I Hate Parties!

BirthdaypartyOkay, I don’t really hate parties. Let’s say, rather (introducing a different idea), that I have a love-hate relationship with them. You know how that works, don’t you? When you have a love-hate relationship with someone or something, sometimes you really like or love them, and sometimes you don’t, you dislike them or even hate them.

That’s the way I am with parties.

Now, before you think I’m just not a people person (someone who likes people), let me tell you about me and people. I’m usually very sociable; I enjoy meeting and being with other people. Just ask my wife. When we visited the state of Maine on our vacation last fall, she spent a lot of time wandering (walking slowly without a purpose) down the street alone while I stopped to talk to an artist about his unusual primitive (simple) style. To a gallery owner about the local artist whose paintings look a lot like Joseph M.W. Turner’s (a British Impressionist painter). To a shop owner about the cool, creative way she displayed (showed) the clothes she was selling. And to a local photographer about photographing Maine’s Atlantic coast (where the land meets the ocean). My family thinks I can, and often do, talk to anyone.

It’s not that I’m afraid of crowds (larger groups of people), either. All my life I’ve taught, performed, or spoken to groups of people – sometimes a few, often several hundred, once at least several thousand. No problem.

So what is it about me and parties?

I found the answer to this question a long time ago. But before I tell you what I learned, I want you to notice two things about what I wrote above: both situations I described involve me and one other person or me in front of many people. Parties are different. At a party it’s me among many people, moving around, making small talk (casual conversation) with different people, and so on. And that’s where the problem lies (exists).

Years ago, one of my friends told me about David Keirsey and his book Please Understand Me. Keirsey is a highly respected psychologist. His personality inventory (a test to help you understand the kind of person you are), called the Keirsey Temperament Sorter, has helped many thousands of people better understand themselves.

I found the answer to the question about me and parties in Keirsey’s chapter about extroverts and introverts. According to Keirsey, people who are extroverts need to be sociable. People turn them on, charge their batteries (energize them), and they’re often lonely when they’re not around people, even for a short time.

Introverts – yes, that’s me – may leave the party early, according to Keirsey, “not because they’re party poopers (people who spoil other people’s fun), but because they’re pooped (made tired) by the party.” Introverts may actually feel lonely when they’re in a crowd. Working or reading alone or being with a few select (carefully chosen) people is what energizes the introvert. And that should give you a clue where to find me at a party – in a quiet corner talking at length (for a long time) with one or two select people.

Research tells us that we’re all part extrovert and part introvert but that we’re more comfortable with one than the other. About 75% of Americans describe themselves as extroverts, 25% as introverts. Western culture, as you may know, seems to favor extroverts – people who are outgoing (like to meet and talk to other people) and sociable.

Which are you? And where will I find you at the party?

~ Warren Ediger – English tutor/coach and creator of Successful English, where you’ll find clear explanations and practical suggestions for better English.

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia Commons.



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18 Responses to I Hate Parties!

  1. A+M says:

    Dear Dr.Jeff
    Although i don’t really hate, i like party that any thing is its place specially people behavior.

    Thank U again
    A+M from Iran

  2. javad says:

    Hi There

    Parties are good, why should I don’t like it? as you said those points about parties up there, Parties are opportunities to communicate our feeling ,ideas, opinions and etc…
    Put the point is, what kind of parties are good and what are not, is a simple question which is up to us. We’ll find the answer right inside of ourselves …. 😉

    With the best regard

    Javad khosravi

    Iran-Bandar e Abbas

  3. Peter says:

    My dear professor Warren,
    Good question! A tricky one but good one.
    Well, it all depends the state of mind.
    I mean it predicated on the feeling you have at the moment.
    Sometimes you are totally in the mood for a me-time
    Sometimes ,instead, all you wanna do Is to mingle and mix with a crowd.

