5 Low-Key Party Ideas for Introverts That Don’t Suck

An introvert enjoys a low-key party.

I’m having a house built as I write this. I can hear my contractor hammering away on the other side of the property. His constant stream of curses have become a welcome (if not hilarious) soundtrack to my work days.

I’m excited to see the finished product, and I look forward to furnishing a home from scratch — making it all my own. But I’d be lying if I didn’t say the idea of a housewarming party has me more than a little nervous.

I mean, I get it, I could skip the housewarming party altogether. But my friends are eager to see my new home, and I’m dying to show them every little detail I put together. And really, a housewarming party is expected in these situations.

However, I’m a dyed-in-the-wool introvert, and parties just aren’t my jam. Especially parties that happen in my space.

So what’s an introvert to do? How do we host a party without going completely batty in the process? Never fear, friends — I have some ideas to share with you!

Why Introverts Hate Parties

Before we get into the nitty gritty, let’s discuss why introverts aren’t exactly fond of parties. We’re a personality known for preferring silence or intimate conversations to small talk. And since large social functions are often overflowing with noise and idle chatter, it makes them something of an anathema to introverts. There’s nothing we loathe more than a room so loud that we can’t talk to our friends or hear ourselves think.

And of course, it’s almost assured that someone more outgoing will comment on how quiet we are.

We’re also drained by socializing, so a long, boisterous party depletes our battery faster than location services on an iPhone. We rarely go to a function without an escape plan, and we often need days afterward to properly recover.

In short, we find most parties to be both irritating and exhausting.

That said, we don’t avoid parties entirely; we just have to come at them from a different angle than everybody else.

Party Ideas That Don’t Suck

Introverts are often happiest at small parties where there’s some sort of theme or structure they can adhere to. And though certain types of parties have basic rules of etiquette (e.g. weddings and office parties), it’s more fun to choose themes that allow guests to relax and just be themselves.

Here are five low-key party ideas that both you and your guests will enjoy:

1. Board Game Night

Many of my favorite memories come from board game nights with my friends. Friendly competition, affectionate trash talk, and peals of laughter can make for a potent bonding experience.

If you have a small group, you can choose a more intricate game with a longer playing time. However, if you have six or more people, plan to play a couple simple party games that don’t require a lot of moving pieces. Make sure there are plenty of comfy spots to sit and have everyone bring one or two of their favorite snacks for grazing purposes.

2. Coloring Party

Coloring is not only a great way to relax when you’re alone, it’s also a fantastic social activity! Conversation comes naturally when you’re coloring, and the pressure to fill in any gaps is completely taken away.

For a fun coloring party, set up your space with colorful food, drinks, and decor. Ask your guests to bring their favorite coloring books and tools, but keep a few extra books on hand for anyone that forgets. Provide a variety of coloring tools (e.g. pencils, markers, crayons, paint) for your guests to experiment with. When everyone’s done, they can share their masterpieces with the group!

(Check out our introvert-themed coloring book — perfect for an introvert coloring party!)

3. Potluck

Is there anything better than a party chock-full of delicious food that you didn’t have to cook? Potlucks are a great way to maximize the munchies while minimizing prep and clean up, thus saving your energy.

To make sure you don’t end up with multiple versions of the same dish, create a sign-up sheet with a list of categories. You can even have a themed potluck, like comfort foods or international cuisine! Your guests can sign up to bring something delicious, and your party will be well balanced. Be sure to provide plates, cups, and other utensils, and let everyone know if any guests have dietary restrictions.

4. High Tea

A fancy afternoon party where everyone dresses up and sips from dainty cups is a tea lover’s dream come true! It’s also a naturally intimate and quiet affair — so introverts are sure to enjoy themselves.

Set up your buffet with multiple teapots, cups, spoons, and dishes. Offer an assortment of teas as well as some other beverages such as hot cocoa, coffee, and punch. Cream, sugar, and lemon slices should also be included. As for the food, an assortment of finger sandwiches, scones, biscuits with jam, cakes, and cookies will delight your guests.

5. Picnic

A picnic with friends is a truly charming affair, whether it’s at the park, the beach, or even in your own backyard. Make simple dishes that travel easily, such as sandwiches, cured meats and cheeses, crackers, veggie sticks, fruit, potato salad, cookies, and cupcakes. Utensils, plates, and a cooler are a must, as well as plenty of blankets to stretch out on.

Don’t forget to bring entertainment! Frisbees, kickballs, footballs, and card games are all perfect for a picnic.

Tips for Your Party

Beyond the actual theme of the party, there are many ways keep your party from causing you a boatload of stress. Start by only inviting close friends. If there are no strangers to entertain, you’ll be able to breathe easier and steer clear of small talk.

Have all of your preparations finished well in advance. Dashing around until the eleventh hour will only increase your anxiety, so it’s best avoided. Clean the house, go shopping, and prepare as much food as possible the day before the party. This will give you lots of time to relax before your guests arrive.

If you don’t want the party to go all night, that’s perfectly fine. Set a solid end time so your guests know when to wrap things up and head home. There’s a decent chance many of them are introverts, too, and will be happy there’s a designated time to leave!

An introvert hangs a sign at their party that says "Please leave by 9."

Finally, earmark some time for yourself after everything’s said and done. Plan an ultimate night in — make sure you have all of your favorite treats on hand and enjoy a therapeutic evening at home.

And don’t forget to pat yourself on the back — you earned it! 

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Liz Greene is a writer, anxiety-ridden realist, and full blown pop culture geek from the beautiful City of Trees, Boise, ID. When not stalking the aisles of her local Ulta, she can be found shoveling down sushi while discussing the merits of the latest Game of Thrones fan theories. You can follow her on Twitter @LizVGreene, or check out her latest post on Three Broke Bunnies.