Many people on this board are self admittedly introverts.

To these introverts, I’d like to ask a simple question. Do you have an active preference to not be in a particularly large social setting, or do you just lack a drive to do so?

For me, it is definitely more the latter than the former. Large social gatherings aren’t something I actively avoid, but they’re not something I actively seek out either. Is this similar to your experiences?

I’d say I actively avoid them. For example, I enjoy going to a bar…with some friends, but I would never go to a bar alone just to hang out with whomever happens to be there. I like small gatherings (say, less then 10 people) but going to a party with 100 people…I’ll stay home and watch a movie thankyouverymuch.
In those big social situations I feel overwhelmed. I enjoy conversing with others. I can’t stand the types of get togethers where every time I get halfway through a sentence the other person gets interrupted for one reason or another. I just never felt like I know how to ‘compete’ in that setting so to speak.
And not to do the ‘poor me’ thing, but that’s part of the reason why my marriage failed. One of the things she said was “Your idea of a great night is watching an old movie…I’d rather go out.” It reminded me of when she broke up with me in college for about a year and she said “You like sitting around the dorms doing homework, talking about psych class with your friends and watching a stupid movie, my idea of a great night is going to a couple of bars”

But back to the question, I should add that it has to do with a combination of how many people will be there and how many people I know (well). I’m not sure I could really spell it out, it’s kind of a case by case decision. Also, along with all this, I have an intense need for ‘me time.’ I really have to have time all to myself. In a perfect world I’d have an hour or two each day all alone. Just time to wander around the house thinking, watch a movie, mow the lawn, clean the house…doesn’t matter, it’s me time. In reality, an hour or two once or twice a week is fine.

I don’t like crowds, and the noise and the pressing everywhere. Even the grocery store can get annoying if I’m there on the wrong day. I do love “me time” but I get sick of it sometimes and crave attention. Once I’ve been out for awhile and I’m home, I need quiet and alone time to decompress. Being around groups of people is always stressful for me. I’ve always been very aware of my surroundings and myself, and something about large groups of people makes that sense go into overdrive until it gets burnt out and fuzzy.

I associate large social experience with negative experiences. My chest will tighten and I will clamp up and be more withdraw in a large social setting, say a party, or seated with a group of strangers.

Just not to be awkward, I will introduce myself, make small talk and try to listen in to the conversations, but as one can guess, this is not my ideal way to spend an evening. I rather also keep my outing small and limited to people whom I know well.

There was once a friend who invited me to his birthday dinner, and he said “just a couple of friends” were coming. What he failed to mention that his parents and siblings plus extended family were coming too! When I got there and met the crowd, I almost just wanted to “run away”.

This too.

Ironically, in small groups I am a big chatter-box.

Yeah, same here, although even without the “well”; I think for me it’s got a lot to do with whether I’ll be “left out” or not. 20 people and I only know the host? Way too many, specially if everybody else knows everybody else. 2000 students partying back in High School, or 5000 coworkers sharing a barbeque in my current job? I’m fine. A new parish, with people making small chat (it’s not like a lady old enough to be my grandma asking “and where are you from, honey?” is prying), I’m uncomfortable; a meeting of Nerds’R’Us, suddenly I’m part of the extrovert half of the crowd.

I just find that, in crowds, someone else always winds up saying something before I can figure out what I want to say. One on one, there’s an obvious gap after the other person finishes talking, so I can talk.

I also find that, if you don’t talk, people tend to think you are creepy, or at least uninteresting. The only way I can handle crowds is if I take on the role of the person “in charge” for lack of a better word. You know, the person who starts the conversation, and has everyone focus on them. When I was younger, I did that for fun, but now I find it exhausting. And unfulfilling, as you really can’t make actual friends that way, only people who want to be entertained by you.

I’ve always been an introvert, as a child I could entertain myself for hours on end. At age 14, I was so shy it was disgusting. I remember the sheer agony of getting dressed up and walking to a school dance (I forced myself, it was something I HAD to do for my own good - couldn’t spend the rest of my life sitting in my room reading!)… I still don’t like crowds, but I can deal with them as long as I know there’s a definite “I really have to leave now” time!. I can go to the beach or the state fair or a movie, and actually have a better time going alone, I can blend in, do my thing, leave when I’m ready… One thing about getting older, you sort of turn invisible. If I’m at a meeting or wedding reception or whatever, filled with strangers, I can exchange a few polite words with someone at my table and sit there quietly in my own little world without worrying how I look, how I sound, how I’m coming across. Chill! If someone wants to talk to me, I manage to talk back. If not, well, I’m that harmless, quiet woman taking up space over there, no big deal.

