Guide to Surviving an Office Holiday Party if You’re Shy or an Introvert

Many people are shy or introverted and dread social functions. If you’re one of these people, then the holiday season can put a lot of anxiety on your shoulders. You might feel drained, nervous, overstimulated, and sometimes even scared. Unfortunately, many managers and the higher-ups at your workplace almost expect you to make an effort to celebrate with the company. So, while you might want to come up with an excuse to get out of it, it’s likely that you need to charge ahead and attend. Here are some tips to help you through the festive party.

Think Positively

It might come naturally to think about the many reasons why you don’t want to attend the party, but it’s always best to think about the positives. Is there going to be free food and drinks? Are you visiting an interesting restaurant or part of town? Are you going to be able to dress up? You can take things that you enjoy and apply them as positives to what you might feel is a negative situation. If you’re having a difficult time coming up with reasons, think back to an event you attended that turned out to be good. The memory of a positive function can help to ease the pressure.

Carpool with a Colleague

Locating a familiar and friendly face when you’re amongst a bunch of strangers can make you feel uncomfortable if you’re shy or introverted. Try heading to your event with a co-worker that you consider a friend and that you trust. This is going to help make the party much more manageable than you expect. Additionally, it makes joining in on conversations less intimidating when you have someone at your side. Your co-worker can even help with introducing you to people you might not know.

Hide Out in the Bathroom (Seriously)

If your shyness or introversion starts getting the best of you, then you might be tempted to rush off to the bar. Instead of doing that, excuse yourself to the bathroom to take a break from the commotion of the party; it gives you a few moments to recharge. You have the privacy of the bathroom stall to help you take control of your breathing, call a friend or family member for support, or even listen to calming music. All of those methods can help lower your stress and anxiety levels.

Practice Being a Good Listener

People love it when others are listening to them; they want to be heard. You can ease the pressure of being a great conversationalist by asking open-ended questions that give them the opportunity to elaborate more during their answer. Try asking someone what they do at the company, or why they got into the field. The benefit of these types of questions, is they also result in them asking you the same ones; which makes it easier than coming up with topics on your own.

Plan an Exit Strategy

As a shy person, you might have the urge to communicate with other people but probably feel anxious and apprehensive about how the situation is going to play out. As an introvert, being surrounded by large groups and having many social interactions is likely going to drain you. If you aren’t having a good time, or you feel exhausted, don’t force yourself to stay. Allow yourself to leave early if you feel the need; you don’t need to wait until the very end just because you don’t want to be the first to go.

Knowing about your office holiday party in advance can give you the proper amount of time that you need to prepare. Positivity is the most important thing, along with paying attention to your nerves and your anxiety level. Putting yourself in an environment that is mentally stressful isn’t necessary, so remember to breathe, take a break if you need to, and excuse yourself from the party altogether if required. Happy Holidays.


Guide to Surviving an Office Holiday Party if You’re Shy or an Introvert

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