Meeting new people
You don't have to act like a wallflower, or hang out in the kitchen all night waiting for people to talk to you. The Mix shows you how to work that party, meet new friends, and have a good time in the process.
On the way in
It doesn’t matter how shy you’re feeling, make the effort to smile at people and say hello. It’ll make them think you’re friendly and approachable, even if you’re nervous. This is a really easy way to make the right impression, and it’s very hard to mess it up, or end up looking like an idiot by accident.
Drop that coat off
Take off your jacket so that it looks like you’re relaxed, and you will be there for a while. Try not to wear it as a security blanket. Now get back to that party.
Help, I don’t know anyone at this party!
If you know the host, don’t be ashamed to say you’ve never met any of the other guests. It’s an opportunity, not an obstacle. Ask the person who’s throwing the party to introduce you to someone new. Think about who you’d like to meet: are they someone fun, someone sexy, or someone who might be able to get you some work? Your host will know exactly who to wheel you over to.
What do you say to people?
Say hi, and make sure you remember their name. It’s good to repeat it back to them when you say hello, if you can do that without looking a fool. If you clam up, take a deep breath and make sure that you ask them some open questions. People usually like talking about themselves, so avoid asking anything that has a ‘Yes or No’ answer. This will help the conversation to flow more smoothly. If you’re worried about accidentally offending them, stick to neutral subjects such as how they know the host, or their favourite films.
Don’t be a leech
You don’t have to latch onto this person for the whole night. Even if you really like them, it’s good to take a break and talk to other people. Or you may decide that they’re creepy or boring and you want to get away. To get out of the conversation without being abrupt or rude, say that you’re off to get another drink, or that you have to check up on your friend. You may also find the conversation ends naturally when you’re introduced to a new person and you start chatting to them and move away.
How much should I drink?
You may find that a glass or two of anything alcoholic settles your nerves or makes you less backwards in coming forwards. That’s OK, but don’t overdo it. It will come back to haunt you if you lower your inhibitions too much. Do you really want to be remembered as the slurring weirdo, the unfunny loud mouth, or the twat who threw up in the hallway? Er, no.
Now you’ve got your confidence up a bit, go up to someone new and say hello to them. Ask their name, tell them yours, and take it from there. If you’re worried about making a fool out of yourself, remember something important: nearly everybody else in there will be feeling the same as you. The average partygoer will be relieved that someone else has made the move and saved them the stress. Hell, they might even be grateful you’re chatting away in their ear about everything and nothing.
Offer to help the host, and do yourself a big favour. You will have lots of conversations if you’re pouring people drinks in the designated ‘bar’ area. If there’s a buffet or snack foods you can pick up a tray and use it as an excuse to talk to everybody in the house.
Timing is everything
Don’t arrive extra early – there won’t be many people to talk to – and you may even be getting in the host’s way. Towards the end of the party, make sure you’ve got phone numbers for all your new friends, and head off before you become party dregs or part of the furniture.
Updated on 29-Sep-2015
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