Yes, Introverts Can Like Parties… but With Certain Caveats

An introvert at a party

While introverts generally may choose to stay home with a good book vs. attend a party, there are certain times we may enjoy parties.

Introverts may be known for being quiet, or as the ones who don’t overtly interact in a group conversation, or as the ones who stand off to the side while everyone else mingles. These prejudices may give people the idea that we don’t like parties. But that’s not necessarily true.

While we find big parties overwhelming — the kind filled with small talk and strangers — more low-key ones with friends who “get” us? Count us in!

Here are some times and situations where we introverts can enjoy parties.  

4 Times Introverts Can Enjoy Parties

1. When we can have deep conversations with you and your guests

True, we introverts may not be the people who enter a room and start throwing jokes around while slapping everybody on the back and getting everyone’s attention. We are, on the other hand, the best people to have a good, deep conversation with — especially when we have something in common with the other guests.

And hey, even when we don’t have many interests in common with others, we “quiet ones” are so versatile, good at listening, and asking questions that we will use these talents to make you feel at ease and give you space to talk about all your passions and worries.

2. When we can talk with like-minded people

What can be more terrifying for an introvert walking into a party than seeing a big group of people all talking, dancing, mingling, and socializing? Not much… Well, public speaking may be more terrifying, but I think that entering a room on your own while everyone else is enjoying themselves can be a nightmare for most introverts.

I have turned down party invitations to avoid this terror! How do people even do that, just stand next to a group of people and smoothly engage in the conversation that’s going on? I have tried, but imagine a few bubbly people talking and one person hanging on the edge of the group and smiling with clenched teeth and not saying a word. You can guess which one is me. 

So, similar to point #1, we’d like to find fellow party guests (or introverts) we can have deep, meaningful conversations with. If you’re the party host, maybe you can introduce us to some like-minded people. That way, we’ll feel most comfortable. 

A few weeks ago, for instance, some beekeepers organized an event and my husband and I attended (we have about 10 beehives in the Netherlands). And I loved the event! Yes, it was exhausting, but I felt energized by being able to answer all the questions about bees and beekeeping. I kept smiling and interacting with total strangers. I could walk up to somebody and start telling them about the item they were looking at. I would ask kids to join a game. No problem at all! Why, you might ask? Well, because I was in my element: I was in control, I was the one with knowledge and answers. For me, that makes a big difference. 

Aside from that, I am a so-called “social introvert” (yes, there are different kinds of introverts), so when I feel comfortable in a group, I can be social. I have been called “social” several times and people see me as confident and enthusiastic. Oh, if only they knew… But yes, I can be very social, yet it is still exhausting and I can lie in bed overthinking what I did and said and how I could perform better next time.

So, being around like-minded people can be a reason why we introverts may feel much more comfortable at a party or social gathering.

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3. When we can help out behind-the-scenes, like in the kitchen

Yes, an introvert may have some trouble starting chats with random people (eek… strangers). We have trouble finding the right words, we wonder what to ask, and we overthink what to say. We fear we might embarrass somebody by asking an awkward question or we imagine the other person will look offended because we randomly started talking to them. Somehow, we collect all these negative outcomes in our head when we anticipate situations, and this makes us hesitant to take social steps in starting conversations. 

Extroverts, on the other hand, love jumping into new situations. Due to the dopamine reward extroverts receive, they feel good and excited about jumping into new opportunities that come their way. Introverts, however, get overstimulated by the rush of dopamine and may experience a feeling of hesitation when entering new territory.  

But we often enjoy being helpful, such as behind-the-scenes, like helping in the kitchen. We’ll use our creative side to set up beautiful platters with snacks, appetizers, or meals. We’ll use our eye for detail to make sure every glass is decorated and fitted with a festive straw. We’ll help you bake or cook. So if you need an extra pair of hands and a creative mind to make sure your party is decorated accordingly, ask an introvert — they will crush it! Plus, we’ll also get some quality alone time or one-on-one time with you (the host) or other introvert helpers.

4. When we can help you plan and problem-solve

What if you want to throw a party, but have no clue where to start? Or when you have planned a theme party, but need somebody to coordinate certain activities (yet not be the center of attention, of course)? Well, your introverted friend is the way to go. We introverts are great at making plans, schedules, and so on. With our “out of the box” thinking style, you are bound to be surprised by our unique ideas and point of view. 

Introverts are good at thinking things through, so they can identify any bottlenecks and come up with great solutions for these problems. The result will be a party that goes so smoothly, the host will keep on receiving compliments. 

So are you looking for a sidekick to help you plan your party? We will make sure it will be the party of the year!

Introverts Can Enjoy Parties, But Their Social Battery Will Drain Fast

The difference between extroverts and introverts attending a party? Our social battery drains faster, which means we probably won’t be the last person at the party or talk to people all night, nonstop. We do not hate people, we really don’t. We just don’t like small talk, superficial behavior, and a lot of chitchat. Unfortunately, those are the ingredients of most parties. See what happens here…?

On the other hand, introverts do love to hang out with people (one-on-one or those in our inner circle), interact, share ideas, and really get to know others on a deeper level. The key here is being like-minded and having the opportunity to get up and leave when we have to. Plus, we like (and need) to feel useful. Waiting until somebody starts talking to us while we spend the whole evening inspecting the bookcase (and trying to resist color-coordinating the books) is not a way of feeling useful — it is soul-crushing! So, yes, we introverts like parties — just with certain caveats.

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