I don’t like going out. Ok, scratch that. I don’t like going out to events/parties where there are going to be more than 10 people I know.
I don’t mind being in public amongst strangers. And I really like to go out with one, two or up to 5 friends. But when there gets to be more people I know in one place, I get a bit anxious.
But, I don’t like large groups of people I know. Hence, I do not like parties most of the time.
I love that my closest friends really “get” this. My best friend is such a social butterfly…and she does it with such seeming ease! What I love is that she has stopped asking me to go out with her to parties unless she knows I’m really close with the people or if those throwing it would really like to see me or if she really really needs my wingman abilities. She LOVES to be amongst large groups of friends. But, since I don’t and we are so close, we haven’t let our social lives drive us apart. I love that we have our movie night together just the two of us. THAT is the type of thing I love!
I love being one-on-one with a friend. That is where I thrive. THat is where I love relationships. That is where I feel the love and feel I can share/express it at my best. I have the most fun with very very small groups.
I’m not going to go into the psychology of “why” I don’t like more than 4 or 5 of my friends together at once–I just don’t. ANd I’m finally discovering and accepting that that is completely OK!
I was thinking about how come I used to LOVE parties during my adolescent formative years in jr. high and high school. But, that was different, yet the same.
For one, I was sort of that jr. high mini-slut. Ya know, I really only liked parties then because wanted to find someone (usually that one boy my mom couldn’t stand) to go off alone with and make-out…which means I was really seeking to be one-on-one (emphasis on the “on”) with some boy rather than with the group of my friends.
And in high school, I was only going to parties seeking to get drunk. And really didn’t feel comfortable in the party setting until I had had at least a few beers or shots of whatever cheep liquor we had. ANd then I’d usually find someone to sit and have some deep conversation with and if that didn’t happen I’d either find a room to cry in or go wandering off alone for a bit. Escape.
So, now that I don’t drink hardly at all anymore and never ever fully crossed over that mini-slut barrier into full-fledged slutdom, I’m in this social limbo. I have friends. I have AMAZING friends. I love them. They love me. I make friends quite well. People like me. But they don’t know that they terrify me. They do not know the immense anxiety I get when I get an invitation to a party for which I have no real legitimate excuse not to attend. In fact, if I have a social something or other going on some day, I will wake up that day stewing over it. Oh, I have that! I love when I have a prior engagement with a friend or I have to work on something that needs must be done ASAP.
I don’t like going to parties, but I also do not like disappointing people. And I have also discovered that my awkward social life has stopped some friendships from even forming. THat has saddened me. I just wish I could explain to some people that I DO like them. I just really do not have fun the way most people do. I’d choose a night at home with tea and a friend over a huge party with all of my friends. And it’s not because I like to get to bed early. WHile this is true, a good conversation with a friend can keep me up all night and a party will bore me to sleep before 10.
It’s just the way I’m wired. I think the anxiety is less about the social gathering than it is anxiety about hurting or disappointing someone by not attending or anxiety about losing a friend from one too many skipped parties or social outings. Yeah, that’s gotta be it.