How To Party Like An Introvert

introverts, socially awkward, life hacks, advice, humor, Modern PhilosopherI’ve made no secret of the fact, Modern Philosophers, that I am a socially awkward introvert, who would much rather hide out in The House on the Hill’s basement bunker than try to make small talk with total strangers at a party.

But I am on a quest to improve my life, and one of my goals is to be more social.

So when my friend Joy invited me to her housewarming party, I made a vow to not only attend the event, but to also blossom into something more than a wallflower.

Why not turn this bold decision into a teachable moment?

So here are some tips to help you party like an introvert…

Remain within a safe distance of home.  The perfect way to get your feet wet as a social butterfly is by picking an event that’s close enough to your safe place to keep your Inner Introvert from totally freaking out and losing his $%^&.

In this case, Joy’s house is about three hundred steps from The House on the Hill.  So I could see my safe haven, which definitely put me at ease.  Knowing that I could sprint home at any moment helped keep stress levels under control.

In addition, by being able to walk to the party, I eliminated any addition stress that might have been caused by driving, trying to find a place to park, and getting home if I decided to have an adult beverage.

introverts, socially awkward, life hacks, advice, humor, Modern PhilosopherBring your favorite drink (and lots of it). The worst thing that can happen to an introvert in a roomful of strangers is to be left sitting all alone.  Anxiety levels will rise exponentially until your head is about to explode as you imagine that everyone is looking at you and mocking you for being the weirdo wallflower.

If you have a drink in your hand, you have something to do.  It looks like you’re busy.  If the drink is alcohol, the booze will quiet the voices in your head that are screaming at you to jump out of the window, do a crazy stunt man roll across the front lawn, and then run home like you’re trying to sprint to an Olympic gold.

I brought a six pack of Snapple to today’s party.  The added bonus of Snapple is that the fact written inside the cap not only gives me a distraction, but it also might serve as an icebreaker should I choose to share that fact with someone else at the party.

Sit near a chatty group.  Parking yourself within earshot of a talkative group increases your chances of being pulled into the conversation, or overhearing something that might entice you to open your mouth and comment.

Chatty people don’t like to see people sitting all alone, so the odds are high that they will take it upon themselves to rescue you from mind numbing silence.

introverts, socially awkward, life hacks, advice, humor, Modern PhilosopherEat.  There’s always food at a party, so at least do yourself a service and put some of it in your belly.

Eating gives you something to do, so you’re not just sitting there in awkward silence like a mime on break.

Food also sparks conversation.  You can comment on how good something is or recommend it to anyone within earshot.  You can also seek out the person who brought the dish that’s making your mouth water, and pass along how much you like it, ask for the recipe, or inquire as to where it was purchased.

In addition, people like to brag about their cooking skills, so someone might see you eating their contribution to the spread and come over and tell you all about it.  Listen, smile, and try to get a few words in when the opportunity presents itself.

Finally, since it’s rude to talk with your mouthful, you at least have an excuse for your silence while you enjoy your food.

Befriend the dogs and babies.  Any infant and pet in attendance is probably just as freaked out as you are.  Suddenly, they are surrounded by strangers and are confused as to what the hell is going on.

Babies and dogs can’t speak, either, so you’re in the same boat.  Be silent together.  Pet the dog.  Smile at the baby.  Give that little nod that you get what they are going through.

Also, pet owners and parents like to tell you all about their pet or child.  If they see you showing interest, they will come over and talk to you.  If you are feeling bold, pets and babies come in with built in conversation starters, so why not try one?  These questions work in both cases: “What’s his name?” and “How old is she?”

introverts, socially awkward, life hacks, advice, humor, Modern PhilosopherKeep a friend as a lifeline. You always know at least one person at a party because someone had to invite you.

Keep track of this friend, and seek her out whenever your Inner Introvert tries to escape and make your life more awkward.

Break the cycle of deafening silence by asking her a question, offering her a compliment, or having her tell you where the bathroom is.

This friend should know that you are not the most social person around strangers, so hopefully, she will introduce you to people or just take a few minutes to talk to you when she sees smoke coming out of your ears.

Obviously, that smoke is a warning sign that your head is about to explode.

Take a lap.  Get up and walk around.  This will rescue you from “Who’s that creepy guy sitting over there all alone and not talking to anyone?” status.  Changing your location could change your luck.  Maybe you’ll wander into a magical part of the party where you suddenly feel confident and talkative.  At the very least, you’ll collect some more steps for your fitness tracker.

introverts, socially awkward, life hacks, advice, humor, Modern PhilosopherGet all wild and crazy by actually starting a conversation.  You already took a major step by leaving your comfort zone and going to the party, so why not take one more step?

What’s the worst that can happen?  Is someone really going to be a total douche and ignore you if you start a conversation?

