The time I beat my introvert

beat-my-introvert

March is rather hectic. There are 40ths to celebrate (including my own), my step-daughter turns 18, and then there’s Easter to contend with.

For an introvert, the mere thought of this much social interaction sends one into a clammy sweat.

I celebrated my own 40th (early) two weeks ago, in true introverted style. Just me and my best friend of over 30 years, with a road trip to Melbourne. It was the perfect mix of fun, relaxation, cocktails, music and good food. By the end of the weekend I was ready to come home and recharge. Perfect.

Then the weekend just gone, I had a double whammy.

Dinner with friends on Friday night, and a 40th to attend Saturday night.

Friday night was a great night. Beautiful company and beautiful food. And loads of laughs. And cake! Of course. There may or may not have been a little too much wine consumed, but I did manage to get up and run 5km the next morning. I’m counting that as a win.

By Saturday afternoon, I was exhausted. Physically and mentally. I felt like locking myself away in my room for a week. I was sapped.

Laying on my bed trying to rest, my inner introvert was screaming. And my thoughts started to go wild.

I didn’t have to go to the party tonight, I could call up sick, after all I wasn’t feeling well was I?

I felt claustrophobic, like I was being sucked into a vortex of noise and people as loud as a cyclone. Even thinking about it now, I can feel the tension forming in my shoulders.

Itwasn’t that I didn’t want to go. More the contrary. It was a surprise birthday with an 80s theme, and anyone who knows me personally, knows how much I am stuck in the 80s. I was so excited to be able to pull out my leg warmers and be able to wear them out of the house for legitimate reasons!

I was also looking forward to hanging out with a great bunch of friends. We don’t get to catch up all too often with all of us, as with everyone, we are busy.

You see, a big misconception with introverts is that they are anti-social, but that’s not the case. Most of us love hanging out and having meaningful interaction with friends and family, it’s just we can’t handle too much of it. For true introverts, two nights of social interaction is more than daunting. It can be paralyzing.

By 5’oclock Saturday afternoon I prepared myself to make the call. And then I stopped myself. I put on my iPod to drown out my inner introvert and switched my thoughts to FOMO mode.

I’d miss out on getting dressed up in 80s gear.

I’d miss out on dancing like Madonna to 80s music.

I’d miss out on catching up with the girls.

I’d miss out on the fun, inside jokes for futter trips down memory lane.

Was I willing to miss out on all of that just to calm my inner introvert?

So, I took a deep breath and shut her down. I pulled on my fluro-green leggings, teased my hair and pouted my hot pink lips. And off I went.

And you know what? I had the best time. The best!

Yes, I was drained. Yes, I’m still feeling the effects today, but it was worth it.

Maybe I can control my inner introvert, not all the time, but every now and then. There are of course times when I need to listen to her, as she protects me from overwhelm and tension. Being true to who I am is important, but so is stepping out of my comfort zone and believing in myself.

It’s knowing when to make that choice is the hardest part. This time, I’m glad I made the right choice.

 

Are you an introvert?
Or is two nights of partying right up your alley?

 

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