Of course I don’t want to go, but an ask would be nice!

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Sometimes it’s easy to feel lonely just because of all the wild activity we see (and imagine) all around us. We hear about parties and other social gatherings to which we weren’t even invited, and of course we see evidence of such events all the time, even at the supermarket. People are busily buying snack foods before “the big game” or party foods during the holidays, and we imagine their beautiful homes filled with great friends and family having an awesome time. And yet here we are, all alone with our textbooks or TV or just a cat. Sometimes a pang of loneliness can sneak up on us and feel like a real physical pain that must be addressed.

In my own life, loneliness like this can be a useful reminder. If it never hit me at all, I might be content to spend almost all of my spare time totally alone and never make the effort to nurture friendships when I didn’t feel like being with others. Since loneliness sometimes tells me that I am “missing” being with others, it serves as a motivator to make sure I’m seeing my friends often enough to keep strong relationships, to clean up the house even when I’d rather read, and in general to make sure I’m maintaining the friendships and family ties that mean a lot to me – even if it’s one of those weeks or months when there’s so much else to do that I’d really like to just veg out after work each day.

Although loneliness, like other pain, can serve a purpose, much of the time loneliness is not useful and is instead just a bad feeling about what we think we’re missing out on. Since we see commercials about getting ready for parties or huge holiday gatherings, we think we should be doing those things too. If we’re still in school, we hear other people talking about the wild weekend they just had, and we immediately feel an emptiness as we think we’re missing an essential part of high school or college. When I was in college, I felt that I should be going out more, and that I should have a huge gang of friends who ran around together constantly, but I could not see the obvious: I really didn’t want to go out any more than I did, and I didn’t want the same people around me all the time or too much of the time. Really, although I only had a few people I would have called close friends, and they didn’t know each other at all, I had created a life that was just right for me. The only thing that was really bothering me was all those “should”s nagging me all the time. I really just wanted to be asked to loads of parties; I didn’t actually want to go!

In middle age, I’m still susceptible to this, but I’m getting better at analyzing my feelings quickly. I live in a city that’s 150 miles from the one where I grew up, so I don’t have family here except for my own kids, and I don’t have old friends from high school or college here either. So when I see others getting ready for gatherings where they’ll watch their own college team, I feel a bit like an alien. There’s no way I would really want to go to a party to watch the local university play football; I have my own team in my home city. But I sometimes feel lonely because no one has even invited me. I have to stop and remember that what I really want to do on Saturday afternoon is exactly what I am doing! Likewise, I’m aware that there are “supper clubs” or other social gatherings going on all around me in my new city, and I could stop and think that I’m missing out on “life” – perhaps I’m not invited because I’m not married and most people my age are. But when I really stop and ask myself if I’d want to be part of that sort of life, if I’d like for my phone to ring now with an invitation, my answer is of course not! Maybe some people would think I “should” be entertaining more and going out more, but once again, I have my life just the way I want it. I have a few good friends that I do various things with, and I have my kids at home too, so most of my weekend time is spent with them. This holiday season, instead of letting the media and store displays make me feel as if I’m missing out on life, I’m going to enjoy seeing decorations and festivities without that nagging feeling that I “should” be having a party or going to more of them.

If you feel lonely, try to analyze whether you’re really lonely or if you’re really just wondering if something is missing. Maybe your loneliness does mean you should make an effort to meet some people whose company you’ll enjoy or to get together more often with those you already know. But if you have friends and you’re happy with those relationships, then don’t let the world make you feel as if you “should” have a certain number of friends. Likewise if you’re going out as often as you want to and you’re really happy doing what you’re doing, then go ahead and accept that and enjoy being happy! When you hear about a party and feel that feeling of failure and loneliness, ask yourself if you really want to go to the party – or if you would have just liked to be asked. Often once I ask myself that question, it’s enough to make me realize I’m so glad I don’t have to think of an excuse for yet another occasion – and I look at my quiet evening ahead with renewed appreciation and anticipation!

Photo credit: dpstyles

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77 Comments

  1. I struggle with this fairly often. I think it is part of what kept me from understanding that I am an introvert for a long time, actually! I’d think I “should” be going out more, and so I would, and to a point I’d enjoy it. The amount of time I’d end up spending on my own (living alone) didn’t register, nor the amount of alone time I’d need to recover.

