You might be surprised to learn that some polycules choose to go away on vacation—as a group! I’ve done it three times, which as an introverted person, feels like a lot. Plus, I’m the only introvert in my poly circle, so the first couple of times we tried it, things felt awkward.
If you’re an introvert who wants to try to group vacationing, here are some tips for avoiding the resentments and misunderstandings that can result from simply needing your own space.
Explain Your Position
Sometimes we introverts need to remind the extroverts in our lives that we’re happy just the way we are. We’re not angry or depressed. We’re not snubbing, or casting judgement on anyone when we choose to spend a few quiet moments alone. It took several conversations with my polycule before everyone began to understand and accept this about me.
When we go on vacations, I have to sneak off to my room at least once a day just to recharge. At first, everyone felt they had to wait for me to come out before they could go anywhere. Now they know that I’m happy to sit some things out.
Suggest a Compromise
It’s okay to go off and do your own thing, but if everyone feels it’s important for you to participate in something, try to save up your time and energy so that you can. Ask your polycule to help you out by planning things ahead of time, that way you can prepare yourself for the burst of social effort that will be required of you.
You might also want to suggest quieter outings that you can enjoy, like hiking or going to an art gallery. These activities are more conducive to breaking off into smaller groups, while still providing a shared experience. They can also offer a bit of peace in an otherwise hectic day.
Take Yourself on a Solitary Adventure
I mentioned my go-to of spending time alone in my room. If this sounds too boring or sedentary for you, try something more interesting. Tell your polycule that you wish to have one full day to yourself, where you can go off and do your own thing. Maybe you’ll enjoy an espresso at some corner café, or go to a play, or just lay in a hammock and read.
If your vacation is less than a week long, it might not be realistic to expect one full day, but even just an hour spent away from the energy and expectations of others can have a restorative effect.
Don’t Apologize all the Time
You might worry that you’re disappointing the group by not being more open to things, and thus find yourself apologizing an awful lot. Just remember, you’re entitled to your way of being just as much as they are. If you explain your needs and do your best to accommodate theirs whenever possible, there’s nothing else you can do.
Sometimes it takes more than one trip together to really reach an understanding, but don’t give up hope! Extroverted and introverted poly people can have wonderful times together! All it takes is a little compromise and understanding.