A Guide to Holiday Parties for the Socially Anxious Introvert
To an introvert, holiday parties sound amazing in theory, but not so much in practice. Does this scene sound familiar? You agree to attend a myriad of parties (ok, just two!) thinking it will be fun. The day of the party arrives and you’re getting ready at a snail’s pace. You wonder how long you’ll have to stay before you can politely leave to go home, get in your pajamas, and snuggle your pets.
Or maybe that’s just us.
Below are some of our secret weapons for getting through the holiday party craze with our energy intact.
Saying no can feel uncomfortable, but practice makes perfect! When invited to a party, take time to gather your thoughts. Is this event one you want to attend, or would you just be attending to be polite? Do you think you’ll have fun if you go and will you know anyone there? Trust us, we know how easy it can be to say yes in an effort to appease someone else’s needs. But if you don’t want to go, it’s perfectly ok to say so!
Bring a Friend – or Two!
If you do attend the party, see if you can bring a friend (or two!). For introverts and those with social anxiety, there’s safety in being with someone you know. Not only can you converse with them, but they can help ease you into other conversations. Your friends can also hold down the conversation while you hide behind them eating holiday cookies and taking a break from the hubbub.
Take a Mindfulness Break
Come into the party with an intention of how long you’ll stay. That way you’ll have an excuse to leave or stay longer if you’re enjoying yourself. This gives you a nice, polite out. If you do start to get to the point where your mind is racing and your mouth isn’t forming words because you’re so stressed, make your way to a quiet space, like a bathroom, and take some breaths to center and calm yourself.