We’ve all been there… You’re at a party. You don’t know anybody. And it’s terrible. I didn’t know this photo was being taken. My husband secretly took it, then texted me “look up”. I lifted my head and saw all of the groomsmen waving at me from the balcony. These were the only people I knew at the party… mocking me from the comfort of their balcony… basking in their safe-haven from the dreaded cocktail hour. It was at this moment I realized my talent for being discretely anti-social at big parties. It takes work. If you don’t have it mastered properly, you risk coming off as a stuck-up bitch or a depressed weirdo. Both titles can work wonders in destroying the little that’s left of your social life. Not to mention, if it’s a close friend or family member’s event, you don’t want to be remembered as the lame wet blanket who brought down the mood. So here are a few things I’ve learned about being anti-social in a socially acceptable way.
Tips For Being Socially Anti-Social:
1. Attempt to be Social: This may seem counter-intuitive, but it works. Trust me, nobody actually wants to talk to you. This works best at events where you don’t have any good friends, but most people know each other. You’ll get a few pity conversations, but you’ll find that people will quickly get bored of talking to you. Most people want to catch up with old friends, network, or get laid. Simply make sure you don’t come across as offering any of these social opportunities. Being a young married girl with no semblance of a successful career, I learned this lesson early on. If you come across as romantically or professionally worthless to whoever you’re speaking with, you’ll guarantee all pity conversations last under 5 minutes.
2. Be or Appear Taken: This one piggybacks off of #1, but I think it’s a tip worth delving into. People who want to get laid after a party are relentless. These naive opportunists blatantly ignore obvious disinterest, and typically need to be scared off. You can easily terrify these single vultures with a little left finger bling. If you’re not married, I recommend a fake ring. You’ll find that some obnoxious flirts are too stupid to look for a ring and simply assume that you’re jumping at the chance to lower your standards in their hotel room. These people need things spelled out for them. Just keep swiping your hair off your face until the person that won’t leave you alone notices it. Once they see that you’re married, they’ll ditch you at the first opportunity they can. This is good. Please note: Some people are major creepsters, and will only be further enticed by the fact that you’re not single. Social etiquette does not require you to be nice to these people. Tell them to fuck off, and be on your way.
3. Hide: See the picture for reference. No busybody without a life can complain about your anti-social antics if they never see you. Finding a subtle bench behind the waiter/bar/service area is best. You’ll get a few awkward glances from servers, but that’s a small price to pay for avoiding mindless small talk. Benches behind pillars, near bathrooms, in the smoking section, or close to noisy kitchen areas are also great options. Try to avoid any seating area that is decorated for the event. Ideally, you’re looking for an area that was deemed too inconspicuous or too far away from the crowd to be included in any decor efforts.
4. Have Some Drama: I realize this photo is proof that guests caught me in the act of being anti-social, but these people are my friends and accept me for who I am. You’re looking to avoid the grandparents, nosy sorority girls, potential frenemies, or co-workers anxious to throw anyone under the bus. If a meddling tattletale questions your anti-social behavior- make sure you have an out. If you’re in hiding, be on your phone or look in duress. Yes, at first they may judge you to be an obnoxious phone addict or bored and ungrateful party-goer. But rest assured, these self-proclaimed co-hosts will ask you if you’re having a good time when they catch you in hiding. Here’s where you need your alibi. Say yes, of course, I’m just having some family issues right now. And please, if your entire family is at the party, then make the easy change to an issue with friends or work. Don’t go into detail. Ensure them that you’ve been having a great time, and if you can, reference some examples of your more social moments at the event. Then proceed to look for a new hiding place.
5. Use The Buddy System: Make friends with someone who’s more anti-social than you. Someone who truly hates talking to all people. While this may seem difficult at first, these people do exist. These party ninjas have mastered evading unwanted conversations. You can learn from them. And you can benefit from them. Finding your buddy may take a little effort, but it’s well worth the pay-off. Look for people in the hiding areas from tip #3. When you find your buddy, coerce them into entering a public well-lit area, and then ease them into striking up a short pity conversation with a 3rd party. Your buddy will help you appear more social by comparison. And as an added bonus, you’ll have a quiet friend for the night that you don’t hate to be around. You’ll look social by having made a new friend, you won’t have to talk to them since they’re not overly chatty, and after a few pity conversations you can both work together to avoid everyone at the party. If you happen to befriend a quiet person you’re not particularly fond of, just meet up with them sporadically throughout the event in-between hiding sessions.
6. Drink: Alcohol makes every situation less terrible. Not too much, though, because drinking as a solution can quickly turn counter-productive. As an end goal, try to have enough nerve or alcohol in your system to toss out some mediocre moves on the dance floor. If you can manage this, everyone will remember you as fun-loving and social instead of the asshole who hated everyone and avoided the party.