I don’t know when it became popular for introverts to “come out” as introverts. Or for people to introduce themselves as “ambiverts,” which is actually a real thing (my friends Webster and Merriam say so). But for the intros and near-intros, a few tips:
(1) Your doorbell ought to be shorted out so every time someone buzzes, they get zapped. Just a little bit. (It sends a message!)
(2) Hold your pee rather than go wee-wee where all the girls or boys are. (Seriously, what is up with all the damn yakking in the bathroom?) Conversely, head for the john–“Sorry, no. 2!”—when the person you allowed to share your booth at a crowded fastfood restaurant starts asking you uncomfortable questions.
(3) Meal props you carry without fail: earphones, Internet-ready phone, and a book (for those times when the phone is too damn small to hide behind).
(4) When you date yourself, watch the last show at the cinema, on a Monday, weeks after the movie had premiered, so you can avoid the crowd.
(5) Whenever you have time, practice your resting bitch face in front of the mirror. It’ll save you from much small talk.
Oh wait, that’s the misanthrope list. My bad.
Here’s a real tip: When the kid with the faded clothing gestures for you to go ahead at the grocery checkout–mimicking your signal for him to go ahead of you–pay for his ice cream cone. Do a good deed for society by reinforcing good behavior. Plus, he’ll be happy, and you’ll get a kick out of it.