On Being an Introvert…and Trying to Act Normal

I use the word normal to be flippant and funny. There is nothing abnormal about being an introvert. Just had to get that out of the way lest anyone feel slighted.

Anyhoo, I had a party to attend last night, a silent auction fundraiser for my children’s school. It may sound odd, but I started preparing for this party on Friday afternoon (and the party was Saturday night). But my last few social outings have ended with me feeling wave upon wave of discomfort, paranoia and eventually disgust that I had done yet another embarrassing thing.

So Friday found me not at the spa or hair salon where some ladies frequent in preparation for a part-ay, but sipping water and herbal tea and doing mental exercises to calm my already rising anxiety over this party and over whether or not I could pass as normal.

I went to bed early. I slept well. During the day on Saturday I made sure that there was little overstimulation (as little as can come with a house full of three kids and a dog that has a manic need to scratch at the door). I was excited for the party and we had plans to meet up with very good friends beforehand.

And…we were off to the races.

I was dressed early in an outfit that was comfortable enough though I am a steadfast jeans and cowboy boots kinda gal and any dress wear leaves me somewhat pissy. The get-together at our friends’ was fun! Chatter, laughter, good times were had by all! I was doing it! I was acting like a person should in a social situation.

Then the introvert tendency slunk in…Once we arrived at the party, I didn’t take my coat off despite a few people giving me the sly, “You know there’s a coat room, right?” And I hovered near the door. Nothing too bad but I was starting to lose my grip.

Then came the part that left me, once again and as always, embarrassed and wondering why on earth I act the way I do.

Here’s the scene: My husband and I were talking to a good friend. Laughing. Conversation was flowing. I was hanging in there and this was hour 3 of being social. Yeah, me! Then…BOOM! I was done. And I said so. Right in the middle of the conversation.

“I’m done. Let’s go.”

Our friend looked at me like I was crazy or rude or intoxicated or something from another planet.

I didn’t mean to blurt it out like that but after four days of children and hubby at home making endless, and copious, amounts of noise, I had hit that introvert’s barrier where we can not proceed lest we implode.

Retreat!

Must retreat!

System down!

Must retreat!

And retreat I did. I hauled butt out of that party and tumbled into a silence that lingers even to today.

I hate when I do things like that–things like not control my internal self. There are different ways to handle being an introvert. I guess I’m still learning.

I also need to learn to laugh about it and not beat myself up for not acting the way I think I should.

I am just human, after all. Just a snippy, biting, kind, loving introvert who is trying to make her way through a very busy (noisy) world.

Cheers!

Tracy

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About TracyHewittMeyer

I love to write...anything and everything...aross genres and back again.
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4 Responses to On Being an Introvert…and Trying to Act Normal

  1. adtrosper says:

    I can usually hold out and be pleasant until the end but it leaves me feeling exhausted for days.

  2. Jeanne says:

    Hi Tracy,
    I understand too about the exhaustion that comes after socializing. I am in the middle of reading “Introvert Power–Why Your Inner Life is Your Hidden Strength” by Laurie Helgoe, Ph.D. It is a very insightful book, providing explanations for our (and extroverts) behavior, ideas for how to get and spend the “down time” we so desperately need, and other insights. It has already helped me quite a bit, especially when I’m around my extroverted friends and family. I smile a lot more now too!

    • Thank you for the tip! I’ll look into it. I am fascinated with why we are the way we are and it sounds like this book will add insight. I find that the more I understand myself, the better prepared I can be. Of course, sometimes that preparation flies right out the window!

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