Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Conference Life for the Introvert #typeacon - Recap

It may seem odd to you that I've blogged before about being introverted, yet just went to Type A Con blogging conference.  I won't lie - I had a lot of nervousness leading up to the conference - even though this was my second year and I would see several blogging friends while there.  I had to really pump myself up for the conference, reassuring and reminding myself that I had fun last year, and would enjoy it once I got there.  Still, it's not easy for me.  Before I left, I found myself dreading the idea of parties and such.  The more I thought about it as the time neared, the more I wanted to retreat.  But I was already committed as a volunteer, plus, in my heart, I wanted to learn more about blogging and connect with my blogging friends, not to mention make some new ones. 
 Some events are easier for me than others.  I definitely function better in smaller, quieter situations like a round table at lunch.  In that sort of situation, people might not even realize that I'm introverted - and certainly once you get to know me it might not seem obvious.  But larger mass events like in the picture above, from an 80s party, were overwhelming for me. It didn't help that it was pretty late at night for me and I couldn't seem to drum up much energy (and I certainly wasn't about to get out dancing).  Sometimes, even in small encounters, I feel at a loss for things to say. 
 But I did get to the parties - all of them - although I didn't stay for the entirety of most of them.  I had some great conversations - like the chat I had with Shell from Things I Can't Say at the Disney party.
 It helps when you have a few people you know through blogging that you can feel comfortable talking to in a crowded room.  Another tip would be to find a new extrovert friend - like I did one night at dinner.  She talked so much (and about fascinating stuff too) that I didn't have to try to come up with things to say.  I got to listen, absorb, and ask a question or two, which was perfect.  Of course if that fails, you can stay busy taking pictures of people dressed up in 80s clothes.
 Or you could eat cupcakes.  There were cupcakes everywhere at Type A Con.  Somehow, surprisingly, I lost 3 pounds over the weekend.  I guess that's what happens when you're too busy to snack throughout the day. 
 I confess that there were a few times that I holed up in my room.  Twice I took my lunch upstairs so I could eat in quiet, and check email.  Plus, I did skip a session.  I probably missed out on some great stuff by doing so, but I had to take that down time for myself.  Everyone I met was incredibly nice though, and I was thrilled to meet so many wonderful people. 
After all, we can't all have the energy of Richard Simmons 24/7.  How about you, readers?  Do you feel comfortable at large social gatherings?

28 comments:

Buttons said...

I am an extrovert in most situations but cannot speak in front of a crowd. I would have been the chatty girl beside you:)I tend to be a nervous talker. (now want to meet?:)) Good or bad that is what I am just like you we do not get to pick. I am so glad you conquered your fears and went to have a good time.

Out on the prairie said...

A fun theme helps keep that party going, and as it looks a Richard Simons workout

Diane Cayton-Hakey said...

Love you, Lisa.... I'm glad you took the time to go to your room and just chill with some alone time. I think even we out-going folks need that too. I can be out-going but there are times when I need to just back away and go chill. Guess I am somewhere between introverted and extroverted. Nice that you could go and enjoy yourself by being a volunteer. That's a great idea! Cupcakes?? OMG... so glad I don't go cuz I would have totally blown my diet. LOL

JDaniel4's Mom said...

I think it was great that you were able to get some quiet time! Volunteering and being assigned party duties helped me too.

Barbara said...

I'm a complete introvert too. Even when I know people, like at work, I am just sometimes at a loss for things to say. The pictures look great.

The Incredible Woody said...

I tend to be the quiet one as well. Aren't the quiet ones the ones that 'they' warn you about? :)

My Journey With Candida said...

It depends on the day whether I do well in crowds or not. Usually I like just a few people around me. It is so much easier to get to know people that way.

I even like to have my alone time with just my Hubs and myself around.

Chicken Wrangler said...

I would love to find a gathering like that near us - don't know how to find one, but it sounds like so much fun! It is very easy for me to find a conversation opener, and I don't mind talking with strangers. I guess that comes from working in nursing homes or as a customer service person- you meet new people all the time. I would prefer a little slower pace rather than getting blasted with hundreds of people all at once, but being blasted would be fun too!

Mindy Grange said...

I spent my entire life thinking I was a total extrovert (because that's what my mother told me) only to find out a few years ago that I actually "test" as borderline on being extroverted and introverted. I waver between the two depending on situations and what is going on for me emotionally.

