a rich and complex inner life, and plenty of creativity. 
  3. Anxious Introversion doesn’t necessarily refer to people who suffer from the mental health condition also known as anxiety, but it speaks more to a predisposition toward the emotion of anxiety. These are introverts who don’t want too much stimulation, be it noise or social interactions, and are often very self-aware. Social anxiety is a separate entity, but can often come hand in hand with anxious introversion – if you think you may be suffering from anxiety, there are always positive steps you can take, and it’s always a good idea to speak with a medical professional!
  4. Inhibited (or restrained) Introversion – These introverts are thought of as people who think deeply before they act, or speak, and who always take their time with everything!

Social Isolation

Now, just because someone’s introverted, doesn’t necessarily mean that they don’t need social interaction. Humans are sociable creatures, but some people just need to socialize a little bit differently. Socialization can be beneficial to our wellbeing for a number of reasons, and one of the foremost reasons is to avoid what is known in the medical community as social isolation. This essentially refers to a person having little or no social support. 

Social isolation has been shown to be a huge predictor when it comes to outcomes in not only mental health but physical health as well. The best way to avoid loneliness and isolation is to nurture our social lives, and this is doubly important for introverts who may find social connections a bit harder to maintain. If we sustain healthy social lives, the implications for our wellness are far-reaching. Emotional support can boost happiness and can help to prevent anxiety, depression, stress, and many related physical symptoms.

Social Fatigue

On the other hand, especially where introverts are concerned, we should all be aware of the possibility and implications of social fatigue. As with many things in health and wellness, it’s important to maintain a balance in our social lives, and this can apply to ambiverts and extroverts as well. Social activities can be draining, and this characteristic of social interaction can have the unfortunate side effect of putting us off spending time with those close to us. 

Social interactions involve a lot of cognitive processing and impression management, which even the stoutest of extroverts can find exhausting after a while, so when it comes to introverts we should be doubly aware. 

The key here is to both learn about and to respect ourselves. If we can work out how much social interaction is the perfect amount, then we can find the happy middle ground that works for us! 

Where to Start? 

The thing with social and mental wellness is that it can be very difficult to recommend a “one size fits all” solution. The best thing is to do a little introspective reasoning and try to discover our individual, ideal balance. We should be aware that we need some social interaction to maintain our wellbeing, but in order to avoid social fatigue we should also ensure that it’s the right amount of social activity and the right kind of social activity. 

With all that in mind, here are a few types of social activities that may suit an introvert!

Keep it Short and Sweet

Being aware that introverts can find social occasions draining, as much as we may enjoy them, we should strive to account for this. We could try activities that aren’t time-consuming. This could mean things like meeting a friend for an afternoon coffee, having a quick video call, or going to the cinema!

Try Smaller Groups

While big groups of people can seem like a little bit too much, why not take things into your own hands and organize a social occasion that will work for you? Invite a small group of friends over for a board games night, or go to a pub quiz. The options are really endless, but keeping a small group of your closest (and possibly also introverted) pals can really help to curb that potential for getting overwhelmed.

Virtual Activities 

Interacting with friends, or even meeting new people, from the comfort of our own homes can give us all the joy of human connection without the added stress of going somewhere and having to be constantly mentally active! Why not try a little dnd or some video games?

Artistic Activities 

Another fantastic way to make our social activities more manageable and meaningful can involve art. If we want to get out of the house we could try classes like painting or sculpting – which both provide a calming setting and a great way to meet new people. Art also has a wonderful way of making us feel good, reducing feelings of stress that we may normally associate with social gatherings, and they give us a chance to be creative! 


Last, but very much not least, why not try combining exercise with a little social activity? It can provide a way to spend time with one or two close friends, as well as an activity that can distract us from how intimidating the social aspect of the activity may seem. Plus, there are a number of other benefits to working out with other people. Fitness partners can increase motivation, help us stick to a schedule, and can even boost performance! 

The takeaway here is that to find the right balance, we need to know ourselves. Everyone’s different, and we all like to socialize in different ways and degrees, so it’s all about finding what’s right for us! Look for activities that give you a chance to regularly see those close to you, but in ways that don’t stress you out! It’s all about finding a happy middle ground where we feel fulfilled, loved, motivated, and energized! 

Learn more about addressing loneliness by continuing with us on your journey!