I’ve always liked the saying that goes, “Different strokes for different folks.”
It’s simple. It means that different people like different things. That’s all.
There doesn’t always have to be an in-depth explanation for why certain people like certain things -- or why one thing is better than another. We’re all different, and we like different things.
Personally, I’m a low-key guy, one you’d probably call an introvert. So when my friends try dragging me out to some party on the weekends -- or, gulp, to some club -- it takes a while to convince me. I’m not a big party guy.
And when my friends ask me why I’m not really “feeling it,” I simply say, “I don’t know, man. Different strokes for different folks.”
I’m sure many other introverts can relate. While some people are into big social gatherings, those things never really seemed appealing to me and other introverts. They're overwhelming.
Introverts are into things that rely less on social aptitude.
But there comes a time for every introvert to bite the bullet, take one for the dream and get dragged out to that party.
And when this happens, these are a few of the major questions that almost every introvert will ask themselves.
How do I avoid small talk?
Most introverted people aren’t typically comfortable with small talk -- especially with people they don’t know. As I'm sure you can imagine, parties can be highly uncomfortable for us.
Whether it’s moving from one part of the room to another or constantly darting to the bathroom, most introverts spend their evenings figuring out how to avoid small talk with other partygoers.
What even constitutes small talk?
Small talk doesn't make sense to introverts. What's the point of small talk if it doesn't go anywhere? Why not just wait until large talk?
Do I look awkward standing in this corner?
Introverts are comfortable in isolation. While out at parties, it’s only natural for them to leap into the corner and stay there.
That being said, this will look awkward if the rest of the party is mingling and moving around while the introvert stays vigilantly by the bowl of party mix (that nobody else is eating), picking out the pretzel pieces.
Can I sit on the couch?
I can guarantee that the introverts at any party, whether it’s at a fraternity house or a semi-fancy apartment, are thinking about whether or not they'll look awkward if they park on the couch for the rest of the night.
Hey, it’s one thing to be socially uncomfortable among other people at a party, but it’s another thing to be physically uncomfortable. At least the couch can solve that.
How long is it socially acceptable to stay?
It's safe to say that introverts will feel they've overstayed their welcome as soon as they arrive.
But even though the introverts may be ready to leave, the people they came with won't.
While a lot of introverts may think that leaving after an hour is acceptable, there’s no universal rule. So they'll probably always have a few "emergencies" on deck.
Will I have more fun sober or blackout drunk?
It's the million-dollar question: “Should I stay sober? Or should I black out?”
Allow me to be the first to tell you that there really is no right answer to this question. Each option has its own pros and cons.
By staying sober, you can guarantee you'll keep your sh*t together. But you probably won't have any fun. And by blacking out, you might have fun, but you definitely won't remember it.
As you can see, this is a very conflicting decision for any introvert to make.
What’s the point of being here if I don’t know anyone?
Introverts keep a very small circle. In fact, that circle is usually so small that it only includes themselves. Whether this is because of social or general anxiety, introverts don't usually go out of their way to speak to people they don’t know.
Introverts have trouble liking parties in which the majority of people are strangers.
Since I left my house tonight, I don’t have to tomorrow, right?
Introverts usually don't go out unless they're forced. If they’re at a party, it’s either because friends have wheedled them into it or they're fulfilling an obligation like a family event or a birthday party.
After going out, introverts often feel like they're "off the hook" for the next day.
Going to a party may not be the most enjoyable activity for introverts, but at least they’ll find some comfort knowing they won’t have to do it all again tomorrow.
Are there any other snacks?
At apartment parties, the kitchen is never more than a hop, skip and jump away. Overcrowding at parties may make introverts feel nervous, but knowing that there will be food always helps.
Am I looking at my phone too much?
Introverts usually aren't the best conversationalists, so they'll likely resort to acting busy on their phones. But when they do this too much, they'll stick out like a sore thumb.
Does everyone know how anxious I feel right now?
Introverts will usually do everything within their power to appear cool and relaxed at parties. Some will try and tell jokes; others might agree to a cigarette break -- even if they don't smoke.
Whatever the case, introverts will constantly be worrying about how anxious they seem (which only makes them even more anxious).
So this is how normal people have fun?
Introverts often find pleasure in things besides parties, like reading or writing or watching movies. They usually don’t need attention or company to find enjoyment.
So when they’re dragged out to parties, it’s usually pretty shocking to watch a room full of humans enjoy each other’s company.
But hey, different strokes for different folks.