What it’s like to party as an introvert

Here’s an introvert’s take on joining a big social gathering

Photos: ING Image
Photos: ING Image
09 Jan 2016

Photos: ING Image

Some people get cabin fever. Not you. You’re an introvert, and you have no problem staying in on a Friday night. You crave alone time because that’s how you recharge. In fact, nothing saps your energy faster than having to mingle with the crowd. But sometimes in life it’s about showing up to the party. Here’s an introvert’s take on joining a big social gathering.

It takes effort to get yourself psyched to go out.
It takes effort to get yourself psyched to go out.
09 Jan 2016

It takes effort to get yourself psyched to go out.

And a lot of convincing from your friends. “It’s not normal,” they say, “to stay in three weekends in a row.” You summon your willpower, tell yourself not to flake, think reassuring thoughts about the good time to be had. Start getting ready, then suddenly feel like napping. Your friend texts you, “Still on for tonight?” Even as you say yes, a string of excuses flit through your mind. You walk out the front door with a lingering look at the comfort you’re leaving behind.

You concoct an escape plan en route to the party.
You concoct an escape plan en route to the party.
09 Jan 2016

You concoct an escape plan en route to the party.

Before even arriving at the party you plan how you’ll make your own way out, because you learned the hard way that riding with friends means being stuck waiting for them when you’re dying to leave. You also take the precaution to let the host know via text that you’ve got “later plans” (it’s kind of like a date…with your couch) but that you’d love to “drop by.” That way they won’t be expecting you to stay too long. 

You make a beeline for the food and drinks.
You make a beeline for the food and drinks.
09 Jan 2016

You make a beeline for the food and drinks.

Loading chicken wings and tea sandwiches onto your plate is an excellent tactic to look busy and hold off socializing. Next, you stand against the closest wall and either pick at or scarf down your food, depending on your level of anxiety. You observe the scene while you eat. 

You just want to be taken care of.
You just want to be taken care of.
09 Jan 2016

You just want to be taken care of.

Say you’re at a party where you know only one person, or maybe no one at all. Or say you arrived with friends but they’ve all gone off talking to other people. In times like these when you feel utterly lost, you just want somebody to take care of you and be like, “Hey, here’s a seat for you.”


Greeting your friend in a crowded party can be challenging.
Greeting your friend in a crowded party can be challenging.
09 Jan 2016

Greeting your friend in a crowded party can be challenging.

You spot your friend through a bewildering maze of people. Right as you’re about to reach them, somebody else goes up to them. Cue awkward shuffling to the side as you wait for them to finish. Should you join their conversation? You listen for a pause to jump in. But wait, what if one of them starts talking again the second you say something, and there’s that whole “Oh sorry, you go ahead,” “No you go ahead” situation? If you keep standing there they might think you’re creeping though. TOO MANY SCENARIOS. TOO MUCH PRESSURE. You withdraw to the corner and pretend you’re deeply intrigued by the shelf arrangement.


If there’s a dog at the party, you’re its new best friend.
If there’s a dog at the party, you’re its new best friend.
09 Jan 2016

If there’s a dog at the party, you’re its new best friend.

Who needs humans when there’s a puppy? At any given party with an animal involved, there is always one person who is obsessed with it. That’s you. You’re that person who keeps taking photos of somebody else’s dog. It’s all you can do not to melt in a puddle of “awwww.” No one can pry you away from this furry, tail-wagging, adorably drooly mongrel.


There is an initial strain to most interactions.
There is an initial strain to most interactions.
09 Jan 2016

There is an initial strain to most interactions.

Someone you know by association says hi. Or you say hi. You’re not sure if it’s a hug-only situation or a hug-and-kiss-on-the-cheek(s) situation. Which cheek first? Why is this so confusing? What do you talk about? 

Once you get past the initial strain, you feel on top of the world
Once you get past the initial strain, you feel on top of the world
09 Jan 2016

Once you get past the initial strain, you feel on top of the world

...For about 20 minutes. Then you need a break.

At first you’re like, “Whoa I’m a social butterfly!” Then it’s more, “Okay maybe I’m caterpillar status. This is getting tiring.” It’s been fun. But after what feels like a year of small talk and quips, your cheeks begin to get numb from grinning. It takes you forever to work up to the moment to excuse yourself. You eke out a parting smile (wobbly at the corners – a true indication that you’re all talked out).

You seek refuge in the bathroom.
You seek refuge in the bathroom.
09 Jan 2016

You seek refuge in the bathroom.

If you’ve been hanging out by yourself too long, where do you hide? The bathroom. If you’ve been mingling for a while (go, you!) and you're feeling good but drained, where can you recharge? The bathroom. There, you can be alone and not worry about onlookers thinking you’re a loner. Get your moment of solitude then get back out there.

You daydream about what you’ll do once you’re home.
You daydream about what you’ll do once you’re home.
09 Jan 2016

You daydream about what you’ll do once you’re home.

Recharged, you manage to socialize a bit more. As you get increasingly comfortable, you’re surprised by what a good time you’re having. When your energy tank is completely used up though, you start looking forward to going home. It’s been 46 minutes already. Is it too early to leave the party? Nah. 46 minutes is definitely legit.

You make your exit, get home, and feel instant bliss.
You make your exit, get home, and feel instant bliss.
09 Jan 2016

You make your exit, get home, and feel instant bliss.

You’re HOME. You made it. You’re real proud of yourself for going out tonight. You even connected with some people. Maybe you should attend these things more often, like once a month? (Might be stretching it.) Now, who’s down to watch Café. Waiting. Love for the tenth time? What – nobody else? Just you? Oh that’s totally fine.   

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