An Extrovert’s Case for “Staying In”
As I walked my dog the other Friday night, I had a small internal pity party over the fact that I didn’t set myself up to do anything particularly exciting that night.
I wasn’t going out with friends or going to the latest restaurant. I like to wake up early on weekends, so usually on at least one weekend night, I turn in early.
I walked by a duplex with a screen door, catching a glimpse of a man about my age eating dinner in front of the TV. He looked perfectly content and happy. Maybe his friends were out too, somewhere. But tonight, this was the plan — and that is perfectly fine.
In our thirties, even for many single people, that life becomes the norm. After dealing with back-to-back meetings at work, or your packed family schedule all week, sometimes you just want to have a full 24 hours that isn’t filled with activities.
Leaning into that actuality puts historically extroverted people (i.e., me) at odds with themselves.
At work? Wind us up and watch us go. We can build relationships, buzz around the office, and speak confidently all day. Yet, socially, the ol’ extrovert energy tank isn’t what it used to be.
You now have weekends where part of you is ready to go out, taking advantage of not having to be anywhere early, telling yourself you just should — and where the more logical half knows that the morning may not be fun if you do.
You ask yourself: is it really even worth it?
It turns out that FOMO (fear of missing out) is morphing into COSI (comfort of staying in).
I mean, there is more content to stream than ever. You can get nearly anything delivered to your door. You justify your choices using weak, yet valid excuses: “parking is too hard” or “ridesharing is too expensive.”
As self-care and therapy become more mainstream than ever, it also seems to be propagating the (good) idea of spending more time with just yourself, your family, or partner. As that becomes increasingly socially acceptable — especially as we age — it overpowers the more juvenile desire to overindulge and overshare.
There comes a point where we no longer need our life choices to be judged and validated by a jury of our Instagram peers.
There are memes everywhere about how people feel a great sense of relief and love it when plans are cancelled at the last minute. Funny thing is, the memes themselves indicate that the people posting them do, in fact, have busy and demanding social lives: they had plans to cancel in the first place!
Subconsciously, the people posting these memes show that when they stay in, it is a choice. Even when we are posting about going solo, we are making sure others know that we could have gone out and had a really amazing time with insanely cool people. We just didn’t feel like it, that’s all.
Except sometimes, it’s not a choice. Sometimes, you’re left to your own devices, whether you feel like it or not. So you have to embrace COSI.
I’m slowly learning that that’s okay, too.