I Might Be a Party Pooper
I wouldn’t necessarily call myself a party pooper. But I’m not an overly social or festive person either.
I don’t dress up for Halloween. Other people enjoy the creativity involved in role playing interesting characters or designing their own costumes. They love the glamour of perfecting their hair and makeup and intricate costume details. I just can’t get into any of those things.
As a kid, I dressed as a state trooper for trick-or-treating six years in a row. Why a trooper, you ask? Because my dad was a state trooper, so I had access to a shirt and hat that required zero thought. That’s just me.
I don’t decorate my house for the holidays, outside of a Christmas tree. I’m suuuuuper picky about decorations. I have to absolutely love something, or I don’t buy it at all.
Add in my husband approving decorations, and fuhgeddaboudit. (Yes, I have one of those husbands with an opinion on decor…siiiiigh.) We couldn’t agree on a piece of art to put over our couch for four years. So the wall was just empty until my husband finally created a piece we could agree on:
I’ve looked at holiday decorations. I have tried, because I thought maybe my daughter would want memories of a gorgeously decorated holiday home. I’ve wandered the aisles of Hobby Lobby and considered each individual piece, but just couldn’t find any that I loved.
Some people live for making holiday-themed meals and desserts every year. It brings family together in the kitchen, and honors the recipes and memories of great-grandmothers.
I don’t enjoy cooking or baking. When I do cook, it’s about getting a job done, not creating an experience. So while my sister-in-law created seven different desserts for my niece’s first birthday, including hand-dipped pretzels, heart-shaped brownies, and homemade cake balls, I ordered my daughter a beautiful cake from Walmart, and paired it with some pre-made fruit and cheese and cracker trays.
At this point, you’re either nodding your head in agreement, or shaking it at how sad my life must be. Excellent news, I have some practical tips for you no matter which direction your head is moving!
How to Be a Party Pooper That Doesn’t Ruin the Fun For Others
First, to you fellow party poopers, here’s how we can keep our pooping to ourselves without ruining the fun for others:
- First, be willing to put forth the effort if it matters to someone else. Before we had a child, there were a few years my husband and I didn’t even bother to put up the Christmas tree. (I blame the cat.) But now that we have our daughter, we put up the tree. We’re sure to dress her up for Halloween and take her to an event or two in her costume. We put up decorations for her birthday party that we know she’ll love, and when she’s old enough to have friends at her parties, we’ll be sure to play games and hand out goodie bags and all of the other things that we don’t really like, but she does. If your spouse or parents enjoy big birthday parties, throw one for them. Remember that it’s not the physical food or decorations, it’s about the emotions that your family members attach to those things. Suck it up a few times a year to help them create those emotions and memories.
- Second, don’t act like a party pooper. If you’ve accepted an invitation to an event, don’t sit in the corner the entire time, surfing your phone instead of visiting with others. Don’t sigh at extravagant party games, or make a face that clearly shows you don’t want to be there. Instead, compliment your host on all of their hard work. Let them know that you can see and appreciate their efforts, and are thankful to have been invited.
- Third, if you are going to act like a party pooper, just decline the invitation. If you sincerely can’t stomach the idea of an event, politely decline the invitation. However, I would suggest being honest with the host as to why you’re not attending. It’s better for them to understand that you’re just not comfortable at parties, than for them to believe that you simply don’t care to attend. They might incorrectly assume you don’t like them, or their family or friends. We actually lost touch with a couple after declining several invitations in a row to their annual party. We enjoyed their company, but they stopped extending even casual invitations to hang out after we repeatedly skipped an event that was important to them without explanation.
How to Navigate Social Events With a Party Pooper
And now for all of you festive readers that absolutely love cooking, decorating, and celebrating every chance that you get, but might have a party pooper friend like myself:
- First, don’t judge us for lack of effort decorating, baking, creating traditions, etc. It’s just not our thing, and says nothing about our character, happiness, or amount of love for the people with whom we’re celebrating.
- Second, don’t force us to do something that’s uncomfortable for us in the name of fun. I know, I know, parties are more fun when everyone fully participates. But if you know we’re not into that sort of thing, either (a) don’t invite us to an event where you expect full participation, or (b) accept us as we are for the sake of enjoying our company. Some of us might just be shy or introverted or not into big events, but some might struggle with secret social anxiety. A party where you have to constantly pressure us to participate probably won’t be as fun for either of us. If you choose to invite us anyway, simply send the message that we’re welcome, and that you enjoy our company just as we are.
- Finally, don’t take our party pooper actions personally. If we are a bummer at parties (and we’ll try not to be!), please don’t take it personally. If I don’t rant and rave over every decoration or dessert (and again, I’ll try to!), or if I quietly visit with others instead of participating in the karaoke showdown, please know that this is how I enjoy social events. I’m having a good time, even if my good time looks different than yours. I appreciate the invitation, and am here because my love for you is greater than my internal longing to skip extravagantly-themed events.
Wrap It Up
It really all boils down to respecting your friends and family for who they are, instead of who you wished they would be. We’re all different, but we can all still love and respect one another.
Party poopers, put in the effort if it’s important to others, and either be positive at events or don’t go. And festive friends, please don’t judge or pressure us, or take our lack of karaoke enthusiasm personally. We love you and we enjoy your company, and that’s all that really matters.
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