Author Topic: Is it rude to go if I am not feeling sociable?  (Read 3392 times)

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bopper

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Re: Is it rude to go if I am not feeling sociable?
« Reply #15 on: January 23, 2013, 09:07:17 AM »

I have no problem going.  I just got yelled at today because  "...why bother coming if you aren't going to talk to anyone?"


Sounds like you are on a team of extroverts!  Can you talk to the team captain about this....explain that you are tired today but still feel up to bowling but not socializing at the normal level and people are saying "...why bother coming if you aren't going to talk to anyone?"
I would just tell people you are tired today as that is something they can understand.

Hmmmmm

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Re: Is it rude to go if I am not feeling sociable?
« Reply #16 on: January 23, 2013, 09:11:56 AM »
I think that I have been misunderstood.  I want to go.

Yes, missing a day would mean that my score was docked.  It wouldn't be a big deal to them for losing point (we all suck and we're tied for last place).  But that isn't the point of the question because I didn't want to know if it was ok to skip.  I wanted to know if it was ok to show up.

I have no problem going.  I just got yelled at today because  "...why bother coming if you aren't going to talk to anyone?"

And I wasn't sure if I was being rude because of that.  I try to make sure I'm not being rude while I'm there (as in my actions in general), I just wasn't sure if it was rude in general to show up when I don't feel like being as outgoing as I normally would.

If I was always quiet, I would join a team where that was ok and not worry about being quiet.  But I am not.  So I wasn't sure if it was rude to go and not be normal.

The person who yelled was extremely rude.  You showed up Tom bowl which is the point of a bowling team.  You do not have to perform for them.

cheyne

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Re: Is it rude to go if I am not feeling sociable?
« Reply #17 on: January 23, 2013, 09:25:12 AM »
Sometimes it's wise to look behind the actions to see the reason for them.  Bowling is a sport that takes concentration to do well.  The constant chatter and High five-ing (even when messing up!) would be a huge distraction for me, as I am sure it is for some of the teams you bowl against. 

It is possible your teammates are over compensating for their poor play by being the "fun" group?  Perhaps they do this to take the attention away from the fact that your team "sucks" because it is easier to play "party animals" than actually get a bit better at the game.

The person who yelled at you was rude, period.  You are not required to be a party fiend every night.  I would just look at the person yelling at me and give no reply.  As an extrovert myself, this type of behavior would drive me Batty and I would have been done with these folks after the first year.

TootsNYC

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Re: Is it rude to go if I am not feeling sociable?
« Reply #18 on: January 23, 2013, 10:49:06 AM »

 I don't think its ever rude to just send your regrets, if you're not feeling up to it.

 Provided you still pay, if that's obligatory, then you should never have to attend if you don't want to. Many people have times when they just don't feel that sociable, and if its not a frequent thing, its nothing to worry about.

Actually, you've made a commitment to the other members of your team. And etiquette would say that you should suck it up and go--that's what a commitment is.

Etiquette assumes that everyone can find a way to be sociable. Maybe not bubbly every time, but reasonably decent company. Even if you don't feel it particularly.

It may be that you don't want to--but we all end up having to do things we don't want to.

I don't think the OP has an obligation to always be at the peak. But if she goes (and she should), she should not be a lump who doesn't talk to anyone. She should fake it a little bit. She doesn't have to fake it a lot, but she shouldn't be so quiet and glum and antisocial that lots of other people notice.

People who go to a party and sit in the corner and just grunt when people come by are being rude. But their rudeness is not in *attending*; it's not "not participating in the evening." They don't have to be over the top; they just have to be mentally "in the event."

A "pained/sad/I don't wanna be here look on her face" is *not* "perfectly polite." Neutral is OK--negative is not. In fact, in ANY situation, it's not appropriate (not good etiquette) to let your emotional negatives become part of other people's lives.

So you can be quieter, but you shouldn't let *negative* vibes enter. That's your obligation to the world at large.

(The person who yelled at the OP was over the line in yelling at her or even chastising her, so I'm not willing to trust that person's judgment about how communicative or "involved" the OP was in the social event. I'd rather trust the OP's word, because she seems more reasonable. So if she says, "I was quieter than normal, but I did clap and smile, and I did answer questions when they were put to me," then I'm good with that.)

