Thursday, December 3, 2015

Why I Don't Do Well At Parties

I don't do well at parties. Most parties are full of extroverts who love to meet and greet, flutter around, and network. I am an introvert. I want meaningful connections and deep conversations. And I hate networking.

Show Me Another Introvert So I Can Have A Real Conversation

I recently read an article that offered advice on how to have a “conversation exit plan” at your next party. It quotes Lynne Waymon, co-owner of Contacts Count, that “It is reasonable to expect a conversation to end after five or ten minutes." Furthermore, Diane Darlene, a Boston networking consultant, says sensitive people often "confuse ending a conversation with rejection." She goes on to say she ‘sometimes gets help from her friends to exit an encounter with the person who is clingy or anxious.’


Is that me? Am I clingy or anxious? Sometimes I'm enjoying a conversation - actually feeling merry, wanting to get to know the person better - but then I discover that person is ready to move on. I have to admit, it does make me feel rejected. But does it make me "clingy or anxious?" Unfortunately, in the extrovert's eyes, I think it does.

Doesn't She Realize How Boring She Is?

I know this is my problem; I'm not blaming the extrovert. They are doing what comes naturally to them - laughing and talking, meeting as many people as they can because they have lots of energy and love excitement.

I have low energy with rare bursts of high energy (if I like the person). Unfortunately, I am usually attracted to extroverts just because they are so sparkly and happy. But we don't blend very well. I think they automatically sense that my energy level does not, and will not ever, match their own. Plus, they probably think I'm too intense. God how I hate that word . .

Some people think I'm “intense” just by looking at my face. I have a serious face and only smile or laugh when something makes me smile or laugh. But many people don't understand that. They look at my face and think I must be sad or angry.

Or, people think I'm worried and concerned. Sometimes I am! But usually, I'm just minding my own business, thinking my own thoughts, and it's just my face. The corners of my mouth do not naturally turn up. And my eyes only sparkle when there's something to light them. It took my wonderful husband (an extrovert) years to understand my face. But God bless him, he worked at it, and now he finally does.

So anyway, that's why I don't do well at parties. If you ever see me at one, please introduce me to a fellow introvert. Maybe we'll have something in common and we can enjoy an actual conversation that lasts longer than ten minutes.


Janis Couvreux said...

Wow, very nice, Karen, but I had no idea. You could have fooled me. Do you think you take after your mom or your dad, or neither? I'm just hope we never intimidated you!

Janis Couvreux said...

Oh, and cute photo, by the way, of you and hubby!

Karen Gough said...

Ha! Of course you never "intimidated" me. I think that's the wrong word anyway - more like "overwhelmed" energy-wise, but that's just in large groups, not with friends. My Dad is an introvert but being an introvert doesn't mean you don't have confidence or can't act outgoing, all it really means is you draw your energy from within, not without.

Karen Gough said...

Thanks! And thanks for commenting too!