Join the Party with Confidence: An Introvert’s Cocktail Party Survival Guide

by Thursday, December 17, 2015

Sometimes introverts have to come out of their shell and mingle with the extroverts. Don’t know which category you fall into? Well, if you’re dreading a company holiday fête, a family gathering, or New Year’s party, you’re most likely an introvert — especially when it comes to the holidays, which are supposed to be the most fun. Parties tend to be a bit much for introverts, considering that they have to chat endlessly with casual friends — or, even worse, people they don’t know. Here are a few hacks to help you survive a cocktail party this holiday season.

Arrive Early

It’s a great way to get a jump start on the party. Help the host put finishing touches on his or her décor or whatever is needed. When guests arrive, you will be introduced in a non-awkward way.

Bring a Gift

It’s important to kick off the party with a little generosity. It softens the host and gives you more to chat about once they see the amazing gift you got for him or her (I recommend bringing a bottle of your favorite wine — who says introverts have bad taste?).

Have an Exit Strategy

“Holiday parties are the easiest events at which to extricate oneself from a dull conversation,” says gossip columnist Michael Musto. “No one will question you as you look across the room and exclaim, ‘Oh, there’s so and so!’ before running over there to talk to someone else.”

Musto adds, “Of course once you’re across the room, it helps to find someone there to talk to, just in case the people you dumped are tracking your journey.”

And if there’s nobody you know on the other side of that room, there’s always the exit.

Which is all you really wanted anyway. — Judy McGuire

Prepare Yourself — Mentally

Don’t try to wing it. Gather talking points and jokes, figure out who you know who will be there, and find out what you can about the people who you don’t know — this is all valuable intelligence for the well-prepared introverted party-goer.

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