Surviving Holiday Dinners for Introverts
I dread holiday dinner parties. Do you?
If you’re an introvert like me and being around people stresses you out, you probably feel the same way. Aren’t you tired of stressing over this? I know I am. So let’s change that and scratch this fear of parties off the list.
Let’s start by asking ourselves what exactly it is that makes us panic. It’s not that we don’t like people, it’s more meeting new people that freaks us out (I think…). We are asked random personal questions which we respond to with very short and vague answers. Awks. So let’s focus on that. How do we make ourselves feel comfortable in a new or unusual environment? Holiday parties can have different settings: meeting your boyfriend’s extended family for the first time, your new job’s Christmas party or even a very large friends/family dinner where you don’t really know everyone.
Prepare yourself mentally
Before you head off for the event, take a few minutes to mind yourself to where you’re going, what you’re gonna do, the people you’re going to see/meet, etc. This is important because as introverts, we have to push ourselves to let go of our safe bubble, to stop being the awkward social animals we are. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing, just that in these kind of moments, you have to let go of these limits. You’re going to have fun. I promise. There always comes a moment at a party, a gathering or a dinner that you let down your walls. You meet someone really nice and they ease you in. Then, the fun begins and you have a crazy good time (well, in most cases). If that happens after 5 minutes into the event or 2 hours later, that’s up to you. That’s where you have the power to actually make a change.
Don’t judge beforehand
It’s funny because I have a holiday dinner later today and when I got up this morning I was telling myself: “Do I really wanna go? I mean, it’s probably going to be very boring and awkward. I could just stay home and relax instead.”
Funny part is, this is exactly what I’m going to tell you not to do. And I do this all the time. If you go there thinking that it’s going to be boring or awkward, that there aren’t going to be interesting people, that you have better things to do, then chances are it is going to be that. Your preconceived idea is just going to prevent you from actually having fun. So unless you let go and decide to give the event it’s chance, then you’re up for an extremely disappointing night (but hey, you predicted it, right?).
Don’t be scared to be judged
Just go talk to people. Be interested in them. Don’t be afraid of what they’ll think of you. This has stopped me from doing too many things in my life and it just has to stop. So if you’re doing this, please, please don’t. It’s hard. But the efforts to free yourself from this are soooo worth it.
Now, our subject of today is holiday parties. But these tips can be applied in many situations; anywhere where you have to meet and talk to people and where that totally freaks you out. So just take a moment, keep an open mind and let go of your barriers and limitations.