Top 5 Things I Will Do Before Accepting Your Party Invitation

As a high-functioning introvert, I’ve trained myself to attend public events without breaking out in hives, shutting myself away in the bathroom or yelling at people to “Just stop with the talking, already!!”

But social interaction isn’t high on my to-do list. In fact, I can think of at least 50 things  I will do before accepting your invitation to go clubbing, drinking, partying or anything that involves standing in large groups of people, making small talk and eating crudites.

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The list mainly includes some version of reading, TV binge watching, eating/cooking, doing yoga or just sitting on the back porch, staring off into space. But besides those, here are five things I’ll do to avoid socializing.

  1. Clean my fridge. Yes, I would rather handle pounds of rotting broccoli and green onions than go to any “party” involving Tupperware, skin care, jewelry, adult toys or home decor.
  2. Bathe my dog. My dog hates baths more than I hate groups of people. Picture this: Ringo hears the bath water and glides out the doggy door. As the tub fills, I hunt him down, luring him with bites of meat (doesn’t matter what kind). I entice him with squeaky toys to get in the bathroom, when I slam the door and wrestle him into the water. By the time he’s “clean,” there’s no water left in the tub and my bathroom walls are covered with dog hair. Yep, I’d rather do that than party.
  3. Take a Zumba class. Me and Zumba go together like Trump and Clinton. It’s just an ugly, uncoordinated battle that no one wants to see. But if it gets me out of a black-tie reception, I’ll Zumba my ass off.kitchenintrovert
  4. Eat kale. You know how much I hate kale; the attention whore of the greens family. No one likes kale. Everyone who says they like it is a liar. Even deep fried or sprinkled with powdered sugar, kale will still taste like death. But. If I’m invited to a party and told if I don’t attend, I’ll have to eat kale? Done. Kale is my new best friend.
  5. Pull weeds. If I had lived in the Garden of Eden, I would have eaten that apple immediately so I wouldn’t have to weed the damn flower beds. To me, gardening is synonymous with dental appointments. Luckily, my husband is an avid gardener who loves to dig in the soil and be one with the earth. But if digging up dandelions will give me an excuse to stay home, get out the tiny shovels!

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So if you invite me to something and I don’t show up, don’t be offended. I would just rather do pretty much anything else, including burning my house down, to avoid insincere conversation and celery sticks.

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Confessions of an Introvert

For readers of my blog, it should come as no surprise that I’m an introvert. With posts  like Top 5 Reasons to Become a Hermit, Stores That Overwhelm Me,  The Holiday Party Survival Guide or Reasons to Stay in Bed Today, you really should have guessed.

But being an introvert does not mean I’m mousy, shy or a little touched in the brain. Okay, it might mean those things, but introverts are a misunderstood group of people, probably because we just don’t care enough about your opinion to set the record straight. So I’m here to set the record straight.introverts

We’ve been called “people haters” or “brooding wallflowers.” Those names are correct. Just kidding. Kind of. Here’s an explanation about what makes introverts tick (and it’s not the vest-bomb strapped to our chests).

We Hate Small Talk. I can easily teach a crowded yoga class or speak in front of dozens of people. But I’d rather eat Black Widow spiders than make small talk with a stranger. I usually end up saying something stupid, then run off to hide in the bathroom.

  • Instead–I love authentic interaction. While “networking” feels forced and disingenuous, if you get an introvert talking about something they love–you’ll never get them to shut the hell up.

We don’t hate people. As a species, I have nothing against humans. But put me in a social situation like a party, a wedding or standing in line at the grocery store, and it takes all my strength to not run out the door screaming.

  • Instead–Forgive me if I decline invitations or don’t call you back immediately. Just like your computer needs to power down, so do introverts. Give us time to recharge, and instead of wishing you dead, we’ll gladly enjoy lunch with you. Usually.

hiding

(My default position in most social situations.)

We’re not stupid. Just because we’re not the loudest voice in the room, doesn’t mean we’re mute. Sometimes you need to shut up long enough for us to voice an opinion. Rarely will we interrupt your never-ending monologue. Silence does not equal dumb.

  • InsteadWe’re quiet because we’re thinking and/or listening. (You should try it.) Introverts ponder what has been said to find the best response. We don’t often blurt out the first thing we think. If that were the case, many of our conversations would end with us saying, “If another sound comes out of your mouth, I will poison your coffee.”

Don’t single us out. Extroverts think they can “cure” introverts by putting them on the spot, or placing them on a group project. We’re not sick. We’re not “less than.” We don’t need your help to save us. We’re actually very creative thinkers that include people like Eleanor Roosevelt, J.K. Rowling, Bill Gates and Albert Einstein.

  • InsteadLet us work alone, without noisy distractions (like your voice). We’re writers, creators, artists and innovators. Let us do our thing, going quietly into the world, making big changes.

Buick - Copy

(The person who owned this car shouldn’t have put me in charge of planning the company party.)

So if you work with, are married to or have ever encountered an introvert, there is nothing to fear. Unless you don’t give us space. Then you might end up with a nice stab wound in the thigh.