Office parties or socializing at work is essential and at the same time tricky. You will want to have fun with your colleagues but at the same time without forgetting that it is a workplace event. Office parties can be drag if you are new to the workplace or do not know anyone well enough, especially if you are socially awkward or an introvert. But hey, maybe this is the opportunity to start mingling and making some friends?
Office parties are an opportunity to celebrate our colleague relationships and reduce workplace stress. Make it as a chance to know your coworkers better and to get a better rapport with your boss. So use these hacks while you figure out how to become a social (read official) butterfly.
Friendly mode on
Switch on your friendly smile and be courteous to people. Try striking up conversation while you are picking up a drink or some finger food. Start with a basic, “Hey, I’ve never seen you around.Which team are you in?”
Watch the group
Some of them might be with friends and are having personal conversations going on in the group. It is difficult to get into such groups. So if you get that vibe from a group, stay away. Instead look for a smaller group with a more semi-casual vibe.
Start talking to one person
Begin by talking to one person in a group—a familiar face or a friendly one. Once they get the idea that you are just looking to mingle, they may be more than happy to include you in the conversations. Just be confident.
Food always breaks the ice.
Make comments about the food. Food is a relatable topic that everyone loves to join in on, make comments, or share experiences. It is a great conversation starter. Find a group that is relatively open to your joining them, and sit down to eat with them and get talking.
Engage in activities
If there is a scope for activities, games, like dart boards, quizzes or musical chairs, join in and break the ice. This is the best way to mingle with everyone, as everyone will be laughing and at ease, which sets in a lighthearted mood that may continue throughout.
Unreceptive? No problem.
If a person or a group is being unreceptive, it is okay. It is their problem, not yours. Move on and find a different group. Don’t let it dampen your spirits. Remember, everyone has a comfort zone and a party brings together people with different styles, and some tend to stay within their bubbles.
If all else fails, call in early and spend some me time or make other plans. You always have the next office party to try again.
Office parties break up the monotony of our daily lives with something new and fun with colleagues. This can promote motivation and creativity at work as well as for you as a person. And not to worry, office party anxiety is a problem for many and it doesn’t mean that you suffer from social anxiety.