When kind, loving, caring people (usually that I don't know well) ask me to join them at their home for a holiday meal, my inner Grinch/introvert snarls into action.
With a look of what is probably pure horror plastered on my face, I vomit some fabulously delightful response like,"Oh god no! I'd rather be alone. Stand around and make total crap banter with perfect strangers for hours?! Thanks but no thanks."
I don't say that exactly, but close.
It usually goes like this:
Kind person: What are your plans for the holidays?
Me: Nothing! (said with joyful glee and a big smile)
Kind person: Oh, come to my house then! - completely missing the glee (how can they?!)
That's when the ungraciousness starts.
Feeling trapped and tangled in the extrovert's web, (Ahhhh, get it off me!), I start flailing and thrashing about verbally. Hurting people's feelings.
I am definitely missing a Southern chromosome.
Why can't I think those things, but say "Oh, that's really so very lovely and kind. Thank you so much, but unfortunately I already have plans."
Oh the other hand, people need to stop being so insistent, thinking everyone else needs to be with people during the holidays. That's what YOU like/want to do.
And don't go getting all defensive and thinking I don't like you, or your family. I'm sure they are wonderful people, because you are.
Pay attention please: IT'S NOT YOU. It's me.
Some of us really, really don't mind being by ourselves. Really.
We are not lonely or suicidal.
We are introverts.
Okay, I'm off to practice being gracious AND sincere (even trickier!).
I am a rock, I am an island