Since moving to the USA, I’ve been thrown into social events that involved a ton of extroverts in a small space, and nothing much to do besides talk to strangers and mingle (ha!). Here are some amazing tips from Success as an Introvert for Dummies by Joan Pastor, PhD, some of which I’ve found myself applying even before I read this book.
When You’re a Guest
- Bring a camera and make yourself the unofficial party photographer. The host will appreciate it, and you’ll get to hide behind the camera, while being “social” at the same time!
- Volunteer to help with clean up, like dishes. This is something I always did at social gatherings – it helps provide an “escape”, and the hosts appreciate it!
- Play with the kids/pets. They make awesome companions. You can also talk to the parents/owners of said kids and pets.
- Hang out with the older guests. They’re mostly have better stories and they’re not overwhelming.
- Wear a conversation starter like a interesting accessory or t-shirt. Dogs help, if the host allows pets.
When You’re a Host
- Center your party around special events like a TV show, board games, Grammy Awards etc.
- Center your party around hands-on activities or games, like a cooking-baking party or card game night.
- Create introvert sanctuaries – the introverts at your party will love you for it. Set up board games, jigsaw puzzles etc. and let your guests know they’re welcome to them. I attended a Thanksgiving party once and there was a jigsaw puzzle sitting out. My husband went about finishing it, and I joined in. So I can attest that this works!
Getting last guests to go home
- Let guests knows you have plans after the party so they’ll have to leave when you do.
- State a party ending time, and at the stated party ending time, tell guests you have to go to bed before you keel over
- Hand guests their leftovers – they’ll have a stronger incentive to go home and place the leftovers in the fridge
What are some of your tips for introverts in social situations?