    Well, I agree that some people tend to get involved with others and some more incline to keep distance. Some invite people in , and some wall them off.
    Nevertheless , the general tendency is skewed at closeness with others
    even the most anti-social people yearn for being around other people from time to time.
    You know why?
    Well,The answer is simple
    By nature , We like to live in group among our kind. We are programmed that way. We are more prone to follow the norm than to go against.
    Of course, There are some individuals out there who split off ,another words,move away to live a solitary life,no argue there.
    But . it is not the general trend. it is not the typical behavior of the mass of the people. The mass of the people actively seek social life that may take a variety of forms , but have one thing in common : They all start with people and end with people.


  4. parviz says:

    Dear warn,
    Thank you very much for the informative and scientific article.
    I hadn’t even given enough thought of that as to which personality I posses until now. It’s interesting to see that I seem to be, as the same with you, an introverts. I feel relaxed communicating and talking to an elite people in my life. Not to say I have business relationship with them, we sometimes come together to chat and kill some time. Even between my selected group, I declined to one or two people who are at the same vibration with me.
    I am not much a party-goer. like you I have mix feelings about party, though I am very talkative with my friends and students (when I am in class). private space is something that I always respect for myself and others.

    that make me to ask About your BLOOD type. Mines is +AB. Does blood type have anything to do with this shared enthusiasm?

    Thank you

  5. Dan says:

    Hello Warren, Hi guys.

    Thanks for the post.

    As it often happens I find myself confessing that I do not do this, I do not do that.

    I am feeling little bit embarrassed for the simple fact that I am not a party goer.

    So, as you can easily imagine, for me it’s hard answering Warren’s question.

    Not being a party goer, that probably put me in the category of introverts\ loser…hahahahah!

    Seriously,I am starting to think there is something wrong with my lifestile.

    Up to recently I am having doubts..

    Thanks, can’t wait reading from you guys.

  6. Mike says:

    Very interesting subject.
    Sometimes I behave like an extrovert when the party’s atmosphere is cold.
    Or I act like an introvert if I don’t need to warm up the party.
    How can I define myself?


  7. Peter says:

    Dear Jeff
    You have a very interesting story there on the latest English Cafe about the family feud.
    Listening to the story ,one can’t help but wondering why they didn’t get arrested after the killing over a stolen pig
    Why did the police wait till the feud went totally out of control and some more people got killed along the way

    It is strange.

    Seriously , would you answer ?

    Any body knows why they didn’t get busted and thrown in jail after the first murder.

  8. Betty says:

    Dear Warren

    Thank you very much for reminding me about parties.

    Party was something prohibited in my childhood. When I was growing up, I had to work in the morning, work in the afternoon, work in the evening, and even when it was time supposed to be sleeping, I was working.

    Actually, I was hiding underneath my blanket and used a torch to give myself light to do some reading when my parents thought I was sleeping.

    The result of the prohibition? Do I hate parties? No! I love parties!

    Once in my teens I was invited to a dancing party. Being an extrovert, I discovered a new kind of life. People had no worries about what was happening in the real world. Just dance, it’s good exercise, just good music and good dancing. When the party finished, back to real world, no need to think about it anymore.

    Look at the picture that you have uploaded for us. Everyone was laughing. Everyone was in ‘friendly mode’.

    That’s why I love parties.

    I don’t dance anymore, too old and too fat. But I am glad I did do all the things young people are able to do when they are young. No regret.

    It is the way young people learn to grow up in the society.

    Thank you Warren for teaching me all those special words in your article. I wonder what did you do in front of thousands of people. You must be an important person.

    You are not an introvert, you are like one of my daughter’s classmate’s father who is a top lawyer who simply did not want to be ‘mad’ like us in the party.

    He just sits at the corner happily chatting with just one person in the party. I am sure he can be a lively actor in the law court, but just did not want to spend his energy on partying.

    Thanks again, Warren, I appreciate this opportunity for me to write some history of my life. I still go to parties nowadays, but all the parties are just my friends’ children’s weddings and things like that. I go there just to support my friends, not really for myself. You know where to find me? Right next to where the food and drink are.

