I Can Show Myself Out

I’m really not anti-social.

It’s just that I’m pro-doing things by myself.


While I enjoy people to a certain extent, it’s simply that I enjoy them in small doses and preferably online where I can pick and choose my level of social interaction—and simply click away when they feel the need to tell the world their daily diet or post pictures of their feet.

But when I’m forced into a (seemingly fun) social situation such as a holiday party or drinks with friends, I can openly admit that I’m more charismatic and enjoyable than one may expect. It’s like a social spark is lit, and if encouraged I can shamelessly own the room until I leave.

There’s the catch—the exit.

You see, I never know how to properly leave a social situation, but I always want to go—quickly. There is about a maximum two hour window, at which point I’m like Cinderella running down the stairs towards her pumpkin carriage before the stroke of midnight.*

*Just sub in a pair of running shoes and a Chevy Equinox for the glass slipper and carriage. But when it comes to the cleaning and talking to small animals, me and Cindy are practically twins.

I don’t know how to tell people that I only want to stay for an hour or so, as I don’t think “most people” would understand. “Most people” look forward to going out for hours and socializing, whereas I tend to get a little too excited when I am relieved of any social obligation that might leave me held against my will for an undisclosed amount of time.

So I make excuses both as to why I’m not going or why I have to leave, simply because I think it’s easier than going and saying, “This hour has been fun, but now I would like to go home, wash off this coat of mascara, turn on the game and crash on the couch. I can show myself out.”

That just seems rude.

If it’s a large event with tons of people, I can usually say a polite goodbye to the host and slip out unnoticed at a time of my choice. If it’s a small event though, I have to plan my escape accordingly and have a contingency plan securely in place.

But it doesn’t even have to be an event. It can just be a normal visit to a friend or my grandma that requires some sort of half-truth about how I have laundry in the dryer or that I have to go to the store, simply because I always feel the need to bail at some point 10 minutes short of a socially acceptable amount of time.

In my defense, I do go to the store a lot, so that is a plausible reason.

While I know that making an appearance is often good enough—and I do usually enjoy myself for that hour or so—the stress of the exit execution often drives me to write posts about the stress of the exit execution.

See how exhausting this is?

I just thought you should know that if you ever invite me anywhere, you have about an hour of quality time before I’ll start looking like a claustrophobic cat. Depending on your tolerance for socializing with me, an hour might be just the right amount of time.

Anyway…well, this is a bit awkward.

I’ll just say this post has been fun, but now I would like to go home, wash off this coat of mascara, turn on the game and crash on the couch.

I can show myself out.

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30 responses to “I Can Show Myself Out

  1. After Halloween sales, packets of blood 90% off. You can fake a nosebleed at any time. It’s perfect. You have to leave, yet it isn’t a medical emergency that will follow you for days.

  2. Hmmm as someone who once did post a picture of my feet perhaps you have left me before. I do totaly understand the time limit, however i personaly just panic and wave as im driveing away. So kudos to you for your strategy.

  3. I thought I was the only one.

  4. I am notorious for the quick, sneaky exit out the door.

  5. I had this majorly at my wedding. I like to socialise so long as it’s on my own terms, and sadly the bride can’t just duck out! I tried, but got found in my hiding place and forced into more socialising. I’m so bad at the sneaky exit too – I’m normally caught for way longer than I’d like. I just don’t have five hours of small talk!

  6. Are you my twin sister? We may have been separated at birth. :0)

  7. You just described me exactly in this post!

  8. I find the company of king sized Kit Kat bars and sweatpants are quite the comfort after a long awaited escape from the extroverts.

  9. I am sure that all the introverts reading your blog understand exactly what you are saying. I think saying goodbye is overrated. You can call the next day and say that you didn’t want to interrupt what looked like a great conversation between the host and her guests.

    As far as socializing in general, groups of more than 8 aren’t conducive to interesting conversation and should be avoided if at all possible! 😉

    At least you put on mascara.

  10. My idea of a fun time socializing with someone is sitting at opposite ends of the couch, ignoring each other while we watch TV, so if you’d like to hang out and socialize sometime you might find some comfort in that.

  11. “There is about a maximum two hour window, at which point I’m like Cinderella running down the stairs towards her pumpkin carriage before the stroke of midnight.” When my roommate and I get invited places she says, “Suzanne will want to come, but she has like a two hour hang out max, so she’ll probably leave early.” You are not alone, is what I’m saying.

