I’ve stated before that I’m an Introvert. And while this doesn’t mean I don’t like being around people, I seem to have comfort zones, such as one-on-one tete-a-tetes up to a dozen people for a raucous, yet friendly dinner gathering. Large crowds I find are easy to handle because they are large groups of people who don’t know me and essentially leave me unnoticed. All that said, I found myself at the company Christmas party yesterday.
It took place at the office where I couldn’t shut off the thoughts of all the work that was piling up for me to take care of. There were also smaller events within the day as a whole that held no interest for me and that I was continually being asked to participate in. And then, there was the song and dance number that I wasn’t asked to be part of – no, I was handed lyrics one day and told to wear a certain outfit and there would be practices and choreography.
I was utterly stressed out. Told to perform under duress? Badgered into “joining” group activities that held absolutely no interest for me? By the end of the days events I felt positively twitchy being around 25 people who were loud and kept trying to force my participation in things. I even caught myself subtly beginning to rock back and forth in my chair (farthest away from everyone, hoping to remain unnoticed) which as soon as I noticed what I was doing, I forced myself to stop.
I finally got back to work in the late afternoon, where I could focus on tasks and come down off of my stress horse. It worked for a while, but when I finally got into the car and I couldn’t even turn on NPR for the right home because it was “too much” and I felt tears welling up in my eyes and just felt exhausted, I knew I was entirely overstimulated and stressed out. That morning I had even had a brief episode of my heart racing, which hasn’t happened for a very long time and I even had to take a Lorazepam to sleep last night.
No, folks…. forcing someone like me to participate in something I don’t want to do usually just leads to tears and frustration for all involved. I got home and knew that the first thing I needed to do what to get in a work out. I then put myself into the Cone of Silence, not speaking unless I had to (Mr. Muse was warned about my sour mood and overstimulation when he got in the car for the ride home).
Thankfully, I have some days off, today, Monday and Tuesday and I will be enjoying them be relaxing and keeping off of the stress horse. I kick off my weekend of relaxation with an afternoon of wine, philosophizing and munchies with Tall, Dark & Swedish in Downtown Madison for people watch along with the wine and food.
That sounds like a good way to start my weekend.
Do you consider yourself an Introvert or an Extrovert?
Are you overstimulated by large groups? Have you found your limits?
How do you de-stress when you’re completely overstimulated?