Hi, are you an introvert? If so, you probably spend half your life worrying about social situations, trying to get out of social situations and then gritting your teeth and surviving social situations. That’s why you should arm yourself with a set of skills aimed at making life just a hair easier. Here, five things you need to master.

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How to walk into a party without being awkward
Something as simple as going to a party can be really stressful for introverts, so preparation is key. Figure out the easiest way to get in the door while still feeling comfortable. Maybe it’s showing up with your most outgoing friend. Maybe it’s having a canned line that you say to everyone you see for the first ten minutes. Make a game plan and stick to it.

How to leave a party without being rude
This one depends on the size of the party. If it’s a more intimate gathering, make a point to thank the host before ducking out quietly. If it’s a big party, you have our permission to ghost (that is, leave without saying a word). Once you’re home, send a text or email thanking your pal for such a nice time. (Even if you secretly hated every minute of it.)

RELATED: 22 Things Only Introverts Understand

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How to make your voice heard in a meeting
It’s a cruel fact of modern business: If you don’t speak up in meetings, nobody will know how brilliant you are. And while some people can wing it, you might not be as comfortable flying by the seat of your pants. That’s why you should over-prepare ahead of time. Go through the topics on the agenda, organize your thoughts and jot down bullet points of what you want to say. Then challenge yourself to find two or three openings in the conversation where you can insert your points. (If you’re really uncomfortable, ask the meeting facilitator in advance if she can slot in some time for you to speak.)

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How to network without wanting to cry
Few people in the world find networking fun, but for introverts, it can be especially unbearable. At any sort of meet-and-greet event, decide in advance how many people you want to talk to (we like the magic number of four), then approach them, talk for five minutes and leave the door open for a follow-up. See? That wasn’t so hard.

How to control a conversation
Controlling a conversation doesn’t seem like something an introvert would do, but we’re not talking about the actual talking, we’re talking about the stuff you’re talking about. Most people like to chat about themselves and their interests, so try to focus the conversation on others. If you ask the right questions, you can hopefully keep them talking so you don’t have to.

RELATED: 8 Things All Introverts Should Do Every Day

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