An introvert’s guide to maneuvering a room full of strangers…and an LBD for all seasons.
When in doubt, wear a Little Black Dress (LBD). It can take any shape or form, just make sure it’s one that flatters your figure and don’t forget to nail your accessories.
I was recently invited to tag along with a friend to a party where they were the only person I knew. Now, I’m a MAJOR introvert and, wait…
[Alexa, what does introvert mean?]
… An introvert, to put it simply, is a person who isn’t very good with people, especially crowds. Like, we’re not mean or (and very importantly), shy…we just enjoy interacting with smaller groups, preferably of people that we already know, and our optimum environment is being alone…lol. Asking an introvert to attend a networking event is taken with the same weight as giving them a 25-year prison sentence—making them have to introduce themselves to strangers…they will never forgive you (signs you’re an introvert).
I value the insane amount of me-time I create for myself but also, sometimes I have to remind myself to stop, otherwise I will die alone. So, we went for this party, and the minute we walked in, my heart started racing and I felt a desperate need to run back and wait for my friend in the car. It was too late, people had started saying hi to me.
I hate being the person at a party that comes with a friend, spends the entire night following them around, fails to socialize with other people and is just extra clingy. It’s off-putting and lowkey childlike. Case in point, let’s say you’re meeting your boyfriend’s family for the first time. Don’t be that girlfriend who follows him around the entire night and can’t have an independent conversation with one of his sisters if he’s not there. Trust me, people notice—plus it gives off a vibe that you don’t like the people around you but are simply tolerating them to impress your partner. This post is going to teach you how to detach yourself from the person who brought you and thrive among a group of strangers.
Here are some tips that have never failed me every time I have to deal with new scenarios.
First, put your phone away, and by away, I mean in your bag/pocket where you’re not tempted to look at it. Make it a point to not look at it.
Next, find the food. Make yourself a plate or a drink, something that’s going to keep your hands busy, so you do not look lost and confused. Please don’t eat all your food in five seconds, the food is playing a role. It signifies that you’re part of the gathering and that you’re interested in the people around you. Also, it helps you resist the temptation to grab your phone.
Third, introduce yourself to the host, it’s the least you could do considering the fact that you’re eating their food. You don’t have to greet everyone, but say a simple, kind “hi” with a smile to everyone on the way to your seat.
Fourth and perhaps my most important tip. Scan the room for your fellow introvert comrade. Oh yes, we are never alone, there’s always another person at a party that doesn’t do people like that. Chances are, they’re seated on the couch/dining table by themselves, looking at their phone or just weirdly reading some old magazine they found around the house. They might look like they don’t want to be bothered, but trust me, they are begging for someone to save them from the misery of refreshing their Instagram every five minutes…you know how it is, you’ve been there.
Sit with them but don’t get comfortable, they might be waiting on someone. Say hi and introduce yourself. Ask them who they came with—you’re looking for someone who isn’t with a significant other, because that person will leave you. You want someone who came alone or was invited by a friend.
As an introvert, you already know how much we loathe small talk so don’t ask about the weather or even worse, politics. Ask them about their job, ask how long they’ve been living in the city, what they like about it or what their favorite food places are. Don’t use throw-away questions that will give you a yes or no answer. Ask how they know the host and compliment them on something like their outfit, or their makeup. You guys will talk for hours. Also, with every question, follow it with your answer too. Let it be a two-sided convo. Introverts can seem cold at first, but the more the conversation flows, the more open they’ll become. Be genuine with your questions and don’t lie about your life just to impress someone.
And finally, people like playing games at parties. This can be an introvert’s worst nightmare because it will look obvious if you’re not playing, and at the same time you don’t want to have all the attention on you. Here’s the trick, pick a role in the game that will not require competitive participation. You have to be quick on your feet and pick this role before it’s given to someone else. If it’s charades, be the one writing scores. If it’s monopoly, you’re the banker. Taboo, you have the stop watch…you get the point.
If you try these tricks out, you’ll survive parties the way I survived my friends party and left with one new Instagram friend.
Introverts, come through, share how you maneuver your way around stranger-dome.