Office Holiday Party Tips For Introverts

Try these tips and you won’t have to stress about your next holiday party

Party
(Image: iStock.com/NYUL)

If you’re an extrovert, the thought of attending an office party probably leaves you beaming with excitement. What better way to celebrate the end of the year by making new friends and having fun over food and drinks? All you have to do is find the perfect holiday attire and you are ready to roll.

On the other hand, if you’re a shy introvert, you’re probably strategizing the best way to decline the party invitation. Being around large crowds of people can be overwhelming and draining–a party with you and your book in the comfort of your home would be much more appealing. But since it’s the end of the year, you’ve decided to make a social compromise, and you have constantly been telling yourself that this will be worth your time.

Breathe. All you have to do is prepare yourself and walk in with a purpose in order to make your time worthwhile. Here is what you can do to avoid holiday party jitters and make some meaningful connections at your next office party:

 

1. Prepare Yourself for the Social Experience

 

If you haven’t been out in a while, you don’t want your holiday party to be your first appearance back on the social scene. Build your social confidence by surrounding yourself with people who would be thrilled to meet you and converse with you.

Toastmasters is the perfect place to test your social skills in a safe learning environment. As a guest, you will have the chance to introduce yourself at the beginning of the meeting, and you will be able to participate in table topics during the meeting; tables topics is the extemporaneous speaking portion of the meeting that allows people who are not on the agenda to speak for 1-2 minutes on a topic designated by the table topics master. Don’t worry about your nerves getting the best of you. The smiles and positive reinforcement from the members of the club will provide you with the encouragement you need to reduce any social anxieties that try to creep inside of you. If you can handle this, you’ll be ready to engage with people at your next holiday party.

 

2. Enjoy Alone Time Before the Party

 

Need alone time? Introverts typically need to recharge their energy with some quiet time before embarking on a social event. This is the perfect time to make an appointment for that Milk & Honey foot spa treatment. You’ve had your eyes on this type of pampering for months. Soaking your feet in a warm milk bath with honey-infused brown sugar crystals will not only soothe your feet, but it’ll also give you the chance to refuel your batteries before the holiday party, making you a happier and more effective networker.

 

3. Brainstorm Conversation Starters

 

The last thing you want to do is join a conversation and have absolutely nothing to say. Not everyone is the outgoing extrovert who can start a conversation with anyone on the spot. Do what works for you: just make sure to have purposeful, meaningful, and impactful conversations. Entering a conversation armed with potential small talk starters will make your evening a lot more pleasant. Need ideas? Think about the people who will be attending. Refresh your memory with stories about the people that you may know. Remember details about their personal lives that could make a person light up with excitement.

Don’t know anyone? Well, don’t let that stop you from initiating conversation; this can actually be a conversation starter! Walk up to an open and friendly group of people (or one person if that’s a bit more comforting) and simply say, “Hi! I don’t know that many people here so I just wanted to introduce myself. I’m (insert name) and (insert something about you that would lead to a good conversation).” You can say, “I just traveled here from (location)”, “I work for (insert)”, or “I help people (insert).” You can ask others, “What brought you here tonight?” or “What’s your story?” Ask open-ended questions that will allow you to further engage with others.

 

4. Review Proper Dining Etiquette Procedures

 

You don’t want to draw unnecessary attention to yourself when you’re at the dining table by accidentally using your neighbor’s silverware or chowing down on your bread roll like it was a juicy hamburger. Here are a few basic dining etiquette rules to remember:

  • Place your napkin on your lap as soon as you arrive at the table.
  • Pay attention to the placement of all silverware, glasses, and plates around you. Eat to your left and drink to your right. Any food dish to your left is yours to grab and the glass to your right is yours.
  • Wait for everyone to be served before you start eating.
  • When multiple utensils are by your plate, work from the outside in. Use the silverware farthest from your plate first; this is typically what you use for the salad. When you are finished with your meal, the knife and fork are placed side by side on the plate.

Try these tips and you won’t have to stress about your next holiday party. You’ll just have to find the perfect outfit and you’re ready to roll.

 

 

 
  • Sophie Taylor

    This is such a GREAT article and is spot on! Especially the advice to get some alone time before the event – as an introvert, I can totally see how this will help to mentally prepare for a social event, which while fun can also be draining. Great stuff.

