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November


I want to be Alone! Wednesday November 20, 2013

Parties: loathe 'em or hate 'em, you can't enjoy 'em!

Or perhaps I'm alone here. Maybe you would, in the words of the Beastie Boys, "Fight for your right to PAAARTY!" Different strokes for different folks and all that.

It has always confused me that, in every personality analysis I've ever done, I come out as an extrovert; as someone who is the life and soul of a party, when actually, I'd far rather stay at home with a good book.

But staying at home with a good book tends to disappoint the people who've invited you. Presumably they included your name on the invitation list because they actually wanted your company. It's an honour to be asked, and really, you don't want to let them down.

And it's the party season coming up. It's time to get on those glad rags, to pin on your happy face and go to face all those people with similar happy faces.

So how do we get through the party season?

I do have a few tricks to share with you. First of all, I always volunteer to drive. That way I don't lose count of the glasses of wine and end up embarrassing myself and my host (oh, yes, it has happened).

As I find "working the room" an excruciating ordeal, I look around for the shy/older/disabled person sitting in the corner and go to sit with them. It's normally a quieter corner, so one can actually hold a reasonable conversation rather than shouting inanities and often this person is so fascinating the majority of the time can be spent with them until it's an acceptable time to make one's adieux and leave.

Finding the kitchen and doing some washing up for one's host is a good option too – although you may have to do some fast talking to explain that yes, you really do prefer to be out in the kitchen instead of "enjoying yourself" at the party proper.

It is difficult to be with people when you're going through a tough time; you probably want to hole up like an animal in pain until it all goes away. But, hard though it is, it does normally do us good to be with other humans; their energy feeds us.

So I'd say accept all the invitations; go to the parties. Put all the survival techniques into practise, and – you never know – you might even enjoy them; just a little.

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment on our Blogspot:

http://moodscope.blogspot.com/2013/11/i-want-to-be-alone.html


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Comments

Nick Wed, Nov 20th 2013 @ 8:19am

Oh how this post resonates with me.
Someone - I can’t remember who - once described me as an ‘Introverted Extravert’. Somehow I think this description fit me perfectly.
My problem is that I do not like crowds of any kind. Football games, large concerts, New Year sales etc, and especially parties.
Why? Well perhaps it’s the superficiality of it all.
I am happy to meet in a small group and have a conversation, however, once one is invited to a ‘Party’ one is expected to meet and greet anyone and everyone, and the noise of the music and general conversation hubbub seems to make it impossible to have anything but a strangulated shouting match.
It’s generally an excuse to have too much to drink – to try to get ‘in the mood’ - and this tends to bring out the exact opposite reaction within me. Also I find it very difficult to talk loudly as this causes my voice to become raspy or hoarse. I may even lose my voice completely.
Over the years I have decided that I am at my happiest when I am on my own. Within my own surroundings and I can choose what I want to do without any pretence.
Perhaps I am odd - I certainly can no longer pretend that to ‘Party’ is a pleasurable experience for me.
Fortunately everybody is different - so I just have to accept I am what I am.
A loner. And proud of it!

denisthemenace Wed, Nov 20th 2013 @ 8:54am

Another introverted extravert here. Maybe there are a lot of us around. I like the strategies you suggest Mary. And it's not compulsory to enjoy going to parties.

Melanie Lowndes Wed, Nov 20th 2013 @ 8:59am

I loved this post. How lovely at a party to seek out the lonely person and spend time with them - I am sure many people have felt very grateful. I am the kind of person who loves to hide away in the kitchen and help with the food/washing up etc but then eventually will enjoy to come out once the party is going and everyone is relaxed and I have got over my reluctance a little. However I think that we are all that person trying to put on that happy face and when you can come out and be real and just say - I actually don't like parties that much - or I find it hard at parties (depends on the party and who is there) then you can start to share with others and enjoy it. (Like (nothing to do with parties) sometimes I have admitted "I am feeling really grumpy today" - and it is amazing how that lightens everything up.)

Julia Wed, Nov 20th 2013 @ 9:18am

I think I'm am extraverted introvert which means for me that I appear shy and not particularly up for social occasions but in fact I can really shine and have fun at parties on the rare occasion I feel good about myself i.e after a good night's sleep. For me it's all about self confidence which is an obvious point to make but mine rockets when I've slept "well". So if I have been invited to a party and I wake up feeling great I know I will have fun that evening not necessarily because the party is a great one but because I feel great and am determined to enjoy myself. In that state I would be chatting to everyone and making up for lost time. If as is the norm for me, I don't feel good, I would probably do as Mary suggests (but not the washing up, lights too bright in a kitchen! I like dark) and force myself to go, make a tremendous effort to talk to people, try to be light hearted but fail,worry I am boring them and keep surreptitiously looking at my watch to see if it's not too early to leave.
I have though had such fun at social events both at work and on the domestic scene in the past and hope I can enjoy a few this Xmas and in the future but being realistic I think your blog today Mary is going to be what helps me not a good night's sleep. I do agree that if one is invited it surely must mean the person actually must want us there! So we can't be that bad company can we. A great blog Mary. Thank you.

Diana Wed, Nov 20th 2013 @ 9:21am

....good ol' familiar kitchen, and yes, Melanie this post made me L.O.L.
( Glad to be ablogging after 6 months break ! )

The Entertrainer Wed, Nov 20th 2013 @ 9:35am

Love your 'stuff' Mary - practical and real. http://youtu.be/Xf-FQF5KEgk if anyone would rather be in the kitchen at parties...

