You are viewing introverts

Birthday People versus Non-birthday People

« previous entry | next entry »
Jan. 18th, 2010 | 11:05 am
posted by: beestro in introverts

A coworker came into my office last week all in a-tizzy because her boyfriend had accidently scheduled a speaking engagement on her birthday.  She was FURIOUS that he would do something like this, even though she acknowledged that he did it on accident. 

My comment to her was that there are two types of people.  Birthday people and non-birthday people.  Birthday people go out of the way to shower gifts and attention to others on their birthdays, but expect similar results when their turn comes.  They'll do things like announce that the whole week is "theirs", and they'll take off from work.  They suddenly become very self-centered and attention whorish as their birthday approaches.  But because they're generous to other people, others tend to overlook this short-coming.

  The non-birthday people could give a rat's ass when it comes to their day.  They don't expect a big parade or cake or balloons.  They're satisfied with a card and maybe a small token of affection, but even these things aren't something they really feel entitled to.  Similarly, they don't make a big deal with it's someone else's birthday.  If they realize that b-days are important to someone they care about, they'll do something extraordinary (in their minds) like take that person to lunch or bake them a cake.  But that's about it.  No week-long celebration.  No surprise mega-parties with confetti and party gifts.  Why?  Because that crap is for children, in their opinions.  Birthdays cease to be a big deal once you become an adult.

I'm wondering if introverts and extroverts fall solidly in one camp versus another.  In other words, are there birthday maniacs who are also introverts?  Because I fall squarely in the don't-give-a-rat's-ass category.  If you want to buy me a gift and make a big to-do over me, that's fine.  I won't be overjoyed about it, but I'll be a good sport.  But I'm not going to reciprocate in kind unless we have a close relationship (and about the only person who comes to this is my twin sister).  So if you want to get angry that I didn't buy you something *special* on "your" day, go right ahead.  Some people have other things to do.  

How do you feel about birthdays?

Link | Leave a comment | Share

Comments {21}

Kathryn

(no subject)

from: kathrynthegreat
date: Jan. 18th, 2010 04:32 pm (UTC)
Link

Yup, I am most certainly a non birthday person. It's weird that people announce their birthday - I keep mine quiet. I appreciate a "Happy Birthday", but beyond that...I don't want anything, because its just another day. And I also don't tend to do anything for anyone elses birthday beyond maybe a simple gift. Certainly I would never throw a big party or go all out for something.

One of my co-workers complained the other day about his work schedule (that isn't even coming up for two months!) that "I'll have to work my birthday!!!" he was horrified. And I sat there thinking "So what?"

Reply | Thread

Erica L. Satifka

(no subject)

from: themachinestops
date: Jan. 18th, 2010 04:41 pm (UTC)
Link

I guess I'm somewhat of a birthday person. I won't work on my birthday (and would be upset if I found out I had to), I go out to dinner with my husband and also usually a second time with my parents, and I'd be a little sad if people I'm close to forgot about it. I'm not much for gifts or parties, but it's not just a regular day. TBH I'd probably be a little pissed if my husband scheduled something on my birthday because he wasn't thinking about it (not because work made him), but I wouldn't fly into a blind rage over it.

Reply | Thread

stain boy

(no subject)

from: alasbabylon
date: Jan. 18th, 2010 04:53 pm (UTC)
Link

i'm a bit of both. but i think that's mostly cos my birthday's on xmas and my family's culturally jewish/not religious, so it really is about sloth/gluttony/materialism for us. i guess with family and close friends i'm a birthday person (though i try not to be an ass about it), with everyone else i'm not. though i'm not into big fancy parties, especially now that i'm older my big 'please do what i want/pay attention to me on my birthday' wishes are to stay in, bake my own cake (food intolerances), nom my dad's home-cooking, watch 30 rock with my brothers, stay in my pj's for a while, receive some new books and overpriced wooly socks, then go the fuck home.

Reply | Thread

SHAY-mus D

(no subject)

from: seamusd
date: Jan. 18th, 2010 05:26 pm (UTC)
Link

I never understood why some people are so in love with their birthdays. It's just another day, and as someone pointed out, you didn't do anything that day but you should give your mother a dozen somethings. And the woman who is furious her boyfriend accidentally scheduled something else on her birthday is way out of line! Get over yourself!

