Surviving Holiday Parties
The fawning admirers.
The endless string of parties.
It’s just another day in the life of an aspiring celebrity. The problem is you’re not an aspiring celebrity, but that endless string of parties is all too real. Some of them you’re looking forward to. Others… well, you’ll need to at least make an appearance if nothing else.
Here are some ways to make it through that gauntlet of holiday festivities with your sanity intact —or better yet, breeze through them like a graceful and experienced pro.
Avoid controversial topics, particularly politics. To say America is divided politically is like saying Alaska is a little bit chilly this time of year. Political discussions quickly stir fervent debate and passion, and while that might be great for the floor of the U.S. Senate, it’s not so great for a festive, relaxing time when people are supposed to be coming together.
Keep a pitch count on your alcohol consumption. From holiday champagne to Uncle Bob’s special eggnog brew, there’s plenty of alcohol to go around. Take care how much of it goes down your throat. You’ll want to be known for your wit and your grace, not for dancing on the table and telling your best friend what you really think of them.
Display positive body language. Even if you’re not that interested in what another person has to say, show encouragement by making eye contact, leaning closer to them and pointing your hips and toes towards them. These gestures show warmth and empathy. Avoid looking away, crossing your arms or having a blank expression on your face.
Get a good night’s sleep. This bit of advice applies to pretty much everything you do, but it’s particularly important during the rush of the holidays. A restful sleep will let you face the day at your best. You’ll be more relaxed and more confident. You’ll feel better, smile more and you’ll be able to brush off little irritations rather than letting them hang over you like massive black clouds.
Hit the buffet early. That holiday foods sure looks lovely, doesn’t it? The problem is that it may have been sitting out for hours. By visiting the buffet early you’re not only getting the first choice of what’s available, but you’re also getting your food when it’s freshest and at its best.
Know who you’re dealing with. Holiday parties are often seen as a chance to unwind and ‘let your hair down’, but don’t forget the office politics. You’re interacting with the same people you work with or live with the rest of the year. Just because it’s the holidays doesn’t mean the same interpersonal dynamics don’t apply.
With these tips in your back pocket, you can navigate that lineup of holiday parties like the star that you are.