Why Introverts and Touring Don’t Mix

For all personality types, touring can be difficult. However, introverts are often the most challenging. While this is not a major issue that can make or break a musician’s career, it can make life difficult for introverted musicians and those who support them. We will highlight some of the challenges that touring presents for introverts and offer tips to make things go smoothly. Like some aspects of introverted behaviour don’t make sense to extroverts (for one, our strong need for alone time), many “extroverted” behaviours are foreign, uncomfortable, and even downright annoying to introverts.

Not all introverts will agree — we are individuals, but here are seven things that don’t make sense to many of us “quiet ones.” If you relate to my points, know that you’re not alone.

Musicians spend their entire waking hours on the road with people they love.

Except for those bands that have achieved great financial success, touring can be very draining for less social musicians. There’s no barrier between them on the road and others. It doesn’t matter if you’re two feet from your bandmates on the road to the next show or chatting with fans at the merch stand; touring is exhausting. On the other hand, introverts are more likely to recharge when others surround them. Socially draining can lead to the same problems musicians face on their tours: sleep deprivation and strained relationships.

The best thing introverted musicians can do to prepare for their tour is to know what they are getting into. It might be saving money for a separate hotel room for long trips, or it could mean taking the time to save some money. Others will find it helpful to make an effort to walk on the roads every day.

There are very few places to recharge between the stage and the tour van.

Touring is a social and extroverted activity. You’ll be talking to other bands and having fun with your bandmates. These are essential parts of a tour’s success. This makes it difficult for introverts. This is where the challenge lies in showing up socially on tour without feeling guilty or burnt out.

This is not an easy problem. It requires a delicate balance. Instead of making it through a long tour as an extrovert by pretending to be one, find the few moments you have to be yourself and take advantage of them. Don’t be afraid of going off on your own if you have the time. You can also use noise-cancelling headphones or hang out in the green room. This is one situation where you are responsible for your health and wellbeing. Don’t be afraid to take control of your life.

No matter your personality type, taking care of yourself while on tour is important. Some introverts are not vocal about the things they need to feel well. If you don’t feel like a social musician, you should set boundaries and conditions to make you feel at ease. Remember, no one will listen to you if you don’t.

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