Parties are not fun for all. For some, the idea of being in a
full of strangers, or even casual acquaintances, inspires fear rather
frivolity. This article explains ways to calm fears and have fun.
It happens to all of us. The dreaded office party that was held our
of work. The family reunion our girlfriend dragged us to. The dinner
hosted by some lady we barely knew.
Can't we just spend a quiet evening at home with a couple of friends?
Parties are not fun for all. For some, the idea of being in a room full
strangers, or even casual acquaintances, is one that provokes fear
frivolity. This article offers ways to calm nervousness.
The first step to calming a fear is to recognize that you are not alone
At a large party there are probably dozens of people who were invited
know one or two people, but will be strangers to everyone else. They
feel the same social anxiety you do.
So when you talk to someone, they are likely too afraid of saying
stupid back to notice that you have said anything inappropriate.
We are all pretty self centered, and often we're too busy worried about
look to notice how someone else is looking. No one is paying as much
to you as you think they are, so get some perspective.
What to Wear
The only ways you'll draw unwanted attention at a party are if you are
exceptionally attractive, exceptionally ugly, or if you are not wearing
Costume parties are not just for Halloween. Every party has some sort
If you are going to a backyard bar-b-q, it's best not to wear a tuxedo.
wear comfortable shorts and a T-shirt.
If you are going to a semi-casual office party, wear khakis and a
collar shirt. Leave the tie at home.
Every party has unspoken rules about what to wear, and the closer you
the dress code the more likely you are to blend in, which is really the
situation if you are nervous.
While it may seem tempting to wear the sort of clothing that will spark
conversation, this is an extremely risky proposition. If you have a
accessory that has a good story, go ahead and wear it. But do not wear
outfit that makes someone ask, "why did you come here in that?"
Get Into Soap
It may seem obvious, but if you are going out to a party you want to
close to the event as possible. A morning shower will not be enough for
evening party, even if you just spend all day in an office.
Be careful with cologne and perfume. A little goes a long way and what
smell nice to your spouse may not go over so well on your boss.
The bad thing about odor is no one will tell you if you stink, but they
tell other people. Play it safe. Shower immediately before and keep
enhancement to a minimum.
When you make eye contact with someone do not stare and wait for them
something. Speak first. Break the ice by giving your name or ask how
Those who simply stare silently and smile may think they are just being
but it's actually a little creepy and they wind up looking like psycho
Opening a conversation with "so, read any good books lately?" may seem
but a variation of the language actually opens up a lot of common
If you have enough time, find out what the best selling book is and
before going to the party. Odds are you'll find someone else who has
and you'll have something to talk about.
If you do not have the time to read a whole book, read the newspaper
day, particularly the sports page. Find out how the local team is doing
start a conversation with that.
If you are a sports neophyte, find a quirky news story. National pieces
exploding frogs in Germany or Beluga Whales in the Delaware River are
Be careful though, because not all news is created equally. If you are
new to a
crowd, and you do not know how people would react, it is best not to
conversation with political or religious news.
If you don't like to read, at least get caught up on the most watched
television show. But as our society becomes less and less one of
who read are often thought of as interesting. It's best to shut the
off and pick up a newspaper.
Say something interesting
Reading up before a party will help move the conversation beyond "hi my
is, and I work at X Company."
Work is how we spend about 50 percent of our waking hours, but while
are universally interesting most are not.
It's a pretty safe bet that no one has heard of the type of work you
do, or if
they have they have no real idea what's involved. It's an even safer
no one wants to hear about it, especially if you've been having a bad
Stick with more universal themes
You don't have to stay at a party until the bitter end. In fact, it is
a good idea not to.
Typically, you want to arrive at a party no earlier than one hour past
start time. Survey the group and get to know the faces.
When it is time to start thinking about leaving, look around to see if
it is a
different crowd. If you were the last one in, you do not want to be the
If it looks like a whole new crew, feel free to say your good byes.
Fish and visitors tend to stink after hanging around too long, so
key to being a good guest at a party is knowing when to leave.