This post was inspired by a post Inside Megan’s Mind, “Saying No to Going Out” Check out her post and her blog!
If you’re an introvert I’m sure you’ve been asked to go out somewhere when all you really want to do is have a relaxing night in. It’s a common occurrence for people deemed less “social” than the rest of society. But that’s okay. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to be alone. Here are a few tips to deal with that pushy friend who really thinks you should go out to the bar.
“No” is a Complete Sentence
Some people may find this hard to believe, but the word “No” is very much a complete sentence. Whenever you’re asked to do something or go somewhere you don’t want to go we all scramble for some sort of excuse to get out of it.
Oh, I’d love to go but:
- I have to wash my hair
- I have to feed my neighbor’s dog
- I’m not feeling well
- My psychic told me today is a bad day for me and I should stay home
Whatever reason you come up with, it really shouldn’t be necessary. Your reasons behind a decision are yours and yours alone. So you have no obligation to explain that to anyone.
Some people might get pushy after receiving an initial “NO”.
“Oh, c’mon, it’s just one night!”
Without going into the explanation of the needs of an introvert, they’re not going to understand why you want to stay home. They might be extroverts who don’t get alone time, or they think it’s going to be so much fun and don’t want you to miss out. More often than not they have good intentions, they just execute them in a different language.
Don’t Feel Guilty for Declining an Offer
If you’re anything like me, you’re going to feel guilty for denying going to a social gathering. Regardless of how valid your own reason actually is, you still feel bad for “letting down” the person who invited you.
There’s no reason to feel guilty. You can express that you are happy they thought of you when inviting people out but you will not be attending. That’s it.
Most people will be reasonable and be completely fine with that answer. So why get yourself so worked up over something that is harmless?
I have the issue of getting a severe case of FOMO, or fear of missing out. When I first stopped drinking it became a real dilemma for me because I had friends in an Irish band I would always go see and photograph. (Check them out here) But because at least 75% of where they played were bars, I didn’t feel comfortable putting myself in the way of temptation, so I stopped going.
It was hard at first. I felt guilty for getting all of these facebook invites to shows but wanting to keep my sobriety first. Over time I went three years without seeing them in a bar because I hadn’t been ready to step foot in one. After the first few months, I started feeling better about not going.
Enjoy your Alone Time
Of course you need to enjoy your alone time that you’re denying this hypothetical outing for. Don’t dwell on it if you had a really pushy co-worker who wanted you to go for drinks after work. You do what you want. If you start living life based on what other people want, you’re no longer your own person. You’re turning into something you’re not.
So curl up with that book, pull up Netflix for a binge, play video games, whatever it is. And enjoy it. Don’t let anyone ruin your recharge time. Including yourself.
Do you have any other suggestions on how to deal with peer pressure as an introvert? Let me know in the comments!