Despite what your coworkers are excitedly saying about the annual office holiday party, you’re allowed to dread it. Really, go ahead. Let yourself relax knowing that you don’t have to anticipate it like a kid on Christmas morning.
You should, however, make the most of it.
Fortunately, there are tons of ways natural introverts can do just that. This survival kit will prepare you with the tips and tools you’ll need to endure the event without being a total grinch. And who knows, you might even end up enjoying yourself:
Stop Worrying About It
First, put yourself in your employer’s shoes and view the event from management’s perspective. This traditional bash is a thoughtful gift to express sentiments like, “Great year, team,” and “Celebrate, you’ve earned it.” It’s a rare chance for bosses to mix and mingle with workers’ spouses and dole out well-deserved pats on employees’ backs.
If you adjust your perspective just slightly, you may be more able to accept the festive event as a gift, instead of another social function you need to attend. And once you do, you may feel more excited to put yourself in your best shoes and prepare for some serious holiday cheer.
Dress With Confidence
The yearly office holiday party is likely the only chance you’ll have to make a tasteful fashion statement. When else can your boss get away with that bright red sweater vest and jingle bell earring combo?
Say your own thing by dressing in something super dapper, like the sophisticated Wool Blazer from Brooks Brothers, made of Italian wool-twill. The warm fabric will have you saying, “fleece” Navidad!
Brush Up on Talking Points
If you’re like most introverts, the thought of making small talk with some coworker’s guest doesn’t thrill you. However, you’ll feel a lot better if you’re prepared—and you might even anticipate a little chit chat with randoms.
Arm yourself with the latest headlines and goings on in industries you don’t usually read about. Brush up on the latest news regarding baseball’s offseason by watching MLB.TV. You don’t need to be an expert or fanatic to hold your own in a conversation with another attendee who wants to talk current events.
And if you find yourself with a conversationalist who’s not on the up-and-up with today’s news, you can still be ready. Just review your copy of Kim Chamberlain’s “Conversation Starters: 1,000 Creative Ways to Talk to Anyone About Anything” before you arrive—and you won’t only survive the exchange, you’ll also rescue a fellow hapless hermit.
Nail Your Delivery
You don’t need to say a word to charm your fellow party goers. When waiting for the food to arrive, have a simple card trick memorized and ready to dazzle your tablemates and guest. The iconic zig-zag card is the perfect example, found in Penn & Teller’s Fool Everyone Magic Kit. It takes about 15 seconds to perform, and will have revelers exclaiming, “How’d you do that?!”
If you know any other introverts or ambiverts who could use a office holiday party pep talk, send them this practical survival kit, full of tools to nail the upcoming festivities.