We’ve all been there – standing awkwardly at a social gathering, scanning the room for a kindred spirit…That is, if you’re an introvert.
I am one, and I completely understand the struggle of being an introvert in a world full of extroverted energy. Parties are especially tricky situations for me – it’s always challenging to find someone who shares my quiet, low-key tendencies.
But over the years, I’ve found my own ways of spotting a fellow introvert. Want to know what they are?
Join me and read on as I share 10 ways to spot a fellow introvert at a party. Once you know them, you can find someone to connect with for sure at these nerve-wracking events!
1) They hang out on the outskirts
Low-key loungers – this is a term I sometimes use to refer to people like me. We don’t like being the center of attention, so you won’t likely find us on the dance floor or the stage or hamming it up at a table.
Pause and take the whole scene in…and look at the outskirts. At the wall, by the bar, by the snack table…chances are, you’ll find folks sitting or standing quietly there, content to watch the festivities from afar.
Now, I don’t mean to say that introverts are gloom-and-doomy people who prefer lurking in the shadows like ninjas (although that idea does appeal to many of us sometimes).
It’s more about finding the spaces with the least amount of activity, so we can conserve our energy to last the rest of the night.
2) They take frequent “breaks”
Aside from the outskirts, you might find introverts completely outside the party venue.
Or you might find them seated on a sofa with other people, but they’ve closed their eyes and are doing deep breathing.
Does that sound weird? Maybe. But I admit that sometimes I do that.
You see, introverts like you and me find the constant stimulation of a party environment exhausting. So we need frequent breaks, which can come in many forms (aside from breathing exercises):
- Stepping outside for fresh air
- Going to the restroom for some quiet time
- Checking out the study or library (if it’s at a friend’s home)
- Bonding with pets in the host’s home (my personal favorite!)
- Checking out our phones
These frequent breaks give us some breathing space when it all gets to be too much.
3) They’re absorbed in their phone
See how checking out phones is on the list above?
I know that sounds rude, looking down at your phone all night. But here’s what people don’t realize about us introverts – we need an escape, no matter how tiny, when we’re in the middle of social situations.
As I mentioned earlier, we need spaces of inertia!
Smartphones provide that – we could be exchanging messages with friends, catching up on the news, or even reading an e-book (like I do).
We don’t mean to be rude, it’s just that the digital world allows us a temporary escape from the energy-draining atmosphere of a party setting.
So, don’t be too quick to judge – if someone’s absorbed in their phone, they could simply be seeking a quick reprieve. It could be your cue to sit beside them and connect…or scroll on your phones together in silence!
4) They’re the ones sipping slowly
In every party I go to, I notice a very distinctive difference between extroverts and introverts in the way they handle their drinks.
The extroverts toss back their drinks faster, as they’re more focused on schmoozing around and participating in the revelry.
In contrast, introverts are all about mindful drinking. They sip their drinks slowly, savoring and enjoying the flavors instead of focusing on the social aspect of it. The slow pace also makes them feel more in control and comfortable.
Of course, this is a generalization, but more often than not, this is something I see during social events.
5) They’re the quiet ones
By now, it’s clear that introverts find high-energy settings more exhausting than extroverts do. So, it’s pretty common to find them being quiet.
That can be a downside if you’re looking to be entertained. But there’s a huge upside to it – it means that they’re the best listeners!
That’s because they really give you their full attention and take their time to process information. And they think before they speak, so you’re always assured of thoughtful and sensible responses.
So, while they may look reserved and unapproachable, they’re actually the best ones to turn to if you have a story to share. This brings me to my next point…
6) They have deep, one-on-one conversations
Introverts flourish in intimate conversations that allow them to explore thoughts, feelings, and ideas on a deeper level.
Sure, they may not be the best at small talk, but if you’re into meaningful conversations or thought-provoking topics, you’re in for a treat.
Because introverts are all about that.
They love talking about personal passions, books, movies, life goals and dreams, philosophy, art…the list goes on and on. As long as it’s a hefty subject, introverts are game!
The way I see it is, we’ve got only a limited amount of energy, so we’d better spend it on the good stuff!
7) They have a smaller circle of friends
Another way you can distinguish an introvert from an extrovert is to take a look at their circle of friends.
Do they stay close to a small group throughout the evening? Do you see them engaging with only a few people?
That’s a sign they have a smaller circle of friends. And that they have an introverted nature, meaning they’re more comfortable and secure if they’re surrounded by familiar faces.
8) They’re the designated photographer
Or the host’s assistant. Or the music manager…
Basically, activities like these help ease the burden of having to converse with a lot of people.
That way, they can still be involved in the party without feeling overwhelmed by social interactions.
9) They leave the party early
Finally, one surefire way to spot a fellow introvert is how they make an early exit.
The truth is, we introverts have our night planned out before we even get to the party. More often than not, that plan includes taking our leave early because we already expect to feel drained as the night goes on.
For us, self-care and boundaries are essential, even more so when it comes to social energy. It doesn’t mean we didn’t enjoy ourselves; it’s just that we know our limits and we pay close attention to our energy levels.
So, if you notice someone making a discreet exit before the party winds down, they could be an introvert who’s ready to recharge in solitude.
Unfortunately, that also means it’s too late for you to go over and connect, but hopefully, you’ll get to meet them again at the next party!
Again, I must stress that these are generalizations, and not every introvert will display all these signs. You yourself might not even express your introversion this way.
But usually, any one of these clues can likely help you identify and connect with fellow introverts at social gatherings. After all, it always feels good to know there’s someone out there who’s wired just like you!