Should this introvert go to her homecoming dance –

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Will she regret it if she doesn’t?

Dear IntrovertZone,

I’m an INFP going through high school. For the most part, I’m perfectly content hanging out with friends at Cafes, going to movies, chatting one-on-one, and doing other low key activities like that.

I’ve never been a fan of going to football games or school dances. They make me feel awkward and self conscious, and they drain my energy.

I had a recent conversation with my mom about the Homecoming dance, and she says she understands that I don’t want to go, but she’s worried that I will regret skipping out on it when I’m older.

I’m sure that I would have more enjoyment just hanging out with a few other friends rather than dancing with the whole school and dealing with strangers grinding on me, but I can’t help but feel anxious about this. Will I regret skipping Homecoming and other dances? Is it healthy for me to be a bit antisocial? Sometimes I feel like I take myself way too seriously and that I need to let loose and have fun, but at the same time… this kind of environment is not very comfortable for me.

I’d like your opinions or advice on this situation. A tiny issue like this can cause a lot of anxiety for a highly introspective INFP. 🙂

Photo credit: Thirty30Photography

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27 Comments

  1. I went to my junior prom, was bored to tears. I totally skipped my senior prom. I was not even aware that there was a homecoming anything in high school (that is how much time I spent inside my own head). It could be possible that your mom is extroverted, yet understands your introverted side, and is concerned about what you will miss because she either had a good time at hers and/or missed out on that opportunity and heard about it later. I even skipped the last two high school reunions because I was not close to anyone in high school. Well, I was but they were in a different class. I don’t miss anything and I don’t regret it.

  2. The day after you graduate from high school, stuff like this will become about 90% less important to you in hindsight. Moms always think this stuff is way more important than it is too. If you don’t want to go because you honestly don’t enjoy that kind of thing, then don’t go.

    On the other hand, if you’d like to go but you’re afraid to because you think you won’t fit in or you’ll look foolish, then I might suggest going. As an adult, there will be times you’ll have to be able to handle crowds of people — perhaps even speaking or performing in front of them. Any reasonably successful person gets roped into something like that sooner or later. That doesn’t mean you have to become more extroverted, or act like someone you’re not. It just means it’s useful to learn to handle those occasions as calmly and gracefully as possible.

    When I was younger, I was not only introverted, but a stick-in-the-mud about it. I was terrified of being embarrassed in public. Somewhere along the line (I’m 42 now) I realized that, at least if I’m with friends, looking silly once in a while isn’t that big a deal. On my last birthday, my friends took me out to eat and arranged for the cooks to do their birthday surprise, which in this place involved a huge sombrero, singing, and dessert smeared all over my face. (I was expecting the sombrero and the singing, but not the dessert, so I certainly looked surprised.) Did I enjoy it, exactly? Would I have asked for it? No. But do I enjoy having friends who know me well enough to pull something like that on me and die laughing at the sight of me letting my guard down for once? That’s priceless.

    I guess what I’m saying is that, if you skip things like this because you’re afraid you’ll look awkward, someday you may look back and wish you’d relaxed a bit and worried less about appearances. I wish I had.
    Aaron B.´s last post ..Sell the Bales to Pay your Bail

  3. I have a younger friend who is like me and we’re both like you. She skipped her senior prom even though her extremely extroverted mother nagged her about going because she was convinced she would regret not going. She’s only been out of high school 5 years, but she doesn’t regret not going. I regret going when I wanted to skip my senior prom. It wasn’t that good of a experience and I know I would not have regretted skipping it, it’s not that big of a deal. I didn’t attend Homecoming until my senior year and it was fine, I’m glad I went because I wanted to. I think you’ll know if you would regret it or not.

    Anyway, I’m now 36 years old and believe me, high school is such a tiny part of your life that it really doesn’t matter in the end, seriously. I’m not saying that to be negative, but come on, once you reach a certain age you’ve experienced so much since your childhood (and yes, I do consider high school a part of one’s childhood) that it’s just a brief memory. There’s so much more to life than what happens in high school. 🙂

  4. What’s worse? Regretting having gone or regretting having not gone? If you stay home you risk missing out on a great time, but if you go I suppose you risk having a bad time. All the same, if you stay home you risk feeling sad and wishing you were more extraverted. But, if you don’t want to go, don’t go.

  5. I had an opportunity to go and I didn’t.

    My only real regret is that I disappointed the young lady who asked me to take her. If it wasn’t for her, I don’t think it would really matter to me.

    Of course, I realize that these things tend to me more important to women than to men. I guess my advice would be that if you have someone to go with, then do it. Otherwise, don’t feel you’re missing out on anything.

  6. Go. You can always leave. Remember that most of the other people there have similar feelings to yours. It could be really fun!

    Or don’t go. It doesn’t really matter in the grand scheme of things. I agree with Aaron. Ten years from now, it will seem totally silly that you cared so much.

    Whichever one of these little paragraphs made you feel right in your heart, go with.

  7. I never went to a single dance in high school and I never regretted missing a single one. If you have not yet regretted missing any of the other similar occasions, it’s highly unlikely you will ever regret missing this one. Why on earth in the future should you suddenly become a different person and regret not doing what doesn’t suit your personality and enjoyments?

  8. I don’t believe she said anything about being anxious or having fears about such events. She thinks it would be boring and not worth it, and to an introvert, such events usually are boring and not worth it. Being bored out of your skull is not the way to overcome a fear, especially one that wasn’t present in the first place.

  9. As someone who is naturally very introverted, I have to push myself often to go outside of my comfort zone to make new friends and experience new things. Yes sometimes I regret my decision to go out and try something new, but my great memories from times when I did have fun make those awkward, sometimes uncomfortable experiences worth it. It is more about the attitude you take when doing these things than the actual events themselves. You could go to the most fabulous party in the world and have an awful time if that’s the mindset you have, it’s about how you approach the situation. Go to Homecoming, if you don’t have fun don’t go to the next one, but go with a good attitude and MAKE it fun for yourself–at least you won’t look back and say ‘what if’…

  10. Have you ever skipped out on social engagements and later wished you had gone? Same experience or feeling would apply here.

    As someone who didn’t go to their Senior Prom when in high-school nor their College Graduation, I haven’t once wished I had gone (no sentimental value), but that is just me.

    It doesn’t sound like you’re bashing the idea of homecoming due to bad experiences, just seems like you’re simply not interested. There is a difference between both of those perceptions and since yours sounds like the latter, I think you would not regret it if you didn’t go.

  11. I totally agree with Christy’s comments above. I never went to my prom or any homecoming-whatevers. I don’t regret it for a second. I had 0% interest in the whole deal. Btw, I’m also an INFP 🙂

  12. If you think you’ll enjoy more being with yourself then don’t go. Don’t force yourself too much on something that you know you wouldn’t enjoy doing.

  13. I’m having the exact same problem! Well, actually…I’m not sure. My friends have asked me to go to homecoming with them and dancing really stresses me out. I just feel awkward and sort of weird. I think I’m going to go, but I just have second thoughts. I want to be able to say that I did go instead of make up excuses for why I didn’t and have people look at me with blank stares. I’m always so caught up in how I look and what I’m doing to even realize that I’m not thoroughly enjoying myself. I’m going to go and I hope you did too. 🙂

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