I’m an introvert, and on Saturday I am throwing my 20th consecutive Christmas party. My annual Christmas party is in addition to many other parties I’ve hosted including cast parties, kids’ birthday parties, a wedding celebration for friends who eloped and even a “double quinceañera” for my husband. I love throwing parties, but I am also an introvert.
As I point out with maddening frequency to my extrovert husband, introverts don’t hate people. (Okay, we may hate some people, but that isn’t because we are introverts. It’s because some people are awful.) Introverts are not aspiring hermits. It’s just that we tend to find social situations stressful and exhausting.
If socializing is so difficult why would an introvert ever force herself to do it by hosting a party? Here are four good reasons.
Your party, your rules.
Certain social gatherings are more overwhelming than others, but if you are the host you can create a situation that will keep you at ease. Don’t like big groups? Keep the guest list small. Feel trapped at a sit down dinner party? Don’t have one. Hate unstructured small talk? Have a game night or screen a movie.
People will seek you out.
The thing I dread most about parties, particularly if I’m there alone, is having to find someone to talk to. Approaching a group that is happily talking amongst themselves is terrifying. As a host this is less of a problem because people will want to talk to you. They’ll want to greet you when they arrive, say goodbye before they leave and in the middle they’ll ask you about the food or compliment you on your new lamp.
You can keep busy.
If there is an awkward lull when people aren’t seeking you out or you just need a break from the chatter replenish the ice bucket. Check that there is toilet paper in the bathroom. Fluff some pillows. A host has many legitimate reasons to slip away from the party hubbub for a few moments. Just avoid spending more time in the kitchen than with your guests. That’s being a caterer not a host (and it’s a sin I’ve committed many times).
You know these people. You like these people.
Meeting strangers can be stressful for introverts, but many of us can be rather outgoing when surrounded by friends. When you throw the party you can surround yourself with people who make you feel comfortable.
Throwing a party is a great way for introverts to be social, plus hosting also has other advantages (for introverts and extroverts):
- It forces you to clean up the house. (Um…I mean, it always looks like that.)
- Party leftovers! (I fully intend to survive on brie and cookies for days after the event.)
Whether you are an introvert or an extrovert make time this holiday season to enjoy the company of friends and family. It’s fun. Really.
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