As an introvert, I find it tiresome to be social. That doesn’t mean I don’t like it from time to time. I actually love it. After all, humans were made to be in community with each other to experience the richness of life. But introverts need far less socializing than extroverts, and then they need time to recover afterwards.
Most parties are geared toward extroverts. You’re expected to talk, laugh, and interact with those around you. May I suggest an introvert party, one geared to those who like to be with people occasionally, but would like to go home less exhausted?
An introvert party might look like this.
- Guests are invited to come armed with their favorite book or other quiet activity.
- Guests may, without guilt, come in, sit down, and start reading or working on their activity.
- An area of quiet socializing can be established where it won’t be a distraction to those wanting to do their quiet activity. People may freely come and go in said area.
- Snacks will be set out for people to get whenever they want. No set schedule here.
- Texting is permitted—even within the room with other guests—as it is the introvert’s preferred way of communicating
- Soft, soothing instrumental music plays in the background.
- A TV or movie might be on in another room for guests to watch together.
- Guests may leave as soon as they want to. No pressure to stay the extroverted amount of time.
- Quiet companionship is the name of the game.
- Suggested activities: Journaling, drawing, reading, working puzzles (jigsaw, crossword, sudoku, etc.), needlework, watching movies/TV, playing a video/computer game with the sound off or earphones plugged in, painting, coloring in adult coloring books, napping.
Now that’s a party I could get into. I know I’ll get two types of responses to this idea. The first will be something like, “That’s what’s wrong with this world. We’ve forgotten how to interact and this only perpetuates that.” The second will be along the lines of, “Yes! I’d attend this party in a heartbeat. Our world is overstimulated and it would be great to have a place to be quiet, even with friends.”
Some might ask, “What’s the point of a party like this?” (I’m guessing this would be an extrovert.) Here’s the thing. I once was in a family counseling session and told the counselor that I sometimes go in another room just to read in a quieter space. Another family member sometimes joined me with a book of her own. The counselor asked me a question that I’d never considered. “Do you feel a connection to that person when you’re both in the same room reading?” I had to think for a moment. Yes. Yes I did! You really can connect on a fairly deep level without speaking or getting in someone’s space. It was a revelation to me. The point of an introvert party is to connect with others in introverted ways, which are every bit as relevant and valid as the ways extroverts relate.
I think both introverts and extroverts could get into this, at least once in a while. After all, introverts have been long-suffering in attending extrovert parties since the beginning of time. I say let’s create some balance.
Where do you stand? What other introverted activities would you add to the list?