How to Deal with Grief as an Introvert
Unfortunately, grief and loss will always be a part of human life. Some people find comfort in this fact. But for many people, knowing that others can feel the same way is not enough to cope with grief. If anything, this fact sinks in only after a certain period of time.
Everyone deals differently with grief, and introverts are no exception. However, introverts tend to deal with grief differently than extroverts.
Wondering what an introvert is? This definition might help.
The Chaos of Emotions When Faced with Grief
Dealing with grief is hard for everyone, regardless of your personality. But introverts face unique challenges. For example, they are used to solving problems on their own, so they may not seek help from others. Feeling like you can’t turn to anyone to comfort you can make the pain even harder to deal with.
When an introvert loses someone close to them, they may have trouble coping not only with grief but also with the people around them. At the wake or funeral, others want to talk to them and express their condolences. They may ask about their well-being countless times. Introverts may feel the desire to run and hide during the funeral in order to avoid all this attention. However, this clashes with wanting to be grateful and polite to those offering their support, which puts a heavy burden on the introvert’s soul.
Do What You Need
For an introvert, it’s important to focus on only coping with the grief itself. This means taking whatever time and solitude you need to get back on your feet and not doing things just to please others. Pleasing others can actually have a negative effect on coping mechanisms.
It’s important not to overthink things and question whether you are being rude when you are the one grieving. People who love and support you will understand this. What’s more, time will eventually heal your emotional wounds even though it is impossible to erase them completely. And no one should be erased from one’s memory anyway! After a while, you may feel the need to talk with other people and spend time with them.
Helping Introverts in Times of Pain
People who want to help their introverted friends or family members who are dealing with tragic loss should be aware that pressing the subject matter and forcing them to talk probably won’t help. Let the person suffering open up at their own pace. Funeral homes often stress that when helping someone who is grieving it is essential to:
- Just be there. Someone’s presence can be enough to make things a little more bearable.
- Listen carefully. When the person does open up, just let them talk. Don’t tell them what they should be doing or feeling.
- Legitimize feelings of grief. Sometimes, people need to be told that it’s okay to be sad.
- Tolerate angry responses. It’s easy for someone grieving to get lost in their emotions and get angry. This is when they need to be understood without being made to feel guilty.
- Give the griever hope. No one really knows how the grieving person is feeling, but it is important to encourage them to stay strong.
Grieving is a unique experience for everyone and there is no right or wrong way to cope with loss–there is only your way. It’s important not to smother yourself with guilt. Take all the extra time and space you need. Give yourself a chance to reach the point where you will be able to talk, laugh, and cry with people who love you.
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Read this: 21 Undeniable Signs That You’re an Introvert