What? You’re leaving? Already, so soon? Why, what’s wrong? It’s only 10 o’clock!
OK, so I push myself and go out to socialize. Parties where I don’t know anyone are the worst, but in general parties are tiring. I wrote about the social wedgie phenomenon. I can look around the room and spot all the other people who are also uncomfortable. They are usually studying their drink intently. At every table there is always at least one really outgoing extrovert who is determined to have our attention. That’s good. Talk away, no pressure for me! Sometimes that jolly extrovert takes a turn and decides that everybody has to enjoy the party as much as they are, and they start dragging people up on the dance floor against their will. Some people will not take no for an answer! (When I used to drink, sometimes I transformed from introvert into pushy socializer. Sorry to the nice quiet people I harassed).
Taking leave of a party, or other social event, is always the hardest part. It is so hard. I start to worry about this an hour before the time I want to leave. It is so much easier to sneak out, but apparently that is frowned upon. Suddenly, people who showed no interest in me at all during the party, are outraged that somebody is leaving and they must know the reason why. Hint: No reason you give will be considered valid.
Last time this happened, after we made our escape to the car, I started brainstorming “reasons” that will get people to stop asking and politely say, “Good night.” So far, I’ve come up with these ideas:
- It’s personal. (Based on an episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm, so thanks to Larry David). Hopefully nobody asks further questions, that would be rude!
- I have a court-mandated curfew. (Again, this should shut down the questions. This is my favourite line so far).
- I am going to a better party. I know, this one is rude and also a lie, but it amuses me anyway.
- I have to get home to my daughter. She is 18, so not too many people will buy it.
- Gotta get home to the dogs. This one is true. People who don’t have pets don’t understand this reason and think it is a lame excuse, but they haven’t come home to some of the surprises pet owners have found.
I think it should be enough to just say, “We’re leaving now. Thank you so much for everything. Hope to see you again soon.” I’ve tried this, there is a 50/50 chance of getting out the door guilt-free.
It is good to get out and see people, do things, socialize and connect. Let’s try accept that some people are more introverted and need to leave earlier. It is not an insult, but a way of respecting your own personal limits. I do appreciate the invitations, hospitality and warmth of friends and family. I would be a recluse without them.
What kind of exit lines work for people? I was joking with some of mine, but I would like some ideas!