I’m one of those weird introverts that love entertaining at home. I also know, as an introvert, that entertaining at home as an introvert is not always easy, which is why I’m sharing 10 tips I came to live by over the years.
People always have so many misconceptions when it comes to introverts. It’s not that we don’t like socializing with people, we just don’t like socializing with all kinds of people. In other words, we don’t like you (joke, not)! The reason I like entertaining at home is that I have control over the night. I can decide who comes over and I also feel much at ease since I’m in my own zone.
Perhaps it’s the fact that I am an introvert that makes me want to often be the host instead of a guest. I like connecting with people and connecting people to each other on a more deeper level than that we are accustomed to. I truly believe that that is what makes entertaining at home as an introvert so special.
After a couple of entertaining adventures, I developed my own little guide that I use every time I’m having guests over. Here are my 10 tips for entertaining at home as an introvert.
1. Prepare yourself mentally
When I plan on entertaining at home I always start by preparing myself mentally. I go through everything that has to be done so I don’t get stress out with last minute arrangements. But, I also mentally prepare myself for the fact that I’d be spending a whole night talking and laughing to people till cheeks hurt. Not to mention all my prayer to all the Gods of this world that there will be no small talk at my party.
2. Invite either a small group or a big group
It’s really difficult to point out what big or small is. For me, a small group is an X amount of person who I know can easily mingle as a group in their totality and a big group is when people can split up into little groups without it being awkward. I consider a small group a max of 15 people and a big group one more than 25 persons. I love big groups as a guest since I can just blend into the crowd and find my place more easily. As a host, big groups are more easy to entertain than small. If it’s a small group then I always like doing dinner or have some other activities, but more on that later.
3. Choose your group carefully
The atmosphere of your gathering depends largely on the group dynamic. How will everyone interact with each other? It’s good that your guests are all different but it’s also important that they have something in common with each other. This guarantees that people have something to talk about with each other. But, by having different people you also create balance in the group. I think entertaining at home as an introvert makes you even more aware of the dynamic in the group since you know firsthand how it feels to be with people that have nothing good to tell. I used to go to gatherings where I was the only outsider (literally, I came from another city) in the group. While everyone was talking about the history of the dog of a random neighbor I never met, and neither the dog, I was staring at the button of my wine glass filled with Chardonnay and asking myself how the heck I ended up here. That’s when I promised myself I would never organize such gatherings. There will be no outsiders.
4. Make the place inviting and cozy
Candles, music, seating . . . these are elements that help make people feel at home at your place. I’ve come to notice that bar tables work like a charm, even if it’s in a small space like your living room. Don’t bunch everyone together in one big circle. Please, for the love of wine, do not ever do circles! You know, as an introvert, how horrible that is. Instead, spread seatings out in “islands”. For example, if you’re doing entertaining at home and you invite more than 15 people, then let some people linger in the kitchen, other in the dining room, and perhaps others in the living room. It helps if your home has an open floor plan so everyone can still see each other.
5. Always have plenty of food and drinks
If you can only remember one thing from this post then I recommend you to remember this one. Having plenty of food and drinks when entertaining at home is crucial. I once had a party with a crostini bar and, even though not everyone knew each other, they had something to talk about and something to do. The food will do the entertaining when you can’t. After all, you can’t chop yourself into pieces to entertain everyone and at the same time have the 5-minutes-time-out-in-your-bedroom-while-reminding-yourself-why-you-love-entertaining-in-the-first-place moment.
Perhaps, it’s because I’m a food blogger . . . but what is a party with no food anyways? You’re not in college. This is not a rager. And, you know how valuable food is as an introvert going to a party. You know that food is like that lucky moment you spot a dog at a gathering. So, when entertaining at home as an introvert you know you have to give people some food to pet (that’s sounded different then I intended, but you know what I mean).
6. Know your guests
Like I said, choose your group wisely so that means to know your guests. There are those that will work the room like it’s their business . . . let them be free. There are others that need a little nudge to feel comfortable. Match them with a guest you know that they will feel totally comfortable with. Over time I became skillful in the art of finding those in the group who I can have a decent conversation with. I don’t care if they’re the only person I talk to. I prefer one meaningful conversation above 10 bottomless chats. In the end, introvert or not, I think many people do. It’s that one conversation that will make their nigh special and your gathering memorable.
7. Be present
Something I often caught myself doing is drifting my thoughts away from the present. Perhaps it’s because of my mind that’s thinking of a trillion things—like how long it has been since people had their last bite or if everyone’s glass is filled—but I always find it hard to be in the moment. My piece of advice is to just chill. No, don’t go take a puff of weed (remember, stay classy), but just remember that you did your utmost to ensure that everyone has a good time. You deserve to have a good time as well. So sometimes I even grab that extra glass of wine to make me just tipsy enough that I forget what stress means.
8. Have something for people to do or talk about
Don’t you hate when people get the terrific idea to have games at their gathering? Games that you have to do in groups? I feel ya, pal! Give me something to do, but please don’t make me play Charade. Instead, let me make my own cocktail. Something I can do alone or perhaps have that handsome guy that just happens to be at the bar help me with. That is something I want to do. Photobooths, love it. Even if there is someone in the group that people didn’t know before they will always invite them to join the picture.
9. Know your boundaries
So, even though I know I love entertaining at home as an introvert, I also know I can’t have houseguests staying at my place for too long. 2 days, tops! After that, you have to go home. Also, I like sleeping so I prefer everyone to leave on time. Most of my gatherings start at 8 pm and most people leave around midnight. You have the party-hardies who stay till 1 but never after 2 am. As long as everyone leaves on time and I have my 8 hours of sleep, then this girl is happy.
10. Plan some me-time afterward
This is my favorite part. The next day, after I spend the morning cleaning the house, I tuck myself into bed or plunge on the couch and start binge-watching Netflix, as my life depends on it. Nothing like spending a day pampering myself after having quality time with friends.
Entertaining at home as an introvert can be scary, but you shouldn’t shy away from it just because it doesn’t natural as it does for others. You have your own way of making people feel comfortable around you and in your home. Make use of that gift doing what you love most: connecting people