I’d say I like going out as much as the next gal, but I’d be lying. The truth is, the older I get, the more I dislike social functions.
I think a lot of it has to do with all the hassles that go along with getting ready to go out, like transportation, organizing child care, and putting on real pants. Needless to say, as an introvert with the ability to pass for an extrovert (ambivert), I tend to confuse my social circle. Yes, I want to see the world, have interesting conversations, and even attend the occasional concert, but that doesn’t mean I’m always comfortable doing so.
The first hour of an event energizes and excites me, maybe a little longer if dancing is involved. But after that, I’d much rather be home. I feel drained and long for my bed.
While many of my peers are battling FOMO (fear of missing out)and experience anxiety about the next party coming and going without an invite, I’m like meh. If anything, I have JOMO (Joy of Missing Out) and celebrate the fact that lacking a personal Facebook page makes it easy for others to forget to invite me to stuff.
Along with JOMO, here are a few other things I’ve learned about myself as I embrace life as an ambivert.
Groups can have benefits.
I don’t like groups of five or more. But all groups aren’t created equal. I recently discovered that I can use them to my advantage. For instance, I enjoy staying in and having intimate groups of 2-3 at my house. It’s small enough that I don’t feel overwhelmed, but large enough to keep the conversation flowing. Of course, the real benefit to small groups is almost all of the pressure to talk is lifted. I can be as silent or as involved as I like. *Insert evil laughter*
I’m not really missing anything.
The world is full of events and people. I hate that we act like every event is a once in a lifetime experience. It’s okay if you don’t attend the waterpark with Kourtney and the crew. It’s summertime! You can bet your bottom dollar there will be at least ten more events in the next few weeks.
I’ve taken this knowledge and used it to ignore comments like, “You never go anywhere!” Nah, I go a ton of places, I just don’t need to go everywhere. Have you ever gone somewhere with someone who didn’t really want to go? All the nagging, foot-dragging, and complaining? That’s me. And no amount of peer pressure will make it not suck for all involved.
Good friends understand.
I occasionally suffer from social anxiety. It isn’t consistent and certain situations are more likely to provoke those feelings than others. My friends know this about me and they understand. I pride myself on hanging out with a band of misfits and we all have our own stuff going on. They understand that it’s nothing for me to give a speaking presentation in the day but then I’ve used all my social energy for the week.
Don’t let peer pressure cause to head into social situations that will make you uncomfortable. The people who care for you will get it.
I’ve noticed that being more selective about how I spend my time has made the occasions I do spend with others more sacred. My friends and I seldom connect without leaving with a feeling of being mutually inspired, and I value that. Having meaningful interactions is about quality, not quantity.
There’s nothing wrong with skipping social events and preferring small intimate groups. It’s okay if you have JOMO. In fact, your life might be better for it.