    I moved to this city 3 years ago, and I find it a difficult city to find friends in. It’s a common complaint here. Mostly I don’t care – like you, I am almost always doing exactly what I want to do with my free time (at least in terms of how social I am). But there are those times when I have a longing for a group of friends (or just one or two!) to do stuff with. It isn’t that I have no local friends at all, but they are the kind of friends I see a small handful of times a year, and it always seems a production to get together.

    This weekend I had a really busy Saturday planned. My normal volunteering in the morning, followed by tabling, followed by a holiday fundraising party for a local advocacy group I support. At the last minute, I found out that through lack of clear communication, an out of town friend was visiting! Luckily it’s the kind of friend who is perfectly happy doing exactly what I’d already had planned.

    But man, when he left this morning, I felt so relieved that I felt guilty about it. I was talked out, peopled out. My head was buzzing, I was focusing on the floor instead of my friend, I wanted to just sleep. As soon as it was just me and the cats in the condo though, the energy started to come back.

    It was a pretty startling reminder of how much I need some down time. I enjoyed the weekend, I enjoyed the tabling and the many conversations, the time with a good friend who I see only a few times a year, and the 3 hour conversation I ended up having with a potential new friend I met while tabling, but it took a lot out of me!

    And makes me wonder what exactly I’d do if I had more friends and more opportunities to hang out. Balance is hard sometimes. I guess ideally all of my friends would join me in my saturday volunteer work! lol.

    Something else I learned in the past couple years is that “should” is a fairly evil word. (Okay, a little over dramatic there! lol.) “Should” has so many implications – not just obligation, but also judgment. As someone said to me, “stop shoulding yourself!” (It sounds like a swear word if you say it out loud like that!) And usually “should” is a word we use when we are being too lazy and thus imprecise with our language. When I make the effort, I can always find a more precise way of expressing the reality behind any “should” I’m tempted to express. It’s a useful exercise, I’ve found.

    Rambling a bit. Scattered from my too-social weekend, perhaps!

    It’s always so nice to have somewhere to talk about these things, knowing it will be understood!

    • Deb, you’re right – “should” is definitely evil! 🙂 I’m in the same boat when it comes to out of town guests. I’m always massively relieved if they can’t stay the night, but the next morning I wish they’d come right back! I just really need a break – a big break – after a few hours. I totally identify with every word – and I know there are lots of folks out there who do too.

    • Linh Phuong: I can’t believe how much similarity I find in here, in this Introvert Zone, in this story. It’s nice knowing that we are understood :).
      Yesterday, I had a great event to go for, in the afternoon. But then, in the morning, when I got back home after a tiring class, I just wanted to take nap for a while, then when I woke up, I thought: Should I be going to the event? I knew it would be VERY useful for me, I just….can’t explain how I feel seeing too many people trying to exposing themselves in front of the employer (actually it was some kinda career event). But finally, I went to the event anyway, and have never regretted about it. But the thing is, I just “sneaked in”, and even don’t bother about making a fuss for people to notice me. The event was really great, I did interact with quite a number of people, but just not tried to be the center of something (actually I know I’m not comfortable with it). I totally understand how you relieved you felt when it was just You and Your cat, because I did feel the same when it was just me in the parking lot. I somehow felt guilty about it, I asked myself whether I was That Forgettable so that there were no hands shakes with so many people after the event, or there were no exciting people talking to me. But then, I wondered if I truly felt fine having exciting people in front of me, or I would just start starring on the floor or somewhere else instead of their faces.
      Again, that’s good knowing that there are people-like you- feeling the same. I’ve always been afraid of sharing it to others, I did try many times, but it only works for a few people, a very few people (including my Very best Friend forever). I’m scared of weird looks of people to whom I’m talking about that, but as I found this zone, it would be completely Fine :). Thank you for sharing this story.

  2. I think this is something many of us introverts have felt; that we should be doing more socially, just because we see others do it and we see it on TV. I guess it is part of the extrovert propaganda that is spread by, yes, extroverts; for extroverts.

