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Tips for Surviving Your Bridal Shower as an Introvert
Yep, I was anxious days before the event even arrived. After all, all of these people I loved were taking time out of their days to "shower" me with love and gifts. I wanted to make sure I displayed the appropriate amount of enthusiasm when I unwrapped their presents, no matter how mundane the item may be. Therefore, being one who is always well prepared, I practiced changing my facial expressions, varying the pitch and tone of my voice to sound authentic, and responding with humorous quips to each unique gift.
It doesn't bode well for the wedding when you're nervous about the bridal shower due to the amount of attention you'll receive when opening the gifts. Here, I have gathered some wisdom and experience for anyone who goes through life rather awkwardly like me, advice on how to handle a shower or another wedding gathering that centers around you.
Are You an Introvert?
Hello, yes, I'm talking to you—the one standing in the corner. I know how you feel. At most social events, I often skulk to where the food is and pretend that I am just fixing my plate (for the hundredth time) or stand near a group of people and laugh whenever they do.
However, there will come a time in your life when the unavoidable happens. You will be the center of attention. Whether this is a wedding, surprise birthday (the worst), bar mitzvah, retirement party, or when you find yourself singing "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" in front of family and friends, you must have a toolkit on how to succeed with being the main event, the focal point, and the heart of everyone's love and affection.
Survival Tips for Introverted Brides
- Use Index Cards: Write down some small talk topics on index cards. Make sure they are small enough to fit in a pocket or purse. Pull them out if you get stuck. Topics can include, but are not limited to, the following: the weather, sports, food, work, entertainment, current events, and the always debatable question of "Who would win in a fight? A taco or a grilled cheese sandwich." Casually make a joke about using the notecards. This shtick works best when you make it very obvious that you are a very awkward person, and you talk in a monotone voice while making fleeting eye contact. This is a win because everyone will think you are being funny, but really your life depends on those notecards.
- Touch People Gently: Lightly touch everyone you encounter so he or she feels special. People especially enjoy it when you caress their face or repeatedly rub their arm.
- Have an Exit Strategy: Do not linger on one person for too long. You want to make sure you divide your attention equally among all guests. A good rule of thumb is to spend no more than three minutes with each guest. It is crucial that once 3:01 rolls around, you exit the conversation immediately, or the other attendees will become jealous. What I like to do is start my watch secretly when I approach a partygoer. Every so often, I will "scratch" my nose while glancing at the time. Yes, this does jeopardize your listening abilities, but that's the price you have to pay to make sure everyone has his or her fair share of your time.
- Know Your Go-To Phrase: If the particular party requires you to open gifts, have a go-to line that you can toss around. "Thanks, I really need this," works well. Say this phrase after each gift number that is a prime number (2, 3, 5, 7, 11) so as not to appear robotic and repetitive. For every other gift, just repeat what the item is in an excited voice followed by an interjection. For example, "Hand towels! Wow! Thanks!" or "Utensils! Gee wiz! Thanks!" If you're having trouble coming up with interjections, there are many great lists available to you!
- Designate a Scapegoat: Lastly, designate a person who will permanently or temporarily relieve you from all the attention. This strategy can work in a number of ways. Make sure that friend who can't handle her alcohol has plenty to drink. Discreetly bring up a political topic about which your loud aunt is very passionate. Inconspicuously bump into your mom, so she spills everything she is holding. Whichever plan of action you choose, sit back and relish in the fact that now you are once again flying under the radar. Don't get too comfortable, though, for these situations have a way of working themselves out in unfortunate ways. In that case, see #1, #2, and #3.
Now, my companion, you are a pro at handling public events. You are a regular socialite. Following these tips will guarantee to leave an impression on all of your guests and have you basking in the limelight. You're welcome.