Parties should be fun but, for many people, parties are a thing to fear, because they make them feel so awkward and uncomfortable. The fear of being in a room full of strangers is more common than you might think but it can be overcome. If you are one of those dreads parties, then read these ten simple tips on how to conquer that fear and feel less awkward at social occasions:
1. Don’t try so hard
Try to relax, don’t push yourself too hard and just be you. Overthinking the situation and worrying too much about the impression that you will make will only make you even more nervous. If you can’t strike up a conversation with one person, then just move on and simply take each moment as it comes.
Don’t stand in the corner of the room with arms folded and a scowl on your face. Smile and adopt an open body posture, with your shoulders back and your arms at your sides. That way will you appear to be more open and friendly and people will be more willing to approach you.
3. Wear clothes that you are comfortable with
Don’t be tempted into wearing party clothes that you are not comfortable in. Teetering precariously on heels that you are not used to wearing, or having to constantly pull the hem of your skirt down, because it’s shorter than you would really like, is not going to make you feel comfortable at all.
4. Look out for kindred spirits
You won’t be the only person at the party feeling the way you do, so keep an eye for the others. They too are probably looking to find someone for a one-to-one conversation, so you can help to put each other at ease.
5. It is perfectly acceptable to join in someone else’s conversations
It is socially acceptable, at a party, to try and join in with a group conversation or attempt to initiate a conversation with a complete stranger. Some groups might already be deep in a discussion, but it’s certainly not rude to try and join in.
6. Go with a friend
If you know that you aren’t going to know anyone else at a party, then taking a friend with you will make things a lot easier. They can act as your support and your wingman, but don’t spend all your time with them or you won’t meet anyone new.
7. You don’t have to be a crazy party animal
Don’t get hung up on the belief that to have a good time at a party, you need to be the craziest party animal that is the centre of all the attention. Most people are perfectly content talking quietly to a small group of friends and just one or two people that they don’t know. Actually, they are just like you.
8. Don’t overanalyse conversations
People are not going to hang off your every word or judge you at a party; they are just there for the small talk. Don’t overthink everything that you say, nor try and look for some kind of reaction from people, because that will just make you feel more shy and awkward.
9. Ask lots of questions
Asking people question is the easiest way to start a conversation. People just love talking about themselves and their answers could lead to more interesting conversation. You could ask them what they do for a living, where did they get that lovely dress or have they known the host for long.
10. Think of a role model
If you do feel shy or awkward then try and think of a friend or a celebrity who is more outgoing and imagine how they would deal with the situation. It won’t change who you are but it will help you with some ideas of what to say and how behave.
How to overcome shyness and social anxiety? Do you have some other tips on how to feel less awkward at parties?