Super Bowls and Society’s Social Expectations

Sunday was a big day in sports for those of us here in America. It, of course, was the Super Bowl. It seems that even non-football fans watch this annual championship game, if not for the game, then for the commercials and the half time show.

Frequently, the Super Bowl is a reason for people to gather and have a big Super Bowl party. However, last year, COVID made that less of a thing. This year however, as the Super Bowl approached, I knew some people from my fantasy football league who were getting together, but my social battery just did not have it in me.

And that is okay.

Society makes these expectations that you should be hanging out with other people during certain social occasions, like New Year’s Eve and the Super Bowl. Frankly, I don’t know who made that rule or that expectation or whatever you want to call it, but whoever it was definitely wasn’t a introvert with social anxiety.

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy social interactions in certain settings and in moderation. The other introverts with social anxiety I know are the same way. Under the right conditions I would have loved too go to a Super Bowl party. This past Sunday was not the right conditions. And part of managing my mental illness has to be being able to recognize that and say no, this isn’t for me.

The fact is that your friends will still be there next time. But if you try to push yourself when you social battery is empty, the only one that puts at risk is yourself. And trust me that isn’t worth it.

If you are struggling with things like Super Bowls and society’s social expectations, know that you are not alone. And know that there is nothing wrong with taking care of yourself. It is important to be able to recognize when you need a night in and you should be applauded for taking that time.

And if nothing else, I see you and applaud you for it. You know, from a far and in my own introverted socially anxious way.

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