Wednesday, December 11, 2013

an update on the party business

I chickened out in the end. I chose the easy way out and retreated into my hermit cave instead of attending the pirate-themed beach party my company threw just for kicks. (Also, I keep mentioning pirate-themed, only because I want to remind myself how ridiculous it sounds to someone who doesn't like themed parties that involve dressing up.)

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My company is big on these bonding events, and really it's not so bad. There's pizza, booze, games, goody bags, prizes - the usual shebang you'd expect at a company party. But I'm not a party person in general. My idea of a good Friday night is curling up on the couch with a book, or being productive and churning out pages of my novel.

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It might be the cynic in me speaking, but I don't want to get close to anyone when I'm likely not going to see these people again. I don't want to get attached when I intend to leave as soon as something else comes along.

But I do understand that in order to have something worth writing, I need to go out and live. Experience things, see things, meet and talk to people, even if they're only going to be acquaintances. I know I need to break out of my routine and my cloistered life for the sake of my sanity, my social life and cultivate a less boring personality.

But I'm terrified - deathly terrified - that it would turn out really awkward and, well, un-fun. And that I'd have wasted my time being a socially-retarded loser. I think that's the reason why I'm always hesitant to attend social events. That I'd be reminded of the fact that I either stick out like a sore thumb or have to behave in a socially acceptable way - requisite small talk, bright smile to constantly hold up, chirpy voice - in order to fit in.

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Of course, staying in my comfort zone makes me even more of a socially-retarded loser.

I want to get out more. I do. But sometimes, going out is such a hassle and meeting new people is daunting. Terrifying. It gets even more terrifying the more I retreat into my shell. Because the truth is, despite how much I convince myself I don't care what people think of me, it is ALL I can think about when I meet them.

Does she think I'm weird? 

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Am I boring him? 

Is she wishing she's anywhere else but here with me? 

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What will he say to his friends about me? 

Do I have something in between my teeth? 

Oh god, did I just snort in laughter?

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Well, in any case, it's raining now. A part of me is relieved. Now I won't have to feel so bad about not going. A moment later, another part of me chides that relieved part for being so selfish. Urgh. If only I weren't such a weirdo. How do you become normal? What is normal? Taking part in social drinking and party games? What if I don't want to be that kind of "normal"? Does that make me abnormal?

Next time. Next time I promise I'll go.


Whiskoffee Purr said...

I am thinking the same thoughts when someone invited me to a Christmas get-together event, which aims to let singles like yours truly mingle and meet more people of the fairer gender (if you get my drift).

I share all the concerns you blogged about, and have yet to RSVP-ed myself.

I did manage to sign up for a motorbike riders' Christmassy event separately. So I ain't that anti-social. :)

Nonetheless, it still terrifies me lots to go to an event to socialise when I am an introvert who finds such events exhausting (on top of all the possible awkward scenarios you blogged).

Still, I try to strike a balance between reading/gaming/playing with cats at home and going out to meet people.

It is still tilted more to the former though. :p

Joyce Chua said...

@Whiskoffee Purr: It IS exhausting1 I liken socialising to running - you make up a thousand and one reasons not to go, but when you do you find yourself actually enjoying it. But you're still not sold on doing it again.

I just keep making excuses not to go. And then feeling guilty about it. And then I try to ameliorate my guilt by recycling my excuses. And the cycle goes on. It's deplorable :( LOL

Whiskoffee Purr said...

I know how it feels. But we gotta get outta this.

Whiskoffee Purr said...

As an introvert, I took a step of faith and make a leap - attended a party last night.

It was terrifying at the beginning, but the hosts are such wonderful and fun-loving folks, and then everything seems easier. I was quite surprised at how well things turn out to be.

No mega embarrassment moments, no prolonged awkwardness and very little fear. In fact, all my fears did not materialise!

I made it out alive and happy. I think you should survive alright too.