I recently had the opportunity to collaborate on an article about holiday party tips with the fantastic dating and relationship writers The Social Sage (socialsageskills.com) and Claudia Cox (textweapon.com). We tried to cover tips that would help people from three different perspectives -- The Social Sage for introverts, me for extroverts, and Claudia wrote a special section for the ladies. I hope you enjoy it!
(Claudia) The holiday season is officially upon us. You can run, but you can’t hide! That said, everyone’s feelings toward this special time of year are a little different. For some it’s a period of great joy, but for others it’s a time of excessive stress or even sadness. While some people spend the whole year looking forward to the holiday party season, others simply aren’t comfortable in such settings. However, with only a few simple tips, just about anyone can learn to navigate the holiday social scene gracefully and painlessly.
So, grab your eggnog, light up the Christmas tree, and sit back as we examine 3 personalized approaches to getting the most out of the holiday party circuit.
Enter The Social Sage. The Social Sage is an introvert who prides himself on being able to teach other introverts how to be charming, how to have more success with the opposite sex, and how to hack many common social situations (holiday get-togethers very much included).
HOLIDAY PARTY TIPS FOR THE INTROVERTS (From the Social Sage)
Holiday season - people are in good cheer, and it’s a great time of year to flex your social muscle at a variety of holiday gatherings. For some, the thought of going to meet new people at social events can sound like a chore. Small talk, lame Christmas sweaters, and eggnog? No thanks. That doesn’t need to be the case. Even for people who are more introverted, holiday parties can be a blast if you come in with momentum. Here are some tips on how to build yourself up before going out.
You are who you think you are
If you continuously tell yourself that you are shy, antisocial, and no fun, your body is going to manifest itself that way. It will show up in your body language, facial expressions, and vocal tonality, and people will catch on quickly. All these subconscious signals that can’t even tell you are giving off will allow people around you to read you like a book. Especially if people don’t know you and have no expectation of you, this is a great time to show some personality and take some risks. Worst case you say a few stupid things and people feel better about themselves. The self-fulfilling prophecy is a powerful psychological tool that you should always use to your advantage.
Warm up your social muscle
Social skills are a muscle. If you don’t use them, they will disappear. However, if you continuously use them, you will constantly be gaining feedback, refining your ability to read social cues, and learning new stories/sayings/anecdotes from everyone you meet. One easy way to warm up for social situations is to talk to people in super low-risk situations. Not that any social situations should seem like “high-risk” situations, because they never really are at parties and fun gatherings. Talk to your friends, family, the guy at the corner store, or anyone who comes across your path prior to the event. Run a quick joke or story by them, just to warm yourself up and prepare yourself to deliver with maximum impact later on. You don’t have to have the best story or have the wittiest comebacks- just warm yourself up having a light-hearted, fun state of mind.
Realize that conversation does not have to be dull
The reason that holiday parties exist is so that people can get together, act like kids again, and celebrate. Do you think that talking about your company’s 1st quarter earnings is going to be an attractive conversation? Especially around the holidays, there are countless fun things to talk about. Everyone has a favorite present they’ve gotten- fun Santa stories, favorite Christmas movies, naughty/nice banter, holiday drinks New Year’s Resolutions to plan, etc. Talk about the time you learned that Santa wasn’t real and how devastated you were, or pretend that you still believe Santa is still real. Think about a few of these stories/anecdotes before you go out you can contribute to the conversation, and have some fun with it.
Use body language to your advantage
Studies show that your body language can help HACK your mindset into thinking that you are more confident, attractive, and charismatic than you actually are. A common term used here is “fake it til you make it,” which is true, but is a self-fulfilling prophecy in that it assumes that you don’t have confidence in the first place.
So how can you hack your body language to boost your mood?
Pull your chin up like mom used to say, and roll your shoulders down and slightly-back. Take up space when you sit and stand, and do so carefully and deliberately. Look around, give strong eye contact, and enjoy the small details that life is presenting to you in that moment. Look at yourself in the mirror, and give yourself a little smirk. Like you know something that your reflection doesn’t. Keep your body moving up until you are about to head out for the night- go for a quick workout, shower, dance session, brisk walk, etc. so you blow your lethargy and lack of emotion out of the water. This might sound like a bunch of bull honky, but I’m serious- try this out just one time, and let me know how it makes you feel. You will be amazed by what a little movement does for your psyche.
HOLIDAY PARTY TIPS FOR THE EXTROVERT (From The Mingle Master)
December is by far the best month of the year to get out and mingle. It seems like there are parties just about every day of the month. So be smart and take advantage of your opportunities. Here are some tips to help you make the most of your holiday season mingle events:
Accept every invitation you get.
Don’t be the Christmas party snob who only goes to the coolest events. You never know when something could surprise you.
Don’t take holiday events so seriously. The idea is to have fun, not to impress the boss, get a girlfriend, etc. Make it your goal to have fun and you control your own destiny.
Try not to be results oriented.
This is one of the biggest mistakes that people make no matter what time of year it is. If you go out hoping to find the love of your life, you are putting way too much pressure on yourself. Having this attitude will just turn every event a pass/fail situation. That is a good way to get depressed every time it doesn’t happen. Good grief.
