The idea of a party can sound like fun. But you get there and feel like a sore thumb. Being charming and keen in social situations doesn’t come easily for many folks. Even just being in social situations can fill some with fear. Rather than hiding under the hors d’oeuvres table feeling awkward, use these three tips to sail through the fete.
Be of Service
No, you don’t have to go scrub toilets or dust the chandelier. But you can look around to see if there’s anything you can do to help someone else. Perhaps the host needs help bringing up extra chairs from the basement. Or the party guest with three toddlers needs a hand getting to the table without spilling all her guacamole on the carpet.
Any little thing you do to help someone else not only feels good, but it performs the magical achievement of focusing your attention on something other than your own whirling sore-thumb thoughts.
Find a Kindred Spirit
Scope out the room to find someone who appears to have something in common with you. Then head on over and bond. Choices can include someone who:
- Has the same bright red hair color
- Wears funky glasses
- Is donning a shirt or hat from your favorite sports team
- Looks even more uncomfortable than you are
The last choice is consistently a sure bet, especially if you kick off the conversation with the simple truth about how awkward or uncomfortable you feel. You may just make a new best friend for life.
Remember the Self-Absorption Rule
One of the reasons you may feel awkward is because you fear you may say or do something stupid that will haunt you for the rest of your adult life. Stop it right there. You can free yourself from the fear by recalling the self-absorption rule.
The self-absorption rule confirms that 87.3 percent of people are generally so self-absorbed and caught in their own spinning thoughts that they wouldn’t even notice if you said or did something stupid – or frankly, anything at all.
The other 12.7 percent? Well, they’re probably drinking and wouldn’t remember any stupid antics either. That leaves you totally clear and free to dance naked with that lampshade on your head!
Seriously, though, these three tips can help immensely when in an awkward social setting, even with your clothes on. I know because I use them myself. And if all else fails or the tips seem too tough, I have one more fallback that works to get through awkward parties every time. Just start playing with the dog, kids or cat.
Wondering how to deal with other situations, like encountering jerks? Get 12 terrific lifesaving tips from rynski’s Little Book of Big Jerks.