Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Drinking to Fake Yourself into Extroverted Territory

For a long time I drank.  No surprise there.

But here's the pattern when drinking involved social outings of more than 3-5 people:

I'd dread going.  Dread it as much as giving a presentation.  And naturally I'd get spit-faced drunk.  And naturally THEN I'd get through the presentation, err, group of strangers.  And some days I'd feel that I was more successful than others.  Most days I'd be happy to have survived without total social opprobrium.

When I drank alone (often) I also tried to convince myself that I was extroverted and convincingly charismatic, outgoing in an effortless way.

And that's just the farthest point from the truth I could get.  Because since I was a  kid, I was rushing away from social situations, running home at 3:06, as soon as school let out (in 5th grade, I still remember it precisely), through doors that would allow me to circumvent the main throng of peers waiting to imbibe on my flesh.

I have always felt over-stimulated in groups of people greater than a handful.  My preferred group is 3: me and two others.

And I've always needed recovery time from the social world: home.  Alone.

And I've always told myself that I was to blame for needing these things, for being this way, and that I had to work on getting better.

But I was wrong.  Because there's nothing inherently wrong with introversion.

1 comment:

Dennis said...

Ever since I started drinking at 15 that was my M.O. at least 3 min before I was comfortable. Now I'm 45 and that just doesn't work anymore. I'm actually better with less. 3 is the max. Anymore and it gets embarrassing. Great post.