Did you ever think that the reason introverts hate large groups or parties so much is that there are going to be a bunch of extroverts there trying to engage in small talk? Do you know what small talk is? It’s just you making noise with your mouth in an effort to make yourself comfortable because you can’t tolerate silence.
What if all of our social norms catered to making introverts feel more comfortable at parties? Or better yet, what if society just decided that introversion was the norm, and extroverts were the weird ones. However you slice it, eventually you are going to force an introvert out of their home against their will and it’s entirely possible they’ll secretly resent you for it. Here are a couple of suggestions to make them feel a little more comfortable.
1. Limit the number of people.
No one wants to meet that many new people all at once.
2. Conversation is not mandatory
…but topics for discussion are preselected and sent to participants ahead of time so they can be properly researched. No one wants to sit there and talk about the weather with you, and no one wants to talk about a subject prior to preparing talking points.
3. Nap rooms
Seriously, why haven’t you offered your guest a place to lay down?… rude.
4. No loud noises
That includes music. Thanks for inviting me to your extrovert party. I’m really glad I could sit here and not be able to hear anything anyone was saying. Thanks for nothing.
Every party should have a table full of books… or like a shelf…. a shelf of books… a bookshelf. People could point to the books and say things like “I liked that book.” And then others could agree or disagree. A discussion around said book could then be possible…but not mandatory. Also, people could just pick them up and browse through them instead of engaging with the people around them.
6. Separate Sections
Arrange the room in to smaller sections so people can sit and have meaningful conversations instead of sitting in a giant circle where most of us are uncomfortable engaging in conversation. Also, each of those sections could have some kind of quiet activity for those not interested in the conversation, like an adult colouring book.
Provide something to alleviate the pressure to talk or interact. Like the books we discussed earlier.
Feel free to add some ideas in the comments below, and maybe you can help someone’s next party be the next best thing to just staying home.