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Not So Silent Night: A Guide to Pretending to be an Extrovert for a Day (And Getting Away with It!)

Try being an extrovert for a day...

With all the holiday activities, I've been too busy to write. Fortunately, a guest blogger offered to help me out. Here is some holiday wisdom you can use all year long:

Photo by Andrew Roberts via Flickr

Ah, the holidays. They're the most wonderful time of the year - according to that song, anyways. But if you're anything like me, you're already exhausted. Seriously, it's not even Christmas yet, but I'm busy recovering from way too many ugly sweater parties and white elephant gift exchanges. And now I have to return all of those ugly sweaters to Goodwill and convince the clerks that I never actually wore them. And then I have to find the perfect person to re-gift all of those lame white elephant gifts to. And then I have to clean up my house, have all of my family over, feed them, and entertain them. And on top of all that, I'm expected to pretend to be genuinely interested in whatever mundane topics they choose to spend the afternoon discussing.

Yep, Christmas sure is tough. But it is the season of giving, after all, which is why I feel it is my duty as a mildly respected yet occasionally unemployed psychologist to provide you with a few tips to make it through the holidays. Think of it as a "Get Out of Jail Free" card, except it's actually a "Get Out of Being an Introvert" card. And no, you don't get to pass go or collect $200. I'm not that generous.

So without further adieu, here are 7 failsafe tips to pretending to be an extrovert. Simply mix and match these tips (or use all of them, if you're feeling adventurous) and you'll be well on your way to being an extrovert for a day.

  1. The simplest way to remember to talk is to ensure that every time you exhale, something that resembles a word comes out of your mouth. This is the golden rule of fake extroversion.
  2. Laugh when everyone else laughs. Make sure to laugh a few seconds longer than everyone else so that everyone knows you are thoroughly enjoying yourself.
  3. Any awkward silence can be broken by asking, "So how 'bout them *insert local sports team here*?"
  4. You don't actually have to know anything about sports to fake your way through a conversation. You just need to know a few buzzwords like physicality, trickeration, and Tim Tebow.
  5. If the sports small talk doesn't work, simply revisit whatever everyone was laughing about in tip #2. This is a great way to buy yourself some time.
  6. Pretend to be drunk. No one has to know that was actually sparkling grape juice in your wine glass.
  7. Create a Twitter hashtag (such as #HopkinsFamilyXmasXtravaganza2011) for your party and encourage everyone to tweet about the day's happenings. For best results, tweet using lots of smiley faces and TLAs (three letter acronyms).

I was actually going to have 10 tips, but that seemed like overkill. Mostly because I couldn't think of that many. Also, 7 seems to be a pretty hip number these days. Anyways, I hope that these tips allow you to have a less stressful holiday season and a happy new year. But don't worry, I won't keep you much longer, as I know all of you have places to go, people to feed, and conversations to start (and end). And I have 6 billion presents to deliver. No biggie.

Copyright 2011 Barb and Greg Markway

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