It’s Friday night and you have two options: a night on the sofa with a glass of wine, your favourite movie and your comfiest sweatpants, OR reply to that text inviting you to head into town for the sesh.
(NB: ‘sesh’ is a word I haven’t nor ever will use seriously, don’t worry)
Don’t get me wrong, I love a drink as much as the next girl, particularly a good gin and tonic. Some of my best nights have been dancing until the early hours, or making my way down the cocktail menu in a bar until I can barely stand in my heels. However, I’m always an advocate for getting a few bottles in from Tesco, calling round some friends, and being able to have a proper laugh when we can actually hear each other.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I’m a twenty year old grandma. That means I also have no issue getting into a bubble bath with a good book and a glass of prosecco – in fact, I’ll go one step further and say I actually enjoy spending the occasional Friday night in with myself.
So when I’m really not in the mood to go out, taking off my sweatpants to squeeze into my jeans is already an unappealing idea. Add in the prospect of queuing to get into a sweaty club full of drunk strangers spilling their drinks on the floor and bumping into me, and I’m already considering retreating to my duvet.
My understanding of introversion, at least for the purpose of this post, is that feeling of being drained by social situations, even if you do have fun, and just needing to take the time out for yourself. Put that in the context of university, where the student lifestyle almost demands regular three-day benders. There is so much pressure to drink until you forget your name, then drink some more. If you don’t go out more than twice a week, it’s like there’s something wrong with you.
Fear not, my fellow introverts.
Whether it’s a birthday, work do or some other unavoidable night out, it is possible to have a good time rather than intensely staring at the clock until it’s an acceptable time to scarper. One of my biggest worries is that I’ll disappoint my friends or dampen the mood if I don’t seem to be having as much fun as them.
Think about where exactly you’re going. Pubs and bars are always so much more low-key than clubs. You can grab a drink, head to a table and it’s all very relaxed because there’s no pressure beyond having a catch up with your friends.
If the plan is to head to a club though, I like to suggest somewhere that plays the kind of music I’m into. Personally, house bores me to tears, whereas I love funk, soul or R’n’B. I’m lucky that in Newcastle there’s so much choice for different music tastes, and I’ve quickly found my favourite places to go to now. Ignoring the crowds of dancing drunk people is pretty easy when the playlist makes you want to join in with them.
Once you start looking, you’ll start to notice other introverts cropping up too. We’ll be in the toilets taking a minute to recollect, or at the bar ordering a drink just for something to hold. Although it goes against the nature of introversion, these are the people I like to get to know on a night out. No one else will understand how uncomfortable, shy or exhausted you feel.
Even simply acknowledging one another lets us know we’re not alone in the way we’re feeling. I don’t know about anyone but I’ve always presumed I’m just boring because sometimes I want to be by myself instead of surrounded by people. It’s okay though – some of us feed off being around others, and some of us have to recharge on our own before we’re back to our usual selves. Extroverts, please bear with us whilst we grab a cup of tea and some much-needed me-time.
Any other introverts out there? How do you cope on a night out?