To you parties may sound like a fun word.
For me or anyone like me… it instantly raises our blood pressure.
Introverts aren’t the type of people that like to party or being in a group of strangers. We are people that want to Netflix with their best friends and eat junk food, or stay at home and play games online.
When an introvert is dragged out to a party they are doing it because:
One – they want to make a good impression on a friend.
Two – they want to get out of their comfort zone.
Three – didn’t know that they were going to be going to the party in the first place.
Social situations can be very tiring and stressful for an introvert, add in being socially awkward and you have yourself a panic stricken blubber ball.
When I somehow find myself at parties – usually dragged out of the house by friends – I do one of four things.
One – cling to my friend like a baby koala for the whole night.
Two – nervously talk your way through questions asked to you by strangers while trying to locate the friend that dragged you to the party.
Three – locate the food. No one will talk to you if you have food in your mouth.
Four – hang out with the pet of the house cat, dog, bird… doesn’t matter. (You know they won’t judge you).
My usually choice is three. There always something at the food table that I like and it is easy to ignore people when your back it facing the crowd and you are facing the food. It is also easier to play off people’s questions when you have a mouthful of food.
If – Gods forbid – a person catches you away from the food table and starts asking me questions I usually am able to stumble my way through a conversation with them. If a person expects me to start a conversation… well they will be waiting a very long time since while it may take them a second to think of something to ask me I’m running through hundreds of possible suggestions, each being reviewed for any possible negative responses, while my mind is preparing responses to those negative responses.
Fun? Not really. Stressful? Totally.
Another fun thing is when you finally settle on something to say and it comes out wrong. The joys of your cursing yourself as you try to recover the conversation as you notice the person you are talking to staring at you… possibly thinking what is wrong with this person.
Scurry away, back to the food table where you are safe little over-thinker. It will be okay.
Or, will it?
The chances are, that interaction will be playing over and over again in my head for the rest of the night. It will haunt my dreams and whisper in my ear while I’m drinking my tea at breakfast. I may even do mock conversations on how I should have responded to the person while in the shower before heading to work.
Am I crazy? Yep… but admitting it is the first step to recovery… right? ^.^
I am find with small interactions with people on the street. Someone asking for directions or asking the time are fine. I can even handle being in a small group of four people that I know. I’m part of several communities and volunteer… so I am not completely useless. I just know that after a long day in the office or working with my volunteer groups I will be tired.
While people go out to dance or party to boost their energy or cut loose… I read and write books.
So, when you ask one of your friends if they want to go out to party or stay in and watch a movie – consider that maybe their way of fun doesn’t include a lot of people and that wanting to spend time with you is a big step outside of their usual comfort zone.