It’s officially the season to celebrate – get ready for those holiday party invites! If the thought of spending your evening surrounded by strangers and extroverts fills you with nervous butterflies (or worse, dread), we’re here to help you feel more comfortable and confident. Whether you’re attending the annual holiday office party or a festive neighbourhood gathering, follow our tips to ensure that you make a great impression.
1. Come Prepared with a Few Conversation Starters
Did you know that sharing things about yourself – from your hobbies and interests to where you went on vacation this past summer – triggers the pleasure centers in your brain? Sharing information with others feels rewarding, which is why asking fun questions at parties is a smart move. As soon as your fellow partygoers start chatting, you’ll feel yourself loosening up – and you’ll wonder why you were worried in the first place. But try and think outside the box: Rather than asking someone about their holiday plans or what they do for a living, consider what you’d like to be asked and lead with that question. You might be surprised by what you have in common!
2. Follow Your Own Style
If you’ve been invited to a themed holiday party that asks you to wear something that isn’t quite your style, you might feel nervous about looking silly. While respecting your host’s wishes is considerate, it’s also key to find something you feel comfortable in. If dressing up like a reindeer or sporting an ugly holiday sweater isn’t your thing (and that’s more than OK!) don’t force yourself. For fun but stylish party looks that you will definitely feel confident in, check out these outfit ideas, which will help you look great no matter what the party’s theme, and try one of these party hairstyles to finish off your look.
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3. Take a Test Run
If you’re planning to wear a new outfit or try something different with your hair, plan a test run first. After all, there’s no worse time to find out those heels are too high than at 7:45 p.m. on a Saturday night! A dry run will give you a much-needed confidence boost.
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You know from experience that there’s nothing worse than arriving frazzled – it gets your night off to a bad start. It’s not just about checking the traffic conditions and leaving a bit early. Get that hair and/or beautician appointment into your planner in advance, and make sure to give yourself enough time to get ready before the party. Reschedule your day as needed so your beauty-prep time is a relaxed and leisurely experience.
5. Bring – or Find – a Party Buddy
Bringing a friend along will help quell any last-minute nerves about who to greet first or what to do if you don’t recognize someone you know. Don’t know anyone but the host? When introducing yourself to new people, psychologists recommend using the new person’s name in your conversation with them – it leaves a better impression and will help you remember their name, too.
How do you feel composed and confident during holiday parties? Share your best tips in the comments section!