question: I hate going out. I am married and in my 40s and love and enjoy a lot of friends and family. I keep in touch by phone and coffee, but I don’t like going out at night. I do all the obligatory things like communion and family events, but parties and anything I can get out of never work.
My husband and I sometimes go to dinner, and he goes out to meet friends and watch games. He wants us to go out more, but we’re so busy with little kids that it’s not that big now.
Part of the reason is that I don’t drink much and after a few hours I find things generally boring. But that’s mainly because I like to curl up while watching Terry on the couch in the evening. I hate dressing up, and since the blockage I can’t stand dressing up and putting on my heels. One of my friends is a little angry with this, implying that it is selfish and part of maintaining friendship for socializing. She also suggested that I must be a little depressed.
Is she right? Should she work harder to get out?
Allison’s reply: I will give you “pass” and “go” options. And it can be used by you at your own discretion. From the type of catch-up that feels like a real connection, such as cozy chat or coffee, you’ll feel more comfortable with a one-to-one capacity or in a close circle. There is also the feeling that there may be a time limit — there is a point where you feel that you have reached your social abilities, and that is the time to leave.
It’s not about asking if your friends are right, but knowing what’s right for you. You can then work within these parameters. Calculate when to “pass” and the parameters you choose to give yourself a gentle social push to press the “Run” option. The first is to consider some social and personal situations before making a decision.
Autonomy may be a good place to initiate a reflexive pause. This is the voluntary freedom to make your own choices and decisions. Note the word “voluntary”. During the blockade, I noticed that introverts sighed quite a bit when the pressure to socialize disappeared. Many were happy to sit on the couch in their pajamas by 8 pm because of the good reason they couldn’t go out because of the lack of social pressure.
You mentioned it above: on the go, whether the feeling of “I have to” or “I have to” is from yourself or someone else. When it’s a precursor, the idea of it can feel exhausted before you think about what to wear. Getting along with your family can create a sense of duty and duty, as in the case of an event where you expect to be there. However, be aware of “hard no” with all the conditions that dispel the desire to attend, such as work events. There is no real obligation, so you have the option of saying no. Perhaps the combination of small talk and alcohol is the other two determinants.
Your social dilemma right now is the pressure that comes from the friends you have a relationship with. The facts are: Friendship is very demanding in terms of two resources that most adults have little access to: time and energy. Thank you, adulthood.
This is where it gets a little uncomfortable when you look at it from your point of view and from the point of view of your friends. I see both of you. Adult friendship is something I sympathetically encourage as a psychologist. I believe in psychological flexibility, so there is room for both of you to meet your needs, even in part.
From your side, I would say throw away the high heels — flats are in and no one wants to let them go. As for clothes, it feels good to dress. Maybe just taking a shower and wearing fresh jeans and a T-shirt will make you feel better. People look good when they feel comfortable. It’s not what you’re wearing, but it’s the intention of being outside the house and in a new environment. Innovative experiences are essential to fostering friendship. This is coffee or a walk. I will add my husband to this as well. It’s especially important to connect, chat, and have time to be yourself. It’s not just the role of parents of young children.
When I turned to alcohol, I noticed that cultural, attitude, and behavioral changes were taking place. And not before time. Many have expressed the same feelings as you, and many are wondering what the “standard” of drink-fueled night outings is. I’ve heard that some people question the fact that drinking is done in so many social situations, but there are other ways to socialize. Expressing your feelings to your friends and developing a social plan that meets both needs is a viable solution. Drawing new boundaries in settings that don’t work for you is completely acceptable, and if it’s unacceptable to your friends, it’s not your responsibility.
This isn’t a joke, but when introverts and extroverts go to parties, I often find myself calling it the “Cinderella effect.” fill. Introverts are often enthusiastic observers, and returning home at that point in the evening is their chance to recharge. On the other hand, by 12 strikes, we find that the extrovert battery is charged by all social interactions. They are recharged by people and are attending parties.
Perhaps you always knew you were feeling this way, and small stories at pubs and work events didn’t fill you up and might have tired you.
How would you describe yourself? Are you introverted or extroverted (a mixture of introverts and extroverts in situations where you feel comfortable knowing the people you are with)? People misunderstand introversion as shy, but this is not always the case.
Spend time knowing what works for you and fill your social bucket accordingly.
Allison regrets not being able to communicate.If you have any questions you would like to address in this column, please email us firstname.lastname@example.org