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An Introvert Said Yes To Every Social Event For A Month To See What Happened

I drank a lot of wine tbh.

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Hi, I’m Tahlia and I’m a sometimes awkward, always shy introvert. Here's a selection of photos of me having fun at different places.

My introversion is mainly well-hidden, but it still lurks in the shadows. I’ve definitely detoured down another grocery aisle to avoid a friend of a friend. I’ve made up headaches to avoid going to that thing I agreed to. I’m not always terribly socially awkward – if I vaguely know a person at a party, I can do the whole small-talk thing. But would I be at the party if I didn’t have at least two to three close friends there? Definitely not.

So that brings me here and to my month of saying yes. While I catch up with friends often enough, sometimes the "maybe another day" attitude hits me and I'll postpone or ditch things for no good reason at all. “What if I had something in place to force myself to not ditch it?” I wondered. Well, here we go.

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I didn’t start off great. I had a catch-up with a friend scheduled for the Friday after work and I was actually searching for excuses to back out at approximately 9:15am. I was tired, I had just paid rent, it was another seven days until payday... The list goes on. Not only that, but I had organised brunch for the next morning, so the back-to-back social activity was stressing me out.

After giving myself a stern talking-to, I made it to the drinks, had a great old catch-up, and basically berated myself for not doing it sooner. Honestly, like they say about the gym, getting there is the hardest part, then as long as you lubricate yourself, everything is fine. I assume, anyway, I don't go to the gym.

After a strong start, I was ready for whatever else the weekend had coming my way. Then, almost ironically, the weekend threw nothing else at me. NOTHING. It seemed like all my friends actually had other plans, which is probably what I deserve for being a "no" person.

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Week two was a new test, where I attended a gathering filled with people I hadn’t seen for a very long time, so I went into it feeling a little socially nervous.

One thing I do not excel at is small talk. The generic “What have you been up to? Where are you working now?” fills in about 10 minutes, then you’re stuck in a contemplative silence, trying desperately not to down your wine too fast.

“Are you seeing anyone?” one old friend asked. My boyfriend and I have been together for two and half years, and 90% of the people at the party didn’t even know I had a boyfriend. I had truly lost touch with people who I used to be close with years ago, and that realisation was really quite startling.

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Week three introduced my first midweek catch-up, which basically involved two of my close friends and I smashing too many Tuesday wines, resulting in a rough Wednesday morning.

These shenanigans made me lazy for the weekend. I was heading home to see my family, so had already committed to a bunch of social things. I knocked over the lunches and dinners with family members pretty easily, because basically they don't care if I go silent for long periods of time. However, the Saturday night out with friends was a little more of a test.

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Here’s some context about how much I like going out in my hometown: I don’t. It was fun at 18, but at 26 it feels awkward, and being stuck on a dancefloor with sweaty teens who've inhaled too many goon sunrises is not a good time. After catching up with my mates, I pulled my 90-minute minimum rule – I had truly outstayed that, and it was time to get home and get my sanity (and energy) back.

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Week four was by far the most challenging week because it was a long weekend, which brought forward a plethora of activities.

That's how I found myself sitting on a sports oval on Saturday, in the burning hot sun, watching an AFL game. It was maybe the longest three hours of my life. As a non-AFL fan, to put it politely I was bored out of my goddamn brain. I even made homemade treats to take along, and I had eaten them all before the first quarter even finished.

Sunday was a blur of brunch, shopping (ugh), and another pub visit, followed by the NRL grand final. Don't let this weekend fool you, I am not a sporty person. However, my sister and I obtained free tickets, and the only word in my vocabulary right now is "yes".

We ended up having a lot of fun as fake supporters, ending my month of "yes" on a high note. Plus the next day was a public holiday, so I had time to recuperate before having to face people again. Because to be honest, four weekends of social activity had left me a little drained.

One of my biggest revelations throughout the four weeks was looking outside my introversion. Catching up with old friends, while it may be awkward at first, reminded me how important it is to keep in touch with people I genuinely like. A few friends opened up to me about problems they were having, and it made me realise that sometimes my own introversion, or lack of wanting to socialise, was actually holding me back from being a better friend. I came out of each social activity actually happy that I had gone.

It was also interesting to note that my main issue generally revolved around making it to the event. Most of the time saying "yes" is easy enough, but making the effort to then go is a lot harder. However, when you do push yourself to catch up with old friends, it's almost always worth it. And at the end of the day, if push comes to shove, I now know I can sit through an AFL grand final and survive it!

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