A Wedding, A Reception, And An Introvert

I had a hugely busy few days a couple of weeks ago.  As a hard-core introvert, I generally work really hard to keep my calendar free of big social events whenever possible..  There is nothing like seeing a blank calendar, free of social engagements, appointments and various obligations to give me that coveted sense of peace and tranquility, ahhh.  However, in real life you sometimes have to get with the program if you don’t want to be ostracized from your family, kicked to the curb, or banished from the pack.  Efforts must be made occasionally to keep the peace 😉

This particular occasion was a huge deal; the wedding of a close and much-loved family member.  Introvert or not, I wouldn’t have missed it for the world.  Let me make that clear right off the bat.  I want no hurt feelings here.  It was a beautiful ceremony and a very nicely done reception.

But it was a long day..  We arrived an hour before the afternoon ceremony which meant lots of chit-chat and small talk.  By the time the ceremony started, I was already feeling the drain on my limited introvert batteries.  It didn’t help that it was hot enough to melt the mascara off your face, but that’s another issue altogether, lol.  The second the ceremony was over, I was making a bee-line towards the door.  Time to go home until the evening reception!  Whoah, not so fast.  Apparently, it’s not polite to do that, so we hung around for more small talk with people I didn’t know.  Photos had to be taken, people had to be kissed, hands had to be clasped.

batteries.getting.dangerously.low.

We returned home taking with us some out-of-town guests as we couldn’t just leave them out on the streets 😉  Very kind and lovely people.  As they chatted with my husband, I managed to escape to my bubble (in this case, my bedroom), for some much-needed re-charging.  Introverts will know that this is an absolute necessity for proper human functioning.  After an hour, I felt somewhat re-energized and returned to the land of the people.

Off we went to the reception.  Many, many more nice people all around.  It was a very fine evening.  I ate, I drank, I danced, I chit-chatted – I drank..  I did all of the things people do at receptions.  It was oh so fun until my batteries crashed – about three hours in.  I had nothing left to give.  As I sat alone at our table observing the social games that people play, I was astounded by my lack of enthusiasm to join the club.  I was perfectly content to sit by myself and watch the show.  It occurred to me that those sitting around me might find it strange that I was alone at my table.  Everyone else had disappeared, no doubt working the room, but there I sat, unmoving, and unbothered by the thought.  Into my bubble I went.

As usual, we were one of the first couples to leave the party.  My husband knows me well enough to be able to gauge when my social batteries are drained.  He can see it on my face and knows when I have nothing left to give.  He also knows that if he pushes it, I will simply go deeper into my bubble, ie: find a dark, quiet corner to melt into..? and that just might get embarrassing..

It was a challenging day for this extreme introvert, but also one I would never have missed.  I am happy for the time spent with loved ones, and appreciate that they keep inviting me, despite my social limitations.  I guess they get me by now and I love them for that.

I may be an introvert, but I believe in love 🙂  Give this a listen – it’s way cute!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HNHZaCqURQg

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This entry was posted in Happiness, Introversion, Joy, Society, The Highly Sensitive Person, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to A Wedding, A Reception, And An Introvert

  1. Thomas Ross says:

    This story reminds me that we often override our preferences to do what we think is right and good. Thus, you find within yourself the strength to go these events and really be there for your family. It takes enormous energy to do that.

    I know because I tested out INFP and yet I spend much of my life interacting with others, often in demanding settings- I’m a University professor. But when the day is done, I need to go home and recharge. Physical exercise helps me too.

    I’m so happy that we connected.

    Tom

    • lthibault11 says:

      Hi Tom. You are right, it does take a huge amount of energy to go against the grain of what we truly are at the core, but I find I can manage – in small, controlled doses, lol.

      Based on what I have read about you on your blog, I think we have similarities in our lives. I experienced a very difficult loss a few years ago which resulted in the catalyst that lead me to begin a journey of self-discovery. It’s been quite a trip, so far. If there is one thing I have learned to accept, it is that I am what I am. And what I am is fine, even though it sometimes leaves me feeling stuck on the outer fringes of life.. The more I learn about myself, the more I understand. And to me, knowledge and understanding is everything. It satisfies like nothing else. I admire you for throwing yourself into a profession that consistently challenges your core. That takes much courage!

      I agree that exercise is very helpful. For me it helps to slow down the thinking a bit, and gives me a break 🙂 You write beautifully and I intend to take the next several days to catch up on your blog. Thank you for taking the time to comment.

      L

  2. Nina Renee says:

    It’s funny, because I just attended a cousin’s wedding last week, and there’s sooo much pressure on the couple and the family. Thousands of pictures, hugs, smiles, small talk–it can definitely be a drain. But you made it out! 🙂

    • lthibault11 says:

      True, there is much pressure on the couple and the family. So much stress all around. All I had to do was be there and I found that challenging!! It was a great day, despite it all, lol.

  3. Zen Greenway says:

    I often end up sitting by myself at large gatherings, but I no longer feel wierd about it. I like the feeling of being included without having to engage my “people face”. I watch, I listen to whatever music is playing, I let the activity wash over me … it’s nice. If someone comes over to talk to me, I let them control the conversation, only responding when I have something specific to say. I feel less nervous that way. I don’t often initiate contact anyway because I’m always afraid I’m interrupting. Or maybe it’s that I generally prefer to be alone so I assume others do, too. Anyway, I think the more relaxed I am about my isolation, the less wierd it seems to others. I find that alcohol REALLY helps, too. When I find that sweet, just-tipsy spot, my tongue loosens and I can talk to people without all the anxiety. It’s still exhausting, though, as you say. There were so many things in your piece that sounded familiar …

    • lthibault11 says:

      Your comment made me chuckle. I totally get the “people face” thing. It’s difficult for introverts to be “on” for any length of time. It’s a huge energy sapper. And you’re right, alcohol does wonders to loosen the tongue and reduce the tension. I tend to depend on it a fair bit in certain situations!

      I have never really felt the need to comply to social standards. I am pretty comfortable in my skin in that respect. You raise a good point in saying that the more comfortable we are with our solitude, the less weird and more acceptable it likely is to others. It’s human nature; if they see that we are happy that way, they will tend to see it as “normal”, I think. Either way, it doesn’t matter much to me. I am, what I am. Thank you so much for commenting.

      L

  4. michellina says:

    I feel exactly like that at social functions but since I’ve been sensitive to chemicals I’ve had to avoid places where there is a lot of fragrance, and yep, weddings are one of those. Poor me 😉

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