    Best regards

    Betty 🙂

  9. sutisha says:

    Dear Warren,

    I view being an extrovert or introvert depends on the party and its attenders. I’m kind of easy-goer and see a party is a nice time like that of a family member’s birthday,
    or a relaxing get-together with friends. I’m not a person recognized by many people, so on every occasion of any formal party I just do as the Romans do when in Rome.
    Anyway, not often I feel ill at ease with someone too eager for my privacy after being introduced to each other at the party. But don’t be serious….I have learned from my
    best friend to deal … in gentle way … with that one who now I feel thankful for the reason that she has given me a tactic to avoid hostility. To sum up … parties are worth
    going … and worth slipping if one is boring.

    Thank you Warren for all of your thought-motivating topics and ideas posted in this blog. It’s you, Jeff, and Lucy keep me stay late at night to read, listen, and write so

    Yours truly,

  10. Peter says:

    We are experiencing an extream weather condition. The weather is as awful as it can get. It is brutal.
    The snow storm started yesterday afternoon and it came down prriodically till this morning around 6 Am when it started to pick up. the snow storm has never let up till this very moment which is 20:11 . Imagine a 14 hours of constant snow storm in a frigid weather worsened by constant wind.the harsh weather has crippled the subway an any other form of transformation ,what so over .
    The city is covered by snow. You see Snow banks sitting on the side of the road at every 10 or 20 meters..
    I m on the buss back home from work. The bus is inching forward. The city is half closed due to poor weather condition.
    The people who braved the elements today,weren’t brave. They just had to go to work:)))
    According to weather forecast people , the snow storm must have blown over by now ,but ,let me tell u, it ain’t gonna happen at least not any time soon. The bus I m riding home on having a hard time getting up hill. I don’t know if I m getting back home in one piece or what ?

    Man , outside looks creepy

    By for now

  11. emiliano says:

    Dear Warren,

    let me tell you this is one of the most interesting posts I have ever read, so nice, personal and good writing but even quite difficult to express what you mean describing your way of being about this so common actitude of us in relation with other persons.

    I need to read twice or three times your personal article to get all the gist of your actitude and your feelings.

    Sicere way of telling something about yourself, but quite difficult of doing it propperly. I would like to write so good and nice about
    this subject.

    Now looking inside my own self actitude what I could say it is that “reading your note it seems to me I was reading my own personality
    of hate – love relationship with society in general.
    In a party you may found me at the same quiete corner talking with one or two, not more than three, persons that I have lelected
    previously. Usually at first sight I know who to talk with and what it is the place I like to be.
    If I found a nice person or two it is possible to be talking with them for hours as we know each other for a long long time.

    Also I could talk aloud for a lot of persons, being at last sorrounded by a circle of people listening what I could say, not ever any shyness
    by my side doing that, or another kind of things, withount being concious of what I am doing I could found my self being the centre
    of a conversation, how? why?, I don´t know some times it depens of the moment or just I could be with good humor or feeling myself
    confortable doing that.
    But this is not my way of doing in a party, in fact the first thought I have it is I don´t like to go. Too much noise, too much people
    doing some times silly things, so I go to my corner and talk with some one for a long time if the person like to be with me.

    Not any trouble to touch with a person that I meet for the first time, after a while it seems we know each other for long, even she or he could tell me about her/his life, work or family….just the same with me.
    Cuca my wife it is acustomed to that, the same of other friends, and we use to joke about my way of doing with persons I meet for
    the first time, someone who comes home to make a work, or the relative of a friend, and do forth.

    Yes, that´s true, it depends of the moment I am introvert or extrovert but inside I do think I like to be introvert too much frequently
    and also I am so well being alone going for a walk or some times talking with a person I could met.
    Being in Alicante, Torrevieja, at the sea side I like to walk alone (Cuca could not) looking for a nice English person or couple to
    talk to. It was easy, usually in October or November lots of Irish persons come to the beach and they swam when no Spanish
    body was doing that in the sea.
    I used to asked them, it is cold? and it was the begining of a long talk. Good for them to talk with a Spanish but good for me as
    it was my opportunity of talking in English and knowing different styles of life.

    Again, thanks a lot Warren and congratulations by the note, interesting note and so good description of yourself.
    I envy your style just a lot.


