When it comes to parties, I have a lot of feelings.
For the most part, they scare me. People are loud and they don’t know when to leave and if you have a party at home they’re definitely going to break something.
For the two major parties in my life – my 18th and my 21st – I spent the entire night racked with anxiety. Will enough people show up? Will too many people show up? Are people getting along? Do people think this is fun? SOME PEOPLE TRAVELLED A REALLY LONG WAY TO BE HERE SO EVERYONE BETTER BE HAVING FUN.
It doesn’t help that I’m an introvert. Conversations are… full on. Am I meant to ask you what you do for a living? Is that rude? How do I end a conversation when I start feeling awkward?
But then, I know a highly enjoyable party is possible. Because I've seen it. It's elusive - but I've been there. People are engaged in conversation. The host is relaxed. The room feels... warm.
These are the parties I want to have. Without awkwardness and worry and stress. So I asked some friends, I went online, and I've come up with four (genius) hacks for planning a party, when you're someone who legitimately hates parties.
One word: costumes.
Incorporating a costume theme into a party is the perfect hack for an introvert, because it makes conversation really, really easy.
As soon as people arrive, there's a straightforward icebreaker that even five-year-olds are capable of. You simply say what someone is dressed as, and it sounds like a question/conversation starter. It's brilliant.
Having a costume party also takes the pressure off the planning. No-one is going to bail from a party they've planned a costume for. People have bigger egos than that. It also gives you something to focus on that doesn't directly involve thinking about your guests. Plan your costume, you introvert, you. And plan it alone.