I'm a well read grad student who's bluntly honest about all things, although I try to be most honest about myself.
Someone else: "We'll leave by X."
Me: "Okay, I can handle that."
When we don't leave by X, I end up pulling out my iPad and reading, because I cannot do that much social interaction. Twenty minutes before when they said they'll pull out, and I'm fucking exhausted because I'm an introvert. So everyone yells at me for being rude, and I'm like I can't do it. I just fucking can't anymore. I'm so stressed out I'm about to cry. Because four. Fucking. Hours. One hour past when they said, and I'm usually physically exhausted by now because it's time to go to bed. Add to that the social interactions that wears me out even more and I'm about to give up.
And then my voice gets all high pitched, and ugh, no. I'm not fucking doing it. I actually went to pee, took the iPad, and camped out, locked inside the bathroom, reading some Elsewhere Batman tales.
I also snapped that people can't tell me it's rude to read if they insist that I go places, then trap me in fucking hour long conversations that drain me: uh-huh. So, one hour tops. I'll stay for one fucking hour, guys, although forty five minutes would be best. I will make an exception for close family and my personal friends. That's it, though. I've told them I'm not doing Seder - and come to think of it, Thanksgiving, nope - unless I can pop open the iPad. And I swear to Solus Prime, if they drag my ass to Thanksgiving and make me say what I'm thankful for next year, I will thank Primus for my iPad so I don't have to sit in there for hours and socialize.
Just to clarify: if it's studying something I'm interested in, like three hours classes I choose to take, I can handle it. The common interest keeps me going. If I have to listen to stories about weddings and shit for hours on end, I'm fucking out. I'm just out. I'm so mad at myself for not driving the ten minutes so I could bail - or just laughing and saying 'nope.' I'm also sick of everyone expecting me to conform to the fact that they can talk about random shit for hours, so not to be able to do so is rude. I just can't, so stop trying to force me to do it which drains me. Or at least let me talk about comics. Just let me. If you're also going to censor me and tell me not to talk about it - and I get this a lot, people telling me not to talk about things that interest me, thus making me able to sustain a longer conversation/socialization - then just no. Don't fucking police me. And trust me: if I drive people away because they're not interested in comics, score, I don't feel bad about pulling out Viv and reading - y'know, comics!
What I'm saying is this: I am going to lock myself in my room and read the shit out of comics for the next two days. Because right now? I feel like bursting into tears. I'm an introvert who lives amongst people who are either extroverts - and who think I'm being rude when I'm simply trying to save my sanity by not overextending myself - or who value politeness over self-care. I'm putting an end to that bullshit right now.
To anyone who does have an introvert in their life: forcing them to interact with people that long without ways of recharging? That's the height of rudeness. That's saying 'your emotional well being is less important that the veneer of politeness.' Please show them a little kindness. If they have to pull out their book/sketchpad/whatever keeps them recharged and disengage for a half hour in a four hour social frenzy, please keep in mind that they are not trying to be rude, and that they don't dislike you. They are taking care of themselves so they don't make faces by the end of the dinner/party/social event. They are taking care of themselves because they want to be good company for the majority of the event when they are present. They just need some time because that much going on around them can get to be too much.
By the way, I think parties - dinner or otherwise - should have an introvert room. You can go in for five minutes, a half hour, whatever, and get your introvert activities - art, reading, listening to music/TV with headphones on your divide, checking the internet, napping, whatever doesn't disrupt the party - on. Because while I think most people think 'shocking and rude', trust me, it would make the party way, way, way more comfortable for us. And by giving us a space to disengage briefly, we'll make that event more pleasant for you. We won't skip out early, we won't get antsy or nervous or annoyed. We'll be refreshed, pleasant company. In fact, new policy: I'm not going to parties without introvert rooms. Should I ever throw a party - or, 'oh, look, the day hell froze over - I am going to include at least one introvert room and a couple coloring books and regular books so that people can chill doing their own thing.
End of rant.