The Bachelorette Party From Hell
Once upon a time, I went to a lovely bachelorette party for a close friend. It was a lovely weekend full of laughs and drinks and fun. Everyone had a wonderful time. Except me. This was an introvert’s bachelorette party from hell.
I arrived to a 3 bedroom 1,000 square foot rental on the lower level of a home that was to hold 13 women. 13! I arrived to construction paper, cut-out penises hanging from and stuck to every available surface. I’m not prude, but we’re grown women. I thought we were past this phase. I entered a narrow kitchen/living room. One of the ladies was using her breast pump, and talking furiously about the weekend’s plans, on the futon in the kitchen. I was told that futon was also to be my bed. I was then informed that my vehicle would have to be parked in the parking garage six blocks away. No personal space, no privacy, no vehicle, no escape. To add insult to injury, that was when I realized I forgot my toothbrush. This was just the first 10 minutes of two days of introvert hell.
It was a long weekend of crazy stories that will have to be continued another day. Luckily, the bride-to-be had an amazing time and that was the most important thing. For me, it was a learning experience of how to survive nights out as an introvert.
Socializing Is Hard #introvertlife
Society encourages socialization, going out, and interacting with others. This leaves those that cannot or will not seek out a means to find and nurture relationships labeled as “lonely”. Not having a billion facebook friends doesn’t mean that we are unfulfilled in our relationships. We often have a few close friends and prefer smaller gatherings within our social circle. Introverts even have extrovert friends and significant others, and there’s no doubt that they have spent a night or two coming to us when we didn’t want to go out. After all, even the most social people need the occasional night in. Therefore, it is also up to us to indulge our extrovert friends in their outgoing ways. So here are some tips to survive a night out with friends, as an introvert.
Surviving Your Friends (and other fun party tricks)
Communicate, communicate, communicate! To ease social anxiety, chat with your friends so that you know what the plan is for the night and you can prepare yourself. If they don’t have much of a plan, this is your opportunity to make suggestions and perhaps tailor the evening to something that is more to your liking.
If these are close friends, they probably already know that the social scene is not for you, but it is helpful to give your close extrovert friends insight into your threshold for socialization beforehand. You can also work our a buddy system. A simple, “Hey Karen, this may be a stressful event for me. Can you make sure I don’t get separated from the group?” can change the night.
After a long day of interacting with customers, clients, and coworkers you may not be looking forward to the evening. Giving your friends a heads up can prevent disappointment later when you’re ready to go home and they are not. Which brings me to #2.
2.) Have an escape route
I never go to any events without having a way to get home. Whenever possible, I drive my own vehicle and I don’t carpool. That way, when I am ready to call it a night, my friends can still party on. The other benefit to taking your own vehicle is having the alone time to psych yourself up for the night. Play some heavy metal, give yourself a pep talk, or listen to an audiobook and enjoy your brief alone time. ::Deep breaths::
During the event, you may need a conversation escape too. Communicate with your friends for an easy out. “Janice, if I cough twice, save me from the conversation I am stuck in.”
Ride Share has changed #IntrovertLife forever. Thanks to Lyft and Uber, no one ever has to be a Debbie-downer again. It’s also an excellent idea if the night includes drinking. That being said, I prefer Uber because Lyft encourages their drivers to socialize and talk to the people riding with them. With Uber, I can sit in the back and not have to talk to anyone if I don’t want to. Another tactic is to put in a pair of headphones (they don’t even have to be attached anything) and stare fondly out the window as you enjoy your silence.
3.) Take a chill pill
I’m not suggesting that anyone takes a tab of LSD to make the evening go smoothly. Although, if you have anxiety, as many introverts do, and you have a prescription from your doctor, this may be the time to take a chill pill. I find that this is difficult because I am almost always going to be driving or having a drink. ***PSA: Do not take a chill pill if you will be driving or drinking.
Luckily, there are other ways to calm your body without pharmaceuticals. Alcohol is a popular choice. A cocktail at the beginning of the night can take the edge off, although too many can make it worse.
If you are not the prescription pill or alcohol type, there are other ways that you can calm your body, which brings me to number four.
4.) Take breaks
Sometimes when the beat is bumpin, the dance floor is hot, and there is a sweaty guy who won’t stop bumping into you, you can start to feel overwhelmed and it may be time for a break. If there is a patio, go outside and take a breather. Go find a table or a corner where you can take a second to people watch. Or go to the bathroom and sit in the stall for a minute. ::Deep breaths:: Whenever possible, bring a close friend with you to be a buffer, since our close friends likely already know that social situations can be stressful for us. Buy them their next drink as a thank you.
This is a last resort. I try to appreciate the activities of my extrovert friends, especially when they indulge my introvert ways, but sometimes it’s just too much. If you were already at your max and your presence may just ruin the evening, it may be time to say thanks, but no thanks. Granted, your friends may be disappointed, but just be honest. Your friends will know if you’re lying.
The other option is to give it a go. Maybe you have a margarita and vent some of the days frustrations, and suddenly you’re feeling much better and you have a wonderful evening. The alternative is that you go out, it doesn’t work out, and you bounce (See suggestion number two).
Remember, this is your social life and your friends. If these are good friends they will understand. If these are not good friends, friends of friends, or people you know but don’t really care much for, then who cares what they think. Just do what’s best for you, but keep your friends in mind. Introverts tend to have a very small group of friends and not many acquaintances, and there is nothing wrong with that. ::Deep breaths::