An Introvert’s Guide To Navigating Con

Cons were made so that people could gather together and enjoy the fandoms they know and love.

It’s a place full of high energy with all the panels, games, photo-ops, artist alleys, and parties until the brink of dawn. This immediately sounds like a blast for a lot of people. But for some people, this can appear a bit stressful at first glance. There’s so much fun to be had and the FOMO is real, but some recognize that being involved of every single part of con could get overwhelming.

Behold, the life of an introvert. 

People assume introverts are shy and don’t like others, which isn’t what introversion is. Yes, introverts can be shy, but that isn’t what makes someone an introvert. An introvert is a person who regains their energy through alone time. After being in a high energy and social setting, they prefer to retreat for awhile to recharge. This could look like going out with friends on a Friday night and then spending the rest of the weekend in comfy clothes binge watching a tv show. This time to recharge is important, because it allows them to be ready to be involved once again. Introverts are also the ones that may listen more than they speak, because they tend to be more observant and pensive. It may come off to some people as being standoff-ish, but really they’re taking in a lot of information and can formulate thoughtful replies.

And sometimes, going to a con can feel stressful.

As an introvert myself, I didn’t know what to expect going to my first convention. Sure I was excited to break out my cosplay and buy some memorabilia, but I don’t do well in crowds. I tend to feel others’ energies and get overwhelmed pretty quickly, and I didn’t want to be the one looking not as enthusiastic as everyone else. But, being an introvert at a con is okay and there are still ways to have fun while staying true to yourself and your personal boundaries. Here are some ways to do just that.

Look at the schedule ahead of time

Most if not every con releases the schedule at least a week in advance either online or via an app they’ve created for live updates. It’s always good too look ahead to see what you’d want to go to, but also so that you know what times you’d be busy back to back and when you might be free.

Plan your peace and quiet moments

After seeing the schedule, think of when you’d like to have those moments to yourself. Con can feel pretty hectic after awhile, and if you meet new people you might end up getting dragged to different places to hang out together. This is great, but if you know you need a bit of rest before engaging in something make that known. Look at those free times as space to go back to your room for a bit of quiet or a nap. Or, spend time with only a few people away from the con to get a break.

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Go with friends who understand you

You don’t want to feel guilty that you may lose all of your social battery at some point. If you go with a group of friends, be around those who know you may need space at some point and won’t be upset with you for it. They’ll be the ones that still check in with you and know you’ll be back with them when you’re ready. 

Try not to overexert yourself

When all your energy is spent and you continue in that setting that drained you, you tend to shut down. There’s a difference between con exhaustion and shutting down; one being related to fun and the other related to doing more than you could handle. You’re not doing yourself any favors shutting down in the midst of everything knowing that you need breaks. Be gentle with yourself and confident that you’ll still have a good time even when you need a bit of down time.

Remember, con is supposed to be a fun time to enjoy. Know what you need for yourself and you’ll still have the great time you want!

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