Office parties can be a great experience at the best of times, and a disaster at the worst. How this pans out can depend on a matter of things, from how much you have to drink to how well you prepare for the big event.
One of the factors that is often overlooked but can certainly influence how your office Christmas party goes is whether you are an introvert or an extrovert. While extroverts thrive in a highly social environment such as an office party, for introverts this can feel like an extension of the working day (and be equally as tiring!) Luckily, there are introverts guides to office parties available out there.
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As an introvert personality can easily be overwhelmed by a lot of social interaction, whether this is small talk between colleagues or a deep chat with a friend, it takes a lot of energy to immerse themselves in this environment. However, this doesn’t have to be a terrible situation!
If you are a naturally introverted person, or one of your close colleagues is, and you want some tips on how to improve an office gathering for introverts then read on.
Don’t instantly turn the offer down
Of course, avoiding the party can always be an option, but contrary to popular belief introverts can feel loneliness. Plus, with the work party being the perfect opportunity to form friendships with colleagues you wouldn’t usually talk to, it is worth giving it a shot!
Broadening your network in the office and building relationships with your colleagues can help with productivity and enjoyment in the workplace. Which may mean that all the small talk you have to put in at the office party is actually worth it…
Safety in numbers
Whether you are introvert, or have a colleague who is an introvert, there are steps you can take to make the Christmas party a more introvert-friendly affair. One of these being arriving at the party in a group.
Arriving at the party in a group will ensure that you have someone to speak to and can avoid the dreaded ‘finding your friends’ part of the party. It will also mean that you instantly have a group of people to bounce conversation off of, which can be a huge weight from your shoulders as it allows you to relax, rather than struggle to find your way into conversation.
Getting there before the party is actually in full swing is a good idea, as it means people are less likely to have formed close circles – meaning you’re free to move around until you’re comfortable.
If alcohol is involved at the event, arriving early will also mean that you are there before people begin to become intoxicated. This is beneficial as not only does it mean that you get to have some good sober interactions, but you won’t feel the need to play the dreaded ‘catch-up’ when you arrive. Phew!
Getting involved in conversation
If you yourself are not do not have an introvert personality but know that there is one within your group of colleagues, it can be extremely helpful if you make an extra bit of effort to include them in conversation. Something as simple as asking for their opinion on a conversation point can go a long way and will help to ensure that everybody present is having a good time!
Take a breather
It is also important to remember that being present at a party doesn’t mean you have to stand in the spotlight at all times. If the party is taking place in a bar, club or event venue of some sort and being in a crowd on the dancefloor is getting to be too much, remind yourself that it is okay to take a breather and give yourself a confidence boost.
Moving to the side lines can help you to clear your head, and even if your colleagues want to stick to the dancefloor, you can use this as an excuse to get yourself another drink! Although, do remember to mix things up with a water or plain soda here and there.
Let yourself leave
Whether it has been an hour or a couple of hours, be kind to yourself and allow yourself to leave when you feel the need to.
If it all begins to get to be too much, or you have had a great time but it just feels right to leave, don’t force yourself to stay any longer than you feel comfortable. Congratulate yourself for overcoming shyness, showing your face in the first place, say your goodbyes and go!
Take time to wind down
It is no secret that introverts’ brains need time to recharge a little more than extroverts do.
Make sure you have a day set aside to pamper yourself after the party and spend it doing things you truly enjoy. Forcing more social interaction on yourself after the big day is likely to leave you burnt out and less likely to want to go back to work!
Instead, treat yourself to some alone time. However, it is a good idea to reflect on the event and have some conversation points ready to discuss with colleagues when you’re back in the office. This will help you to form closer connections with them and mean the whole office party wasn’t in vain!
Following these tips and tricks should make that dreaded day a little less scary and ensure that everything goes smoothly.
Amber Denwood is a Copywriter currently located in Manchester, UK. When she is not writing for a living, she is usually writing for fun about music she likes, concerts she has been to or whatever else is on her mind that day. You can reach her on LinkedIn, here: https://uk.linkedin.com/in/amber-denwood-67606214b