Monday, September 8, 2008

Interesting Phenomenon

The other day I mentioned that I am more introverted than extroverted.  I thought I would expand on this a little further.

The introverted side comes out in full force when I am in large crowds.  To me, anything more than 5 people and I become quiet.  More than 10 and you might think I was mute. 

There is an interesting phenomenon that occurs, though, every now and then at parties.  I will give you two examples.

The first took place just over 5 years ago.  It was my best friend’s bridal shower.  She had four bridesmaids; two women she became friends with when she moved to Georgia, myself and another girl from Chicago with whom we attended High School.  Both of us from Chicago flew down for the occasion. 

The night before the shower, the other Chicagoan and I stayed up all night.  We were sharing a room and ended up talking about anything and everything until morning.  Needless to say, we were exhausted the day of the shower.  My friend was upset.  I promised her that nobody would be able to tell that I had zero sleep.  We stopped at Starbucks on the way and caffeinated ourselves. 

I kept my word.  No one could tell I had not slept.  I became the social chatterbox I’ve always wanted to be in these situations.  It was a home-shower thrown by a friend with about 12-15 people.  I was on the entire time chatting everyone up, throwing out witty comments and doing the duty of a sleep-deprived bridesmaid to keep the bride happy.  Afterwards, I wondered where that person came from because it was not like me.

The second example was just this summer at my mom’s surprise party.  Now, this time was not nearly as strange because I had met everyone at the party before, but it was still an interesting feeling.  My sister is even more shy and reserved than I am.  I really and truly look like the outgoing person people think I am in comparison.  While she quietly tended to her kids and greeted people, I was turning on the charm and working the room. 

Here is my analysis.  I want people to be happy and to have a good time.  In the first situation, I was doing my damnedest to please my friend.  Not that I was forcing anything, it was just who I was that day, but my motivator and inspiration was keeping her satisfied and making sure she enjoyed her shower.  The second instance, I wanted all of the guests to be happy and feel welcomed.  Being that they were all my mom’s friends and she was not going to be there for a while, I had to be the hostess and chat them up. 

I know it’s the people pleaser in me that creates this phenomenon.  I am curious as to why certain situations (and maybe certain people) warrant this reaction and others do not.  

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