How to Understand An Introvert Who Doesn’t Want to Go Out on the Weekend
It’s Friday. Tommy wants to go out because he feels socially obligated to. He goes out Friday night with his friends, draining the last bit of energy he had left to engage with people. On Saturday, he’s reluctant to go out because he’s “peopled out” but feels socially obligated because his friends guilted him into it.
So goes out with less energy than he had the night before and ends up mentally drained by the end of the night, hating nearly everyone. He’s grumpy and his friends starts to notice his abrupt quietness.
By Sunday, although he’s against the idea, he feels forced to spend time with his friends by going to brunch and socializing for the rest of the day. Once Monday arrives, Tommy has a “people hangover” because he never had the time to reset his mental energy.
That same Friday, Tommy’s friend Julie feels the same social obligation to go out with her friends because society has poured it into her head that everyone has to go out on Friday night. But rather than committing herself to society’s justification, she knows she doesn’t have to energy to party and spends Friday night learning how to cook a new recipe she thought about.
On Saturday, she wakes up early to exercise, reads her favorite book, draws a picture and takes a long walk at a park while contemplating her thoughts. Her friends ask if she wants to go out that night, but Julie knows she isn’t ready for people yet and continues spending the rest of her day window shopping online and cuddling with her dog.
By Sunday, she spends it watching Netflix and enjoying the quietness of her home. When Monday arrives, she’s ready for another week of work fully prepared as she notices her friend, Tommy, in a depressed quiet state.
Out of the two individuals, one had clear expectations and an understanding of what would make them happy that weekend. One of them did not.
Socializing can be a really confusing experience for Introverts. Especially when they feel forced to do it. Loud parties and crazy bars do not appeal to them as the first place to visit in regards to relaxation. And one of the most times an Introvert feels forced to socialize is when the weekend arrives. They’re bombarded with questions like,
“What do you have planned this weekend?”
“Where are you traveling to?”
“What parties are you going to?”
Although our first thought is to say we plan to stay at home and relax, we know that isn’t an answer society easily approves. Oftentimes, you’ll see the disappointment in their face as if you ruined their expectation of you. Since childhood, we’re taught that the weekend is the time for adults to party and unleash yourself.
In a sense, weekends are the adult version of recess where they can do whatever they want before Monday arrives. So it may seem strange for the average person to hear that an introvert’s exciting plans consist of staying at home alone instead of going out to adventure and unleashing all their social energy.
But the problem people have isn’t that an Introvert wants to remain at home to relax. There’s no argument that spending your night at home is one of the best ways to reset your mentality. The problem they like to argue is that Introverts still choose to remain at home after doing so for Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. Why spend Friday and Saturday at home when you can use it to party instead?
As an introvert, I can understand that after people are “forced” to remain in the house throughout the week, they consider the weekend as their time to shine. But for an Introvert, there’s usually a good chance we require a day or two of ignoring the rest of the world before our mental energy is restored.
While most people energy decrease because of their lack of socializing, Introverts mental energy decrease because of the amount of socializing they’re forced to conduct with coworkers and strangers. By Friday, their mentalities are usually depleted and they need a few days to recuperate before returning back to work or school.
Some of an introvert’s most pleasant and memorable experiences is when they were alone and didn’t have to deal with the rest of the world. They cherish the memory of their first trip to the museum or the interesting book they found in a library. They remember the first time they explored a new area they discovered.
A memory I cherish was when I accidentally discovered the Zoo while traveling San Diego. I spent five hours exploring the different sections of birds, mammals, and fishes. I imagined the funny scenarios I could wrap myself in if any of the animals had escaped. There was a lovely band group who I recorded playing one of my favorite songs. I loved taking a variety of silly pictures and snapchats of me next to the animals.
Although introverts do have plenty of happy memories with other people, they contain the same amount of pleasant experiences they spend alone. And yet there’s a weird guilt that haunt Introverts about the necessities of going out every Friday and Saturday.
Especially among introverts in their 20s and 30s. We get the urge that if we don’t go out, then we’re missing out on life and are labeled as the “lame” people no one wants to associate themselves with.
Even I get the weird urge to exaggerate my weekend whenever someone asks me what I did. Although I might label reading a new book or people watching as an exciting activity, I can already sense the disappointment from the other person’s face when I reveal my world to them. It doesn’t help when you hear your work colleagues or friends sharing their own stories of singing at a karaoke bar or visiting a sports game.
But as an Introvert, despite how tempted it is to drop your plans to spend your weekend alone and awkwardly spend time with a crowd of people draining your energy, remember that it’s not necessary.
You might feel ashamed of yourself for neglecting your friends in exchange for a private session with yourself or with one other person, but understand it’s crucial for your mental health.
Just because you’re an Introvert doesn’t mean you intentionally avoid excitement and adventure. It just means you need time to prepare yourself for such an environment. It means you need time to build up your social energy to be surrounded by a social atmosphere. Unless you have the necessary energy to share with a group of people that weekend, don’t push yourself into a war zone that causes you to regret it.
I can’t recall the amount of times I spent my weekend doing activities I had no interest in for the sole sake of “not being the lame one.” I’ve had plenty of Saturday nights where I sat in the club regretting the decision I made because my mentality wasn’t prepared to be in a busy environment.
There’s a weird notion in an Introvert’s mind about the way they’ll be judged by the rest of the world. An introvert can already be judged for being too sensitive, weird and quiet, and to avoid another label added to that list, they force themselves into awkward social situations. But the quiet moments that we spend at home are one of the best moments an introvert can have to themselves.
When the weekend arrives, not only is it a day used to restore an introvert’s energy they used get by the week, but they’re exploring the small ideas they had posted in their heads. They’re cuddling with their pets and binge watching a show on Hulu or Netflix. They’re reading that book that’s been sitting on their coffee table for days. They’re painting a picture that’s been building up in their mind for several days.
Remember, it’s not the precious moments we spend alone at home that can frighten an introvert. It’s when they’re labeled as something they’re not when they reveal to someone they like to remain at home for two days without speaking to anyone. If you have a little voice whispering in your head that you have to go out and torture your soul with awkward socializing, you’re endangering your health if you comply with it.
Yes, it’s healthy to socialize with other people. In fact, it’s highly necessary we do so. But only when it’s appropriate and you have the proper energy to disperse. Your body is a vehicle and when you’re low on fuel, you don’t push the gas pedal because a group of random people are cheering you on. That causes your car to run out of gas and you end up stranded in the middle of nowhere.
The more you empower yourself with the decision to commit to your plans because YOU WANT IT, the better you feel about those results. There’s going to be moments where you want to go out and party with your friends with no regrets. And there’s going to be moments where you want to isolate yourself from the rest of the world. Controlling your energy level is key because it gives you the time to debate whether you have the energy to go out or stay at home.
For more like these, check out: