Party hosting is fun but exhausting, especially for introverts. It’s possible to have a great time hosting a party as an introvert. However, it takes a solid game plan. You want your guests to have fun, and you want to have a good time as well. With the right tips, you’ll get comfortable planning events that you and your loved ones enjoy that don’t leave you completely drained.
Throw the type of party that will make you most comfortable
Most introverts do not like social gatherings and will avoid them at all costs. If you're not a fan of loud parties centered around football and beer, you're not going to enjoy a huge party for the big football game, even when you're hosting it at your house. Be honest with yourself about the type of party you want to throw and make plans accordingly. Consider annual events and holidays that are most meaningful for you. Be intentional about offering to host the events you want to host and making them the way you want. If you don't want a huge surprise party for your birthday, arrange a small gathering with your best friends.
Plan a menu around favorite dishes you’ve made before
Introverts tend to get stressed and pressured easily when they are in unfamiliar territories. This includes trying to cook a new dish by following a recipe whether it be online or from a cookbook. Putting together an enormous array of food with multiple unfamiliar dishes is sure to be more work than it's worth. Keep the menu small and limit yourself to dishes you've made for social gatherings previously. If you want to make a new dish, do a trial run a week or two before your party, so you're not making it for the first time the day of your event. When you have a few great signature dishes, people will look forward to having them at your parties. In turn, you'll be comfortable making them, ensuring you're more relaxed leading up to your events.
Keep it simple
Planning a huge menu, lots of décor, and multiple party games is sure to make you stressed out before your guests even arrive. Stick to a handful of dishes and a few basic décor items, and skip the party games altogether. Most people simply want to hang out, talk, and relax around a fireplace with a good drink. Make a single signature cocktail, splurge on a couple of bottles of good wine, and stock up on a few local beers. Don't kill yourself trying to create a huge do-it-yourself bar. If you think your guests will want to do some sort of activity during the party, keep a small selection of board games on hand. After all, Introverts are very simple beings who do not like to overcomplicate things.
Introverts tend to get nervous quickly prior to a large event or social gathering because they know they’ll have to deal with being around a large crowd, noise, having to force themselves to make small talk, etc. It's always tempting to have a couple of drinks to calm yourself. Unfortunately, when you're nervous, it's easy to down alcohol quickly. Before you know it, you're tipsy, and your guests haven't even arrived yet. Choose a light, low-alcohol drink, such as rose or Prosecco, and make a conscious effort to sip it slowly.
Use your home decor to create natural conversation starters
For introverts, it's often difficult to start conversations, even among loved ones who know you well. Strategically placing home décor items in gathering spaces will get the conversation flowing with very little effort. For example, if you went on a trip recently, leave a photo book or a handful of postcards on the coffee table.
Arrange your home so that people will wonder into the gathering spaces
Telling people where to go during a party or leading them around gets awkward for an introvert. Save yourself the stress by arranging party stations around your house to get people wandering on their own. Put snacks on the living room coffee table, a self-serve drink station in the dining room, and ample seating on the back patio. Guests will know they're welcome to keep moving through the house without you having to explain it to them.
Invite a select group of people who put you completely at ease
Many introverts have a hard time keeping up with a lot of friends, and they usually feel out of control at parties because they find themselves in large groups where they don't know anyone. The last thing you want is to end up in the same situation at your own party. Keep the guest list short and limit it to people who make you feel completely comfortable when you're being yourself. It's okay to tell your guests that they can't bring other friends.
Have a good friend arrive ahead of the rest of the guests
Ask one of your closest friends to arrive before the rest of the attendees. You'll relax by chatting with this friend one-on-one. Then your friend will help take away some of the pressure for you to socialize as other guests arrive. This person is also a good resource if you're worried about getting overwhelmed or needing a break. Agree on a signal if you want someone to rescue you from a weird conversation or give you an excuse to step into the kitchen away from everyone else.
Don’t be afraid to sneak away for a few minutes
Even when your party is going well, sometimes it helps to spend a little time alone during the event. Grab your drink, and head out to the balcony for a few minutes to give yourself a break. It may also help to plan a little prep time in the kitchen, such as finishing the main course or dessert, to build in personal time without making the party awkward.
Specify an end time
As an Introvert, setting clear start and end times for your party helps you stay in control and ensures you won't reach your limit of socialization time. When you send out invitations, don’t forget to put an end time for the event. If people are still lingering, make a polite announcement to remind them of the end time for the event as addressed on the invitations. This will make them aware that it’s time to wrap up and get ready to leave.
Plan solo time for yourself before and after the party
Socializing can take a toll on Introverts’ energy levels. When you know that you'll be hosting an event, make sure you take the time to recharge by keeping the rest of your weekend or even the entire week relatively free of social activities. Fitting a party in among multiple commitments is sure to burn you out. Plan accordingly to make your event as fun as possible.
It may take some trial and error to get your party hosting routine down to a tee especially if you’re an Introvert. Seasoned party throwers make it look easy, but that's only because they have a lot of experience hosting parties. If your first-party hosting experience doesn't go exactly the way you planned, don't beat yourself up. Congratulate yourself on hosting a successful party and make some tweaks before planning the next event.