Roe

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Re: Is it rude to go if I am not feeling sociable?
« Reply #19 on: January 23, 2013, 12:05:21 PM »
I do think it's rude to go if you aren't "going to talk to anyone."  It seems as if your team doesn't really care about score or place (tied for last place and all) but if the team members are more about getting out and enjoying an evening with friends, then yes, your doom and gloom attitude probaby affects the rest of the team in a negative way.  If I were in a team with someone like that, I'd much prefer they stay home instead of dragging everyone down.

rashea

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Re: Is it rude to go if I am not feeling sociable?
« Reply #20 on: January 23, 2013, 12:28:57 PM »
Bowling is an odd sport. It really is seen as social for a lot of people. I think if there are times you're not feeling it, that's fine, but you need to seek out a team that's okay with that. If the norm for the team is that people are happy and dancing around (I've seen these teams) and you're sitting by yourself somedays, then I think it's not a good fit for you.

It sounds like your team is breaking up for other reasons. I'd pick a new team and let them know upfront that sometimes you are going to be a bit more subdued.
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Nuala

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Re: Is it rude to go if I am not feeling sociable?
« Reply #21 on: January 23, 2013, 12:34:03 PM »
Find an ally. Go to that person and say, "Hey, I'm glad to be here tonight, but I really don't feel all that chatty. Would you please run interference for me?"

The right person will validate your position to the group and allow you to be left alone. "Ayla's having a quiet night this week. She'll be chatty next time. Anyone want bean dip from the bar?"

Surianne

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Re: Is it rude to go if I am not feeling sociable?
« Reply #22 on: January 23, 2013, 01:13:49 PM »
Find an ally. Go to that person and say, "Hey, I'm glad to be here tonight, but I really don't feel all that chatty. Would you please run interference for me?"

The right person will validate your position to the group and allow you to be left alone. "Ayla's having a quiet night this week. She'll be chatty next time. Anyone want bean dip from the bar?"

I think this is great advice, as is a previous poster's suggestion that you frame it in a positive way ("I'm feeling mellow/quiet/etc tonight") rather than a negative way ("I'm not up for talking").  Be upfront about whether you're having a loud or quiet night.  I usually go with something like, "Hey guys, love you all but heads up, I'm in full introvert mode tonight." 

I definitely don't think you're rude, as long as you're polite and quietly friendly, rather than scowling or something.

gellchom

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Re: Is it rude to go if I am not feeling sociable?
« Reply #23 on: January 23, 2013, 01:32:02 PM »

 I don't think its ever rude to just send your regrets, if you're not feeling up to it.

 Provided you still pay, if that's obligatory, then you should never have to attend if you don't want to. Many people have times when they just don't feel that sociable, and if its not a frequent thing, its nothing to worry about.

Actually, you've made a commitment to the other members of your team. And etiquette would say that you should suck it up and go--that's what a commitment is.

Etiquette assumes that everyone can find a way to be sociable. Maybe not bubbly every time, but reasonably decent company. Even if you don't feel it particularly.

It may be that you don't want to--but we all end up having to do things we don't want to.

I don't think the OP has an obligation to always be at the peak. But if she goes (and she should), she should not be a lump who doesn't talk to anyone. She should fake it a little bit. She doesn't have to fake it a lot, but she shouldn't be so quiet and glum and antisocial that lots of other people notice.

People who go to a party and sit in the corner and just grunt when people come by are being rude. But their rudeness is not in *attending*; it's not "not participating in the evening." They don't have to be over the top; they just have to be mentally "in the event."

A "pained/sad/I don't wanna be here look on her face" is *not* "perfectly polite." Neutral is OK--negative is not. In fact, in ANY situation, it's not appropriate (not good etiquette) to let your emotional negatives become part of other people's lives.

So you can be quieter, but you shouldn't let *negative* vibes enter. That's your obligation to the world at large.

(The person who yelled at the OP was over the line in yelling at her or even chastising her, so I'm not willing to trust that person's judgment about how communicative or "involved" the OP was in the social event. I'd rather trust the OP's word, because she seems more reasonable. So if she says, "I was quieter than normal, but I did clap and smile, and I did answer questions when they were put to me," then I'm good with that.)

Absolutely perfect analysis and advice (as usual) from Toots.

Your bowling night is BOTH a team commitment AND a social event.  So you are correct to show up even when you don't feel like socializing (assuming otherwise you are letting your team down).  But because it is also a social event (not all bowling leagues are, I'm sure, but clearly your team considers it so), you do have a social obligation to be a good social participant, too, even when you don't feel like it.  As Toots says, you don't have to be the life of the party (ever).  But you do have to hold up your end so as not to put a damper on things for everyone else.  Their very exuberant behavior seems to be the convention for this team, and they have a right to expect it.  It's not like you are out for your monthly quiet dinner with your closest friends.  That's what this team is like.  When you participate in an activity, you participate, and the activity here isn't simply "bowling," it's "bowling and socializing."

