Extroverts - You Have It Made!! Us Introverts Just Get to Watch, Myers-Briggs, Rocks
When It Comes To Parties ...
EXTRAVERTS HAVE all the luck. For us Introverts, it can be a painful experience. The last of the guests of my grandson's second birthday party just left and I am exhausted!! And, I hardly did any of the work in preparing for the party or, in conducting the party. My wife and step-daughter, the mother, prepared most of the food and the father did the heavy duty meat BBQing; I did some minor site-prep and chores in the morning then retreated to work and got out of the way.
The pool was opened and festivities started at 2 PM, with family and friends showing up then and later; childern and adults; around 30 to 35. Dinner was at 4 PM and it was all over by about 8 PM; it is now about 8:47 PM. I am just now recovering.
All of the people there are familiar to my wife and step-kids, I am the outsider, although I now have had three years to get acquainted; my fault, an occupational hazard of an introvert. Myers-Briggs has a good write-up on what extroverts and introverts are all about but one rule-of-thumb is that extraverts draw energy from people and introverts spend energy on dealing with people; I spend a lot of energy dealing with people when the count goes over two; there were over 30 there, OMG!
To aviod seeming like too much of a stick-in-the-mud, I tried to pace myself and went outside to visit, as was expected of me, but, not in my nature. Periodically, I would retreat inside when my power levels ran to recharge. I took a long dip in the pool, which was safe because I just float around and just watch what was going on without having to interact to much. At one point, I disappeared into the bedroom for about 10 minutes to get far away, so to speak.
At one point, I was standing inside, looking outside at all of those extroverts interacting,having a good time. Well, not everyone was. There were some other obvious introverts sitting around watching, but not many; besides not being party-people we are a minority in America as well. Anyway, they were obviously having a good time, and I found myself thinking that I was envious at how much they were enjoying themselves while I was inside trying to replace the energy I once had which they now possessed.
It is no joke that, for introverts, functions like this can suck the life right out of you; this is an idea that is totally incomprehensible to an extrovert; they have no baseline to understand this, at least in terms of people. For you extroverts (except ENTPs though, you already understand us INTPs) reading this, try contemplating being entertained spending five hours in solitary confinement with a book you think you would like, exciting, eh? Well, that is how introverts see parties. But, time out with a good book, for an introvert, is not necessarily a bad deal.
To a lot of introverts, this alienation from parties is not fun; it is not a good thing; in fact, it is often downright depressing, which might explain why we might seem "unfun". The reason we might seem this way is because we aren't "happy" due to the very fact that we can't "naturally" have fun in these situations. We spend so much of our energy mingling, trying for make-up things to talk about, in general, socializing and trying to look like we are having a ball, all those things extroverts are sooo damned good at.at it that, we Introverts become totally exhausted from the effort!
Then, to add salt to the wounds while we are attempting to do the above, "center-of-the-party" Sally comes over to a clearly distressed Mark and drags us over to some of her friends, ones we don't know (fortunately, I knew almost everybody at our party). This gesture actually can be helpful, if Sally knew what our problem is and understands it. Introverts survive much better at parties, or at least I do, when guided through them or put with people they know well and/or have similar interests. But, in this case, Sally doesn't. She soon flits to the next group, as extroverts do, leaving us to fend for ourselves with strangers who care less about what we care about; disaster; depression; all we want is to go home; ahhhh, the life of an introvert.
Extroverts simply do not understand that introverts have absolutely no control over this personality characteristic; we are left-handed in a right-handed world and there is no changing that, period, so you learn to cope; I retreat, before entering the fray again to do my host's duty.
I hope you enjoyed this little stream of conscience while I had the idea. It was a wonderful party; my wife, step-daughter, and step-son did a fantastic job putting it together and putting it on for their grandson and son, respectively. It was wonderful seeing how many of the family and friends (even a few of the men) that attended pitch-in and help with party chores during the term of the activities and how much work they did; it really took a load off my immediately family.
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© 2011 Scott Belford