What Do All the Introverts Who Aren’t a Fan of Drinking Do on New Year’s Eve?
I’ll tell you what they do
Another New Year’s Eve in the books. Thank God. I’m happy to be alive, but I could do without all the fanfare that seems to require drinking and parties.
I hate parties, and at 50-something I’m still figuring out things about myself that allow me to better understand those feelings.
In an attempt to “fit in” over the decades of self-imposed peer pressure, I’ve carefully curated (really hid) my feelings about my introversion, and my feelings about drinking and parties.
It’s silly (or sad) I know that I can’t just put it out there, but I also belong to the people-pleaser club, so there’s an internal battle that kind of constantly wages war when my feelings are at odds with each other.
If I weren’t warring with myself and would allow myself to say what I really want, then I’d blurt: I don’t care about NYE, I don’t like people, I don’t like the expectation to drink and stay up till midnight when I’d rather be home and be in bed, instead of pretending to have fun.
Fun (whatever that is) is overrated.
Or maybe I just can’t figure out what I like. That’s another issue, another story, for another time.
I was glad to recently learn that the perception is that most people are extroverts, but the factual truth is that the population is really half and half.
Extroverts are the ones we perceive as a “better” version of a person to be because they are the outgoing, lively personalitied ones. They like to surround themselves with people. They thrive among many. They are the do-ers, movers and shakers of the world. They are the ones who command attention, and can hold court in a boardroom, bar, or party. They can put “it” out there without fear. They can roll with any situation.
And if that perception holds true, then that makes introverts the opposite.
Thriving is not what I do among many. Survival mode is more like it.
I have never liked parties. Last night was no different.
When Covid cancelled plans with a group of 8 friends, I was a little relieved. I don’t do well with more than 6 people. I can show up, dressed and ready to go, and “appear” to be just like everyone else, but deep down I don’t feel like everyone else.
I feel like my dirty little introversion, party-hating secret shows.
And I can’t let it.
I feel “not normal” to not care for parties.
So I play my part, and pretend all is good on the outside.
I start to shut down, and my introvert self, while mildly content to be a part of a larger group of close friends, and hear everyone else’s conversations, just wants to go home and be alone.
Sharing parts of myself in front of so many others, all eyes on me, is not my thing, so the wallflower in me begins to bloom.
And when the drinkers turn that corner to inebriation, I make a mental turn and run in the other direction.
I shut down even more.
But last night wasn’t exactly a party.
We invited one person over to watch football, eat, hang out, and inevitably welcome in the new year.
However I found myself shutting down as the night went on, as my husband turned his corner and went “party-mode” on me.
I don’t do party-mode. Big surprise. I’m always the buzz-kill in the room (maybe you figured that out already).
I don’t blame him, I don’t need an explanation, I don’t need an apology.
He can do his thing. His worklife has been difficult, and he was ready to let loose. I understand.
I guess what I thought would be some “okay fun”, just really wasn’t to me.
My introvert self couldn’t be contained any longer, and I started shutting down.
And while I sit back and try to roll with it all, I just need everyone else in the room whether it’s 3 or 8 or 29 to not try to bring me into YOUR party-mode.
You do you.
Don’t announce my withdrawal to the room. Don’t try to fix me.
But also don’t make it worse for me.
Just accept me, and know that as it’s going well for you, it may not be going well for me, so allow me the freedom to do what I need to do in order to feel okay with the situation.
That’s how a not-big-drinking, introvert does New Year’s Eve. Hello 2022!
Now let me be.