Introvert – the term has been thrown a lot in recent years, and many people still confuse the meaning. It has nothing to do with being socially awkward, shy, or feeling anxiety at the prospect of other people. People can also have those things, but an introvert by himself or herself is defined by one thing – their social battery.
The social battery measures the amount of social energy a person has, and the social battery of an introvert needs solitude and quiet time to recharge to the point where they can keep talking to others comfortably. Of course, the extrovert is the opposite and their social batteries are recharged by people.
In other words, yes, it’s completely normal that you want to skip parties and lock yourself in your room from time to time. It’s less normal if you don’t – if you just ran a marathon, would you want to head to the gym for a workout? For most people, no.
With that mind, here are 4 absolutely life-saving introvert party tactics to extend your social battery and strategically socialize like an Energizer Bunny.
Something that plagues introverts is when they can’t find an excuse to leave a conversation or interaction. Then they’re just forced to sit and listen to someone when they don’t have the energy or interest. This creates a negative feedback cycle where introverts appear disinterested and mean when in reality we’re just tired. We feel too courteous or nice to leave because we don’t want others to feel rejected, but there’s an easy way to escape just about anyone.
Step 1: Have an excuse ready at all times, and drop it at the beginning of the conversation. For example, “Hey, great to see you, I can’t talk long though because I have to make a call in just a minute!”
Step 2: If you forget step 1, then follow this simple sequence. Convey urgency, ask for permission to leave, apologize, then mention your positive intentions regarding the future. For example, “I’m SO sorry, something just came up and it really cannot wait. Would you mind if I took a look at it? We will have to catch up again ASAP!”
What does this mean? It’s kind of like fake it til you make it, but not really. When you want to avoid social interaction or just give yourself a break from talking to people, be into something. At a party, you might be preoccupied in a game that is being played, something on the television, or even an the architecture of the building. If you’re not inherently interested, feign interest in something so you can slightly isolate yourself from others and begin to entertain yourself… or recharge your battery.
Think about it – does anyone bother the person that seems extremely busy and preoccupied with something?
Find a Role
Fulfilling or even creating a role at a social event is great because it just keeps you busy. It takes the focus off of interaction for interaction’s sake, which can be exhausting, and gives you another purpose at the event. For example, you can mentally make yourself the person who is in charge of making sure everyone’s drink is filled. If you’re at a barbecue, be the person in charge of grilling the meat or setting up the picnic tables.
The best roles expose you to people, but also give you a supreme excuse to pop in and out of conversations whenever you want. Similarly, being the host of events can make socializing far easier for you because you’ll always have something to do or check on, which gives you a nice break.
Recharge Intermittently Throughout
If during a party your social battery threatens to dip dangerously low, you don’t always have to leave and sequester yourself in a dark room. You can recharge yourself intermittently throughout the event by first searching for areas where few people will be, and visiting them after each conversation. It’s like drinking – take a shot, drink a glass of water. It keeps your balanced and in a happy zone where you are accomplishing your goals without going overboard and feeling terrible later that night.
This can be something as simple as a bathroom stall, a staircase, the backyard, or even just taking a relaxed walk around the block to collect their thoughts. Once you scout the location and find your hiding spot, return there throughout the night and rather try to keep your battery at 40% consistently rather than hitting rock bottom and then staggering home.
For more on socializing and making friends when you’d rather be home alone eating pie and watching TV, check out: Introvert Survival Tactics: How to Make Friends, Be More Social, and Be Comfortable In Any Situation