I’ve noticed an unaddressed inefficiency at parties and social gatherings in general for which I have a solution. I do realize that efficiency isn’t top of mind for most people at social gatherings, but hear me out.

The trend is this. I walk into a room full of people, many of whom I haven’t seen in a while. The natural first question is, “How are you?” Or, “How have you been?” There is nothing inherently wrong with that. In the event the person actually wants to know the answer, I proceed to explain what I’ve been up to.

This is fine for about three conversations. Once I get asked that the fourth, fifth, sixth time and beyond, my answers either get short and surly (Fine, thanks. How are you?) or I go into all the details AGAIN, internally wanting to blow up. Extroverts probably don’t understand just how exhausting it us for non-extroverts to be talking constantly. That’s why we listen more.

On to my party trick. It works best if it’s a moderately sized group where most everyone knows each other. Gather everyone together at the table or wherever the central spot is, and explain that we’ll go around the room and take turns giving each other a brief update about what’s been going on in our lives. Then you simply do it. Everyone shares one at a time while the others listen. You only have to tell your story once. Everyone is caught up. Then follow up one-on-one conversations can begin at a more in depth place. And introverts are spared the agony of constantly talking. Although having the spotlight, even briefly, might not go over well with some.

It can be difficult to pull off, and awkward if not everyone knows each other. But in the right environment it works like a charm. I’ve actually used this technique at a gathering of friends before and it worked beautifully. It may seems a little silly perhaps. I happen to think it’s brilliant. Whether or not posting this is ridiculous, only you can be the judge.