Jill said...

One word...NO! Like you, I always hope to meet up with an extrovert and kind of 'ride their tail.' Proud of you for all you accomplished!

Sandi McBride said...

Well you might be the most extroverted introvert I've ever known, lol...keep up the good work I think you may have cured yourself!
Sandi and JJ

TexWisGirl said...

i'm an extroverted introvert. i'd rather be home alone in peace and quiet, but if i'm in a social situation, i can work the room with the best of 'em.

Valerie said...

Lisa, I am exactly like you. I can handle social situations only in very small doses, and I definitely know what you mean about needing that down time.

I'm proud of you for attending this conference. It could not have been easy, but you did it on your terms and got a lot out of it too. Way to go! You are an inspiration for me:)

Tina Fariss Barbour said...

I am soooooo introverted. I have a hard time at large social gatherings or crowds of any kind. I like smaller gatherings, too, though I still end up with a loss of words sometimes. I do much better writing!

Glad you had a good time at the conference!

Renae said...

Lisa - I love pop rocks! My 6 yo granddaughter does, too. and... I guess it is worse to lose a friend at IKEA than a purse any day. IKEA is a maze -- ing! hahaha.

Renae said...

oh oops, and I love seeing all of these pics of you, too.

el-mundo-en-colores said...

those cupcakes! I could have 1, even 2 , why not 3.. and that should be it though :) but they look so tempting..

Liz @ A Nut in a Nutshell said...

It totally depends on my mood, and this weekend I wasn't feeling well at all so I just didn't feel like like being social. So I was holed up A LOT. That doesn't happen to me in such a big way that often, usually just little bursts of needing to be alone. But what I did get out there and do, I enjoyed. :)

Sonya @ Under the Desert Sky said...

I'm definitely more of an introvert than an extrovert. I was thinking that when you ate lunch in your room, "that is EXACTLY what I would do," just to get a little bit of down-time.

Depending on the activity and who's in attendance, I may or may not be able to easily mingle/strike up a conversation.

If it's a conference with a lot of people I haven't met yet, I may be a bit overwhelmed, like you felt at times.

But if I went to a big conference (like I used to attend while I was in logistics), and knew a few people already, and was familiar with certain topics, I'd be much more comfortable in striking up conversations.

Nancy Claeys said...

Well, you know my answer... lol.

Maple Lane said...

Looks like fun but I am very introverted!

Ginny said...

You are really superwoman if you avoided these cupcakes! I especially think the Rubik's Cube ones are cute. I have some Pop Rocks here now! They scared Anne Marie to death the first time she tried them, guess she must have thought her mouth was blowing up. I used to be so painfully shy that it messed up my life big time, I had Social Anxiety disorder. But I am fine now. After standing in front of crowds to teach, and also give eulogys, nothing much bothers me anymore. But when it did, it was the opposite of yours. I find this interesting. A small crowd made me really nervous because I was noticed more and expected to speak up more. Everyone saw me and noticed me and what I would say. I just could not go to things like this. But with a huge crowd, I could get lost in it and no one would pay any attention to me, perfect!!!

Debby@Just Breathe said...

How cool that you talked with Shell. I don't visit as often as I use to but she is awesome! I'm glad you pushed yourself to go. I use to do that with woman's retreats. I was so nervous but loved each moment. I don't go to many large events but I know I can handle them better at 60 then I could have at 30!

heartjourney said...

I'm definitely introverted, but find myself talking in social situations to fill silence. I'm a nervous talker. I remember in school I used to answer questions just so there wouldn't be silence. Then after I talk, I spend the whole time people are responding wondering why I said what I did and if it was right and if people thought I was an idiot. I have to force myself to do social things if I don't know people well.

Laura @ Green Legacy Farm said...

I feel your pain. You are a braver soul than I.

Tweedles -- that's me said...

We think it was cool that you went, and were "open" to share and learn.
love
tweedles

Shell said...

I had to take breaks myself. I've gotten better at pushing myself out of my normal introverted ways, but after a little while, it gets to be exhausting for me, so I have to step away for a little bit. I sometimes worry that people will think I'm being a snob, but it's really that online, I can take the time and think of what I want to say and be extremely candid there- but that doesn't always translate to IRL!

Pepper said...

I'm also the type who's more comfortable in a small group. It take some time for me to warm up. I dread big parties :)