Being an introvert surrounded by extroverts is tough. It often leads to a lot of awkward questions followed by confused looks and people not even trying to understand. And the place where introverts and extroverts collide is generally parties. I am an introvert and a few of my friends are extroverts and just looooove a good party. Whereas I’d rather stick my head in the oven than be in a house or rented hall, with a bunch of sweaty humans dancing to songs I don’t know the words to. The long and short of it is – it sucks. But I go to these parties anyway because I don’t want to seem rude, and I obviously want to see my friends – but I can’t say I’m always having fun. And that’s the crux of it, how does one survive a party as an introvert?
1) Arrive late
This isn’t rude, trust me! From experience the beginning or a party is a little bit boring. It’s full of awkward people standing around the edges of the dance floor in groups, because no one dares be the first to dance. If you arrive at this time you’re also going to be standing around the edges feeling so awkward you want the ground to swallow you up. However, if you arrive an hour or so into the party, the extroverts have usually all piled in and have got the party in full swing. This leaves you able to slip in and just chill with your friends. It also means you’re not out as long and havent got to socialise for a long period of time.
2) Relax before and after the party
One of the biggest differences between introverts and extroverts is is that introverts recharge their metaphorical batteries by being alone, while extroverts tend to enjoy crowds and stimulation. While your extroverted friends are coming to the party to get energised, as an introvert you need to come prepared with your own fuel. The night before the party stay in and have some quality alone time, and if possible the day of the party keep socialising to a minimum. This way you’ll feel refreshed and energised for the night ahead. Also the day after the party do the same, so you can recharge and get your equilibrium back.
3) Find a place you can escape to
Obviously before you get to the party filling up on some quality me time is a great way to prepare for a night of socialising but, half way through the party you can start to feel a little tired. So when you first arrive, find a place that you can retreat to if you need a moment of calm or quiet. It can be anywhere: a patio, a kitchen or even just your car. These little breathers can provide some much needed relief from the buzz of a party and really help to centre yourself. You obviously don’t want to spend an hour in the bathroom but even just 5 minutes can be enough to recalibrate.
4) Have an escape plan
As an introvert, one of the worst things I can imagine at a party is ended up trapped there. When my energy runs out I want to be able to leave basically immediately, but if I’m caught talking to someone, or my lift home is otherwise occupied then I’m stuck waiting. The best way to avoid this is have your own way home. sure , arrange to come home with your mates but also know that you can ring your parents or someone for a lift if you want to leave but everyone else is still partying away. Having an escape plan can help take the pressure off and put you in control of your energy. While the more extroverted people at the party may not want it to end, you can slip out without raining on someone else’s parade. Having a degree of control can also make you feel a bit better about hanging out with people you don’t know.
5) Know your limits
Its okay to say no. If you’ve gone out a lot one week it’s okay to say to your friends ‘I think I’m gonna give this one a miss’ or just explain ‘I’ll come but might leave early’. The most important thing when trying to navigate social occasions whilst being an introvert is to make sure you’re not overdoing it. Factoring 20-30 minutes of your day in-between socialising where it’s just you alone with your thoughts can make your day run alot smoother. Obviously it’s not feasible all the time but if you’ve got a few minutes free really take advantage of the stillness.
How do you handle parties as an introvert? Leave a comment below!