Introverts and the Holidays

December 26, 2006

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.