Maybe you are just on the wrong team.  But there you are.  So although I think you are fine with doing the minimum, socially, I do think that it sounds like that the minimum in this very enthusiastic group is more than just sitting quietly and not being gloomy; even if it's not to the point where you're bumming people out, sitting with quiet dignity is likely to make the rest of them feel self-conscious and childish.  Of course sitting quietly isn't an inherently rude act!  And the "find an ally" and "heads up; I'm in full introvert mode tonight" suggestions are in themselves polite.  But if you're going to go to a paintball game, you don't refuse to get dirty. 

If someone questions you, I agree that "I'm just feeling kinda mellow tonight" is a lot better choice than saying you don't feel sociable or aren't in the mood to be silly.  That can make them feel like it's a rejection of them, and/or a judgment on their immature behavior.

Better not to let it get to that point.  Even though it may take a little extra push from yourself some days, make the effort.  You can do it.  It's a useful social skill to develop.

Don't be so sure you're the only one doing it, either.  After all, how sure are you that not a single one of your jumping, cheering teammates isn't feeling something else inside?  (They may even have looked forward to this night to be silly and forget their troubles for a bit.)

Surianne

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Re: Is it rude to go if I am not feeling sociable?
« Reply #24 on: January 23, 2013, 01:52:26 PM »
I disagree.  The team norm may be over-the-top socialization, but that doesn't mean everyone is required to do it at all times.  As long as she's polite and quietly friendly, I don't think there's anything wrong with that. 

Don't be so sure you're the only one doing it, either.  After all, how sure are you that not a single one of your jumping, cheering teammates isn't feeling something else inside?  (They may even have looked forward to this night to be silly and forget their troubles for a bit.)

This is exactly why it makes sense not to fake it.  If someone else is secretly not enjoying faking the jumping and cheering, then the OP's quietness may inspire him/her to also change things up a bit.  Maybe there will wind up being a couple of people who have quieter nights, depending on how they're feeling.

lowspark

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Re: Is it rude to go if I am not feeling sociable?
« Reply #25 on: January 25, 2013, 11:11:18 AM »
What I'm wondering is how extreme is the difference? One week you're peppy and high fiving and cheering and generally boisterous. Then the next week you are totally quiet and subdued? Or is there some kind of happy medium that you can strike on the days where you're not feeling the totally social mood?

Because if the down days are fairly extreme, then I can certainly see people being concerned and subsequently put off by your behavior.

One idea which works for me is to go and then behave as if you are in the upbeat mood even if you aren't. Just doing this for the first few minutes usually transitions me into the social frame of mind. I sort of get caught up in the conviviality of the moment once I start to participate in it even if I don't start out that way.

oogyda

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Re: Is it rude to go if I am not feeling sociable?
« Reply #26 on: January 25, 2013, 11:27:05 AM »
I think it would depend a great deal on the severity of the difference in your demeanor.  I'm sure you realize how one person's bad mood can affect the people around them, but everyone's going to have an off or bad day now and then. 

There is a certain truth to the saying "Fake it 'til you make it."  Push a little bit toward bringing your mood up and you may just find it improving.  At least enough that you don't have to push anymore.
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mbbored

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Re: Is it rude to go if I am not feeling sociable?
« Reply #27 on: January 25, 2013, 12:27:36 PM »
I think it would depend a great deal on the severity of the difference in your demeanor.  I'm sure you realize how one person's bad mood can affect the people around them, but everyone's going to have an off or bad day now and then. 

There is a certain truth to the saying "Fake it 'til you make it."  Push a little bit toward bringing your mood up and you may just find it improving.  At least enough that you don't have to push anymore.

I would agree with don't show up if you're in a bad mood, but I don't equate "quiet" or "subdued" with "bad." OP, if you're feeling quiet or low-energy, there's nothing wrong with that. Just smile politely and say "I'm feeling quiet this evening but I'm still having a great time. Thanks"

Surianne

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Re: Is it rude to go if I am not feeling sociable?
« Reply #28 on: January 25, 2013, 07:32:53 PM »
I think it would depend a great deal on the severity of the difference in your demeanor.  I'm sure you realize how one person's bad mood can affect the people around them, but everyone's going to have an off or bad day now and then. 

There is a certain truth to the saying "Fake it 'til you make it."  Push a little bit toward bringing your mood up and you may just find it improving.  At least enough that you don't have to push anymore.

I would agree with don't show up if you're in a bad mood, but I don't equate "quiet" or "subdued" with "bad." OP, if you're feeling quiet or low-energy, there's nothing wrong with that. Just smile politely and say "I'm feeling quiet this evening but I'm still having a great time. Thanks"

Yes, I didn't interpret the OP's description of her mood as being "bad" at all -- simply quieter than normal.  There's nothing wrong with that.