The holidays are upon us again, and that means socializing and awkward conversations.
The holidays can be a very stressful time for introverts, but they don’t have to be. Here are two tips to help you start conversations with complete strangers, as this will even work with extroverts.
- Be observant: the noise, light, and flood of conversation may overwhelm you when you first enter a party. Find an out-of-the-way place to orient yourself. Grab a drink or put some food on the plate and find a wall spot that is not too conspicuous where you can watch the flood without getting carried away. Don’t stay on the wall. Observe the other people in the room. Look at the clothing, their attitude or their expressions. Listen to the conversations around. Find something that you can talk about. Do you like another person’s ear rings? Chances are, they were wore them because they like them and want them to be noticed. Is there a group of people talking about something that you know about? It’s a party, nobody will think twice if you step in on the conversation.
- Bring a wing man/woman: introverts have a difficult time at most social occasions, but most introverts know an extrovert. Invite them along with you. However, be up front with them. Tell them you need to go to the event but you feel anxious and would like help starting conversations. Most extrovert friends will jump at the chance to help because they already know you are socially awkward.