It’s no secret that introverts tend to avoid large social events. On a Saturday night, you’re more likely to find us hanging out with just one or two close friends or relaxing at home. But why? Are introverts antisocial recluses? Do we dislike people? Not at all!
One reason introverts avoid large gatherings like holiday parties or after-work happy hours is these events require a lot of multitasking — and introverts prefer to focus on just one thing at a time. Susan Cain, author of Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, explains:
Consider that the simplest social interactions between two people requires performing an astonishing array of tasks: interpreting what the other person is saying; reading body language and facial expressions; smoothly taking turns talking and listening; responding to what the other person said; assessing whether you’re being understood; determining whether you’re well received, and, if not, figuring out how to improve or remove yourself from the situation. Think of what it takes to juggle all this at once! And that’s just a one-to-one conversation. Now imagine the multitasking required in a group setting like a dinner party.
Add to that the fact that some introverts are also highly sensitive or have social anxiety, and parties can be a recipe for exhaustion and overstimulation. No wonder many introverts prefer to stay home.
Are you an introvert? What’s your personality type? We recommend this free, quick test from our partner Personality Hacker.
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