introvert christmas

Oh, HELL NO! That’s what I feel like saying a lot during this time of year. But somehow I always get sucked into the madness. I do things that leave me frazzled and overwhelmed. But as a fellow introvert, I think you’ll understand that it’s not entirely my fault.

You see, a lot of people believe that introverts don’t want to partake in the holiday festivities, because we don’t enjoy them. That’s not entirely true. Often, we want to do so much more than our energy allows. So, we say yes to all things shiny and bright and full of cheer. And then we regret it.

I must confess that I definitely overcommitted this year. On top of volunteering to host our family Christmas dinner in my tiny apartment, I also said yes to an invitation to perform at a salsa dance event, AND I started a new introvert website.

There were a smattering of other unnecessary yes’s over the past couple of weeks. So, in the hopes that you don’t make the same mistakes I did, here are 7 things I’m saying no to at Christmas from now on.

1. Presents for everyone.

Buying presents for everyone is seriously one of the most stressful parts of Christmas. This year, I’m giving nearly everyone in my family the same homemade gift, except for my little nieces and nephews. If I host Christmas at my house again, I’ll probably suggest a Secret Santa type arrangement.

2. Going here, there, and everywhere.

Nothing stresses me out more than having to run around town to buy everything on my shopping list. I know a lot of introverts feel the same way. If you can, order your presents online, or get all your shopping done in one place.

The same goes for specialty food items. I’m vegan, so believe me, no one knows the temptation to go grocery store hopping more than me. But this time of year, it’s just not worth it. Choose the one-stop shop whenever possible.

3. Committing to activities I’m not excited about.

As introverts, we have to be selective about where we spend our energy. If you’re asked to volunteer your time for, say, a church activity, or a fundraiser, think carefully about whether it’s worth the energy. If it’s not that important to you, say no thanks.

4. Keeping every gift I receive.

In this blog post, Denise Duffield-Thomas says, “Just because someone’s gifted you something doesn’t mean you need to make a shrine of it in your house and keep it forever.” Being a major minimalist myself who absolutely hates clutter, this was music to my ears. If you know you’ll never use it, go ahead and regift it, donate it, or throw it away.

5. Trying to be perfect.

I don’t know who I’m trying to impress, but there’s some evil little pageant mom within me that’s constantly nagging me to put on a great show. I put a lot of pressure on myself to be the hostess with the mostest. This year I’m saying no to being perfect, and HELL YES to self-compassion.

6. Trying to do it all on my own.

This one is closely tied to trying to be perfect. It’s as if I can’t win unless I do it all on my own. But for highly sensitive introverts like me, accepting support is the key to staying sane over the holidays. So, let your friends and family shoulder some of the burden.

7. Spending time with people I don’t really like.

The older I get the more I value close friends. I see that superficial acquaintances just aren’t worth the energy, especially if you’re an introvert. So, give yourself permission to say no to invitations from people you don’t really jive with.

What about you?

What do you wish you’d said hell no to this Christmas? Let me know in the comments below. I’d love to hear from you.

I know that saying no and speaking your mind as an introvert can be tough. That’s why I’ve created a new website dedicated to helping introverts develop confident conversation and connection skills. I’ll be adding new blog posts this week. For now, you can grab my free Introvert Conversation Cheat Sheet Here.



Christmas brunch at my place with my BFFs. Follow me on Instagram.

Michaela Chung friends