It’s funny. For years I’ve been talking about the difference between mentally/logically knowing something and understanding it emotionally. It’s an easy and hard concept to get, and even though I talk about it all the time, I still don’t realize the difference when I see it in myself sometimes.
It’s no secret that I’m an introvert. And introverts must be sexy this year, I’ve seen tons of shared articles on FB in the last six months, talking about the main difference between extroverts and introverts being how they recharge and what causes them to expend energy. By now everyone should know that introverts recharge by being alone. I know I’ve read it enough. I definitely logically understand it, and I’ve quoted that to people to explain myself to them.
Apparently the emotional understanding was a different story. I was out at a rehearsal dinner last night for some acquaintances who are getting married on Saturday. I was a +1 and the person who invited me likes to stay at parties and the like til the very, very end. I didn’t know many people there so there was lots of small talk, struggling to find common interests to talk about. The effort of coming out of my shell, acting like an extrovert for a couple of hours. Charming, witty, easy to get to know and relate to.
Towards the end of the evening I started to yawn uncontrollably and get cranky. I wanted to go home NOW. I couldn’t understand why my date for the evening couldn’t just interrupt the mother of the groom to thank her for paying for dinner, wave a goodbye to the bride and why we couldn’t get the hell out of there. I didn’t want to embarrass her so I managed to bite my tongue. Barely.
It wasn’t til I was driving home that it dawned on me. Once I got out of there and had been alone in my jeep for ten or fifteen minutes, listening to my music and my volume I started to perk up. DUH! The effort of being “ON” for a couple of hours had gotten to me, worn me out. And like a baby in need of nap I’d gotten cranky.
There’ve been times when I’ve been in a serious relationship with someone for awhile and the honeymoon phase is over that I’ve gotten seriously stressed out about upcoming social events with them. And I get it now. Again. DUH! Even if I can be positive about it, that it’s going to be a fun event or experience it’s still going to be draining. But if that appeal isn’t there, if it feels like an obligation instead of something I want to do of course it’s going to be worse. And knowing what’s coming up for hours or days at a time it just builds up and my overactive imagination makes it worse and blows it out of proportion. So of course I’ve had this stress that I haven’t always identified the source of and I haven’t always dealt with it well.
Ugh. Seriously? It took this long to figure that out? And sometimes I knew it and identified it and fessed up to it. But sometimes I didn’t. Not emotionally. And me, being me, of course I never thought about it or discussed it. Not sure why last night was such a light bulb moment. Hopefully by taking the time to write it all out it’ll stick in my head and I can respond better in the future. Cajole myself out of it when the even is coming up. Apologize for it or prep people for it when necessary. But not be a jerk overall.