This post was developed via a partnership with BetterHelp.
The first step in coping with party anxiety is determining whether or not you can attend. Ensure that you aren’t overbooked. You can decline an invitation if you already have plans for the day of an evening party, especially if you think it’s too much for you.
What if you decide not to go at the last minute? As a general rule, it’s best if you can’t handle your anxiety or feel like you’re in the middle of a crisis to stay at home and attempt to be better prepared for the next time. As a last resort, call the host and let them know that you will not be able to attend.
Relax Before The Party
Plan ahead of time how you’ll unwind before the party. Make sure you have at least a few hours of downtime to prepare if you can, and try spending some time on yourself.
Make a detailed plan of what you’ll wear to the event ahead of time. Inquire about the appropriate attire if it’s a formal event. Take the time to find clothing that both flatters your figure and makes you feel good.
Think About What You Want To Bring
It’s important to remember that you don’t always need to bring a gift to a party. Purchasing gifts should be done as far in advance as possible, just like picking out your clothing. In this way, you will have time to consider your options and ask for assistance if necessary. Some examples of gifts you could bring if you decide not to come empty-handed are wine, flowers, a kitchen accessory such as a bottle opener, or even dessert. Ask about allergies ahead of time!
Schedule Your Arrival Time
It’s better to be on time or even a little early to a party if you have social anxiety than it is to be late. To avoid being overwhelmed by a long list of introductions, it is better to arrive early and meet guests as they arrive.
Just because you have trouble remembering the names of everyone you meet at an event doesn’t mean that you should beat yourself up about it! The second time you ask, it may actually help you convey your desire to make a new friend.
Think About How You Can Mingle
Assuming you’ve decided to attend a party, the first step is to find someone with whom to strike up a conversation. See if you can spot a familiar face among the bunch. Maybe there’s someone else out there who’s all by themselves. As you look around, making a general observation about what you see is always a good conversation starter.
Try again with someone else if the other person does not reciprocate. When attending a party, the best way to join a group is to be introduced by one of its members. Consider going up to a person one-on-one if you see them break away from the group.
In addition to what you say, pay attention to how you present yourself physically. Keep your arms uncrossed and always wear a smile. It’s a good idea if that person introduces you to the others.
Think About Your Conversation Topics
It can be difficult to come up with topics to discuss at a party if you aren’t used to socializing with others. There are a few things you can do ahead of time, such as joking around or telling a good story. Topics that are well-known are the best to discuss, such as the news, films, music, or the trendiest restaurants.
Inquire about the other person’s hobbies and interests. If you want to get people talking, ask questions that aren’t restrictive. Instead of waiting to add your own thoughts, pay attention to what others have to say. You can improve your listening skills by making a mental note to share what you’ve learned with someone else after the conversation. You’ll be more likely to pay attention and ask questions if you do this.
Finally, keep in mind that topics such as politics, religion, and other deeply personal matters aren’t the best places to start a conversation with a stranger.
Find Ways To Stay Entertained
With other people, it can feel like you’re being thrust into the limelight. The most important thing is to make an effort. In other words, don’t get caught up in trying to be the best or win the game.
The purpose of attending a party is to meet new people and become more at ease around those you already know. You may discover that you and your new friends have formed a close friendship after playing a game of Pictionary or beer pong. Learn more about making new friends with social anxiety at https://www.betterhelp.com/advice/anxiety/.
Decide When To Leave Before You Get There
Before going to a party, decide on an end time and stick to it. Anxiety can be reduced if you know how long it will take you to complete a task. However, if you’re having a good time and want to stay longer, that’s fantastic.
On the other hand, it is perfectly fine to leave early if you don’t think you’ll be able to stay the entire time. The fact that you stayed for so long is commendable on its own!