For many introverts (including me), the anticipation of party season brings both excitement and intimidation. I enjoy meeting new people and socialising, but it takes extra courage to gear up for boisterous parties. Some introverts gain energy from alone time or intimate settings; and we tire more easily than extroverts during stimulating social gatherings. Wherever you are on the spectrum, here are some tips to ease introverts into party season. If you’re an extrovert, this guide can help you better understand and connect with the introverts around you. Everyone’s at the party for a good time, after all!
Here are 10 tips that may help introverts look at parties in a new light…
Plan Talking Points
Prepare some talking points to fill conversation lulls. Think about different types: generic, specific, and personal. Used to break the ice with anyone, generic topics can include current events, the season, pets and scenery. Specific topics address the interests and lives of people you know at the event. Personal topics are about you. When someone asks, “What’s new with you?” have a few stories to spark dialogue as this will take you further into conversation than an “Oh, not much”.
Have Pre-Party ‘Me’ Time
Read, take a relaxing bath, meditate… going to the party feeling energised can give you the extra oomph to be your most social self.
Wear A Conversation Starter
Add one eye-catching piece of clothing or accessory to your outfit that might function as a conversation-starter. It’s easy for others to start chatting to you if they have something to compliment you on.
It’s easier to engage in a small group of people first as opposed to break into established conversations. So introverts – arriving fashionably late may not be for us!
Find A Task
If you need a break from socialising, get busy with a party task. Offer to prepare nibbles, refill drinks, clear dishes, or take photographs. An activity gives you conversation opportunities and helps you bond with fellow helpers.
Get A Sidekick
A chatty companion can balance our your introversion and help you feel at ease at the party. While it’s easy to leave the talking to the extroverts, try to come out of your comfort zone. Take part in the discussion.
Smile Away Your Worries
Keep a positive demeanour to invite introductions from others. Or make an effort to introduce yourself when you encounter someone while getting food or a drink. All it takes is a friendly comment and a smile.
Refocus & Calm Your Mind
Find a quiet spot and spend time alone to re-energise. Re-apply your lipstick in the bathroom. Or make a little bubble of peace for yourself by glancing through a coffee table book.
Have A Plan To Get Home
You need to be able to leave when your social energy is depleted. Choose and plan your mode of transport home without having to rely on anyone else.
Avoid Post-Party Analysis
When you leave the party, don’t replay conversations over in your mind. Maybe you could have said something smoother, or missed the chance to tell a funny story. But so what? Acknowledge these thoughts, and then let them go. Practice makes perfect!
Written by Flora Firth