I wish I could pull that card when at a friend's (or acquaintance's) place and they bring out a board game. Recently, while hanging out chatting with two of my favourite people, I discovered that I'm not alone.
The three of us agreed that it's like suddenly the atmosphere changes, and you're forced to take part in some organized "fun" created, no doubt, because the host is worried that nobody's having any fun in the first place. Don't get me wrong, I'm not knocking people who enjoy board games (I happen to like a few myself) but don't put that on unsuspecting guests. Have a board game night if you're so inclined, that way all attending will show up knowing what they're in for. Personally, I would likely decline.
Although I have some fond memories of sitting around with family and friends, getting immersed in a variety of games, I prefer, as I always have, to play alone. See, I tend to view the whole "hey everyone, let's stop conversing and gather around to play" scenario as equal to cheerleaders in sports. I like sports, and I cheer, but I don't need people jumping around trying to create cheers and making sure that I'm cheering.
Then comes the anxiety of the whole situation. Here I am, presumably surrounded by people I don't know and/or kinda know, playing against them or with them, trying to win. It's like gym class all over again. And, even worse, is when you're forced into playing a game that you're not familiar with. Now you have to learn the rules and make goddamn sure you play by them, or Johnny so-and-so might call you out in front of everyone, creating a bigger scene than the game itself. And, if you think it's alright to decline to play, think again. Most people are followers, and won't tolerate someone not wanting to participate. You will be ostracized.
I remember feeling this way even with my own family. As a child, I would begrudgingly agree to participate in playing a board game, then often get discouraged or change my mind half way through, much to my family's disapproval. Being called a whiner, baby, or quitter didn't help matters. I don't believe that I was truly any of those things, but rather that I just wasn't having very much fun.
I am a personable introvert. I can be kind and even entertaining when hanging out with others, but I generally prefer to entertain myself. Often I make plans with people just to get them off my back--so they'll leave me alone and stop bugging me to go out. I actually enjoy being by myself. I know some people cannot relate to this as much. That's the other thing, I generally can't relate to most people, so social situations can suck, given that I have to work so hard at pretending to like people and act like I'm having fun. On the contrary, I enjoy hanging out in small groups with people I really like. Unfortunately, that doesn't seem to happen too often.
You're all thinking I'm a bitch now, aren't you?
I'm finally doing it--pulling my insides out and splattering them around for all to see. Here we go!