If you're an introvert, then the holidays might be your personal hell; between the crowds, forced socialisation, and jam-packed event calendar, we're guessing you're just holding on until New Year's Day. So how can an introvert survive the busiest party season of the year? To find out, we consulted the "party whisperer" aka Susan MacTavish Best of Living MacTavish. Check out her introvert party tips below.
Connect With the Host
Susan recommends you lay the groundwork for a successful event long before the actual party takes place. "Reach out to the host prior and let them know you are coming and give them perhaps one or two brief news blurbs from your life. This will help your host introduce you and start conversations about what you're up to with their friends." Intros with easy conversation starters make for easier conversations!
It sounds counter-intuitive, but arriving right as the party starts means you'll have a chance to get settled before the party gets going. You'll naturally fall into conversation with guests as they arrive — and it's much less intimidating than walking into a party when it's full swing and busting with people.
Bring a Wing-person
"Maybe you need a wing-person to aid you and get the conversation started," Susan says. "I have a close friend who just loves a party and loves meeting new people. He'll walk right up to others and introduce himself, and he really enjoys doing this. He is a great wingman." Be sure, however, to check with the host ahead of time that it's OK to bring a plus one.
While we tend to think we'll better attract people by being suave and confident, often the opposite is true. "I think showing a little vulnerability really gets others engaged in what you're saying. It shows you're human and relatable, not trying to show off," Susan explains. So don't be afraid to admit how scared you were before your recent skydiving trip or reveal that embarrassing (but funny) time you got lost riding the subway in Europe.
Have Things to Talk About
Susan reminds you to think beyond the holiday season when it comes to navigating parties as an introvert. "A far more long-term approach: generally leading an interesting life. Even if you're an introvert, parties will be a little easier because you'll have interesting tidbits to share from your life." Her prescription? "Go forth and get out of your day-to-day schedule and explore what the world has to offer."