How To Deal With Social Anxiety | 5 Tips To Overcome Anxiety
How to Stand out at Social Gatherings and Parties
Do you ever get tired of being that one person at the party who sits alone in the corner watching everyone else dance, chit-chat, make new friends, and have fun? Maybe you’re ready to stand out at social gatherings and enjoy them to the fullest, but don’t know how to go about it. If you're generally a shy person, this may seem like a difficult task, but there’s no need to sweat! If you look your best, you’ll feel your best. Simply relax, smile, and mingle with the guests. Ask people questions, show your sense of humor, and be polite and friendly.
Making an Entrance
Choose an outfit that makes you feel great about yourself.Wear something that fits well and that you feel great in. Pick one statement piece, like a bold patterned button-down or a unique chunky necklace. Avoid choosing a trendy outfit over one that’s comfortable. You won’t feel confident if you’re constantly tugging down your too-short skirt or loosening that restricting bow tie.
- For a casual event, pair your favorite jeans with a collared shirt or ruffled top. Wear shoes without noticeable scuffs or wear and tear.
- For a formal event, go for dress pants and a button-down shirt or a long dress with interesting details, like a bit of bling or fancy buttons.
Enter confidently.Stand up straight and smile when you enter a social gathering or party. Avoid looking down, slumping, or fidgeting, which can make you seem annoyed or nervous. Even if you feel uncomfortable, fake being at ease until you actually begin to feel that way.
Bring a gift for the host.This traditional piece of etiquette has fallen by the wayside in recent years. Bring a gift for the host to show your appreciation for being invited and for all the hard work they put into the party. Not only will bringing a gift make you stand out in the host’s eyes, but others at the party are likely to notice your thoughtfulness as well.
- Find out what the host likes beforehand. If you’re friends on social media sites like Pinterest, browse through their boards to get an idea of what they would like.
- A pretty bouquet of flowers makes a wonderful gift, as does a nice bottle of wine (if you and the host are of legal drinking age). Dress up your gift with a pretty ribbon or a bow.
Greet people you recognize.When you enter an event, scan the crowd for friends or acquaintances. Give hugs or fist bumps at a casual party, or shake hands at a more formal event. You can say hello or join a conversation, if appropriate. Smile and wave at someone who appears to be in a deep or private conversation.
- You should always greet the host, and thank them for the invitation. Say something like “Hi Joan, this party looks amazing. Thanks for having me!”
- Don't be afraid to introduce yourself to people you don't know yet!
Use positive affirmations to increase your confidence.Try to shed your nervousness and inhibitions. Rather than worrying about what others think of you, remember that you are amazing exactly the way you are. Stay positive and tell yourself something like “I’m going to have a blast tonight,” or “Maybe I’ll make a new friend or two at the party.”
Make a good impression through body language.Use a firm handshake when meeting people, and lean in or point your legs and feet toward the person you are talking to. Use relaxed posture and widen your stance to show confidence. Avoid crossing your arms, fidgeting, fiddling with your phone, or looking bored.
Make eye contact.Look around the room and make eye contact with other guests. You’re more likely to be noticed and approached when you make eye contact than when you are looking down or away from others.
- For example, catch someone’s eye at the bar or buffet table. Smile and say something like, “This cheese dip is amazing. Have you tried it?”
Smile brightly.A smile is an essential accessory to bring to every event. Smiling gives out positive vibes and shows you are a happy, confident person. It also makes you look more approachable and helps others feel more comfortable around you.
Breathe deeply.If you get nervous, take several deep breaths. Breathing deeply reduces your stress levels. Imagine filling yourself up with oxygen from your toes to your nose while inhaling. Exhale and imagine releasing that oxygen from your nose to your toes.
Interacting with Other Guests
Mingle with the guests.Roam around the room and introduce yourself to people that seem fun or interesting. Interacting with others will get you noticed much more than standing near the wall or exit. Repeat someone’s name when you are introduced to them. Not only will it help you remember their name, it will captivate them as well, as people love hearing their own name spoken aloud.
- For instance, when you are introduced to someone, say “Hi Jason, I’m Sharon. So nice to meet you! How do you know the host, Cindy?”
Be polite and friendly.Ask questions, smile, and pay attention to what others are saying. Show others that you are actively listening to them by nodding along and replying to their stories. Wait for an appropriate moment to interject, and do your best not to interrupt others while they are speaking. You can also compliment people if you like or appreciate something about them.
- For example, if you like the host’s shoes, say something like “Your shoes are gorgeous! I love those colors.”
- You can also compliment the host's apartment or home by saying something like "I love your place! You did a really good job decorating."
Show your sense of humor.Funny people are generally well-liked, so do your best to show your sense of humor. Try cracking a joke, sharing a funny situation you have been in, or using your wit to lighten the mood. Laughs are one of the best ways to attract a crowd, and people will remember you as a fun and funny person they enjoyed being around.
Do something unexpected.Jump in the pool, bust loose on the dance floor like no one's watching, crack a silly joke, or show your wit. Doing something unexpected will make people remember you. Don't overdo it, however; you want to be original and tasteful, not foolish and obnoxious.
- When there’s a lull in the general conversation or it seems like the party is getting stale, make your move.
- Don’t play a practical joke or say something that is likely to offend other guests, such as making fun of another race, ethnic group, or gender.
Excuse yourself when you’re ready.Whether you are caught up in an uncomfortable conversation or are simply ready to head home, don’t just walk away. Say something like “Excuse me,” “I’m going to get another drink,” or “I need to take off now.” Don’t feel as though you need to say goodbye to everyone at the party, but do let your friends and the host know that you’re heading out.
QuestionWhat should I say at my friend's birthday party?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYou can say "Happy Birthday!" or whatever else you would like to say.Thanks!
Video: How to Stand out at Social Gatherings and Parties
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