How Introverts Should Strategically Respond to RSVPs

Depending on the host, introverts can feel delighted or disheartened when they receive an invitation to an event for which they have to RSVP.

An RSVP is a French term (répondez s’il vous plaît) meaning “Please respond.”

The host has commanded the invitee to decide whether to go to an event requiring a “yes or no” response.

It is in poor taste to accept an invitation and not attend.

If you want a relationship to end, this can do it.

So, thinking strategically about RSVP responses means determining if you will attend and how you will set the stage to ensure you have an enjoyable time.

For introverts, there is a process from confirming attendance to exiting the event.

If the invitation is from someone I have always liked and respected, I am excited about the opportunity to help them celebrate a special occasion.

But I have learned that I need to wait to assess my true feelings before the RSVP deadline expires.

Since I rarely attend social events, such invitations sound great up until the actual event date.

At that point, I would rather do a thousand other things.

I must convince myself that this is an opportunity to enjoy myself.

What will I wear? Who will be there? How long will I stay?

All these questions dart across my mind. A good idea now feels emotionally and psychologically exhausting.

If you accept the offer, don’t back out at the last moment.

I established rules and guidelines for strategically responding to RSVPs and getting through the event.

Introverts should act in their self-interest with RSVPs

In terms of acceptance or rejection of an RSVP, it is straightforward.

Either you are attending or you are not.

But you must reply one way or the other by forwarding a decision.

The stationery cost the host a great deal of money.

It is poor etiquette not to respond at all. However, you can send a gift if you don’t attend.

Although special events are part of an unspoken agreement between family and friends, they generally are self-serving for the host.

Depending on the extravagance of the occasion, guests are asked to spend energy and money to participate in the process.

And although the event is for a loved one, it does not mean guests should not receive a benefit.

The best things in life are mutually beneficial.

Introverts who opt to attend should identify a specific benefit based on their self-interest.

There is nothing like being at an event for the host and trying to establish some level of comfort among strangers.

To ensure a good time, introverts should create an event within an event.

In other words, if you know other friends will attend, ensure that you collaborate and coordinate efforts to meet there.

Also, mark the RSVP with a “plus-one” to bring an associate or a date.

Stacking the cards in your favor means never leaving things up to chance because fortune favors the prepared.

Additionally, always ask the host if you need to bring anything to assist in the festivities.

I don’t drink alcoholic beverages, but if champagne might be served, I may bring a bottle of sparkling cider.

While others are drinking champagne, I will have sparkling cider to participate in any toasts.

Set the stage and let events unfold naturally

Ultimately, everything you do, from RSVP acceptance to aligning with familiar faces, is targeted at celebrating the host as you create enjoyment for yourself.

When I attended clubs and parties in my youth, my enjoyment depended on factors I had no control over.

Whom I met and connected with was a gamble.

Consequently, if I connected with someone, I had a great time. If I didn’t, I would be miserable.

Being more self-aware allows me to plan and strategize my participation allowing some room for spontaneity.

However, spontaneity is the icing on the cake. The overall plan is the cake.

You have the makings of a good time by being accompanied by a plus-one and other associates who will be in attendance along with the host.

Many extroverts would suggest that this level of reinforcement serves as a crutch.

And any well-honed social skills require you to stand on your own two feet.

But when you know what makes you feel safe and secure, you put the necessary mechanisms in place.

Whether you want to set the stage of enjoyment on your terms is your choice.

As you make your greetings at the event, enjoy the occasion by allowing the event to unfold naturally.

In other words, observe the participants, partake in the refreshments, and let conversations happen organically.

By not trying too hard, you let the rhythm and flow guide your direction.

Far too many people have lackluster experiences of trying to make things happen by attempting to be the life of the party and having great expectations.

And since introverts generally are not motivated by flamboyance, a low-key approach to engagement is best for them.

Contrary to popular belief, introverts enjoy social events but are advised to participate at their leisure.

Lastly, determine what time you want to leave ahead of time. You can stay longer or shorter based on your desire but have a tentative departure time.

When you leave, thank the host for inviting you. If associates opt to stay longer, advise them that you are going.

Make your exit quick and clean. There is no need for long goodbyes. You don’t need to upset the flow of the event by being long-winded.

The next day, email or text the host to thank her for inviting you.

By behaving with a high level of decorum, you will be invited to future events.

Whether you decide to attend, it is always nice to be asked.

Anytime introverts are invited to events that require an RSVP, being strategic is an excellent way to prepare.

Introverts are rarely disheartened when they have strategically made a rational decision based on their self-interest and the ability to create an event inside of an event.

—John Coale

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