It’s party time! This time of year a lot of us will be going to at least one party or another—from graduation parties to summer holiday parties and, of course, weddings! There will be plenty of food, drink, and conversation. Festive gatherings are an excellent opportunity to catch up with family and friends. It’s also a great way to meet and socialize with new people. Hopefully, you’ll even make some new friends.
But not everyone enjoys socializing at parties with people they’ve never met before. For some, events with unfamiliar faces are awkward, intimidating, and downright stressful. Some people will do whatever it takes to avoid these gatherings altogether. What is life if not meeting, spending time with, and getting to know people?
Here are 3 Tips on Socializing at Parties:
- Ask people about themselves: This is the perfect icebreaker. I’ve heard other sources say it’s a good idea to learn a few jokes or keep some funny anecdotes in mind as party socializing tools. Those are good ideas, but sometimes when you’re nervous or tired, memorized or rehearsed tidbits may leave your brain high and dry. You can’t go wrong asking people about themselves. If someone is reluctant to open up about one topic, move on to another. There are so many to choose from. You can ask about a person’s job, whether or not they have kids, where they’re from, or if they like sports, and so on.
- Check your body language: Make sure you give off a vibe that says “I’m approachable.” Do this by displaying openness in your body language. Some basic tips are: Don’t fold your arms. This gives the impression “stay away—I don’t want to talk.” You may look irritable or even angry. Be sure to make eye contact when speaking with people. Avoiding eye contact not only makes a person look as if they have no confidence in themselves, it’s very distracting. When having a conversation with others, lead the group to maintain an open stance—like a half moon—as opposed to a closed circle. This positioning lets others know they are welcome to join in the conversation.
- Smile: While this may seem like a small gesture, it’s important. People gravitate toward happy people. No one wants to be around a grump. Period. Nothing says “come talk to me” like a smile.
Years ago when I was much younger, I had a hard time talking to new people at parties, but over the years I learned and employed these tactics by trial and error. Now I look forward to an opportunity to meet and socialize with new people. It’s fun to work the room and meet as many people as possible.
What are your tips for socializing at parties? Do you enjoy meeting new people? Or do you tend to shy away from events where you won’t know many people? Let me know in the comments section below.
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