What do two introverts talk about at a Christmas party?
After an hour at last night’s party, my husband had asked me if it would okay to leave yet. I told him that we had to stay a minimum of 1.5 hours to be polite.
Moments later, a fellow introvert told me she had just had the same conversation with her husband. She, too, had set their departure at the one and half hour mark. Then she asked, “What reason will you give for leaving early?”
I told her that my daughter doesn’t like to go to sleep when she’s alone in the house, so we need to be home before nine. It’s conveniently true, so it’s an excellent excuse.
I asked what she’d prepared. She said her son was flying in the next morning, and that she would say she still needed to get a bedroom ready for him.
She agreed that it was not as good a story as mine. Then we asked ourselves, why do we feel like we need an exit strategy? Why don’t we feel that it’s enough to say our thank yous and good byes without explanation? Do people really expect one?
Both introverts, we both felt slightly overwhelmed at the crowded party, even as we enjoyed our own conversation. I’d honestly enjoyed all the conversations I’d had, but I was tired before I left the house, and being in a crowded, noisy room was just increasing my fatigue.
A half hour later, our husbands, who had been tracking the time until departure, came over to let us know that the hour had come. I said thank you and goodbye to the hostess, who immediately responded, “Oh, you’re leaving so early? I didn’t even get a chance to talk to you!” So I gave my prepared excuse, to which she said, “Oh, yeah, I understand. That would be hard. I’m glad you could come!”
Yes, I need exit strategies.
What about you? Are you the life of the party, or do you plan for your exit before leaving home?