How to Avoid Social Interaction at Parties
The Dreaded Party
So it happened again, you are at a party with people you don't know or don't care to know and faced with the pressures of being "social." Yes, when you attend a party , whether by choice or force, it is your duty to act amiably.
So why not leave? For some reason you have to be here. Maybe it is one of those office parties - they aren't mandatory but might as well be. Everyone knows that if you ever want to get promoted, you must drink tequila with your horrible boss. Perhaps you have been brought by your significant other as arm candy to a gathering of their choosing. No, you have no choice, suck it up and bide your time.
Sure, there those social butterflies reading this and wondering why you wish to escape human interaction. They don't understand the pressures you face as a socially awkward individual and how you'd rather gouge your eyes out with a spoon than engage in meaningless banter with people you'll probably never see again. Don't try to explain it to them, for they only find completeness through their interpersonal relationships. Contrarily, you are a mountain of introversion that finds peace through solitary endeavors.
So what are you to do? How can you feign socializing without actually making the halfhearted effort to smile at people's lame jokes? Though you are a recluse, when an impression is needed you have to avoid being labeled as a social pariah and appear with all diligence to have a good time.
How Dry I Am
Of course, perhaps the easiest solution is to drink and drink a lot. No one wants to hang out with the drunk guy, well at least not too many people. Though being drunk can sometimes attract too much attention, chances are you won't remember the situation anyway.
So you don't drink? First of all what self-respecting misanthrope doesn't drink? Anyway, go for the mixed drinks - just mix them with Coke and gingerale. Add a red stir stick and ice cubes and voila - instant Jack and Coke.
The trick now, is to look drunk. Look glassy eyed into the distance and stare inappropriately at the bosses spouse. Remember to stumble uncontrollably and drop things. You can kill at least fifteen minutes trying to hang your coat on the back of a chair.
And with drinking, comes multiple trips to the bathroom. The bathroom is a great place to hide and, for men at least, a no talking zone. Yes the culture of the ladies' room is different, but the men's room is a fortress of solitude even when packed with people. However, don't dawdle too much or you will gain a reputation of another sort.
Reach deep inside your genes, and summon your nomadic ancestral spirit to incite the wandering soul that you are. Now for those of you that pulled out your wallet when asked to reach inside your genes, people around the world just face-palmed.
Anyway, as a "rolling stone gathers no moss," so to will you as a wanderer of the party not succumb to the inadequacies of meaningless party jabber. You shall drift like a leaf on the wind through the conversations of the night. Your pretense- a deep yearning to actively listen to the plights of your fellow man.
However the socially inept wanderer requires much more than footsteps to calm their intellect; you need a mission. Perhaps the best sort of mission to counteract the uncomfortable boredom of hobnobbing is ye old scavenger hunt. The easiest way to ensconce your agenda is to develop a list of things you wish to see that night. Examples include, a mismatched pair of socks and the man with the most ear hair. Contrarily, your scavenger hunt could be the physical gathering of personal items: this is especially fun if the soiree is held as someone's home.
Smoke 'Em Out
The great thing about anti-smoking laws is that the designated smoking area is outside and usually away from where all that dreaded excitement is taking place. Yes, though inhaling that delicious blend of chemicals will kill you, it will get you away from the action of the party.
Though the practice of smoking is nearly as socially unacceptable as is avoiding people at a party, those bleeding hearts will understand that you have an unbreakable addiction. You are merely the victim of a deceptive marketing campaign, and have an excuse for your solo venture into the night.
Instead of chainsmoking a couple packs of Marbs, you may opt for the cigar. You see, to smoke a cigar is to have an experience in itself. Like making love you must take your time and savor each puff and the heavenly taste of a hand-rolled masterpiece. You can spend the entire party in the comfort of the designated smoking area.
Hold On, I've got a Text
Modern technology has blessed man with one of the best and most socially acceptable ways to avoid close proximity with people: the text. Yes this is why people have no qualms spending $200 on their smart phone data plan, as it offers the ultimate excuse when group awkwardness demands it.
Sure you could sit in the corner of the bar playing Angry Birds all night, but we are all familiar with the signature slingshot finger swipe and the way you tilt the phone trying to make additional blocks fall..
You need the appearance of doing something important, or at least interacting with something other than a game of spider solitaire. A good strategy is when someone approaches you, is to pretend you have an engaging text message. Flip your phone and pretend to type a very long message, looking occasionally at the ceiling for inspiration. Furrow your brow a bit, rub your temples and make it look like you are agonizing about where to put the :-( in the message.
Like an Old West gun fighter, be ready to draw your phone with lightning speed at the first sign of trouble. You can see it in their eye, when someone wants to start talking. After they fire those words, you are pinned down. Beat them to the draw and quickly pretend to text before experiencing the uncomfortable silence of a fizzled conversation.
Embrace your Creativity
In truth, there are many ways to avoid forced socialization and still look somewhat normal by embracing your creative side. Maybe, you are experiencing snack mix-induced anaphylaxis, or forgot how to speak English. Perhaps your religious obligations prohibit you from interacting with people after a certain hour. You'll figure it out; the reserved ones are always creative.
This page © Copyright 2012, Dan Human
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