I [Don’t] Like to Party


by Don Smith

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I've never liked big crowds or parties.  At a few points in my life, this was a major source of conflict for me.  I can remember thinking what's wrong with me that I don't WANT to go get drunk and hang out at the club?

WHAT'S WRONG WITH ME THAT I DON'T LIKE TO PARTY???

That's what a guy is supposed to want to do, go hang out and party with his buddies, right?

Not me.

I dated a girl for a while who was into that sort of thing.  It was fun…

For about 30 minutes.

She was a great lady, so I tried to make it work, but about 2 weeks into the relationship I practically had a mental breakdown.  I had to tell her sorry, this just isn't me, we're a little too different.

This is a party I might get into, but I'll pass on the nightclub.

It took a while, but after reading more and more about introverts and seeing Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking hit the #1 best-seller spot on Amazon, I realized I wasn't alone.  Far from it!

As a matter of fact, more than half of the people surveyed in the MBTI Manual indicated that they were introverts!

The answer is in the MBTI Manual that came out with Form M. A National Representative Sample was done in conjunction with the development of Form M, and it is the standard that we go by now. It was the first (and only so far) stratified random sample done. Here are the E(xtroverted) I(ntroverted) breakdowns:

Total E 49.3%, I 50.7%

A lot of people would much prefer to sit at home with a good book or watch a movie with their significant other than go out to a hot sweaty bar and attempt to scream over loud music to make conversation with random strangers.  My wife and I are both that way, so we fit well together.

It's not that I hate people, I actually like the vast majority of people I meet! I'd probably describe myself as an extroverted introvert. I really enjoy having a few friends over to play cards and having interesting discussions from time to time in small groups. I just don't like crowds and loud places where it is impossible to have meaningful conversations. And you know what? I'm OK with it.

I thought you might be in the same situation and need to hear this today.

Here's what I've learned over the last 4 decades.

If you want to be happy, be yourself.

If you enjoy partying, then go party (responsibly that is).

If you enjoy playing sports, then go find a team to join, or start one.

If you like reading books, read a book.

If you enjoy hiking, camping, fishing, going to the mall, dancing in your underwear (hopefully at home), whatever, then do it!

Do what you enjoy doing!

If you'd like to have some more friends but never get invited anywhere, read the article “Why don't I get invited to more things?

But don't feel like you always need to go out just because it seems like the thing you're supposed to want to do.

Don't try to be anyone else. Be you.

About the Author 

Don Smith

Happily married with five kids, Smith owns a technology company, has served on the board of directors for multiple companies, and loves playing soccer, hiking, and mentoring.

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