I’m an introvert. Most people think I’m bullsh-tting when I say that, but that’s because they don’t understand what an introvert really is. No I’m not socially awkward; yes I enjoy going out, turning up, having a drink or three, and I can hold a conversation. But if people were really paying attention, they’d notice I do far more listening than talking, and if I could have my way I’d probably be in the presence of no more than two people at a time because I literally find conversing with large groups of people exhausting. And that is why my Netflix subscription stays up to date and my binge watch game is too strong. It’s also why some of my friends are fed up with me.
Within the past few weeks, at least four different people have flat out called me out for never asking them to hang out.
“I was going to send you an e-mail to meet up, but then I thought, ‘no, I always invite her to hang out, why doesn’t she ever ask me?'” a former colleague I randomly ran into one night told me.
“Can we actually hang out one day? I’m tired of begging you to hang out with me! I feel like you don’t really like me,” another industry friend pressed.
“Where have you been lately,” another old friend asked. “I feel like you’ve been avoiding me. I’ve been talking to (insert name of my friend I introduced her to) more than you!”
And then there were a series of subtle jabs from other friends like, “You’re not really my friend no more,” and “We’re past overdue for hanging out” and the email to go get drinks that I ignored from a friend of a friend that made me realize I have to do better.
Part of me wants to blame this on a bigger issue I maybe-kinda–sorta-possibly have, which is an exaggerated fear of rejection. I really don’t ask anyone to do anything anytime I’m not completely sure they can and want to do it. Otherwise, I get immaturely and unnecessarily irritated that I extended an invitation that was passed over — much like my friends probably feel about me right now. There’s also this intense responsibility I feel to make sure the other person has a good time when I ask them to do something. Otherwise, I’m like, we could’ve stayed in the house. And I feel guilty for subjecting them to fuckery.
Which brings me to the biggest reason I tend not to ask people to do stuff: I like to stay in the house. Lately, I’ve been blessed by the socialite gods to have had a really great time going out and hanging with friends. But I’ve also had so many happy hour busts, nasty brunches, and boring bar outings that, again, I say, we could’ve stayed in the house. Or at least I could have.
I don’t not like hanging out with people and, as Shonda Rhimes alluded to in her book, Year of Yes, often times when I come home from an outing I was reluctant to attend I always think, wow I’m glad I went. But when faced with the choice of staying home, catching up on sleep, binge-watching Hulu, or dancing around my apartment versus taking a trip to catch up with friends — let alone making the plans myself — my house wins, 9.5 times out of 10, hands down.
It’s not personal, at least not when it comes to the friends and colleagues whom I love, it’s just my personality. But I’m slowly realizing if I want to actually keep these friends I’m going to have to compromise and do a better job of showing people they’re more important to me than work or Netflix and chilling solo. Guess I have my first New Year’s resolution.