I don’t like being in situations where I’ll be around a large number of strangers because it just always seems so damn awkward, being thrown into a place with a bunch of people you don’t know, forced to make pointless conversation just to avoid the even-more-awkward silence. I probably actively avoid large group situations with strangers by just declining the invitation or making up excuses. I wouldn’t mind the large group if I knew a large majority of the people already, but a large group of strangers? No thanks.

Other than, I probably lack the drive to do so too. I often find I’m the one invited to get-togethers or parties, not actively seeking them out or organizing social events.

Oh, and I hate crowds too! Not just because of the mild anti-socialness, but the noise, the inconvenience, the waiting for everything… Ugh. It’s why I always like eating lunch and dinner at irregular times and activities like watching movies or grocery shopping on weekdays if possible.

Avoid avoid avoid. I get extremely tired if I have to be in a large/social situation for very long; when I’m forced to be in one, I generally try to find a corner with a couple other people and shut out the rest of it.

I don’t seek out crowds, but they don’t bother me. I need me time on occasion but being extremely social is fine, too. I’m comfortable meeting new people all the time.

I was not an introvert all my life but definitely have grown to be one. The thing is, I am not uncomfortable in crowds of people at all, and I am neither shy nor retiring. However…I’m very serious in crowds, think about everything 2-3 times before I state it, am exceptionally private, don’t have a particularly loud voice, and hate competing with people to try and say something. This doesn’t exactly make me a party animal!

In big groups always the louder and ruder people dominate the conversation. Not my interest.

The latter. I have a soft, deep voice. It doesn’t carry well unless I really concentrate on projecting, and I don’t take to yelling or care for talking over people. It’s something we should have learned from grade school. So in situations where there are lots of people, or loud music, it’s not as much fun trying to hold a conversation as it is with an intimate setting with a few friends. But I do like going to street fairs and festivals and parties, and don’t really have a problem with crowds or even public speaking – as long as I have a good microphone!

The latter, for me. I also have a soft voice, and trouble understanding conversation in loud situations, so that doesn’t help.

At some long, loud parties, I seem to get sensory overload after a while. My friends in my hometown will occasionally throw (like for Independence Day or similar holidays) parties that will run from lunchtime until pretty late at night, and eventually (usually by 10-11 pm or so) I just have to excuse myself because it’s just so exhausting dealing with it.

I always thought my husband was an extrovert. He admitted to me recently - probably it just never came up before - that in his family, introversion wasn’t an acceptable way to behave, and he learned quickly that’d he’d better not be like that or his life would be made miserable. So he forces himself to be sociable, and apparently it just kind of flows naturally from habit once he starts up.

I’m not bad at being sociable, just a bit shy with strangers, and with that trouble hearing/being heard in large crowds.

For me it’s a matter of energy. While I enjoy people I notice it takes more energy for me to be around a lot of them and it is during my alone times that I am able to replenish that. So, when my energy level is up I enjoy being part of a group and when it is down I prefer solitude.

This, however, is true. You can fake it till you make it - I’ve done it, do it, and it’s been a success.

I’ve learned to do it, but I prefer not to. Because I just don’t enjoy myself with big crowds. There are those times you gotta buck up and do it, but given the choice, I’d rather just stay home.

I find prolonged social interaction to be draining. I want to socialize, but prefer to do so in small groups and preferably for not too long at a time. Afterwards, I feel a need to decompress. Big crowds make me mentally flatten my ears, and the closest I’ve ever come in my life to a panic attack happened in an overcrowded grocery store.

And I’m the social butterfly of our household. Mr. Horseshoe could probably happily go the rest of his life only seeing/talking to me, and his parents.

I heard once that extroverts ‘recharge’ and get an energy high from being in a big group and partying on. They will actually get down and depressed if they can’t socialize often enough.

Introverts on the other hand, loose energy from being in a big group. If they desire to, they can and will force themselves to socialize in these settings but it is a draining experience. They recharge themselves by having time to themselves.

And then there is everyone else in between.

I don’t think I lack drive to socialize in large groups; I’m just not particularly interested in it. I will always prefer a smaller party to a larger one, and my energy is drained by socializing.

It’s a funny way to ask the question in the first place; no, I don’t have a lot of drive to do something I don’t really prefer doing. Does anyone? :slight_smile:

Social situations, especially large crowded events with a lot of people, suck every last bit of energy out of me, as opposed to energizing me. Extroverts are energized by socializing. Introverts are sapped by it.

I am very social and I love to go out; I’m outgoing and friendly and not the least bit shy. But I cannot do it every night and rarely go out two nights in a row. If I’ve attended some large event, I’ve probably been a social butterfly flitting about, but then I go home and lock myself in for two days to relish the down time.

I’m much happier with a small intimate gathering of only a handful of people I know really well, at someone’s house. That doesn’t take too much outta me. But a big party at a bar will take me off the social scene for a few days afterward.