Credit: Unsplash / Kristina Paparo

I’m an introvert, so when I attend an event, I look around the edges for my fellow introverts. You know the type: nose down in their phone, or nervously eyeing the crowd with a drink in hand.

Those are my people. I find them and engage them in conversation because that’s exactly what an introvert needs: someone to break the ice for them. If I can’t find an introvert, I’ll scan the room for a husband and wife team or a couple buddies who look inviting, then join their conversation. At events, three is the magic number, so I look for duos to join.

But what happens when I don’t see introverts around the edges and there aren’t any welcoming couples waiting for me to join their group? This has actually happened to me before!

Instead of panicking, I found a creative solution that worked like a charm. If you’re like me and dread having no one to talk to at events, this article is for you. Allow me to share my story.

I Wanted to Leave, But Didn’t

I knew as soon as I walked through the door that I’d made a mistake. I wasn’t early, which is what I advise everyone to do. I showed up around half an hour after the start. There were a bunch of people there, and they were already in groups of four or more.

Everyone seemed to know each other, and there were no side stragglers. First thought I had was, “Maybe I should just leave.” But no, I couldn’t do that. I had to stay and figure it out.

I knew there had to be a way. And that’s when I remembered something: someone at this event invited me here. The host! If I could find him, I knew I’d have someone to talk with.

I Welcomed People Alongside the Host

The way I figured it, the host was obligated to talk to me. He’d invited me, after all. He wanted me there. So, in my case, I looked over and saw the host by the door. And as people were walking in, the host was greeting them and telling them the layout of the event. 

I walked over to the host, whose name was Patrick. I said, “Hey, Patrick. Your event is kicking ass, man! Looks like you’ve got a good turnout.” And I gestured to the crowd. 

He proceeded to talk with me but was also welcoming people as they came in. I was standing next to him, watching him shake hands. That’s when I was struck by an idea.

As Patrick welcomed people and shook their hands, they naturally turned to me, because I was standing next to the host. Instead of making it awkward, I went with the flow. I welcomed them and shook their hands. “Hey, I’m Nick. Nice to meet you. Thanks for coming out.”

Then I Transitioned Back to the Party 

So, what happened? People arriving were greeted by the host, they knew him, and they saw that I was standing next to him. They assigned in their minds some kind of event status to me because I was there with the host and I also greeted them as they arrived. 

“Hey, nice to meet you. Enjoy.”

In their minds, I was linked somehow to the host or the event. I stood there with Patrick and welcomed about ten people. Some were in groups, and some were in couples.

I figured ten people was a good start, so I turned and thanked Patrick for the invite, and told him I’d catch up with him later. Now, since I had just met ten new people, and they were just getting settled in at their tables with their drinks and stuff, I was able to go over and talk with them.

Remember,  they had just met me with the host, so they were like, “Oh, this is Nick. We just met him.” And so, the work was done, and it was a lot easier to socialize now that I was “known.”

Use This Trick Next Time You’re Stranded 

So, if you should find yourself in this scenario, hang out by the host, with the host. As people are coming in, introduce yourself. All those people you are meeting are eligible to go follow up with; just don’t wait too long. Stay fresh in their memory as they’re getting settled in.

Go over there and open a conversation with them. And just like that, you’ve gone from totally stranded to the star of the party. You’ll have more people to talk with than you can handle. 

For more advice on finding someone to talk to at your next event, you can find An Introvert’s Guide to World Domination on Amazon.