I’m an introvert who can fake being extroverted somewhat well for the sake of the person who invited me to said social gathering. I’ll go to your party, and I will make an attempt at small talk with people I don’t know and hate every minute of it. I’ll smile and be pleasant all the while wishing I was home in my pajamas doing anything else. After 45 minutes I’ll be completely mentally exhausted and drained by all the activity and human interaction. If you have a dog I’ll go sit by it. If you have a small child I will sit on the floor and play with it. I’ll step outside often for “fresh air”, and I will try to resist the urge to find a dark corner to sit in until it’s a socially acceptable time for me to leave.
The only time I am truly comfortable at a party is when I know every single person there, and they know me fairly well. Then, I actually enjoy myself. Smaller groups of people are always better. BUT…I have found that as I have grown older, the social anxiety I feel before an event is now much less than when I was younger. I attribute this to becoming less worried about what people think about me, because over the years I found that as human beings go I’m a pretty decent and likable person, and I no longer consider anyone to be my superior. I admire great talent, I admire intelligence, but I’m no longer intimidated by it. Wealth does not impress me. Decent and interesting people do impress me. I avoid people who want to talk politics and religion, because that just isn’t my thing. I also no longer feel obligated to stay in a place where I’m completely uncomfortable. I don’t need an excuse. If I don’t like it I leave. Age is empowering.
I’m intelligent, a quick learner, and I have a natural talent for many things, but because I’m an introvert I spent many years working at home as a (self-taught) medical transcriptionist. It was as close to being my own boss as I could get at the time. I know I could’ve had a career where I would have been promoted to the top quickly, done very well for myself, and made a lot of money if not for my social anxiety and general hatred of office politics. I have a hard time working under people who are less knowledgable and worse at their job than I would be at their job. In the distant past I’ve worked in offices and hospitals, and I’ve worked with the public, and I found that I’m happiest when I am in charge, or working alone. These days I’ve retired from medical transcription, and I make somewhat of a living out of my hobby of making coin rings and jewelry. I have my own cozy cabin workshop, work at my own pace, and nobody tells me what to do…pretty much perfect, except for the “almost” making a living part, but I’m working on that.