    Still, when I am at home on a Saturday night playing a game, watching a film or just surfing blindly on the web, I know this is what I want to do. I do not feel like walking around at night, being surrounded by drunk loud people.

    It is kind of funny watching an extrovert see an ad for a big happening or something and they say that they ‘want to go’ because ‘it is fun’. You can just see it in their eyes they do not want you to ask why it is fun, because all they will do is repeat ‘it is fun’, and maybe add that it is ‘fun to be around people’.

    I might sound like an old grumpy man, but I do not want to do something just because ‘it is fun’. I want to do something because I want to do it. The key here is, I. As in, I want to go because I want to do it, not because everyone else is going.
    .-= xen yasai´s last blog ..Rambling and ranting in a tea daze. =-.

    • Xen, now that is funny! I’m going to try watching for that – instead of being annoyed, I’m going to look with some amusement, as an extrovert gets excited about something – just because lots of people will be there.

  3. I also sometimes think that an invitation would be nice, even though I don’t really want to go. But then I again, I most often hope not to get invited cause I don’t want to explain why I don’t want to go and I don’t want to be the guy that always says no to do social stuff.

    Also the problem for me is that, even though I think I have the amount of friends I feel comfortable with, none of them really knows eachother. So I can’t do stuff with lots of friends since they are all “individual friends (and their girlfriends/wifes)”. I don’t really mind but it does make it a bit more complicated to do stuff for New Years celebration 🙂
    .-= Klaus @ TechPatio´s last blog ..Dots Gloves D200 Finally Arrived – Quick Review & Video Demo =-.

    • Klaus – yep – I’d like to think I “would” be invited, but I’m happier if somehow I don’t get invited to most things, because I hate having to always say no.

      I always thought I was the only one who had all the different friends who didn’t know each other. But you know what it is? It’s that we introverts have friends we know and like for their genuine qualities. It’s not just the general “I’m friends with the football team,” or “I hang out with the physics geeks,” we are real friends with various individuals and they just don’t happen to know each other. But yep – when it comes to an occasion like New Year’s Eve, you can introduce them and let worlds collide..or they may not like each other.

  4. I totally agree. I’m currently in college and hear about the parties and think about going, but then I realize I’d feel extremely awkward and I’d be checking my watch constantly to see if it was time to leave. I’m great living in my single room with my TV, iPod, laptop, and books. After a full week of classes and obnoxious roommates, I usually need the entire weekend to recharge and parties and other events would only make it worse.

    • Brianna, I have definitely found that it takes just about all of Saturday for me to totally recharge from the work week. I can’t imagine trying to have a weekend packed with social activities too. I’m glad to hear you already know you need time to recharge and you allow yourself that time.

  5. > I guess it is part of the extrovert propaganda that is spread by, yes, extroverts; for extroverts.
    Not meaning to be cynical, but remember that extroverts natural ‘me too!’ reactions to party/festive scenes are a great way to sell things and make money – count yourselves lucky you can see through it 😉 And yes, similar same psychology tricks work to sell to introverts…

  6. This is an extroverted world but we don’t have to abid by it. I rarely go out to parties b/c when I get there, I want to leave immediately. I have a friend who is all about going out and having a good time…in other word shes a social butterfly. I’m happy seeing her once a week and hanging out with her but most times I’m content w/ texting. When I get that “missing” feeling, I know that I’m just bored and it time to go out and socialize (or I just drive around to no destination). I envy those who have a hug social circle at times, but by the end of the day I’m happy doing my own thing

    • Jennie – me too. Once a week is plenty. Texting or emailing keeps us in touch, then seeing each other once in a while is fun – but not every day. Doing our own thing is sooo nice.

    • same here.
      I recently graduated college, and was planning on a trip just by myself.
      my parents and my sister kept asking WHY by yourself.
      isnt that dangerous or just plain ODD for a girl to travel by herself.
      Even when i told my co worker that I always wanted to travel alone to somewhere so foreign, and they would ask ‘wouldnt that be so boring?’ or something like that.
      and i start wondering if im just weird.
      Even my boyfriend start wondering what is up with me.
      but, I just sometimes want to get away. and by reading these lengths of comments, I find that I’m not alone.
      I always hatedmyself for being so introverted. like i cant adapt to the ‘norms’.
      I’m so glad today that Ive stumbled upon these articles that can finally make me feel authentic and free!

