I am an introvert. I like (most) people, and I love spending time with my friends, but, as an introvert, I typically find that spending time with people, no matter how much I like them, wears me out. If a social occasion goes on a long time, I can get twitchy, uncomfortable and grouchy, regardless of how much I like the people I’m with. So, when I find myself in a situation where I am hanging out with friends, and I am able to feel relaxed and happy throughout, it feels like magic to me.
It happens very rarely for me, but as I get older I do spend more time with people who are more likely to put me in this state. That being said, it’s in no way the fault or a failing of my company when it gets to be too much for me. It’s just how I am. I have a good friend here who is also an introvert. Though we’re both very fond of each other, if we see each other every few weeks to a month, it’s “a lot” to us. As a natural introvert, the frequency or duration of my social interaction with someone is not a reflection of how much I like them. If I make an effort to see you at all, it means you must be someone I REALLY like, because my natural state is at home by myself (immediate family counts as “by myself” — kind of).
I was lucky enough to spend a lovely evening with some friends this past spring. We went out for pizza at my favorite spot in Vienna. It wasn’t a “perfect” evening — the restaurant either lost or messed up our reservation, and we ended up having to switch tables partway through our meal (further evidence that “perfect” and “happy” do not actually share a causal relationship). We enjoyed a tasty meal, and then decided to walk a bit to get gelato (this is the moment where I usually decide I need to go home to recuperate). But I was still enjoying myself. And, as an extra bonus, because it was an unseasonably warm evening for March, it was our first outdoor gelato of the year. We sat, ate our gelato, chatted and enjoyed the evening. Eventually, it really was time to say goodnight, and even then, I was sorry the evening had to end. It was a great evening, and I feel so lucky to have had such a nice time out with my friends!