Reply | Thread

Bedtime

(no subject)

from: green_donuts
date: Jan. 18th, 2010 05:37 pm (UTC)
Link

Yeah, I totally get that. I hate people making a fuss of my birthday, and I really don't like being forced to make a fuss of other people's. It's nice to get a text message or a card, it shows they're thinking about me on that day. But I don't want a party, or a cake, or gifts. I'm under no illusion that my birthday is worth celebrating - why should anyone's be?

I have been placed in horrible situations in the past - like an ex saying that he would cancel his whole birthday party and be really upset if I didn't come. Pretty heavy on the guilt, so I felt forced to go and feel uncomfortable.

Reply | Thread

Novanglus

(no subject)

from: novanglus
date: Jan. 18th, 2010 05:37 pm (UTC)
Link

My birthdate is one of the only things I will actually lie about. If someone asks, I always make up a date that falls during a holiday, so no one will be around to "surprise" me with a party, and hopefully will be otherwise occupied and not remember.

Reply | Thread

Jeroen J.-W. Tiggelman

(no subject)

from: jeroentiggelman
date: Jan. 18th, 2010 05:38 pm (UTC)
Link

I don't care too much for my birthday, but nowadays I do make a point of having it recognized as a day I am likely to be off.

Conversely, I would not accidentally forget my partner's birthday.

Reply | Thread

Tits McGee

(no subject)

from: cat_the_knife
date: Jan. 18th, 2010 05:50 pm (UTC)
Link

I'm really not a birthday person at all. I generally don't like attention much, so I typically don't even generally tell people my birthday is coming up. I'm terrified they will insist on throwing me a party or making a big deal out of it. I don't need or expect presents, but if someone close to me wants to give me a card or take me to lunch, that's fine.... just as long as a big deal isn't made out of it in anyway.

Reply | Thread

Jazz Square

(no subject)

from: perfectsandwich
date: Jan. 18th, 2010 06:57 pm (UTC)
Link

In a way, I'm very much a birthday person. I need people who are close to me to remember that it's my birthday and I expect my close friends to get me presents that are relevant to my interest. In return, I spend time searching for things when their birthday comes around and make sure they have a good day.
On the other hand, I despise getting attention from people I don't know and can't stand the idea of large birthday parties. So, I don't expect anything from anyone who I don't consider a particularly close friend or family member.
I think it all comes down to the fact that I'm still young. Like someone mentioned, the milestones are a relatively big deal as you reach them.

Reply | Thread

Amanda

(no subject)

from: poptart1017
date: Jan. 18th, 2010 08:15 pm (UTC)
Link

I'm a non-birthday type, but only toward my own birthday. If it is a friend or loved one's birthday I'm all for going out, getting them gifts, giving them attention if they want it. I guess it isn't really birthdays, but just the fact that I hate attention in general. For the same reason, I don't want to have a wedding. Any big special days that are all about me are kinda out of the question.

Reply | Thread

Gabe

(no subject)

from: geekygabe
date: Jan. 18th, 2010 09:55 pm (UTC)
Link

My sole wish on my birthday is for it to go unacknowledged. My friends and my partner understand and respect this desire. My mom threw a surprise birthday party for me in seventh grade, and I've never fully recovered. The people in my class weren't especially close to me; I was always the geek more comfortable with books. I'd rather have a quiet dinner with my other half or even just spend the day alone (the other half is often at work in another city). I don't spaz if someone finds out and wishes me happy birthday, but I'd just prefer it to be like any other day. I don't like being the focal point of attention.

For other people's birthdays, I acknowledge them and wish them the best, but I don't like making a big to-do about it. Especially in fora like LJ and Facebook: what's the point, really? These systems artificially prompt us about other people's birthdays, so it's not as if it's some wholly genuine remembrance. I dunno. My introversion leaves me a little socially maladjusted. But only just.

Reply | Thread

ǝloɥoodoɾɥsınbssnƃıdnlɐɟɟnɯ

(no subject)

from: skittlebox
date: Jan. 18th, 2010 10:51 pm (UTC)
Link

I don't want parties and a huge deal made out of it but I do like it to be acknowledged. I have had very few friends over the years who actually remember. Last year, only 2 friends said Happy Birthday to me - my partner and a friend whose birthday is the day before. Then throughout the year I see my other friends wishing everyone else in our friends group happy birthday on fb, and it makes me sad because they didn't say it to me (and fb even TELLS YOU when people's birthdays are coming up).