  12. I call it a certain impatience, Abby. After about an hour, if there’s no other happening to keep my interest, I start to get the “itch” to leave. Looking for a good “opening” to give excuses to leave can be anxiety-producing.

  13. I am standing up saying “Amen, Sista!” as I’m typing this. Well, not really because I’m…well, typing…but I feel ya. I am so socially awkward. I’m not shy but I’m not a social butterfly (omigosh that rhymed and sounded so dumb) and I never know what to do with my hands. I like meeting people and getting out and about but when I feel my work is done, I just want to be on my couch in my sweats watching Survivor.

  14. I’m right there with you Abby. First of all, why do people post pictures of their feet? I hate it. I’m not a foot fan. Second, hell to the yes – I never know how to smoothly extricate myself from social situations. I’m always the one that keeps the conversation going too long because I can’t end it. I can’t do it while messaging either. And another thing…wait, should I just end it here?
    I should probably end it here. Okay then, it’s been great…bye…see ya later…

  15. A couple weeks ago I was supposed to catch up with a friend I hadn’t seen in almost a year. Except it was on a Wednesday night. I dreaded it for weeks and thankfully she became ill enough to cancel. Thank goodness.

  16. You just described me perfectly. There are nights I would much rather enjoy a glass of wine by myself on the couch with a book or Netflix and I would love every minute of it.

  17. I agree so hard with those opening sentences. I crave time alone. Now that I’m older I find that I do enjoy small gatherings with friends. No more parties for me, thankfully. They were nightmares. I’d always be standing by the bookcase and hoping the hosts were well read so I could have something to occupy my time.

  18. Thanks for sharing. I can completely relate with this. It’s good to know that cool people experience this feeling too.

  19. I can not tell you how bad I wish there were photo comments so that I could post a bunch of pictures of my feet on here. You are SO. LUCKY. 😉

  20. I am right behind you as you slip out, and after an hour, I sort of wish everyone would leave MY house (in the event that I’ve been rash enough to invite people). So people like you are the only kinds of people I want to invite over.

  21. I honestly don’t understand how/why anyone enjoys a party. I guess people must, though, since they keep happening. I have the obnoxious habit of either cornering one person I already know and like, or meeting one interesting person and then monopolizing them for as long as I can. I hate mingling with a passion. It feels like someone is pointing a remote at my head and changing the channel every few minutes. My face gets tired from maintaining a fake smile for so long, and my mind swims in panic because I invariably lose the thread of the conversation and know that a response that makes sense will expected soon.

    It’s way easier in these situations when you’re married and have kids because there are so many more reasons you easily can come up with for why you must leave early or can’t attend in the first place. Also, if your family is as introverted and judgmental as you are, you can begin rehashing the evening and imitating or trashing your hosts and the other guests as soon as you hit the car. I don’t know why anyone would invite me to anything…I must seem way nicer than I am.

  22. I can relate. I was at a party this weekend with my husband’s engineer friends from work. I kept waving my freaking hands all over the place and hitting stuff(walls, people) because evidently engineers don’t need the same amount of space to express themselves that us artsy folks do. Then, when I’d had enough I tried to tell the host we’d enjoyed ourselves and thank you (yada yada) and it came out sounding all sad and insincere. I am only working part time this year and someone asked me if I was bored at home all alone. I said, “Hell, no!” I love people, but in small doses.

  23. It’s like you crawled into my brain….

  24. You are not alone, I promise. My sister has this Halloween party every year that I have to attend. I have to attend it because it is in my house. There’s no going home when the party is in your house and you’re supposed to run the games.

  25. at least you go. i usually get stuck in a corner listening to someone i don’t want to talk to explain the value of quinoa or some shit like that while i mentally dream of an elastic waistband and a remote control. my god.

  26. This made me smile because there is someone else I know who is very like this. She can spend a good portion of the afternoon getting ready for some event, and if a friend is over and doing the same, even better, but as soon as she arrives at said event, all she wants to do is leave. It has led to more than one humorous situation

  27. I hear ya. I’d almost always rather ‘stay’ than ‘go’, although once I’m in a social situation, I babble like a monkey and possibly suck all the air out of the room. But yeah…I’m good for about that hour, then I’m so DONE.

  28. Ugh this is totally me. I overthink it too and end up thinking for a good 1-2 hours “oh god I gotta leave how am I going to get out of here” and I kind of shut down. I gotta say though, there’s no better feeling that cuddling up at home after socializing.

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