Julia Wed, Nov 20th 2013 @ 10:09am

Yes this advert is good Entertrainer. I love the idea of wearing a mask at parties and was glad to see the lights being dimmed at one point.

Anonymous Wed, Nov 20th 2013 @ 10:22am

I would love to dress up and go to parties...be invited to parties. ..be around other people. Its just not possible. Ive tried whats in my capacity but circumstances make it very hard. Thats not having a downer on my situation. ..its reality

carol Wed, Nov 20th 2013 @ 1:01pm

liked the post today (& Nick's reply) and do find those strategies work well for me. i also find it works on occaision to decline an invitation and say why - i value authenticity. we live in a world where quiteness, sensitivity, gentleness, healthy amounts of solitude etc are frowned upon. i am often at my best after lots of those things with small amounts of being 'out there' and louder to spice things up a bit.

i found the book by elaine aaron - the highly sensitive person, immensly helpful in validating my beautiful sensitive nature, rather than feeling like an odd ball by the masses who seem content to 'get togther', 'connecting' through superficlal conversation and anethetising their feelings with alcohol.

i'd much much rather enjoy cooking a dinner for a couple of friends, chatting about what is real for us (be it personal stuff, issues we are concerned about in the world and how we might be campaigning to take action etc) and share a glass or maybe two of wine. far richer. for me anyway.

Anonymous Wed, Nov 20th 2013 @ 2:01pm

I'm sorry but I must disagree. I know I don't know your individual situations but there are many benefits to parties, which is why people go to the trouble of hosting them. They can range from small gatherings to the loud harder-for-some affairs.

I think you need to work on different survival techniques, we all look to 'busy ourselves' at certain points in a party or find a good excuse to get a decent vantage point, away from the madding crowd. Take a breather. However I think 'survival techniques' should be more in the way of being well-prepared.

Make every effort not to be racing out the door to get there. Book some pre-party planning time, so you can arrive relaxed, looking your best & prepared to socialise. Don't be first to arrive, don't leave it so late that everyone's in full-swing & you feel isolated. The start of the party can be the most relaxing bit, as you can talk more easily. Read a book or go see a movie/play so you've something to comment on or talk about. Even read the headlines in the paper & pick one unusual story that might pique people's interest. By the time the party gets louder/harder to negotiate you'll be warmed up and relaxed.

Be interested in others, so you are not focusing on yourself. Think of the question you don't want someone to ask you & prepare an answer to divert them to another subject... Everyone at the party is in the same boat, they just want to spend a relatively pleasant evening & hopefully have some craic. They want you to enjoy yourself too.

You are necessarily still having a conversation one-to-one or between maximum four-to-six people at a time, as more is nigh on impossible. If noise volume is the issue, there's usually a more quiet corner.

Seeing it all as duty bound & 'to be got through' isn't helping you or the party. Use the time you spend on your own to build up your energy and enthusiasm to make the time you spend with others more fun! Although it may be a duty for you, it is part of being in a community and enjoying relationships with people. The benefit should work both ways.

It is true you should sometimes just say no & give genuine reason why. Being a little selfish can be very important, but not all the time. I'm sure people put themselves out to organise things for you that you do enjoy more, you need to reciprocate sometimes.

I just know alot of people who would happily stay away from parties/events all the time, but that doesn't help their friends/family/co-workers/organisations. I'm purposely selfish myself on occasion, it is necessary. However the aim has to be balance, to give and receive maximum opportunity from life.

Julia Wed, Nov 20th 2013 @ 2:35pm

I agree there are benefits to parties and I like your suggestions for being prepared to enjoy them.

angela Wed, Nov 20th 2013 @ 3:22pm

Good ideas for survival.I like it.I think even if You don't feel so sociable it is good make an effort and see people if they invite You.I am not the person who is often invited,so wherever I am I make the most of it.

Mary Blackhurst Hill Hill Wed, Nov 20th 2013 @ 5:46pm

Hey - I remember that song! But those SHOES!!!! And yes, the masks! Great clip: thanks for sharing.

Mary Blackhurst Hill Hill Wed, Nov 20th 2013 @ 5:52pm

Loads of great ideas there too! Thank you.I love the idea of being prepared for the question you don't want to answer (I usually answer "I'm in packaging" when asked about my business. "Image Consultant" often creates a quagmire) and being interested in others. My late uncle was always the quiet one in the corner at parties, but if you got talking to him he was one of the most fascinating, well read, and insightful people you would ever meet.

cri Wed, Nov 20th 2013 @ 9:08pm

Thank you Mary for this wonderful post. The only idea that there are others feeling like me makes it so much easier to go. And yes, you're so RIGHT: everytime I convincen myself to get up and met people I felt better afterwards. And you put it so simply and nice: they energy gives energy (and a good sleep is guaranteed)
Thanks again
cri

R Burns Wed, Nov 27th 2013 @ 1:00am

There are no invitations, I have managed throughout my life to be an isolationist, I have been told that I am emotionally constipated, relying on rationality to condone my isolationalism. I have created a world where I have only myself to rely upon. Too many years, too much of life living as one. I have reconciled myself to that future.

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