  7. Another spot on entry!

    This feeling is all too common for me. 5 days a week I’m in school, and I can’t get through a single one without having to stand or sit idly by while people talk about the party that’s just passed or the one that is upcoming. I want absolutely nothing to do with it, but you can’t not feel at least a little bit frozen out when it becomes 90% of the conversation you listen to.

    But you know what I find funny, albeit maddening to have to listen to? These people go to all these clubs and parties, but when they come back to school, all I seem to hear are complaints about cabs, price of drinks is too high, etc. I hear very little “Man, I had an awesome time on Friday night!” I don’t get that. Why are you bothering to go in the first place if you have so many complaints about it?

    It’s nice to be an introvert. We seem to be a happier, more stress free, complaint free bunch than extroverts. Although I have to admit I’m a bit like Jennie and I have a bit of envy for that “hug social circle” and other such friendly physical contact that extroverts seem able to whip up out of thin air. I mean, biologically, that sort of stuff is beneficial for all of us whether we’re introverted or extroverted because of oxytocin or some such thing right? But being the introvert that I am and the “reputation” that comes along with that, stuff like that is just out of character. I’ve got myself in a box that isn’t very easily broken. The “creepy” and “weird” stigma that always seems to come along with it just isn’t worth the effort anymore. Same thing applies to friendly compliments, but that’s another rant entirely!

    • Thanks Andrew! I do know what you mean about the friendly physical contact. I know two extroverts who are extremely likeable (and of course I know plenty of introverts who are extremely likeable too)… but for these two extroverts it is totally natural for them to hug others – old, young, fat, thin – they give a friendly hug. You’re right – it reduces stress, releases beneficial chemicals… Perhaps you could work your way into this by first befriending a nice and friendly extrovert and receiving a few of their hugs! 🙂

  8. It never fails to give me that queer feeling inside me when I read something that is so totally me. Browsing over my year book and seeing those photographs where classmates have those faces that speak of ‘so much fun’, I get a churning inside me that reminds me again of a great chunk of things I missed and can never regain. Even the sight of teenagers giggling over something reminds me again of this.

    Today, I have better reasons to stay at home rather than agree to evenings out. My family is enough reason to be at home. I make sure though that my kids get to experience fun and not look back someday and think the same way I do. Of course, I don’t brood over the ‘things missed’ like some kind of regret. I guess it’s just the way I am that makes me comfortable to afford missing those things, I suppose.
    .-= James M.´s last blog ..DIV Background Image for WordPress Post =-.

    • There are days where I regret some things in high school, but it was never the smiling teenagers (I disliked teenager even while being a teenager). What I regret was my education choices. I had all these chances ahead of me but I took it for granted. I was an idiot back than, but than life is a learning experience.

      However, the upside to the route I’ve taken lead me to experience things that I would had avoided in high school. For instance, in college, I meant my true friends (4-5 year now) who introduced me to my 1st BF and basicly showed me this other world outside of my own conservative circle.

      • Yep Jennie – at the age we usually go to high school and college, we’re often ‘way too young to be making life decisions! Glad you’re benefiting from the experience and have a good circle of friends and richer life now.

    • Hi James. I’ve done that too. I even did it while I was still in college, looking through the yearbook and thinking I should be joining more things, I should be doing this… *should*.. It can make you miserable.

      I did hear enough of the other side though to make me thankful to be able to do my own thing. One example was a sorority girl who was going to an event and told us all, “But I don’t like my date.” Yuck – give me a good movie or book any day over a date with someone I don’t even like.

      It’s good that you’re conscious of your experience now that you have kids though – you can show them things and encourage them so their world is as big as they want it to be.

      • Thanks cb. 🙂 When I was their age, it seemed like I was very cautious about all things. That’s why I often keep to myself and never try things out. Now, I tell them to go do it. I tolerate a most of their mistakes and goof ups because I guess that’s the best way for them to learn. My little girl (the youngest) seem to have a leaning towards being an introvert. I think it’s alright as long as she don’t go to extremes.
        .-= James M.´s last blog ..Capture Web page: My 3 Favorite Methods =-.