This isn’t high school.  The cool kids aren’t going to freeze you out and then shove you into a locker because you dared to speak to them.  Just say something and then let regular social norms take over.  Odds are you will be pleasantly surprised.

Quit while you’re ahead.  You want to end the great “Let Me Try To Be Social For Once In My Life” experiment on a positive note, so don’t be afraid to slip out of the party once you’ve tried all the things on this list and sense that it’s time to go.

If you stay too long and something goes wrong, it might take years before you work up the courage to face your social anxieties again.  So get out while the going is good.

Running away from social situations is second nature for you, so you’ll know when it’s time to thank your guest for her hospitality and hit the road.

Remember, you’re not going to become The World’s Most Outgoing Person overnight.  Any kind of progress is positive.

You can do it.  And the person you chat up at the party might be a fellow introvert, so you could be helping a stranger in need as well.

Have fun and let me know how it goes!

About Austin

Native New Yorker who's fled to the quiet life in Maine. I write movies, root for the Yankees, and shovel lots of snow.
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34 Responses to How To Party Like An Introvert

  1. Iamlexophile says:

    Hehehe…I really love the way you present your articles! I am always giggling around while reading your articles as you never forget to add a funny element to them! Thank your giving a good start to my day by this lovely article! 😀
    Love from India ❤

  2. Iamlexophile says:

    * thank you for giving

  3. As a fellow introvert, it’s nice to have someone giving advice to others. The “what’s the worst it could happen” approach is really a nice, although can be pretty hard to apply.

    • Austin says:

      I’m just trying to make fellow introverts see that we have a place in the world. We just have to leave our comfort zone and give that place a chance. 🙂

  4. Great advice! My younger self would have appreciated this to avoid many awkward moments in my youth. I’ve learnt to plaster a friendly smile on my face and be wary of what comes out of my mouth in terms of conversation. Keeping it vaguely optimistic and not too deep helps.

  5. You introvert? No way!!! 😉 Yeah…I’m not too thrilled about parties myself. If all else fail, hopefully the food is good and there’s something to talk about. Luckily there’s also phones these days to keep the bored, awkward introvert occupied…😆

  6. I’d say don’t break the ice, shatter it! Introduce yourself by name followed by your sexual preference. It’s efficient, eleminates guesswork, and – in some cases – the verbal equivalent of a Trump handshake.

    • Austin says:

      Perhaps instead of sexual preference, as some things should remain a mystery, you could mention your relationship status so you don’t waste hard earned courage talking up someone only to find out she is in a relationship… 🙂

  7. Funny, I’m going to an open house tonight and guess what? I won’t know anyone either. Lots of good advice today and I’m going to incorporate some of it into to my introvert party hell. There will be no alcoholic drinks but there will be food. A plate of food should help me out. THANX for the advice and good luck at your event. ~~dru~~

  8. susielindau says:

    This is an EXCELLENT list, Austin! Even out-going people like me can benefit. Funny thing about personality types. They don’t take into account self-confidence. That can go up and down throughout the night of a party for any type!

  9. Lori says:

    Very good. I saw something a few days ago that said something to the effect, “I wish my friends understood that I want to be invited to the part, but I won’t come.”

  10. AAristizabal says:

    Excelent thoughts! Being myself an introvert, it’s hard sometimes to go all social; but these tips you are sharing are indeed helpful for coping with these situations! Thanks!

  11. Pingback: PARTY LIKE AN INTROVERT!: | By the Mighty Mumford

  12. disorder2017 says:

    so why would you wanna become social? i’m socially awkward and also introverted , i have only one friend , i’d rather hide at home than go out , i prefer going out at night because there are no people out, and guess what i love this , i embraced this a long time ago and i’d rather be like this than be a social person.
    Being social is not useful in any way x) also meeting people and talking to them is nothing but a waste of time and energy. socializing with people also creates alot of unwanted drama. If you’re an introvert , just be who you are , just hang out with those you feel good hanging out with , don’t try to make other friends instead. Why can’t we all just embrace who we are and feel good about ourselves?

  13. fmrichter says:

    As someone who loves the idea of going out but always ends up hating parties when I’m at them (though I’d hesitate to call myself an introvert per se), this was really insightful. I’ll be sure to apply these ideas once school starts back for me

  14. Loved reading this, especially because these are all things I have to remind myself to do whenever I find myself amongst 5+ people. Food is always a great conversation starter, but I laughed at your awesome Snapple fact idea. I’ll have to try that! Thank you!

  15. Lol some of this is so me!
    I usually end up doing a lap with the baby and dog before washing the dishes on my way to trying to escape via a window.

  16. whimsicalcoffee says:

    These tips were actually helpful. I also really want to work up the courage to talk to new people but at the same time don’t want to lol xD

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