Thanksgiving Games For Introverts

photo by Nguyen Dang Hoang Nhu

You’re an introvert. You don’t feel too thrilled with the idea of gathering with one hundred and seventeen people in a relative’s too-small house—a house which seems to get smaller every year. They’ll gather and give thanks to God. You’ll gather with them and give thanks to the same God, for different things.

While the kiddies are playing games like “Traffic Yam” and “Marshmallow Big Toe Squeeze”, you’ll be sitting as far from anyone who might invite you to join the frivolities. You’ll say no thousands of times to Uncle Bossy, and Uncle Bossy will ask you the three thousandth time why you don’t want to join in the party. You’ll ask him the same question, complete with air quotes around the word party. He’ll say he’s the one setting up the games so he can’t join in.


Well, this year, instead of waiting for Uncle Bossy to pester you for being a wallflower, just tell him you’re playing one of the following games. If you’re bold enough, you can ask him to join you.

  1. The Imagining the Shapes of Other People’s Skulls game: This one is easy to play in any venue. You can invite others to play, but if they’re like Uncle Bossy, you may want to encourage them to play without talking. It’s a quiet game. Simply sit and stare at someone long enough until you can envision the asymetrical shape of the skull beneath the skin. Once you’ve got someone figured out completely, move on to the next.
  2. The Road Trip game: A lot more difficult. What you have to do is imagine you’re somewhere else. It’s very difficult to do in a room full of loud people. Even more difficult is to make the scenery in your imagination change, as if you were on a road trip. Again, you can invite others to join you on your road trip, but you might want to help them understand since it’s an individual game, you won’t necessarily be on the same trip.
  3. The Identify That Smell game: This one can be done by anyone. You sit in a room full of people, close your eyes, and, yes, try to identify who is nearby solely through your nostrils. Some people may not be able to control themselves enough to keep quiet, and so you’ll identify them quicker than others because of their words; however, if everyone is able to quiet down, this game can be very challenging. The only downside is when the smells identifying someone are bodily unpleasant.
  4. The Music In My Head game: A game with no need for other participants, I’m told this is one many introverts play. Instead of paying any attention at all to the people nearby, the player tries to hear a whole song inside their head without the use of any device. Some people cheat and use headphones or a lyric web page. If you’re a serious contender though, you can hear a song without any external prompts. For an extra advantage, practice it before you tell anyone what you’re doing.

Published by Kurt Gailey

This is where I'm supposed to brag about how I've written seven novels, twelve screenplays, thousands of short stories, four self-help books, and one children's early-reader, but I'd rather stay humble. You can find out about things I've written or follow my barchive (web archive, aka 'blog) at or follow me on twitter @kurt_gailey. I love sports and music and books, so if you're an athlete or in a band or you're a writer, give me a follow and I'll most likely follow you back. I've even been known to promote other people's projects.

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