Monday, February 25, 2013

Speaking Of Introverts And Parties

I’ve never been a fan of parties. Aside from the noise and the crowds that I can only handle for a little while before I need to break away, there’s the expectation that we all need to socialize with one another. Make new (temporary) friends. Circulate through the crowd and chat it up with strangers. Make small talk. Things that I’m not passionate about. Behaviours that are more in line with individuals that are energized by being around other people. Extroverted people. Not introverts like me whose energy is drained in large gatherings – like a party.


It’s not that I don’t like to socialize. I do. Very much so. But I like to get together with a select group of close friends or family members that I can have sincere and meaningful conversations with. And I particularly like a ‘one-to-one’ heartfelt connection with someone whose company I really enjoy. Being with mostly unfamiliar people at a party is not my first choice.


On the other hand, I do enjoy being in crowds where small talk is not necessary. Where I can sit quietly and simply observe. People. Happenings. My surroundings. I can be found, now and then, in indoor or outdoor spaces where there are many people circulating. Sharing space with me. All strangers. None of them expecting – or desiring – interaction with me. Parks. Malls. Popular venues. Bookstores. Museums. Events. And so on.


One of my favourite things to do in the winter when it’s too cold to be outdoors is to head over to the bookstore, look around, perhaps pick up a magazine or novel, and then treat myself to a latte in the attached coffee shop, seated amongst the strangers, the conversations, the noise, the energy. Reading. Dreaming. Thinking. Observing. Soaking it all in. Quietly. And when I’ve had my fill, I pack up and go. This is what I enjoy. Being in interesting places with lots of people where there is no pressure to interact.


But once in awhile, no matter how I feel about it, I have no choice but to get through a party that is thrown by family, friends, neighbours, and so forth. I attend and make the best of it. And unless I hook up with one person, or a few people, whose company I really enjoy, and where meaningful and interesting conversations will ensue, I bolt as soon as it’s polite to do so, and get into a quieter setting.

Ah, those introverts...not exactly the life of the party, are we?

Below is a funny video I ran across awhile back. I laughed out loud quite a few times watching it, and I suspect that the ones of you who are introverts also will.



28 comments:

  1. I actually feel really resentful when I'm trapped by someone at a party.So, I've stopped being so polite because it just encourages them. Like you, I enjoy being places where I don't have to interact. Much more restful.

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    1. It's been a long time since I got 'trapped' at a party. At my age, you can see someone like that coming from a mile away --- and so, I bolt! LOL...

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  2. Ha HA - squirt gun of justice. I'd like one of those even though I'm a border line introvert. But yes, on days when I'm leaning into introversion I completely understand - some people are absolutely draining.

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  3. If one isn't an introvert or an extrovert, is he just a vert? Should a vert squirt?

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    1. Yes, a vert should squirt? If you asked Dr. Seuss, he'd give this a thumbs up :)

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  4. Some lovely photos. I love to sit and watch the world go by in busy places.

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    1. Thanks, Crafty. Sitting and watching the world go by in busy places is something I also enjoy very much.

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  5. I just want to be in a room by myself, gazing in contemplation upon the lovely Mona Grumpy Cat.

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    1. Hahaha...a perfect choice for a bona fide introvert :)

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  6. When I was in university, I loved to sit in the cafeteria with my books opened to make it look like I was studying. Then no one would bother me but I could "people watch". I would watch and create different scenarios in my imagination about why they were so worried looking, or rushing or loitering. I still like to do this as I sit on a bench in the mall or in the park (in the warm weather of course). I love recharging myself by being at home with no radio, television or noise of any sort. I find it peaceful and rejuvenating especially after a day or days spent with people. Thank you for sharing this video with us, Martha.

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    1. I know exactly what you mean, Cathy. Having complete peace and silence is necessary at times to recharge our batteries. It's something that I enjoy at times, as well. I also experience that type of peace when I work in the garden, and the only sounds I hear are the wind and the birds singing. Very soul soothing.

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  7. I don't think i'm an introvert, but I still need a squirt gun of justice. :-)

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  8. Lovely picture, Martha, and the video was spot on! I love how you stand up for we introverts!

    I am so an introvert, and I absolutely related to everything you wrote in your post. And, like you, I love to hang out in bookstores! I love my regular coffee with a rustic apple tart! A magazine, a few books, and I'm good for hours! I would add airports to your list of great places to people watch.

    I'm still recharging after 25 years as a teacher and almost as long as a union leader (in a state where union membership is voluntary). I am reveling in being alone! Soon I'll be ready to re-engage ~ maybe volunteering again at the fossil lab ~ fossils don't talk back and they don't want hugs!

    I'm not sure about the squirt gun of justice, though. It seems quite impolite, and after all, I'm still Canadian to the core!

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    1. Hahaha...yes, fossils don't want hugs! You are too funny! I can certainly understand how happy you are to have this time in your life. I once had a job where I talked to people on the phone all day long taking reservations for a hotel. When it was the quiet season, it was okay, but when it was the busy season, I used to go home totally exhausted. After a week like that, I'd often stay home all weekend and relax!

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  9. Oh my god that was hilarious. I have that same problem in church. I can't stand the get to know people time. Most of the time I can't even deal with being around busy places. The grocery store almost gets to the point of stressing me out. I just want to walk in, get my stuff, and get out as quickly as possible. I demand introvert friendly grocer stores! (Haha!) Oh I think they have those actually, its called the internet... :)

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    1. Because I do almost all the grocery shopping, I have learned to tune out the excess noise and frantic pace. I swear I go into some trance or something...LOL... What I often try to do is go shopping when it's quieter.

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  10. That was an awesome video, I laughed and laughed and nodded and nodded. Yep, that'd me :)

    That kitty is gorgeous!

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    1. That kitty is a lap cat --- always needs to be close to me! She is a sweetie!

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  11. Haha.. Thoughtful post; I'm like you -- an introvert whose "energy is drained in large gatherings".. perhaps *any* gathering lol.. I'm better one-on-one, but even then it has to be the right person! Your pictures are so lovely -- the kitty reminds me of my Sophie, which now that I think of it -- I think I'm like my cats -- content to just sit quietly on my own, observing :)

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    1. I guess that's what we're like --- cats that are quite content on their own!

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  12. I love your posts on introverts, it is a nice reminder to me that I am not a weirdo, that other people feel the same as me! Some people really wear me out with their constant chatter. Your photos are gorgeous, kitty looks so mischievous!

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    1. No, none of us are weirdos. We're just wired differently, and need quiet time more often.

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  13. I only like certain people's parties. A familiar location and a few people I know are a big help, but even more helpful: a campfire. Because I can just sit and stare at the flames, occasionally put in a new log, and nobody thinks it's strange if I spend half the night there, not talking much.
    I have, however, volunteered to teach a dance class at a friend's party/mini-festival. What was I thinking?

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    1. That is a great way to pass the time at a party!

      I think you'll have a great time teaching that class. It's a one-time event that you'll enjoy and then be done with it. If you had to do it two or three times a week, maybe then it would start to be a little much. But maybe not.

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  14. Now I know why I am NOT a Catholic ~~~ turn and shake your neighbour's hand ~~~ no friggin' way ~~~ I'll remain United, thank you very much!

    Ron ~~~ winkers!

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    1. You and me both! I just want to sit somewhere quietly and not be noticed!

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