    I have to confess you Warren that I would like to know you personally and could have a long talk several times if you like
    Who knows? I am thinking about doing a trip to Los Angeles this year, but it is only a project of a lonely man, as Cuca
    couldn´t travel as you know quite well.
    Or may be you are thinking in coming to Madrid with your family? yes, I would like to meet you and your family.

    My best dear, emiliano


  12. sutisha says:

    Hello Peter,

    I hope you being snug at home now.

    Best wishes

  13. Sanaz says:

    Thanks Warren,

    For sure, I am introverted. I enjoy talking to people and socializing. On the other hand, I am not the party-going kind of person and if I go, you could find me in the very quiet corner!! 🙂

  14. Betty says:

    Hi Emiliano

    I want to go to LA as well.

    You beat me to it.

    I want to go to the beautiful place where all the beautiful scripts of ESLPOD Englishland is born. I have to wait for the right moment – when I have enough money and time.

    Well Done.

    All the best.

    Betty 🙂

  15. Roberson says:

    Hi Warren. Hi everyone.,
    Warren, reading your text I realized that I am extremely like you. An introvert. I can talk to hundreds of people without feeling uncomfortable and, in an opposite way, I can go to and leave a party without talking to anyone and, once again, not feeling uncomfortable.

    To be an introvert does not make you automatically unsociable, as one could think at a thirst sight.

    Of course we are talking about “physiologic introvertion”. I mean, a kind of behavior that is not caused by any disease. It represents normal variance among normal people.
    But as 75% of people are extroverts, that thirst sight I talked early is, as well, very common.

    The important thing about being introvert or extrovert, in my point of view, is to keep your comfortableness. You do not have to change yourself to fit among average people only to make them more happy with you.

    I have many extremely extrovert friends and I feel happy with them but I still keep my introversion.

    I would like to thank you for such a good reading as was your article.

    Best regards,
    From Brazil.

  16. emiliano says:

    Yes Betty,
    my mind now is making plans to go to L.A., may be in April or May, before I get cold again.
    First intention it is the goo one.

    As Elvis Presley´s song said “It is now or never…….”

    It’s now or never,
    come hold me tight
    Kiss me my darling,
    be mine tonight
    Tomorrow will be too late,
    it’s now or never
    My love won’t wait.

    When I first saw you
    with your smile so tender
    My heart was captured,
    my soul surrendered
    I’d spend a lifetime
    waiting for the right time
    Now that your near
    the time is here at last.

    It’s now or never,
    come hold me tight
    Kiss me my darling,
    be mine tonight
    Tomorrow will be too late,
    it’s now or never
    My love won’t wait.

    Just like a willow,
    we would cry an ocean
    If we lost true love
    and sweet devotion
    Your lips excite me,
    let your arms invite me
    For who knows when
    we’ll meet again this way

    It’s now or never,
    come hold me tight
    Kiss me my darling,
    be mine tonight
    Tomorrow will be too late,
    it’s now or never
    My love won’t wait.

    More or less the same, I feel that this is the moment to go…..now or never…..my love for ESL has increase a lot
    so I want to give a big hug to Jeff, Warren and a friend kiss Lucy, before I could think about it too much and get cold.

    Take a look at gatufo´s some english notes are again dear Betty, I know when you look at it., ja,ja, …


  17. Sergio says:

    When I was young and really shy I hated parties.
    I think it was not because they were to me boring…
    On the contrary I loved the atmosphere, that sort of natural theatre…
    Unfortunately because of the same shyness, I was a really boring boy:
    I thought continuously what I was supposed to be or do,
    I felt myself uncomfortable, observed, unnatural…
    But now, being older, I have not these problems anymore,
    because I do only what I want to, I can dance or talk or be silly
    and come back when I’m tired…
    Why then now I never go to parties? Because I think parties are hugely
    boring and I prefer to talk with people softly, without screaming,
    looking for some piece of soul…

  18. Filip says:

    Hello, I’m also introverted kind of person and you won’t find my at the party because I don’t attend any. I don’t mind talking to strangers but I don’t need it and I enjoy more reading or talking to close friends or relatives. Great book about introvert x extrovert character is Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain.

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