If you, like me, hate people, but by some sort of cosmic joke paradoxically also like some people, then I’d like to share with you some amazing tips, tricks and items I have realized and/or discovered over the years.
So, look. The truth is that we introverts don’t hate people. That’s what I, and several other people, possibly even some articles, have been trying to get across to you normies over the past decade or so. We don’t hate you. Kind of like how moms of small children don’t hate their kids. We love you, you’re great, you’re wonderful but holy shit balls do you ever shut up? Shut up! Go away! I’m tired!
Ahem. Um, so yeah, more or less.
Because we are more introspective and more likely to enjoy our own company, we also tend to not enjoy the whole party scene. It’s loud, too loud, and you can’t ask where the bathroom is let alone carry on a meaningful conversation. We are not good at small talk, either, because what’s the point? Generally, for me to want to spend time with another person, I’ve got to get more out of it than a headache – so usually meaningful conversation is what I’m after.
My “fluff” social skills are nil. I mean, I have learned some, literally by studying gregarious people who seem to carry “fluffy” conversations with great ease. Since I often sit way in the back corner at any gathering, I can actually really study without drawing attention to myself, though I think note-taking would be taking it too far.
So my social crisis is that I am so spectacularly introverted, but I also love to make people happy, and my favourite way to do that is by feeding them. My party tips here will be centering around dinners, because sorry folks, that’s all I know so far.
NÚMERO UNO – PREPARATION:
So you decided for some random reason that it would be nice to have a gathering in your home. Maybe it’s your birthday, or your spouse’s birthday, or your cat’s birthday… or some other holiday that matters. First, decide who you would like to invite. The technique I like to use, is just thinking about the people I’ve actually talked to this year and whether I’d like to see any of them, and also maybe some family members to fill in the gaps. Or maybe the friends fill in the gaps, however it works. You could even use coworkers as fillers if you really want. But lets face it, you don’t really want a lot of filler, cause you want like 5 people, tops.
Then what I like to do is reach out in a really personal, meaningful way – by creating a facebook event, sending a private message, or if we’re super close, maybe a text. Use really direct language, such as “I’m thinking I might have some people over to dinner on Tuesday or maybe Saturday, I think Saturday might be better, and I’m going to make a lot of food so I hope you can come eat some of it. No pressure tho. Let me know.”
Once that’s finished, you can pretty much just do nothing for a while, until someone responds and says that day doesn’t work for them but they could do the following day, to which you reply that you might be able to change it, but you have to check with everyone else, and you resend your messages and ask if the newly suggested date might work. This is the reason it’s good to have an odd number like 5, because then you can just go with whichever date gets the most attendees, or you could also just go by whichever date the person you like the best chooses. Both solid options.
Make sure you plan for more food than you could possibly need for your small party – more on this in section three.
NUMÉRO DEUX – DECORATION:
For this purpose I’ve found a couple of items you can purchase to decorate your home for your party.
Get some not-too-good but not-too-bad chairs, the ones that feel okay after you first sit down, but make your back sore after half an hour. Take a tip from the fast food places. Make sure there’s a little bit of padding, but not too much – you want that padding to be pretty flat against the hard chair frame fairly quickly.
NUMMER DREI – DURING THE PARTY:
When people start knocking on the door, make sure you don’t answer it yourself and instead designate a child or spouse to awkwardly greet. After the first guest arrives, you can make it even weirder by designating them to answer the door and greet the remaining guests, especially if nobody knows each other.
Make sure you stay in the kitchen. Remember when you were planning your menu? This is where it’s important. You are going to need to spend the entire day in the kitchen. Perhaps the entire day before as well. If a guest meanders into the kitchen and tries to actually engage you by asking if you “need a hand”, panic only on the inside and try to sound pleasant when you say “No, no it’s fine, it’s fine I’ve got this, you go relax” and leave off the “I hate people in my kitchen” part.
Make your pleasantries with your guests while you bring things out to the table, you say things like “How have you been lately?” “How’s the new job?” “Oh, I heard you just moved!” or something. I think it’s good to pepper in comments like “Wow, that’s amazing/crazy/fantastic!” or “Well, there you go!” or “That always seems to be the way, eh?” Then tell them you’d love to chat but you’ve got things in the kitchen to deal with, and escape.
Once all the food is out and everyone is served and nobody needs anything at all anymore, you can sit down for 5 minutes to nibble on food and be social. If, during your massive menu planning, you also planned a dessert, then as soon as any single person looks almost done you get to run away to get dessert ready.
By the time dessert is finished, your guests will have terribly sore bodies from the chairs you provided, and will hopefully have gotten the subtle message that you wouldn’t dream of keeping them away from their own homes so late… After all, for introverts, home is always the goal, and so from our perspective this is a kindness. Once the first person says “Well we better get going, thanks for having us!” they all follow suit in pretty rapid succession. When they thank you for having them, thank them back for having joined you, they might thank you again, if you’re Canadian like me. You might get stuck in a thank you loop. In this case, you can feel free to instead offer “my pleasure!” at any point and that should break the chain. Make sure you make vague plans to “do this again sometime soon,” but don’t commit to any time, date or even season.
NUMBER ДӨРӨВ – AFTERMATH:
You survived the party! You social’d! You saw friends! Your social meter is full. You feel accomplished.
Immediately put your pajamas on. Put away any perishables, and if you feel really ambitious, do the dishes.
The following day, stay home and do nothing. You could spend this time tidying if you wish, or not. You might get dressed if you wish, or not. Recharge. Remain proud of yourself.
When it’s 7 weeks later and you notice it’s still there, take down the banner.
Or, leave it there for life.
Both solid options.