UUUUUUUUUUUGGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH…. office christmas parties… I always get nervous before I go. Why? Because I’m the quiet person in my office. I keep to myself and I focus on my work. Do I conversate with other people? Yes, but a very select few. Plus, half of those conversations are small talk. So being in a a setting surrounded by people you mostly don’t know is very uncomfortable. Especially, when you’re a geek/nerd like me. It’s very rare in the office setting you will find people similar interest.
So I always dreaded the invite, because I know how awkward I am. What makes the situation worse is knowing that they are a few coworkers who are in the “popular” crowd that doesn’t like you. Sometimes those people can make the social events more uncomfortable. However, I found some things that have helped me make social gathering less stressful. So I will share some tips of mine that have helped me along the way.
- Body Language – If people see you clinched up in the corner curled up in a ball; physically or facially, then they will keep away. It’s a party! They wanted to be around someone who gives party vibes. I’m not saying to be loud and go crazy. Simple things like smiling, making eye contact, and not crossing your arms (or any closed in gesture) can go a long way. It’s all about being approachable. See, you can make friends without even speaking.
- Talk to Outsiders – Sometimes these parties allow the spouses/friends to come by. to the event. Which is awesome, because most of the time they don’t know their own spouse/friend coworkers. So they can feel out of place just as you! Approach them and get to know them. As you being nice towards them, they can include you to your coworkers and their crew.
- Plan Conversations – Brush up on current events so you can discuss it during the party. Try to remember what you probably overheard talking about. It can be about their kids, the new house they bought, a hobby they enjoyed. Any bit of information that you know they will like. Think of questions to asks and in the moment truly listen.
- Remember, Remember, Remember – Try to remember the conversations you had with everybody at the party. If you can’t, write it down or save it on your phone. Why? So the very next day or the next event when you bump into them, the person will be amazed you listened and remembered. Also, it makes them feel special and make you look good. This is very helpful for future parties. You will feel less lonely and it can be a way to keep connection with people in between social gatherings.
- Be Yourself – I mean… duh! We hear this all the time since we were kids, but even as adults we tend to struggle with that. I’m sure if you are reading this, you are not a shitty person. You may have odd interests or weird hobbies, but overall, you are awesome. Don’t worry about the haters and you do you. Because it’s the true you that will light up the party. Probably brighter than the star on the Christmas tree!
And there you have. My tips on navigating through an Office Christmas party. I hope it helped. If things get too intense you can always leave. You’re not obligated to stay until it ends. If you get a panic attack CLICK HERE for tips to help you get through the moment. I know all these tips are easier said than down, but you can do it. You just have to adult one day at a time. Enjoy your Holiday Party! xoxo
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