Introverts and the Holidays

I think this is probably the hardest time of the year for us introverts. Parties, parties everywhere. With families, friends, co-workers, acquaintances and sometimes complete strangers.

I think I lucked out this year — almost. I work at a large public university and the chancellor hosts a holiday party each year to which the entire staff and faculty are invited. I wasn’t going to go, but my boss said she was going to meet someone and asked me to walk over with her. I just didn’t really feel like I could say no. And if I was with her, I wouldn’t feel too bad. Although I’ve worked there for almost two years, my job is focused more on people outside of the institution; so I really don’t know that many people yet.

As soon as we arrived at the party, she excused herself to go to the bathroom. So I was immediately on my own. I ended up hanging out with another staff member in my department; but, quite frankly, she has an odd way of introducing herself. She has the best intentions, but she does it very awkwardly. And she hasn’t learned that if she’s going to introduce herself, she should also introduce the person she’s with. It was just odd — and very uncomfortable.

I finally excused myself from her, found my boss and told her I was going back to the office. She knows me pretty well so she didn’t mind. I just don’t know why I wasted so much time before leaving. For the most part, I’ve come to accept the fact that I really don’t like parties. In our extrovert-filled world, everyone is supposed to like parties and get equal enjoyment out of them. Unless it’s a small group of people I know really well, I pretty much hate them. I just have to keep reminding myself that’s okay.

So if you’re facing parties this year, remember — just say no! It’s okay for you not to like parties.

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4 Responses to Introverts and the Holidays

  1. kahleigh says:

    Found your blog randomly, the posts really intrigue me. I hate parties too, but unfortunately this year I’m going to have a lot of them–I going to live in a residential college, you see, so it kind of scares me. I would much rather prefer one-on-one heart-to-heart talks, but unfortunately that’s not what parties are about. I’m wondering if I made the right choice of living where I’m going to live.

  2. John says:

    Hmmm. The party question. I guess I am hardcore. I spent twenty whole years at one firm and did not attend one single Christmas party. It enraged people. Even more so when I simply told them why – at their insistence, of course. The simple reason, ‘I hate parties.’ It’s having the gumption to say ‘no’. Intrinsic belief in your own introversion. And what they don’t get is, that introverts like ‘people’ just the same. But not in herds.

  3. introvertious says:

    Hating to party is ok. Do you think most introverts do?
    I’m an introvert and don’t really HATE parties. It’s just that parties drain me really quickly.

    I’m exploring the idea of parties and introversion in my recent blog post at http://introvertious.wordpress.com/2010/0/18/introverts-and-parties/.

    Let me know what you think.
    Cheers!

  4. rott-v-ler says:

    I don’t particularly like parties. My head is buzzing after I go home and I need to wind down. But I do sometimes force myself out of my comfort zone, try to talk and be charming, rather than being a miserable spanner… It gets easier with practice but I’m still introverted.

    Getting out of your comfort zone makes you wiser, stronger and maybe even enjoy yourself a bit. Don’t believe your own hype just for the sake of your identity/ego.

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