Sunday, 14 August 2011

Happy and joyful with others...

A lot of what he says resonates with me since we both had tough childhoods.  I was luckier though, since my father – a kind, gentle yet solitary man – made sure I had a few good years as a small child. After that many factors including lack of money to continue to employ nannies and the law which would have seen me removed from his care should he have complained, facilitated the abuse.

Omega states that people advise attending social events to learn how to enjoy them.  While practice might help, I cannot see that a chain of painful experiences would help in any way to create positive feelings and motivation to attend further such gatherings.  I’ve noticed a lot of my introvert mates attend hobby clubs/groups and enjoy the company of their friends – this sounds much better as a way of building confidence than the torture of random social events.

I often walk past venues full of happy, joyful people socializing with their friends after work. It’s easy to think that is the benchmark for all, but after deep reflection I’ve decided that it is not.

Extroverts and people who can drink alcohol no doubt thrive in such environments. I’ve tried it and am unimpressed. I can’t hear what people are saying, I don’t drink alcohol and don’t understand the drinking culture and I don’t have the budget to match the consumption and generosity of other people. Overall, I find large gatherings stressful and unrewarding!    

My strategies for surviving large gatherings include:
  • establishing the format and requirements of the gathering
  • dressing appropriately so as to blend in and not be noticed
  • finding  a purpose, such as organizing and caring for participants
  • going with or recruiting another more solitary person so as to not be embarrassed by being alone
  • putting on my ‘networking’ hat and going all out to widen my spread of contacts
 On the other hand, I really enjoy spending time with select other introverts. Almost always these are men that are similar to my father – very clever, accomplished, quiet and wise. Mostly we learn from each other and provide support as we can. As we get older and learn to enjoy quietness and just being in the company of one other, some of these social situations are just about being companionable and finding a quiet haven from a stressful life filled with demanding people.

I’ve accepted that I am hardwired to only enjoy socializing with certain people in certain situations and often only one other person. Thus, I actively seek out compatible people and set up situations which we can both enjoy. Hence, it’s easy to be “happy and joyful”. 
A lovely rose I photographed while enjoying one of my first outings with Awesome. 

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