“I don’t like parties or drinking. I feel like I’m supposed to go out and have fun with people my age, but parties just don’t seem appealing to me. I don’t want to get drunk or dance. To be honest, I think parties are boring. What should I do?”
Sometimes it feels like everyone around us is going to parties all the time. If you’re not a party person, you may feel like there’s no other way to connect to people your age. You may feel that you’re missing out on a meaningful experience you can never get back.
The truth is that not everyone likes to party, and that’s OK. If you’re someone who doesn’t like to party, you have no reason to feel bad. On the other hand, parties can be a great way to bond with people and make new friends. Sometimes attending parties is necessary to support friends and family who are graduating from school, getting married, having kids, or celebrating some other significant milestone.
In these cases, it can help to learn how to appreciate parties and enjoy parties, even if you’re generally not a party person. You don’t have to make going to parties a habit or do it every week, but you can learn to have a good time at a party if you attend one.
Parties aren’t the only way to meet new people. Some places have groups that organize discussion circles where people listen to information about a new topic, play games, and share their opinions. Pub quizzes, Toastmasters, support groups, and book clubs can be great social hobbies and an opportunity to meet new people. You can use Meetup and Facebook to find events near you.
You could host a small group of friends at your house instead of going to a big party. You can suggest a potluck type of event, where everyone brings a dish they bought or cooked. You can talk, watch a movie, or play games. It can be fun to get into a new show with a friend and meet up once a week to watch an episode or two. What about gathering some materials and doing a painting tutorial together? There is no limit as long as you’re willing to be creative and try new things.
Learn a new language, pick up an instrument, or try to learn a new skill. You can learn how to improve your social skills through books, Youtube videos, or online courses. Or take a break from the social world. Coding, investing, cooking, making music, fixing things – you can find tutorials about everything online. Try new things, but give yourself time to learn – you won’t be a master at it right off the bat.
Even if everyone seems to be out at a party you don’t feel like going to, that doesn’t mean that you need to be bored at home, scrolling through social media. Spending time alone can be immensely rewarding.
Have a “date night” with yourself. Try to refrain from using any screens for the evening. Put on your favorite type of music and dance around. Make yourself a cup of tea. Use the time to do some healing inner work. Try a self-love meditation and then journal. You can use journaling prompts to go deeper and gain more clarity. We have more ideas for activities you can do without friends.
If you have a party or event you need or want to go to, but you don’t like parties, see if you can invite someone you feel comfortable with. That way, you’ll have someone to talk to when you feel uncomfortable. Introducing your friend can also be a good way to start conversations with people you don’t know too well.
Taking an active part in planning or setting up the party can help you feel more comfortable. Knowing the party will have music, games, or food you enjoy can give you something to look forward to, even when you’re nervous about the other parts of the party. It will also give you something to talk about leading up to and during the party so that you will feel less awkward.
If you feel uncomfortable dancing, practice! We all get uncomfortable when we do things we aren’t used to. Remember, most people feel some uneasiness dancing. When you’re home alone, put on some music you like and dance. Close your eyes if you need to. Just learn to feel comfortable moving around. It doesn’t matter what you look like. Concentrate on the music and how your body wants to move.
If you try to push yourself to go out all the time when you don’t enjoy it, you’ll burn out fast. Pick and choose the most important events, and prepare in advance. Make sure you give yourself enough time to rest before and after the party to gather your energy.
You won’t be able to enjoy parties if you’re anxious the whole time. If just being around people is challenging, being around large groups you don’t know, with loud music and in an unfamiliar environment, can be very intimidating.
People like to party because it helps them forget about the daily stressors of life. Parties can be an escape from the daily grind, where you can just focus on having fun and not think about anything else.
As we get older, it’s normal to change and become interested in different things. Our bodies take longer to bounce back from drinking and sleepless nights. We also tend to have more responsibilities, so partying may be less appealing.
Some parties are just large gatherings of people with some music. People talk and get to know new people. Other parties include activities like games, gift exchanges, or dancing. There are parties where people drink or take drugs and others where people stay completely sober.
The type of party can depend on the occasion, ages of participants (parties with young children are hopefully less likely to involve drugs and dangerous behavior), and the personality of the people who attend the party.
Sometimes you may need to go to a party. It may be the birthday of a friend, a wedding, or some other special occasion. In these cases, it may mean a lot to your friends or family that you show up. If there’s a party you want or need to go to, but you don’t know how to act, it can help to read up on how to act at a party so that you will feel more comfortable.
Going to a party with someone you know can help you feel more at ease. Sometimes, people drink or smoke cannabis to relax during social occasions, but you don’t want to overdo it. Even at large parties with loud music and dancing, you can usually find a corner to talk to other people who prefer talking to dancing or who are looking for a break.
Related: how not to be awkward at parties.
Introverts tend to prefer talking to people one-on-one or in small groups. Large groups and noise, which are common in parties, can be overwhelming to introverts. Typically, introverts recharge their energy by spending time alone. Being around groups of people for long can be draining for them.
The point of partying is to relax and have fun. Parties offer an opportunity to socialize with many people at once. Dancing can be a great way to let loose and release stress.
As an introvert, you can prepare for a party by ensuring you get a lot of time before and after the party to recharge alone. Don’t plan several large events in the same week. During the party, try to find people to talk to one-on-one.
Yes, of course it is normal! People enjoy different things. Some people prefer solitary activities and one-on-one interactions over parties and loud events. Everyone is different. Don’t feel pressured to be someone you’re not.
If you never go to a party, you may miss out on a typical human experience, but that’s OK. No one can experience everything in life. It’s worth it to try a few parties at some point in your life, but if you don’t like them, you’re not missing out by not going.