I am afraid there is no easy answer here. There should be a support group for something like this, though; and it would have to be something you didn’t have to RSVP to attend. It is good that you are aware you are an introvert. It is bad for your social life, I will agree with you on that. Your question is a bit vague, so I am going to attack it from a slightly different angle. Here we go:
You feel conflicted over every invite.
EVERY invite? What do you think when you first read the invitation? What intimidates you about this particular invite when you read it? Does it sound like you will be marching to the gates of hell, knocking on the door of the devil and partaking in eating the flesh of the damned? Or, does it sound like it will be about as fun as suffering through the common cold? Would the party be more appealing to you if someone handed you a “guaranteed good time” card to redeem at the door? Or, is it just that you can’t bring yourself to commit because of social anxiety?
Something to keep in mind: There is a difference between social anxiety and introversion.
Social anxiety is defined as: the fear of social situations and interaction with other people. This fear stems from the belief that others are constantly judging you, which brings on feelings of self-consciousness and inferiority.
Introverts are more concerned with living inside their thoughts. They often avoid social situations, because being around people drains their energy. After being with others for any length of time, such as at a party, they need time alone to “recharge.”
Step back and ask yourself if you are an introvert, have social anxiety, or both. Are you fearful of the situation, or do you genuinely feel like being around other people will drain your battery? My guess is that you suffer from both.
You never know when you will be having one of those days where you really need alone time.
You need “me time” to thrive. I hate to break it to you, but everybody does. The question I ask you now is: how much “me time” do you need? Do you need to set aside a couple of hours every day? Do you take days to recharge? Is it a sudden feeling of “the time for me is NOW! NOW! NOW!” or do you gradually talk yourself into “me time”? What are your triggers?
“Me time” triggers include but are not limited to: A bad day at work, a restless night sleep, finding something you really want to watch on TV, getting a diet coke when your ordered a regular coke, feeling especially randy, a rainy day, a sunny day, a bad hair day, finding yourself in too many social situations, finding yourself in too few social situations… THEY COULD BE ANYTHING! Find your main trigger and head it off at the pass, but DON”T OVER THINK IT! Don’t make excuses for it and don’t treat it like a negative thing. There is no reason to stress yourself out! Just acknowledge it and move on.
When you are invited to a party, think about time frame. Figure out what the week of the party looks like for your schedule, and if there is something going on that would trigger the introvert in you. Take a look at the day of the party and ask yourself what you anticipate your day to be like. Is there a chance of rain? Are you hitting your sexual peak? Do you have an early dental appointment? Will you shuffling a lot of papers that could result in a paper cut? If you feel like conditions are ideal, then you should RSVP “yes” to the party. If something does come up on that day that makes you want to run for the hills, then it is a genuine “something came up” and not a premature lame excuse. If these people are your true friends, then they will understand, especially if you explain to them how you function. Personally, I would rather be prepared for too many party goers than too few. When it comes to parties, more is always the answer, especially when the question is: booze?
Communication is key here. CALL them to tell them you won’t be at the party when it is the day of, and be ready to explain. You must be ready to talk to your friends about how you think and why you feel the way you do. I fear for your social life if you don’t. If you keep saying “no” to invites, or just not showing up, then your friends WILL stop inviting you to things. Your friends will think “she won’t show up anyway so I am just not going to invite her” and then you wont have an RSVP problem. You will have a “no social life” problem. Please don’t let it get that far. You are in charge of the outcome of this situation, so find the courage to do what you need to do. I fear that being TOO introverted will lead to depression, so let yourself have fun once in a while. The only thing holding you back is you.
If the party sounds like a shit show, then RSVP “no.”