    • Thanks Sophie! I think that’s an important step that’s often dismissed. This may lead to Introverts going to a party but staring at their watch every 5 minutes because they are ready to make a quick escape.

  • Steven T. Rhinehart

    This is refreshing and knowledge article. All the advice given absolutely provides help, to ensure your interactive experience in public gatherings will be a good time(-: Great, well thought out details in this read bringing out real issuses that most people experience from time to time. Keep up the good writing and Helpful Advice.

    • Thanks Steven! These are definitely real issues that can turn into nightmares. I’ve experienced all the situations listed and a fun holiday party can quickly turn into a depressing anxiety focused experience if you are not prepared.

  • Debra Faison

    A very good read. Best tips to make one feel comfortable in any social gathering whether introvert or not. I especially enjoyed the Proper Dining Procedures!!!! Very well done.

    • Thanks Debra! Proper dining etiquette should be taught in school – it may separate you from other candidates in the job interview process.

  • olita willams

    Very Informative and Inspirational to Me. Giving Instructions or Directions on having a Streefree Holiday Celebration.

  • Cornelia Rhinehart

    Very good article. A lot of people need these tips on preparation for getting to know people, and feeling comfortable in crowded situations. I used to be an introvert, but look at me now. Thank you for sharing these tips for the futurr generation

    • Thanks so much! I’m glad you enjoyed the article. If you take steps to decrease your jitters, you will have more control over any situation. You are always lovely and full of energy no matter where you are.

  • Wanda J.Lee

    WOW! This is an awesome article! For I am a introvert, I see me all all in the great tips to take in 2017. Thank you, these tips means alot to me. I certainly will keep them on my to do list.

    • Thank you so much, Wanda! 2017 will be a great year for you. Introverts have a lot of valuable skills that will make them an asset in any setting. It’s all about knowing how to use your unique traits to get what you want.

  • Elder Brady

    Charlene, these were pretty helpful and practical tips for an introvert. I believe they can be helpful overall in helping with breaking from the introvertism. Great tools in helping someone build trust in themselves and getting out and mingling!
    Proud Spiritual Parent!

    • Thanks Elder Brady! Great point! It’s good to build trust in yourself to build your comfort level.

  • Glenn Mace

    Yes I love, the part of researching people intending is a major key, of releasing stress learning more the better. Great read

  • Thank you, Glenn! Researching the types of people who will be attending the event will better prepare you for the experience. Great point!

  • Tonia Jernigan

    Excellent read. I will remember to take these tips from you. God bless you!

  • jodelyn paltriguera

    Thanks for your article,interesting

  • This article has some valuable information that you can put into practice and better yourself. These tips are great to overcome challenges in social skills and work balance. Great work ‘

    • Thanks Alberta! It’s always good to find ways to reduce social anxieties in order to show up as your most authentic self.

  • Savy

    Thanks for writing this article, Charlene! Very insightful. As an extrovert among many introverted friends, I have been working harder to see the other side. I think this article has fabulous tips in it! I’ll have to recommend it to others. 🙂

    • Thanks Savy! It’s great when we can see things from another perspective.

  • Benedicta Awhefada

    Great advice.

  • Great tips thanks for the info made it easy for me to be able to blend in loved the advise great article.

    • Thanks Sondra! Holiday parties are a time to enjoy the people around you. When we are prepared, we can have a more purposeful experience. Glad you enjoyed the article!

  • Mel

    So glad I came across this article. You just gave me some direction for my upcoming Holiday event. Thank you.

    • Thanks Mel! Enjoy your holiday event! I would love to know how it turns out.

  • Great Advice. As a wedding planner I am an extrovert but around The office I am an introvert. This article will truly help me for next weeks office party!

    • Thanks Carrie! Our response to our surroundings does change based on the types of people that we are around.

  • Kenyonn Demps

    Great article! You are right on target with how introverts feel. I love the suggestions and will be sharing this article with a good friend. Way to go Charlene. I look forward to following you during this exciting journey.

    • Thanks Kenyonn! It’s definitely important that Introverts are equipped with the skills and info they need to survive holiday parties. Thanks for sharing!

  • Michael Williams

    Awesome article! You gave a introvert some very helpful tips to think about the next I’m at an event .

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  • Excellent tips Charlene, very practical and easy to remember and action. Loved the dining etiquette one!

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