How to enjoy a party as an introvert: Pre-party pep talk

As an introvert, parties can sometimes just suck. Sometimes I just want to stay home and read a book or watch a movie, and never ever leave. Of course, that feels crappy after a while. And, for most of us, parties don’t just happen every day, so we have to seize the carpe when the it’s time to partay (sorry for the horrible rhyming).
Going to a party doesn’t have to suck. One way to make things far more enjoyable is to come up with a pre-party pep talk. This is a great way to remind yourself why you are going to the party, what you want to accomplish at the party (i.e. have a great time), and any other little tidbits you want to be reminded of.

Here’s how to come up with a pre-party pep talk

1. Go to a party.

2. Afterwards, ask, “What do I need to remind myself of before the next party. What do I need to do to have more fun?”

4. Write down your answers. They will be your pep talk.
5. Right before you leave for the next party, read your pep talk.
6. Have a damn good time at that party!

Why it works

This actually works because pre-party your brain is all tangled up with social fears and anxieties. After the party you are thinking more clearly (provided you didn’t drink too much), you are more relaxed (provided you didn’t drink too little), and you are in a better position to decide what you need to know before the next party.

Here’s a pep talk I made for myself that might give you some ideas for your own

  • Be yourself and be honest (don’t lie or hide behind a mask). Some people will disagree, maybe even most people will disagree. But others will agree, and you will have a deeper connection with them, and they are the ones who matter.
  • Want to be there. That is a piece of advice that Jay Leno once gave Matthew McCaughnahey. Then McCaughney repeated that advice to everyone watching on one of Jay Leno’s farewell episodes just before he retired. Jay Leno told him, “the key is to just want to be there.” Basically, it means to relax, don’t be aiming for the door before the night is over, have fun, be present.
  • Here are a couple conversation pieces
    • Why was the belt arrested? It held up a pair of pants.
    • Who has a special talent? Do you have any special talents? I have a special talent.
      • Note: the special talent can be anything. Mine is silencing out swear words in a sentence as I speak it. I can ask someone what they would say if some teenager walked up and keyed their brand new car. Then I repeat their sentence back to them, but I silence the expletives as I speak.
    • What do you do for work? Do you enjoy it?
  • Check the latest US, world, sports, business, and technology news. Remember a couple of the stories to bring up in conversation.
  • Talk to the nearest person who is standing around not talking to anyone, or butt into a group that is talking about something you want to talk about. To survey the situation, take the long way through the crowd to the bar/drink table/food table to grab a refreshment.
  • Take some pictures.

That’s it! Your pre-party pep talk doesn’t have to be long. It doesn’t have to be crazy. The pep talk could be one single sentence. In fact, that may be better. It totally depends on you. Maybe just remembering to “want to be there” is all you need. Maybe you need the whole spiel.

The important part is getting it written down when you’re in the post-party relaxation phase so that you can remind yourself when you’re in the pre-party anxiety haze.

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