I certainly don't expect presents but I do like the acknowledgement. I just think that a birthday is something about you that a friend should know, especially if you've been friends for a long time. Mine is coming up in about 2 weeks, so we'll see who remembers it this year :|

Reply | Thread

P

(no subject)

from: bloodsorrow
date: Jan. 18th, 2010 11:43 pm (UTC)
Link

I am both extremes at once, actually.

I go out of my way to hide the fact that my birthday is near, shrug at queries regarding my birthday plans, offer no advice for gifts, and downplay every aspect of birthday celebrations every chance I get.

And then, I am secretly disappointed that no one throws some secret party for me and showers me with amazing gifts. I am a masochist.

Reply | Thread

liliesandglory

(no subject)

from: liliesandglory
date: Feb. 2nd, 2010 07:39 pm (UTC)
Link

Holy crap, you too?

I feel less masochistic knowing that someone else does the exact same.

(Though not exactly the same; I'd hate it if they did throw me a secret party, even though I get really disappointed when they don't. Maybe I just have an extra level of masochism.)

Reply | Parent | Thread

P

(no subject)

from: bloodsorrow
date: Feb. 2nd, 2010 09:35 pm (UTC)
Link

Wow. I am not alone. We are kindred spirits.

Reply | Parent | Thread

liliesandglory

(no subject)

from: liliesandglory
date: Feb. 2nd, 2010 10:35 pm (UTC)
Link

I certainly think we are. It makes me feel a little better that I'm not the only one who does it. Thanks for posting that comment.

Reply | Parent | Thread

terry31415

(no subject)

from: terry31415
date: Jan. 19th, 2010 05:23 am (UTC)
Link

Where I grew up (close to Canada), turning 18 was a big deal--you could go up to Canada and buy alcohol. I'm not a big drinker, but I did occur to me that I could go to the bar...and tip the strippers. (Very classy joints are always just over the border.)

However, when the day came, I was halfway through my workday when I realized that it was my birthday. Another few hours before I realized I was 18.

So. Not a birthday person. If I were forced to do something for my birthday, I would have a day of solitude, out in the woods.

Reply | Thread

Trinity

(no subject)

from: trinity85
date: Jan. 19th, 2010 08:41 am (UTC)
Link

I've learned not to care b/c my b-day is a week before Christmas. People have other places to be and Lawd Jesus to celebrate!

Reply | Thread

never noticed

birthdays

from: silentloner
date: Jan. 19th, 2010 10:02 pm (UTC)
Link

Hearing those happy birthdays songs at restaurants sends chills up my spine.

I dont mind people acknowledging my birthday and i am thankful if they give me a gift.I dont turn into its all about me..me...me when my birthday comes along. I much rather go about that day quietly.

Reply | Thread

Rabbiteen

(no subject)

from: embryogirl
date: Jan. 20th, 2010 12:42 am (UTC)
Link

I never tell anyone it's my birthday. I could not care less about it and I am not that materialistic so I don't want or expect gifts from people.

Reply | Thread

Into Shadow

(no subject)

from: _into_shadow_
date: Jan. 31st, 2010 11:54 pm (UTC)
Link

I seem to have missed this post, and maybe it's rather late, but I wanted to reply, particularly around the extrovert vs introvert divide.

I had a friend who was very extroverted and was basically as many have described above. Wanted a big bash, a complete attention whore, would be upset because her birthday would be around finals and therefore obviously people were legitimately focused on something else other than her.

We a bit of an argument among other things about my birthday. I don't think I quite articulated clearly, but she threw a whole surprise party for me at the last minute. I didn't want it and actually felt very bad that various people took time out of their nights to drive/not study/etc. for this, but by the time I found out people had arrived/were on their way. Afterwards a few people even said to me that they were surprised to hear that I wanted a party and I had to set them straight.

I don't mind throwing parties for other people if that's what they want/for fun, but I prefer smaller get-togethers and chill time. Gifts are nice, but I certainly don't want something extravagant.

Reply | Thread