As some of you may know I’ve written about my struggles with anxiety and introversion before, but today I’d like to touch on the nightmare of the dinner party. Upon invitation to a meal out, most people would look forward to it with a normal level of interest and excitement. Who doesn’t love wine, food and good conversation? This week I had to attend a going away dinner party for a girl from work, which was all fine and good – I was actually looking forward to catching up with my colleagues after almost 3 weeks away. Of course, I didn’t bank on people from higher management coming along – disappointing to say the least. Now we have to watch what we say and be on our best behaviour! Nobody enjoys dining with the big bosses, let’s be honest.
As I walked in and spotted that I was the first person there not in a ‘management’ type role, I immediately crawled into my shell. Excusing myself to the bathroom, I cursed myself for always having to be early to EVERYTHING. See, being early means you have to make awkward small chat as you wait for all the people who clearly have better things to do than be on time. I’ve actually never been able to understand people who are late, don’t they feel stressed that others are waiting for them? I cannot stand running late, so it seems I’ve committed myself to a life of being early and hiding in the toilet waiting for others to arrive. First world problems hey?
So moving on to the dinner party, and I sit myself on the end corner where I (hopefully) won’t have to talk to management or be put on the spot. WRONG. It seems the only thing Mr ______ knows about me is that I have a blog, which he likes to ask me about at every possible opportunity. So why not ask me about it in front of the entire table? What people don’t understand is that I’m not writing this blog to become famous, and I definitely don’t want to explain what I write about to a group of people I only know on a work basis when my blog is something really, really personal to me. I mean if you’re that interested, ask me what it’s called and google it or better yet – look at my resume or LinkedIn profile and you’ll find it. So as I slowly die under the spotlight of people waiting to hear what I write about, I spit out some random shit like ‘Oh you know, just life and Bali Belly etc’. CRINGE. KILL ME NOW. Somebody please take the microphone and close the curtains.
Thank god the cake arrives and we can stuff our faces, complain about how full we are and pay the bill. Home time!
Photo credits – thepinkstagram & travelerspassion
I’ll just come right out and say it; my natural instinct is to run and hide, turn completely inwards and build things up in my mind. I’m not a natural conversationalist by any means, in fact a comfortable silence with loved ones is something I really enjoy. If someone invites me to a social gathering, I usually worry about the fact I’ll have to engage in small chat with strangers, something I assume poking needles in your eyes would feel like. I’m expected to be courteous, charming and interested while pushing down the screaming introvert within, and sometimes it’s just easier to decline. But at what cost to my growth and development as a human?
I have a girlfriend who calls me nearly every day for a chat, and every single time the phone rings my gut instinct is to not pick it up. Why? What the hell is wrong with me? Even though 9 times out of 10 I’ll feel better after chatting to her, bouncing ideas around and venting about life, I just can’t seem to learn. It’s incredibly frustrating and something I’m acknowledging right here and now that I’m committing to working on. I don’t expect to become a public speaker or the next biggest socialite, but I do hope to stop associating conversations with an ingrained flight response.
I assume this preference of mine was developed over the years from being an only child until I was 10, and from living mostly with my grandparents who aren’t big talkers either. Dinner was usually a silent affair over the 6pm news so my Pop could hear the stories of the day, and discussing your issues in any great depth was something not really done. If anything scandalous happened within the family it was conveyed in hushed whispers, so I suppose I’ve developed an intuitive response to internalise my feelings, or turn to diary (and blog) writing. I don’t necessarily think there’s anything wrong with this, however if I should start a family of my own one day I’ll certainly be more conscious of these behaviours and encourage open discussion.
Would love to hear your thoughts or suggestions on how I can improve this tendency of mine… And hoping you have a great week 🙂
Photo credits – rsa_mextures & yuugi83
The sun is out, the pool is fresh, the fridge is stocked and the sky’s the limit. So why am I feeling glum?
The struggle with being of an introverted tendency (I don’t believe in black and white categories – we all fit somewhere on an interchanging scale), is that despite relishing in being alone MOST of the time, there are in fact days when I want to talk to all of my friends at once. This of course, is impossible as everyone is out enjoying their Sunday and living their lives. So what to do? Pen to paper of course. (Or in this case, finger to keypad).
Trying to explain the innate reflex to avoid social situations is difficult to spell out to people who simply relish in them and completely contradictory when, on the odd occasion, I like to be the life of the party and twerk all night to Rihanna. Put me in a room of over-confident SALES people and I’ll happily hide by the cheese platter all night, but get me one on one and I might chew your ear off about the plight of Orca’s in captivity (RIP Tilikum). So why can’t us towards the nether regions of the introversion scale just get it together and be consistent?
I think the key might be in choosing our friends right, and making sure they understand that we aren’t saying no to activities because we dislike them, it’s because we literally NEED time out to re-charge. If I had an activity planned for every night of the week I would probably consider hiding under my blanket and crying at the sheer thought of not having any time to myself. No I don’t want to go out every single weekend and waste half of it hungover, but don’t lose heart – I’d love to catch up with you over Sunday brunch next weekend.
On behalf of anyone else who is feeling like this, we’re sorry and please bear with us. We genuinely value your friendship, but sometimes we just need to hide in a dark room and listen to a rainy day playlist. The good thing about it is – the sun will always rise, the clouds will clear and we’ll slide a few shades down the scale and twerk with you till dawn.
Photo credits – theophelia & matt.ferr