Being an introvert, I used to be a pro at this - now I save myself the hassle and just don't go - it's so much easier. The technique outlined below should be saved for larger parties or those with extremely inebriated guests.
- Party is set to start at 9:00. Arrive at 9:30
- Spot your hosts and give the 'nod and smile'.
- Chat with one, then the other. No longer than ten minutes in total.
- Accept a drink - if offered, but leave it untouched. Beware of 'liquid courage'.
- Work the edges of the room giving the 'nod and smile' to those you recognize. Remember, you're there to be seen not heard.
- Keep your back to the wall so people can recognize you. You never know, you may need an alibi one day.
- Within another ten minutes you should be out the door as quickly, but less painfully, as you entered.
- Total commitment 20-30 minutes max.
Tip - think of yourself as the second hand on a clock skimming the edges until you're back where you started.