You’ll always find me in the kitchen at parties

Party etiquette

Photo by Eugen Buzuk on

Parties are difficult. You will always find me on the edge of things. First there’s the introvert/extrovert question. The extroverts wanting to he the heart of the party, the introverts having a quiet chat in the corner. Which is fine until the extrovert abuse happens. When an extrovert starts egging the introverts on. “Why are they not getting up and dancing like us?” Because they are not like you, they are enjoying themselves and would not be enjoying themselves if they were presenting as extrovert. Pressure to be like other people, either way, causes unnecessary pressure.

I am ahead of myself here. Extrovert and introvert are categories from the work of the psychologist Jung, and people are not necessarily one or the other, but there’s a whole range between the two extremes, and people are able, to various degrees outside of type. It isn’t that extroverts are loud and introverts are quiet either, there are quiet extroverts and loud introverts, but about where your motivation comes from. Extroverts get their energy from being with other people, introverts get theirs internally from their own thoughts and ideas.

But beside the introvert/extrovert question there is one that, for me, is more important, I am autistic, I cannot focus out the background noise. It is not the volume of the noise, I am fine with concerts where music is loud, but everyone is concentrating on one thing. At a party there are lots of different conversations going on, I cannot focus them out, in consequence I am listening to three conversations, the one I am trying to be in and the two closest to me. Somehow I manage, but it is very tiring. If I can I have conversations in the corridor or kitchen I find it easier. I am not anti party, I love them, but I also need to take time out afterwards to recover. You may think that the restrictions due to the current pandemic would help me, but I am missing being with people. I enjoy being with people.

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