I consider myself an extroverted introvert. I’m very much a people person, though I also need to manage that interaction or it can become too much. Therefore I’m very thoughtful about my social interactions and work to manage my energy. During the holiday, this can really be a challenge so I thought I’d share a couple of practical tips that help me get through the season each year and still have energy by December 31st.
First – don’t accept all invitations. They tend to come in fast and furious and it’s easy to just say yes. Instead, commit to very few early on, and wait until the first week of December and look at your month in its entirety and make sure it’s balanced with all of your commitments. I actually did not do this very well last year and paid the price for it, ending the season too tired and grumpy.
Second – at the event itself, give yourself a 90-minute window. That’s usually plenty of time to talk to who you want or need to talk to. 45-60 minutes seems a bit short, 2 hours, not necessary. Work your way around the room and find yourself at the door come around 75 minutes in.
Third – use the 2:1 ratio of questions vs answers. Most people love to talk about themselves. I enjoy listening and asking questions and find it more interesting than talking about myself. Try making consistent eye contact with someone at a party while they are answering your question – not very easy – though actually very relaxing for you and rewarding for them. If you do this right you’ll leave a memorable impression on them as the only person in the party who actually spent a moment really listening.
And finally, a special tip for the introverted introverts in the world, I know these things can be especially painful for you…. Go in with 3 pre-set questions that are somewhat deep but no so deep they can’t be answered after 2 glasses of wine. Standard go-to positive questions to try: What are you most excited about in 2020? What was the most exciting thing you did in 2019? What worked out well for you this year? What are you most proud of in 2019?
Armed with a little bit of planning, the party can be much more enjoyable!