– by Jennifer Enchin –
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Parties can be quite literally an introvert’s worst nightmare. If the thought of schmoozing it up with complete strangers while grabbing fistfuls of Doritos is enough to make your heart start racing, you are not alone. It is estimated that about 30 percent of the world’s population are introverted, meaning they thrive on internal stimuli such as reading, writing, thinking and listening to music. The remaining 60 percent of people on the planet thrive on external stimuli; that would be things like talking, loud music, movement and the energy of other people. In reality, most people consider themselves somewhere in between these two extremes. If you’re closer to the introverted side, you probably feel a little awkward at parties and get drained easily from prolonged interaction with others. Here are 5 tips on how to survive social gatherings as an introvert.
- Offer Help to the Host
When you get to the party, ask the hosts if they need any help. They will most likely say no, so the best way to go about it is to just catch them while they’re doing a task and help without asking. As long as it’s not something complicated like rolling sushi, you should be fine. This is a perfect way to get comfortable with the environment and will set up opportunities for you to talk to other guests. Also when people see that you are being a good friend to the host, they will be more likely to start a conversation with you. Less work on your part!
- Find a Safe Place
This sounds like the kind of advice you would hear as a kid when the teacher told you to never talk to strangers. Luckily at the ripe old age of 25 you probably don’t need to worry about being kidnapped by a stranger, but you do need to worry about staying calm and collected when talking to one. When you need a break from the chatter, go to a room, balcony, hallway or bathroom where you can have one minute of peace. That’s all you need. Go to this place a few times throughout the evening and give yourself the chance to reset. When you’re in this safe place, really take in the moment and revel in the silence. Now get back out there and bust a move!
- Find Other Introverts
You will be able to tell who the other introverts are because they will be probably staring at the wall or dipping their hand into the chip bowl while scanning the environment, much like what you’ve been doing most of the time. You can also find introverts in the more secluded areas of the venue or house. Introverts are more likely to be sitting down or chilling all cool in a corner. Befriend these people and you will have some buddies to keep going back to for some easygoing conversation.
- Emphasize Your Mystery
One of the most attractive and intriguing aspects of introverts is that they are just so damn mysterious. People feel drawn to them because you want to figure out what they’re thinking. So instead of being awkward and insecure about your social skills, play up your mystery. If you find yourself with no one to talk to, don’t be so hard on yourself, enjoy the moment you have alone and just let it ride. People will be more likely to approach you and start a conversation if you’ve got a little smirk on your face versus a worried grimace.
- Have an Excuse to Leave
Let the host know ahead of time that you can only stay until X o’clock because of Y reason. That way when you leave, you won’t get the usual
“party pooper” remarks or any pressure to stay just one more hour. By telling everyone ahead of time, you are mentally preparing them and so they won’t act all surprised or disappointed when you leave early. Your excuse should be something out of your control like “I have to get up early to work out with my trainer,” which let’s be real, may or may not happen. It’s not a lie; it’s a possibility.
Jennifer Enchin is a freelance writer living in the big city of Toronto. A self proclaimed musical theatre geek, philosopher and playwright, Jennifer spends most of her time in the rehearsal studio or dreaming up the next big hit.