An Introvert’s Guide to Navigating Your Local High School Graduation Party

It’s inevitable. The completion of this standard degree sparks a smattering of pomp and circumstance surrounding the newly-minted graduate. Relatives, neighbors and friends converge on a single day to celebrate the (hopefully) newfound independence and freedom of the graduate. This is the lawn party.

These parties are great for catching up with people, hearing about the latest trips abroad and the new jobs. They’re not so great for introverts. In fact, they’re exhausting. Think about it. You’re seeing more people in the span of a few hours than you have in the past week. Now, if you’re like me, you can handle the heavy-weight small talk for two hours or so before your ability to curve your mouth upward in the semblance of a smile wanes. You may want to bury your face in couch for a nap or simply leave.

However, as a loyal friend/relative/stranger to the graduate and resident lawn-party marathon pro, you will persevere. Never sacrifice your social dignity by stooping to claim the title of lonely corner-dweller.

Do these things instead.

  1. Melt into the most comfortable couch in the house and pretend like you’re listening to your Great Aunt spill the details of her latest bipass surgery to your cousin. If you get caught closing your eyes for a post-lunch snooze, just say you were practicing your visualiztion skills.
  2. Find the youngest people at the party and do what they’re doing. They have the most fun with the least amount of talking required. There’s likely to be badminton games, cards, or meaningless baby babble, but no small talk.
  3. Explore the house. With the liscence of taking a bathroom break, you can go on a self-directed reconasissance mission to discover the other side of the graduate. You may find that the side behind the gleaming senior photos is a darker one than you thought. When the mission is complete, you’ll have ammunition even better than small talk.
  4. Explore the neighborhood. Maybe the dog is neglected in the wake of festivity preparation and has been scratching at the door for the past four hours. It probably needs to go to the bathroom. Take the dog for the longest walk it has even been on.
  5. Talk to the sad person who has resorted to lonely corner-dwelling. You probably have a lot in common with them and you can pat yourself on the back for saving someone else’s social dignity along with your own.
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