  9. As many had stated above, I’m agreeing with what you shared here. Sometimes reading your post makes me wonder am I also an introvert. =) Maybe I do have a part of that in me too.

    Personally, I can’t say I’m all up for the events or gatherings from friends. There are reasons why I can’t or don’t feel like attending sometimes, but to be asked is always a good feeling – you are remembered. ^^ For example, a person may still hope to get a message or email from friends, even though he/she may not feel like replying it at that very instance. We may all have this need in us to be cared or noticed.

    To understand the main reason why we feel like going to an event we most likely won’t enjoy, will save a lot of headaches and confusions.

    Reminded me of one of your posts about how it’s hard to say ‘no’ to others. It’s hard to treat ourselves better at times, don’t you think? But we really should be. 🙂

    @wchingya
    Social/Blogging Tracker
    .-= Ching Ya´s last blog ..8 Lessons Derived from Vacation to Boost Your Blogging Experience =-.

    • Hi Ching Ya, Yes, it seems to me that a lot of bloggers are either introverts or at least extroverts who occasionally enjoy a lot of time alone – because if they didn’t, they couldn’t do all that’s required for a blog! 🙂 Great point – understanding why we feel the way we do really will save a lot of headache and confusion! I think sometimes we don’t stop to figure out exactly why we’re feeling the way we do.

  10. Hello
    This is a great post and according to me loneliness is not good for anybody.You have described very well about loneliness and this will be very useful for those who feels lonely in their life.Thank you very much for such nice post.

  11. I think that there is a certain amount of pressure put upon introverts making us feel “abnormal” if we do not want to participate in parties, outings, etc. I am kind of the opposite in the fact that I am happy not being invited to things, because I generally just don’t want to go. But I also think that is because I don’t know the right people, and the ones I do know aren’t really my friends – they are all my husbands’ friends. So I kind of end up feeling like people are nice to me just because they are friends with him, but not really because they want to be nice to me.

    I think worse than being invited somewhere, however, is being a forced host to a party. My hubby wants his friends to come over and hangout at our place, so not only am I required to be there, I’m supposed to be the happy host as well. It’s double torture in the sense that I can’t even leave when I’m ready to go… I have to wait for them to leave my home.

    ~ Kristi
    .-= Kristi´s last blog ..Who You Are Meant To Be =-.

    • Kristi I have definitely been there! When I dated and then married an extrovert who had this huge circle of friends, I always felt (KNEW) that they were HIS friends…and that I was just included in stuff because I was with him. I spent most of my people-time with him and them, so I didn’t develop many close friends of my own until we moved away. I hope over time you’ll meet more people who are your true friends. Of course you have TONS of friends on the web – real friends who really like you. But I know the extrovert world doesn’t “count” those.

      Oh yes – definitely being forced to host a party is the ultimate – much worse than just having to go to one. Advice columnists and books would spout, “Compromise!” But what is compromise – friends over 3 nights a week instead of 7?! If it’s just a week night and they’re watching a game or something, maybe you can have a real or fake “deadline” for some web work you “must do” some of those nights so you can retreat to your peace and quiet.

      Thanks so much for your comment. So glad to have you at Introvert Zone!

  12. Oh, Kristi, that does sound like torture. Is it other couples who come over, or mostly his male friends? If it was the latter it might be easy enough to call it “guys night out” and you could let them do their thing while you escape with some friends of your own elsewhere.

  13. Before I found this site, I did not know there are many like myself but apperantly there are,and I am kind of happy:-) Almost everyone around me loves going out and finds me weird because I stay at home most of the time and prefer to be alone.To be honest I’d rather prefer I’d not be asked when friends go out:-)

    • Oh you’re definitely not alone! A lot of people don’t talk about this to others because we think we’re the only ones, but remember even if less than half or even one fourth of the world population is introverts, that’s still a whole lot of introverts! 🙂

  14. At the moment I have family around me and I know there are times when I have to force myself to socialize with friends etc. so as to keep the wife happy, when I would much prefer staying at home relaxing.

    I’m not sure what it would be like if I didn’t have my family around me but I would like to think that I would be able to manage on my own. Seeing as how I dislike crowds and such I doubt very much that I would be looking at people frolicking with their friends with any regret if I was alone.
    .-= Sire´s last blog ..The Importance of Readers =-.