Talk to everyone.
Talk to everyone there with no agenda other than to talk to interesting people. This will not only relax you, but it will get those mingle muscles loosened up too. If you eventually do talk to a hottie who digs your style, great. Just don’t be the holiday party creep on the hunt who only talks to the good looking women.
Look for positive people.
Positive people are attractive. Gripers, gossipers, mockers, and insulters can keep walking as far as I’m concerned. You don’t have to overdo it and be overly peppy, just keep that positive vibe going yourself and look for like-minded people.
Don’t waste time on people who aren’t interested.
Sometimes you talk to someone who just seems completely uninterested in talking to you. We’ve all been there. So, instead of worrying about what you are doing wrong and trying to win them over, just exit the conversation. Free them up to go talk to someone with a better connection. No big deal. Life is too short to waste on people who don’t like us.
Be prepared to find magic.
There are countless people who met the loves of their lives at holiday parties. I know some who have. You probably do too. Don’t let yourself get too hopeful or expectant of finding your soul mate at one of these holiday events, but it’s a good idea to be ready just in case. So be at your best. Magic can happen anytime, anywhere and the holiday season often seems to be a spark for it.
Enter Claudia Cox. Claudia is passionate about modern communication, helping people enjoy better relationships, and the importance of having fun. She loves sharing creative ideas and tips for texting as well as her experience navigating the social scene.
MASTERING HOLIDAY FESTIVITIES AS A FEMME FATALE (From Claudia Cox)
Ladies, the holiday season has officially arrived, and it’s not going anywhere anytime soon! So, you have two choices: either embrace it (and stock up on Christmas Peeps) or “Scrooge yourself,” find a cheap bottle of red and hole up in front of the boob tube until mid-January.
Obviously, embracing it is the better option for your liver, your head and your social life. But wait! What if you’re already happily coupled up with Mr. “Out of this World”? Still go out and socialize! Holiday gatherings are a fantastic way to meet interesting new people and rekindle old friendships.
So, get ready to take advantage of the festive mood of the masses and mingle in the New Year! Here are a few easy tips to keep in mind was you get ready to hit up the festive events:
Go Ahead & Indulge (in the Good Stuff)
Everyone has a busy schedule, especially during the holiday rush, so scheduling in some “me time” before a big event can be tough. After all, just finding the time for the actual party can be a challenge in itself.
Put your best heel forward by unwinding beforehand: pamper yourself with a hot bubble bath, work up a sweat, get your nails done, or take a power nap. Chose an activity that recharges your batteries, and that leaves you feeling relaxed and radiating positive energy. It will show!
Practice Makes Perfect
Are you someone who has a hard time smiling at strangers? Try flashing your pearly whites at home in front of your mirror, or take some smiley-selfies (just make sure to delete the evidence). Every time you smile a real, genuine smile you automatically feel more positive, and you make yourself instantly more attractive to men. So, never forget your best accessory!
Don’t be “That” Girl
I love a good party as much as the next big 10 grad. However I hate embarrassing photos and uncomfortable staff meetings. So, if you are feeling sexy and in the mood to really party it up on the night of your company Christmas shindig, then arrive early and leave early. Make later plans before you start doing eggnog shots with the girls and end up flashing your Christmas string (just imagine having to face your colleagues for the next year… eight hours per day).
For many women, the holiday season is a fashion challenge. They often feel a lot of pressure to break out (and fit in to) glittery party dresses and sky-high heels. While it’s great to try and “fancy it up” a bit, if you find yourself wearing a dress that is too tight, too short, or just “too much” you are going to have a horrible evening. The same goes for slinky holiday shoes. While they may look lovely in the store window, they might end up killing your feet and ruining your entire evening (especially if you almost always wear flats). So, don’t wear something that would make you fidget all evening long…no amount of glitter is going to make the fidgeting sexy!
Be an Equal Opportunity Guest
Even if you are normally shy, make it a point to go out of your way to chat with at least one new person per event. If you are invited to a party where you pretty much know all the guests, except that one “side liner” take the time to make him or her feel included. It is a sweet gesture that will make you feel good, look classy to the opposite sex (kindness is always sexy) and who knows, you might meet your new best friend (or boyfriend).
Happiness is Home Made
I love to bake. In fact, I’m baking right now. If you are invited to a party where you’re asked to bring dessert, bake it yourself. Something as simple as “what do you think of the carrot cake, it was my Grandma’s recipe?” is an easy conversation starter. Of course graciously offering to share the family recipe is also a sneaky way of exchanging contact information (you’re in like flin).
Holiday parties can be an incredible opportunity to meet someone extraordinarily wonderful. In order to put all the odds in your favor, prepare yourself for successful mingling by radiating positive energy, being kind and presenting the wonderful, festive you in the best light possible.
Well, there you go. Now you should be armed and ready to hit the holiday party circuit with confidence and class regardless of your personality type or gender.
Happy holidays from all of us!
*Follow Claudia Cox on Twitter @Textweapon
*Follow The Social Sage on Twitter @The_social_sage
*Follow me on Twitter @TheMingleMaster
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