Nicolle Lowrey

How to Take Up More Space in Social Settings

As an introvert, we lose energy in social settings. Many people think that being an introvert means that we’re shy. While this may be the case, many introverted people are not shy. Nor, does being an introvert mean that we hate social settings or people for that matter. We enjoy people and going to social events.

However, our energy levels are drained by social events; especially those with people that we don’t know. To regain our energy, we need some time alone to recharge our energy levels. On the other hand, extroverted people gain energy when in social settings and lose energy when they are alone.

Even though we lose energy in social settings, we need social interaction to feel fulfilled, if these events are in manageable doses. Furthermore, once we’re at a social event, we can’t spend the entire time sitting with our backs to the wall not talking to anyone. Instead, we need to identify how to take up more space in social settings and feel comfortable.

Over the next few sections, we’ll discuss the steps we can take in social settings to enjoy the event while keeping our energy up.

Step One: Find a Recharging Space

When I go to a house party, the first thing that I do is find a place that is quiet. Once I’ve scoped the place out at a social setting, I feel free to spend time taking up more space at the event. Instead of spending my time with my nose in my phone, I take the time to get out there and have conversations with other guests.

When I feel my energy start to drain, then I head to my “recharging space” and gather my energy. Instead of stressing or worrying about what will happen if I feel my energy draining, I have a plan in place.

Fortunately, if we’re at a house party, there are several different areas that could be used as a recharging space. Some of those spaces include bathrooms, patios, libraries, or other rooms that are not being used as the main party space.

Step Two: Pay Attention to Our Energy Levels

Another way that we can feel comfortable taking up more space in social settings is by paying attention to our energy levels. When we intend to remain at the social event until the end of the evening, it is important to take several breaks throughout the night. For example, if we begin to feel drained, at a loss of words, or awkward in any way, it is time to hit that recharging space.

Read more: How to deal with social overload.

Once we get to our recharging space, we can take a few minutes breather and regain our energy. When in our recharging space, we can check our phone, pretend to make a phone call, sit in a chair and close our eyes, lean against a wall, or pick up a book or magazine and leaf through the pages.

Step Three: Have a Recharging Buddy

Taking a friend with us who is aware of our need to recharge is a great way to feel more comfortable in social settings. With a friend as a backup plan, we can be comfortable enough to socialize without fear of growing tired. What is the benefit of a recharging buddy? A recharging buddy is someone who can distract others when we need a few minutes by ourselves.

For example, if we can’t find a quiet place to get away from the crowd, our recharging buddy can sit quietly beside us or someone who can cover for us when we skip out for a few minutes.

Step Four: Establish a Time to Leave

If we are aware of what time we are planning to leave, it makes it easier for us to interact. We have a predetermined time established for being alone and getting ready for bed. Furthermore, it is easier for us to have a way home that is independent of anyone else. That gives us the reassurance that we can leave whenever we need to and not be dependent upon someone else to also drain their energy levels.

When we leave, it is best to have a period of quiet time prepared. If there will be roommates when we get home, we need to establish with them prior to the event that when we get home, we want to be alone to recharge.

Step Five: Help Out

Another great way to take up more space in social settings is to help with the event. By helping in social settings, we can get away from that quiet corner and easily mingle with people. Not to mention, social event hosts love having additional helpers to make sure everything gets handled.

What can we volunteer to assist with?

There are several different ways that we could assist. Some of those ways include greeting guests, providing directions, passing out drinks and or food, or helping with the setup in the kitchen. However, we need to let our host know that we will need a few breaks throughout the evening to recharge.

Step Six: Encourage Others to Talk

The last tip for taking up more space in social settings is to encourage others to do the talking. Introverted people tend to lose more energy when required to talk a lot. As a result, a great way to conserve energy is to encourage others to do most of the talking. This is not as hard as it might sound. People love to talk about themselves and what they are passionate about. The key is to keep them talking about what interests them.

One way to encourage others to keep talking is by asking, “really?”, with interest, after someone tells you something.

This statement alone is enough to show our interest in what someone is saying and acts as a magic elixir to expand on what they were saying. Even better is that we are saving that precious energy to last longer at the social event!

What do you think of my recommendations? Do you think they will help you take up more space in social settings? When you think back to a time you were comfortable in a social setting, were you following these steps? I look forward to hearing your comments below!

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