  15. Everyone feels lonely sometimes. But I think we introverts actually feel lonely less often than extroverts might. Extroverts need to surround themselves with people and activity all the time – which practically speaking, isn’t easy to keep up. We all need to sleep sometime 🙂

    Still, whenever I’m feeling lonely, I try to make a connection. Even if it’s just a phone call or a text. It helps. Everyone needs to feel like they belong, it’s just a part of being human.
    .-= lazygirl´s last blog ..The friendly neighborhood library – reading and books… and shaking you down =-.

    • Absolutely. A few days ago I felt kind of lonely or like I was missing out on something because it was still daylight outside yet I was already “in for the night.” I actually went for a walk for the purpose of running into neighbors to talk to, and luckily I did find a couple of very nice ones. After a quick chat with each, I had my brisk walk and was happy to go back home!

  16. Pingback: How introverted do I want my life to be? — Introvert Zone

  17. This was very helpful to read as I often feel this way. I have never shared these feelings with anyone or heard other people express it, so it is encouraging to know that there isn’t something wrong with me and that its a common occurrence among introverts.

    thanks!

  18. I lost a lot of ‘friends’ this way.

    We had a lot of fun when we were doing things together, but for some reason, they did not understand the fact that I do not enjoy rowdy drunken parties. I was never invited to any sort of party whatsoever in high school. I would hear others talk about it, and I would laugh at the stories.
    “Hey, why didn’t you come?”
    “I didn’t know about it.”
    “I invited you, didn’t I?”
    “No, you didn’t.” The deer-in-the-headlights look came next. Occasionally I would ask why no invitation was given. The answer would be, in a matter-of-fact way: “Well, you never would go anyway.”
    Thanks for the sympathy. That made me feel great.
    And it wasn’t like I was actually invisible. I talked to people daily; people knew who I was, but since I was quieter, I guess I was overlooked…every time.
    I feel like I probably would have went to a few of these parties on one of my ‘high energy’ days, but since I wasn’t the hardcore drinker everyone else seemed to be, I did not count and therefore wasn’t invited. That made me even more lonely, and, since I did not go to any sort of social events, people seemed to forget that I existed. : /

    Looking back on it now, I know that these kind of ‘friends’–ones that forget you exist–are not positve relationships and should not be in my life. But still, being remembered and acknowledged is a wonderful feeling. I said ‘hi’ to other introverts in the school, and I saw their eyes light up. I tried not to ignore anybody. I just wish everyone else would be the same, because being ‘forgotten’ over and over is a horrible feeling.

    It also did not help when my parents were actually encouraging me to go to these parties. But no matter. I know better now.

    -Mel

    • I wish everyone who thinks they can ignore quiet people because quiet people aren’t-quite-people, would read what you wrote here! How wonderful of you to be sure not to ignore anyone, and how ridiculous that people pigeonhole us, “You never would go anyway,” as if they knew WHY we don’t go sometimes and WHY we might some other time.

  19. I think I’ve felt lonely maybe three times in as many years… and that was only because the few people that I want to be around were all unavailable. Seeing other people be social only makes me feel grateful that I’m confident enough to refuse things like that.

    …Let me tell you, that *really* bugs people. They’ll try to make you feel like a freak for not being social, and they’ll try to make you feel like even *more* of a freak for not not being social and not even wanting to be! *sigh* I wish they’d mind their own business.

    • Oh I know! I remember one occasion very well when I was 22 and just getting to know the good friends of the guy I was going to marry. I’d just worked a 12 hour day at the office when he and a girl in his group came by our apartment to get something. He told me the group was going to a Braves baseball game and asked if I’d like to come. I said thanks, but I just worked 12 hours, so I’m going to relax here. The girl actually said, “Boooo!” as if she were booing a bad performance. What a needless insult to someone she didn’t even know.

      Also, I’ve had ignorant people call me “antisocial” for declining invitations. I have to ask, do they really think I’m going to go out and murder people during lunch hour? No, I was intending to eat the lunch I’d brought and enjoy some light reading! 😉

  20. People don’t give invites to people that are going to say no all the time. You saying no to the invites is probably the reason you are not getting them. And considering you would rather be at home alone than at the party means you probably wouldn’t be much fun to have there.
    I don’t know why all the pondering was needed. It just sounds like your a lame person to invite. People invite FUN people to parties.

