“I’d love to, but…”

I’m an introvert through and through. (I’m also quiet, reserved, shy…. but that’s a story for another day.)

While this might not be true of all introverts, this is a fair representation of what goes through my mind (and sometimes questions I will need answered) when I am issued an invitation:

If it’s a friendly invitation-

  • Do I want to go out?
  • Who is going to be there?
  • Is it going to be just us?
  • Where are we going?
  • Is this a busy time? Will there be a lot of people there?
  • Is it loud?
  • What are we going to be doing?

If it’s an invite to a party-

  • How many people are expected?
  • Who are they?
  • How long will it last?
  • Does it require a certain dress code?
  • Is it a wandering around, making small talk affair or a sit down meal, making small talk affair?
  • If it’s a sit down meal, who will I sit by? (Large sit down gatherings are torture. Anxiety skyrockets at the thought of being trapped sitting by people I don’t know that well and being required to carry endless meaningless conversations. Even worse is being trapped with people who talk over and past and around me.) What food is being served?
  • If it’s a more casual, walking around affair, who will I talk to? Is there a place where I can escape? Is there a good friend who understands my dread at these gatherings and won’t abandon me?
  • Is anyone going to be there that I want to see?

If alcohol is served at either-

  • Will I feel comfortable enough to have a drink around these people?
  • If I choose not to drink, are these the “cool kids” who don’t give non-drinkers the time of day?
  • If I choose not to drink, how long before I’m surrounded by intoxicated people?
  • If I choose not to drink, how long do I have to stay?

If it’s a meeting-

  • How many people will be there? (If it’s more than two or three, I know I won’t be speaking much.)
  • Who are they?
  • Is this an open meeting where public might be attending (in other words a CROWD)?
  • Will we get the information ahead of time?
  • Are we expected to make a decision on the spot?
  • Will press be present?
  • Will someone be video recording the meeting?

With all invitations-

  • Do these people understand that I’m just quiet- not a bitch, stuck up, rude?
  • How long will it take me to recover from this?
  • Will I be able to get to sleep or will it stimulate me to the extent that it keeps my mind racing for hours afterwards?
  • Can I mentally prepare myself so it doesn’t overwhelm me?
  • Do I really need to make the rounds and personally say hello, goodbye and inane small talk with every single person there?
  • Can a friendly smile replace any or all of the niceties listed in the previous question?
  • What am I going to wear?
  • Is my face going to be flaming red the entire time?
  • Is this something I am required to attend?
  • Do I have to go?
  • Do I want to go?
  • Is there a chance this might be cancelled? 🙂

It took me a long time to realize that there was nothing wrong with me. I do not enjoy large social gatherings or going places where there are huge crowds. I did not realize how draining it was for me in these situations and finding out that it was because I’m an introvert was life changing. I no longer had to apologize for who I was. And in a family of extroverts, I was not a freak- just alone (but happily so!)

I love to spend time with select people. I like to spend time with others. And then there are some who I prefer not to see. I am thrilled to be invited, even if it’s something I’m not going to do. Everyone likes to feel included, right? I like to have the right to accept or refuse. There are invitations that I cannot refuse due to commitments I have made. There are also invitations I will not refuse because the person who issued the invite is that special that I will step out of my comfort zone for them. And there are invitations that I might refuse knowing I’m risking being struck from the list, but that’s okay.

The people that really truly know me, understand that I’m at my best one on one and that the frozen person who is silent in larger groups is not the real me at all. I really am a social person- I just prefer my social interactions to occur in very small groups (which might not even be considered groups) for short periods of time.

What about you? Do you love invitations? Or are you an introvert like me and invitations cause some major minor anxiety?

Thanks for stopping by!

-Kat

This post is inspired by Daily Prompt- Invitation

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17 thoughts on ““I’d love to, but…”

  1. Oh. My. I could have written every single word of this post, because I’ve lived every single thing you’ve said here. I agree 100% – knowing it’s just who I am and it’s okay has helped a ton. For me, learning to explain to people who I am and what I need has helped, too, in that the people I spend the most time with are now aware and support my introvert needs. Loved this post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! I have found that in most cases when I explain, people understand to a point. One of the toughest components for most people to understand is that even if I’m in a large group of friends or family who I am completely comfortable with, it still drains me very quickly and I’m overwhelmed.

      Last night I was at bingo, which is usually not a large group, but there was a record turn out. The room was really full, I knew more people than I usually do, and after repeating how many people were there a few times, I realized that it was making me really anxious and I could feel myself just shutting down. I usually get up during the break and stretch my legs and chat with someone I might see but last night I sat in my seat.

      I’m happy to hear that I’m not alone in my “introvertedness” 🙂

      Like

  2. You are a great person and I am glad to call you my friend, introvert or extrovert, it doesn’t matter to me! My bestie is very much a introvert and I love her to pieces. We can’t all be the same and there are times where I feel more introverted. I really think I fall in the middle. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I spent too much of my life feeling that I wasn’t living up to the world’s expectations in social situations. I was so relieved to discover that I was not only normal but not the only one who felt this way. It is much healthier to adopt an attitude like the one you describe. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I have a lot of social anxiety, so sometimes, even a small gathering of people I’ve known a long time stresses me out. Invitations always cause me a great deal of stress and I run through many of the same questions you listed here. I’m totally an introvert. I’m still recovering from our family trip over the holidays even though there wasn’t any large gatherings involved. It’s exhausting having to talk to people so much and have very little space, time and solitude for yourself.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I struggle even with a group of friends. And family events? Don’t even get me started!!! My husband was shocked when I admitted that it wasn’t just his family that I tired of after a few hours on our big all day holiday celebrations but my own as well. It’s all too much.

      Like

  4. My one and only thought upon an invitation: PANIC! 🙂 I can SO relate to this post. Sometimes my hearing disability gives me an excuse to back out or, if I have to attend, disappear into a corner until I can escape. One day I will have the courage to answer the question, “Why are you so quiet?” with a counter one, “Why do you talk so much?”

    Liked by 2 people

    1. OMG- Yes, if I hear “Why are you so quiet?” one more time…. or the other one that really gets to me is when I do talk and someone makes a big deal about it- like duh, we all know that I have the ability to speak. I just choose not to.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I know that I did not really know anything about temperament then and had all these negative labels in my head like neurotic or shy etc. I really just did not know any better and I bet you may have been the same way. We were not taught to understand our temperaments. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Exactly, Deborah! And I remember even being told that I was temperamental, when in reality I was probably just acting in response to expectations that went against the grain of who I was..

        Liked by 1 person

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