Remember a few months ago when I realized that I was an extroverted introvert (That was one of my favorite posts ever btw)? If you don’t have time to read that whole post, let me summarize it for you: I come off as an extrovert because I’m outgoing and can easily talk to people and make friends, but internally, I get totally drained from being that way with anyone that I’m not super close to… Basically the definition of an introvert.
Since that realization, so much about my life has made a lot more sense… Like how going to parties and events makes me exhausted, which is why I avoid a lot of them.
But last week I was invited to an event by one of my favorite brands, 1901. It was scheduled to be at a super cool venue (on a boat!) and I knew some of my friends would be there (Eva, Carly, my manager Ariana), so I decided to get out of the house and make the trek to the city for a night out. I rarely go to any blogger events anymore, but I really wanted to go to this one.
And guess what? I had a great time!
Part of the reason that I wasn’t completely drained by the end of the night is that I put the tips below into practice. Before my aha moment, I thought something was majorly wrong with me because being around large groups of people made me feel like I needed to sleep for 14 hours, but realizing that I was an extroverted introvert changed so much for me!
I started creating plans so that parties and large groups could be fun for me. Because life is too short to skip out on the fun stuff. So far, this is what has worked for me and I hope will work for other introverts out there as well.
1. Choose your parties wisely
Make sure the party is at a time where you’re able to get some alone time before or after to recalibrate, that it’s at a venue that you can get to and leave easily, and that you’ll know at least one other person there.
If I’m invited to something where I know I won’t know anyone or the people I know are just acquaintances, that’s an automatic no for me. Obviously if it’s a work event and you have to be there, that’s another story. In that case, skip to the next tip. But when you can be picky, be picky!
2. Bring a Friend
Even if you do know people at the party, sometimes you want a wing-person by your side. Usually for me that means Anel, but he works a lot and can’t always join me, so I always ask if I can bring a plus one (when it’s appropriate of course). If you have your bestie or partner there to chat with, it will feel like a normal evening without so much pressure.
At the 1901 party, I knew Eva was going too, and I actually brought Julia, my photographer who has turned into a good friend, so we got these fun photos on top of having a great time! It was nice when the boat got packed to go off to have a nice conversation.
3. Find a Quiet Corner
Introverts tend to get tired from talking to a lot of people so give yourself a break mid-party to gather yourself and get some energy back. I like to sit in a quiet corner with a friend or, if I’m alone, I will even mess around on my phone just to center myself.
Amy Schumer talked to Oprah on that podcast about how she would sit in the bathroom at parties to regroup (Oprah does it too, btw), and I can’t tell you how many times I’ve done this! Getting away with some peace and quiet even for a few minutes, gives me my energy back and gets me ready to mingle again.
4. Have an Excuse to Leave
At a certain point, I always hit a wall where I just need to go home. After talking to other introverts about this, every single one has this same thing happen to them. The exhaustion hits and your brain kind of just shuts down. When you have a kid, there’s always the “I have to relieve the babysitter” excuse, but lately I’ve realized that you don’t even need an excuse. I tell the host or hostess I have to leave by xx time ahead of time to temper expectations and then at that time I just say my goodbyes and leave.
Of course if you end up having a great time, you can just stay and the host usually doesn’t even remember.
If you’re at a party with a lot of your friends, they’ll inevitably ask why you’re leaving early, and I’ve found that it’s best to just be honest and say that I’m feeling tired and am ready to go home. I used to make up and excuse every time, and sometimes I still do, but once I realized that no one really cares in the end, it felt better to just tell the truth!
Ok introvert friends, what are your tips for navigating parties and events?
Photos by Julia Dags.