    • That’s a harsh generalization. And frankly, quite an inaccurate one.

      Put an introvert in an environment where they are comfortable, and they can be just as fun (and funny) as the next person. We simply decide to be selective about the social events we do attend. To be persecuted for that like you just did is entirely unjustified.

    • Hey, I used to consider myself an introvert when I was younger, and I can totally relate to what you all have been saying about wanting to be by yourself.. But now in the past ~5 years I have become pretty extroverted, and I have to say, it is a lot more fun! I used to be the kid that sits at home and just enjoys being alone and living the quiet, care free life. But then when you get older, you look back and realize you have no significant memories to show for it. Sure you had the mild enjoyment of sitting around, but that becomes insignificant in your memories.
      Even if it kills you, just try and get out and meet people and have a lot of fun. Life is too short to hide from people and interactions!

      • Hey Matt, I’m glad you’re enjoying going out and doing lots of things! I think many of us who talk on this site actually do a lot with friends and family, but on the other hand those of us who work a full time job have started to wish we could just go home after work and not say a word sometimes. Very true – we shouldn’t waste our time *hiding* though. Thanks for your comment!

      • ….Do you have any idea how often we get told that? Just because it came true for YOU doesn’t mean that it’ll come true for EVERYONE

        Even if it kills us? Sorry, we’re not going to suffer to try to meet other people’s expectations. Well, some do, unfortunately.

  21. Hi. I think the best situation in life is to be surrounded with such people that you will never feel you don’t want to go (but ti be asked). Then there is no place for dilemma of this sort.

    • That would be wonderful. I can imagine the type of situation you mean. Being around people whose company you always enjoy, and if you do need a night off, you feel comfortable enough to just say so.

  22. It is just what i said in your post named “How introverted i want my life to be?” I said that i didn’t want to go out with some people but i’m deceived that they didn’t invit me, i am still in school and sometimes people talk about parties, ect but i hate parties, i never go to them. Sometimes i am feeling lonely, but when i am with people, they are nice with me, i try my best to be friendly toobut it doesn’t suit me, it is like i don’t have a good “feeling” with them.

    • Yes, there’s a huge difference between being with people we’re really comfortable with and being with people because we either have to or are forcing ourselves to (as if we’ll “learn” to like parties).

  23. Yeah, I live like this everyday. When I lived with my parents, I felt like I didn’t need to around people that much. I had my computer, video games, guitar and sports. Now that I moved out on my own, I find myself very lonely. I only see my girlfriend once during the week and on the weekends. I only have one other friend..So this article hits me at home.

    • I remember feeling that way too when I first move out of my parents’ house. I hadn’t realized how having “built-in people” really made it so I was never lonely – even though I loved having my door shut and listening to music or reading. I think you’ll gradually get more friends or at least friendly acquaintances that you’re really glad to do something with once in a while. Of course we often need or want to go home after work, so that will slow the process down, of course.

  24. My husband is an extreme extrovert and it’s been a long road for us, because I am very introverted. He decided he wanted a birthday party two days before his birthday and he called everyone from his huge selection of extroverts. He knew I was an introvert and I wasn’t going to plan it gracefully so he took over. When a social butterfly wants to take charge I let them have at it, less for me to worry about & fewer people to drain my energy. I was dreading this glorious event but it turned out that the only people who showed up were a few introvert friends of ours who came only because they knew what it meant to him. He learned a valuable lesson that day. Most of his social circle of “friends” were really acquaintances who have such a busy social schedule that they couldn’t fit him in at last minute’s notice. The introverts had nothing planned and wanted him to know that someone cared so they showed up, God bless ’em. He had a nice time without loud people trying to talk over one another and there were no contests for attention. I had to actually use my eyes and look around me to see who had come. Usually at parties my ears suffice for this task as there are typically loud announcements made, “I’M HERE!” Sometimes I’m shocked to not see a bull horn in their face. They can really be that loud and obnoxious.
    Introverts may not have a busy social schedule but we are genuine and we are loyal to those we are close to.
    I often envision myself as Wilson, the faithful neighbor of Tim The Toolman. He’s rarely present at the major functions of Tim’s life. He usually declines when invited to actively partake in Tim’s events. However I imagine he would be hurt if Tim never asked. When introverts have been given the quiet space to thrive, we are there when people need us and we don’t have to be loud or even constantly present in another person’s life to help them. We are the quiet haven for those who are bombarded by the external world and we usually give very good advice as long as our needs are met.
    When we take a stand and fight for our right NOT to party in our own quiet way, we are peaceful and content. I finally reached a point where I utterly refuse to be dragged through my life kicking and screaming and doing things that I don’t want to do. Party invites to me are like bait and if I accept 1 invitation it will take 10 future invite rejects for them to get the picture and leave me alone. I remind myself of this if I feel bad about not being invited. Then I go wherever I want and have a nice party for one and usually have a great time.

