Ugh, it’s party season, says almost every introvert. The end of the year marks parties, gatherings and get-togethers—basically groups of people congregating together to make every introvert feel uncomfortable. Don’t like to mingle but still have to “show face” to parties to meet friends and/or colleagues? Here are a couple of tips to survive it.
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Stick to a friend
One of the worst things that can happen to an introvert is being forced to meet 20 new people at the same time—all alone with no emotional support. Going to a party with a friend can not only help you avoid starting conversations with new people, but also have someone to back you up when you attempt to speak to strangers.
Have some alone time
As an introvert, I tell everyone that there’s a maximum number of hours I can meet people and smile every day. If I have back-to-back events in the day, I avoid meeting friends at night. In that way, I don’t feel tired having to interact with people for most of my waking time. If you’re heading to a party, it might be good to clear your social schedule before and after to spend some “me” time.
Talk about the weather
If you think the Brits love talking about the weather, it’s probably because they know it’s a safe conversation-starter. There’s so much you can talk about Singapore’s weather:
- Today very hot ah? I was sweating so much.
- It’s been raining so much recently. Did you have trouble coming here?
- It’s so hazy!
Wear a conversation-starter
Already talked about the weather to 10 different people and stuck at what to say to the next person who says hi? Here’s a way to have other start the convo: Wear a bag or shirt that can start a conversation. It can be a ridiculously extra bag or a tee with a passive aggressive message—anything that attracts attention and have people talking to you about it.
Choose which party to attend
Just because you received 10 party invitations, it doesn’t mean you have to RSVP for all 10 parties. You can choose to skip those held by people you are not close to, such as acquaintances or people you’ve met only once at a gathering. Just let them know in advance that you can’t make it—don’t pang seh them at the last-minute, especially if you know they’ve made special arrangements for you.
Have a plan to bail
The most important thing to note before you go to a party is to have an escape plan. If you feel bad about letting them know you need to leave, let them know you have other plans—even if your plan is to head home and hit the sack.
Stick to small groups
A big group full of extroverts can drain your energy, so it’s best to strike a one-on-one conversations so you don’t have to react to 10 different people repeating the same joke. Pick someone you are comfortable with. If the person’s big dick energy is too much for you to handle, tap out of the conversation.
“Hi” is not always a signal to start conversations
Yes, you can say hi to someone without launching into a full conversation thereafter. Saying hello is a polite way of acknowledging someone’s existence but it’s not an invite to a conversation, so you don’t have to be afraid of saying hi—or replying—to people at a party.
Find a corner
Don’t want to mingle with a lot of people? Find a quiet corner to hide out when things get too overwhelming. Understand that just because you’re at a party, you don’t have to talk to people for the whole four hours you’re there. You have the right to give yourself some time out.