The Introvert’s Guide to Partying
Partying does not come naturally to a lot of introverts. Getting wild and crazy in public seems easy for an extrovert, but staying in a loud, crowded environment for a long period of time can be a burden to an introvert. I should know. I’m an introvert, and I despise parties and social gatherings.
Since I don’t want to become a recluse, I’ve had to develop a game plan for parties. It’s taken time, but I can now manage going to parties without getting bored or stressed out. Keep in mind that I began developing these strategies decades ago. Things have changed since then, especially technology.
When I started going to social gatherings, it was considered weird or rude to read a book, magazine, newspaper or anything while you were at a party. If you stood alone, you were a wallflower. Now if you stand alone, you can still seem normal as long as you’re staring at your phone. It doesn’t matter what you’re staring at on our phone, as long as it’s on a phone or tablet.
If I’d had a cell phone when I was younger, I would have gone to a lot more parties. But when staring at your phone isn’t an option, here are a few tips to get you through it.
Don’t stay for long.
As an introvert, I don’t have much social energy. I’m good for anywhere between 5-30 minutes, and then I feel an overwhelming need to recoup. It’s better to leave early than stand around. Whenever I’ve stood around (Donald Trump would have thought I was low energy), people would keep asking if I was having a good time. That’s a lot of pressure for an introvert.
Most people don’t understand that staring blankly is a good time for some introverts. I love to stare blankly for hours at a time. The problem with staring blankly in public is that other people think you’re weird or they’re worried you’re not having a good time.
Bring food and a vague excuse.
It might seem rude to leave after (or before) 30 minutes, but you’re doing everybody a favor. You don’t want the host to think you’re bored. All you need is a vague excuse and an expensive snack/drink. If you’ve brought a food/drink item that everybody appreciates, you can leave whenever you want.
Just make sure that your excuse for leaving is not specific enough to be verifiable. An easy excuse is that a bunch of stuff has come up unexpectedly. If anybody asks for details, just say the details are boring.
I don’t mean that you should be a designated driver. I mean, drive yourself to the party so that you can leave whenever you want. If you let an extrovert drive you to a party, you’re stuck. If you drive an extrovert to a party, however, make sure that extrovert has another way to get home, especially if that extrovert is a drunk.
Make yourself useful.
We introverts quickly lose interest in being social for the sake of being social, so having a purpose at a social gathering can help. Be the keg master (if parties have kegs anymore). When the host runs out of pizza, offer to go pick it up (that saves the host a delivery fee and tip). You don’t have to clean up the vomit or fix the toilet clog, but there’s usually something that needs to get done at a party, and the introvert is often the right person for the job.
Hang out in the quietest location.
Some introverts have quiet voices, and that makes talking extra work. I hate repeating myself at parties. It wipes out my social energy, and nothing I say comes out right the second or third time I say it. My witticisms can only be delivered properly on the first try or they fail to evoke the proper response, so I despise loud environments. If you’re like me, stand outside the loud party or in the quietest location and try your conversations there.
Introverts tend to go unnoticed, but acting drunk can get you a lot of attention. You don’t need to sexually harass the gender of your choice or pick fights or throw up. Just stagger around, slur your words, and wave a drink around.
If you’re bored at a party, acting drunk is kind of fun, as long as there are no consequences. People who usually ignore you will talk about you, and you’d be surprised how differently people treat you when they think you’re drunk. Just don’t do this if acting drunk gets you fired.
If none of these tips work for you, stare at your phone. But put your back against the wall. You don’t want to get conked on the head while staring at your phone. That can happen to you anywhere, even at a party.
What do you think? What advice (besides “Don’t go”) do you have for introverts at a party?