    • Hi Angela,

      I so relate to you! My husband is a social butterfly who’s very popular at parties, whereas I just look at the crowd and want to leave the minute we show up! My idea of a lovely Friday night is the two of us curled up at home with our laptops, our cat, and some snacks.

      I’m often amazed at how extreme extroverts even get along with each other sometimes. When there’s more than one at a table, it really is like an attention contest with everyone talking over each other, all fighting to stay in the spotlight. It’s exhausting to witness and sometimes I feel drained just by watching!

      Don’t you feel sorry for the poor things though, in a way? Their egos need constant attention, and life becomes a battle for it. Introverts, on the other hand, get to savour peace from all that in bliss…

      Love Introvert Zone, btw! So glad I discovered it 🙂

  25. I usually appreciate being asked, even if I have to feel bad for saying no. It makes me feel nice, to know that people appreciate me and want my presence with them in their activity. On the other side of it, if I know people close to me are planning something and they don’t invite me, I feel hurt and unwanted, even if they don’t invite me because they know I love staying home. Just because we’re introverts doesn’t mean we don’t need companionship too. Just in smaller doses.

  26. All this time I believed to be this weird antisocial person !! It sucks that society is more “Extrovert friendly”. I actually read in forbes.com that Introverts make better leaders 😀 that made me happy.

  27. This site is fantastic! It’s really good to know that there are other people out there who have almost the exact same feelings as me in situations like this. I love being an introvert, but it can be quite difficult when stuff like this turns up. It doesn’t even spark depression, it’s almost like a sense of frustration when I don’t get invited to a party, even though I know I would absolutely hate being there.

  28. Not everyone can turn up at every party all the time like a machine. Even extroverts want time for themselves. It is up to us to balance our own social life and own times. Being alone all the time is definitely not healthy, because humans are naturally social animals.

  29. I am one of those who was way out with the high school “in-crowd.” I only made small talk with people in the in crowd. Never participated in sports or that. When asked what I did on weekends, I would often say, “I’m busy.” I never wanted to be a big shot or star. Now I regret that I missed that opportunity and will never get it back. I was 0 for 4 when it came to prom because of a variety of reasons: among them, I didn’t ask or wasn’t asked, didn’t drive and besides Sat. nights was homework night.
    Being that I never was big in school, I have never been to any of my classmates weddings or received an invitation. Yes, I have worked their weddings (my job is at a reception hall). Looking back, I now know what I’m missed. Spending time studying was what made me happy. After all, one never ceases preparing. I always told some of my classmates, if you ever feel the need to see me, please call me. I’ve been out of high school for 13 years and am still waiting.

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  31. Well, I’m not sure if this problem is a typical introvert thing. I’m 110% extrovert and I experience the same thing. Because I’m very sensitive to recieving other peoples’ emotions I get tired very quikly, large gatherings sometimes overwhelm me because I hear, see, sense en feel so much. I would rather focus on one person and work on a deep connection. I often need to “discharge” in solitude and be careful not to take in too much social impulses. I’ve never thrown a large birthday party and I’m never invited to one, which is fine. It stresses me out anyway. I like my life simple this way. I know myself and with my 28 years of life experience I’d like to work on my inner life and (emotional) wisdom rather than what society expects me to be as a young and energetic person.

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