With the holiday season quickly approaching, it’s likely that you’ll find yourself having people over more often. Whether it’s family, friends or even people you’re less familiar with – if you’re naturally introverted, it can soon feel overwhelming.
We conducted a survey to find out what aspects of hosting people find the most difficult and here’s what we found:
- Over 40% of respondents claimed that organising a party made them feel ‘anxious’ or even ‘terrified’.
- 64% of those surveyed said that they wouldn’t be comfortable hosting more than nine people at the absolute most, with 20% setting their limit at three people.
- The aspects of hosting Brits enjoyed the least were ‘small talk’ (30.5%) and people overstaying their welcome (31.6%).
- Over 20% of respondents think that 3 hours is long enough for a party they’re hosting.
- When asked about how to beat pre-party nerves, the most popular approach was ‘planning every aspect in minute detail’.
What are the main issues introverts have when hosting?
When socialising is a source of anxiety, the thought of hosting a party and being the centre of attention can be daunting, to say the least. We asked Brits a range of questions about what their main concerns were when arranging a get-together.
Over 40% said that the thought of organising and hosting a shindig made them very anxious or even totally terrified. One of the main things that people that we surveyed were concerned about was the number of people attending, with 64% stating that an absolute maximum of nine was their limit. 20% saw three people as enough when it came to hosting, showing that a lot of people just aren’t comfortable being in charge of large gatherings.
So, now we know that guest numbers are an issue, it’s time to look at who people are most nervous about inviting.
Our results show that people are more concerned about hosting their work colleagues than distant friends. This shows that anxiety about how you’re perceived by colleagues spreads out into less formal social situations. Interestingly, respondents were equally as nervous about hosting their own family and their in-laws (20%) showing that perhaps the trope of dreading the other half’s family may be out of date.
With guests arriving and the party getting into full swing, there’s plenty still to be done as the host. We asked Brits what part of the role they enjoyed the least, these were the most popular responses.
One of the key factors in how worried people get about parties is their duration. While many see parties as an excuse to let loose for hours on end, over 20% of our respondents said that 3 hours was the upper limit of what they’re prepared to put up with.
However, it isn’t always just a single evening of entertaining, occasionally your guests will need to stay over. Based on the most common triggers for introverts, we asked what concerned people the most about guests sleeping over.
The relatively equal split across responses shows that it’s an inevitably stressful experience for introverts when guests stay the night. The pressure to impress and keep comfort levels high, stay social as well as a lack of personal space all contribute to hosting anxiety.
To help introverts host a get-together to remember (while keeping things relatively worry-free in the process) we’ve put together a guide which will walk you through the various stages of a party and how to keep on top of, and hopefully even enjoy, the experience of hosting.
An introvert’s guide to hosting the perfect party
Now that you know how the UK’s introverts feel about the finer points of parties, it’s time to learn how to thrive in your role as the host.
Our survey showed that meticulous preparation was top of the list of coping strategies. This proves that a well-planned party is an enjoyable one. Here are some tips to help you prepare your home and make sure you’re ready to receive your guests.
- Take plenty of time with your guest list and be clear on your policy of plus ones to avoid any unexpected visitors.
- Invite some close friends over an hour or so beforehand to get you chatting and make you feel comfortable before everyone arrives.
- When inviting people, be clear on timings, when it starts and most importantly when it ends.
- When putting on a spread, prep early and account for dietary requirements to avoid awkward conversations.
- Make sure essentials are laid out ahead of time and are easy for guests to find so they can largely look after themselves.
Every introvert’s worst nightmare is being the centre of attention and hosting a party can feel like a tremendous amount of pressure. However, there’s no need to take it upon yourself to become a social sensation, there are plenty of ways to make interacting with your guests a pleasure rather than a chore.
- Ask lots of questions. People are always happy to talk about themselves and they’ll appreciate you taking an interest. Plus, this takes the pressure off you having to speak at length.
- Share hosting duties with a friend or partner. This gives you the opportunity to take 5 minutes for yourself and recharge if needed.
- Be sure to invite extroverted friends to your party. They can take responsibility for keeping the conversation flowing.
- You don’t have to be an active part of every conversation. Taking a step back and just listening to others chat can work wonders for your stress levels.
You’re happy with your plans, have your strategies for socialising with guests sorted but there’s also the entertainment to consider. Don’t go overboard, stick to activities and themes that you enjoy and there shouldn’t be anything to worry about. Here are our tips for keeping your guests entertained.
- Pay attention to the layout of your home and which features you want to draw attention. This can work wonders to help spark conversation and ensure your guests stay in areas you’re comfortable with.
- It’s often best to select a ‘theme’ for your party, for instance, seasonal holidays. This dictates the activities and wider entertainment like music choice making it easier to organise.
- Make sure that you have music playing as guests arrive. This sets the tone and – as the night goes on – is a great way to fill gaps in conversation.
- Don’t overdo it, your guests are there to enjoy themselves. They'll find this difficult if you tie them to a rigid schedule of events.
- Most importantly, let yourself enjoy the amazing party you’ve organised. There’s nothing less entertaining than a stressed-out host.
If you follow these steps, you should have a great time hosting. This means that your guests are in for an excellent experience. Remember that everyone is there to have a good time and as long as you’re happy, they will.