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How to Avoid Social Interaction at Parties

Updated on October 21, 2012
Are you like the guy on the far right of the painting? With the uncomfortable stare, just waiting for the party to be over?
Are you like the guy on the far right of the painting? With the uncomfortable stare, just waiting for the party to be over? | Source

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.

Whiskey, and sometimes the appearance of drinking whiskey, can keep you at a safe distance from others.
Whiskey, and sometimes the appearance of drinking whiskey, can keep you at a safe distance from others. | Source

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.

Grab your donkey and do some quality wandering around the party.
Grab your donkey and do some quality wandering around the party. | Source

Nomadic Wandering

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.

Though everyone knows smoking is bad for you, it may be your only solution for a boring party.
Though everyone knows smoking is bad for you, it may be your only solution for a boring party. | Source

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.

Though annoying, texting gives people the illusion that you are interacting socially with others.
Though annoying, texting gives people the illusion that you are interacting socially with others. | Source

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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    • greenmind profile image

      GreenMind Guides 

      15 months ago from USA

      LOVE this. A man after my own heart.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 

      4 years ago from Queensland Australia

      A very funny read, and damn good advice. Thanks for sharing and giving me a good laugh, Voted up.

    • Outbound Dan profile imageAUTHOR

      Dan Human 

      5 years ago from Niagara Falls, NY

      Yet another great avoidance measure.

      Aye, my wee one had already offered me countless hours of escape from uncomfortable situations. I figure that I have a good 18 years of excuses and by then I'll own a lifelike android copy of myself - it will go to parties for me.

      Thanks ktrapp!

    • ktrapp profile image

      Kristin Trapp 

      5 years ago from Illinois

      Hilarious - once again! I think you'll find having a child will help you reduce social interaction time. The child "excuse" is most often an untimely child-related occurrence that causes one to either be late to the party or have to leave early (or even both for the very creative), thereby shortening the window of social interaction time.

    • Outbound Dan profile imageAUTHOR

      Dan Human 

      6 years ago from Niagara Falls, NY

      Frank the Tank - Ha!!!

      Though many people embrace the freedom of those who have indulged a little too much, after a few inappropriate embraces - I am sure people will avoid you.

    • John-Rose profile image

      John-Rose 

      6 years ago from USA

      Love the Jack and coke idea, but it wouldn't work for me. I am a total Frank the tank when it comes to going out and I need my drink. Friend or foe I'm going to get stupid. They'll keep them away from me. John

    • Outbound Dan profile imageAUTHOR

      Dan Human 

      6 years ago from Niagara Falls, NY

      I guess you can tell from my hub, I'm not much of a party goer either. Generally I am dragged, kicking and screaming and told to behave. I found out, it is best I do. Thanks jimmar.

    • jimmar profile image

      jimmar 

      6 years ago from Michigan

      Some good advice here!....but I often find myself sitting on my deck alone with a good cigar and two fingers of Jameson, just staring up at the stars...guess I'm not much of a party goer.

    • Outbound Dan profile imageAUTHOR

      Dan Human 

      6 years ago from Niagara Falls, NY

      Glad you got a chuckle. Maybe you could pretend to text, if you don't have a cell phone - just use a calculator. As far as smoking, they do have those silly looking electronic cigarettes - in the dark they may look real. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment!

    • Crystal Tatum profile image

      Crystal Tatum 

      6 years ago from Georgia

      OK, you got this socially-awkward isolator laughing. Unfortunately, I don't drink, smoke, or text. (I know - last person on the planet.) Guess I'm stuck with the nomad technique:)

    • Millionaire Tips profile image

      Shasta Matova 

      6 years ago from USA

      LOL - while I could go all righteous and say that you should interact with people at parties and show your caring side, etc., I completely understand and have used some of these techniques myself. Walking around saying hello to everyone avoids deep conversation, and taking lots of bathroom breaks. Once I've interacted with enough people, I can find an emergency that calls me home.

    • scentualhealing profile image

      scentualhealing 

      6 years ago from Georgia

      yes this is a good one. I am shy at heart and there are always placespeople insist you just have to be, but do not want to be talked to by incessant chattering that means nothing but takes up airspace

    • cclitgirl profile image

      Cynthia Calhoun 

      6 years ago from Western NC

      Wow...this just made realize why I loved to "help" at every social function growing up. I was subconsciously avoiding social interaction. Who knew??

    • Outbound Dan profile imageAUTHOR

      Dan Human 

      6 years ago from Niagara Falls, NY

      Thanks Simone, I'm glad you liked it. Being functional is a fantastic way to escape the doldrums of interaction. At the next party, I'll volunteer to go out and check everyone's tire pressure. Thanks for reading!

    • Simone Smith profile image

      Simone Haruko Smith 

      6 years ago from San Francisco

      This is MY KIND OF HUB!!!

      What I do is find some way to be functional- wash dishes, serve food, help with cleanup, take someone to their car, photograph the event... that spares me the dreaded interaction!

    • Outbound Dan profile imageAUTHOR

      Dan Human 

      6 years ago from Niagara Falls, NY

      Yes MysticTurtle, though social butterflies will never understand us who find comfort in silence, there are those who do. And yes, I've found all of my options viable in dealing with social discomfort. Good luck to you! Thanks for reading!

    • profile image

      MysticTurtle 

      6 years ago

      Always good to feel that someone out there understands me. I may seriously make use of some of these.

    • Outbound Dan profile imageAUTHOR

      Dan Human 

      6 years ago from Niagara Falls, NY

      @cclitfirl I was having problems with the title actually. I wasn't sure where I was going with this when I started drafting, and played with a couple different titles. I've always liked the "how to" articles.

      I figured there may be a few introverts out there too that would get a kick out of some of my more dubious techniques for party going.

      Thanks for reading!

    • Outbound Dan profile imageAUTHOR

      Dan Human 

      6 years ago from Niagara Falls, NY

      @princesswithapen - glad to bring smiles. I will admit that alcohol does make a great "social lubricant" too for the conversation inclined. Thanks for stopping by and for the compliment

    • cclitgirl profile image

      Cynthia Calhoun 

      6 years ago from Western NC

      The title, and the hub made me LAUGH OUT LOUD several times. I think there could be quite a few introverts on HubPages...and they will get a kick out of this! Voted up and a few other buttons. :D

    • princesswithapen profile image

      princesswithapen 

      6 years ago

      Haha! And we all thought that alcohol was the social lubricant. With your terrific way with words, you seem to have proved otherwise. This hub made for an amusing read and definitely brought a smile to the face. Nicely done!

      Princesswithapen

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