How do you feel about holiday parties and networking events?
How many people do you think genuinely look forward to the season of endless small talk with people they haven't arranged to meet for months? If you would rather Netflix 'n chill than meet new people, you're not alone. It's really hard to have a good conversation with someone who is as uncomfortable as you are.
Here are three ways you can do better and feel better, whether your holiday includes parties with extended family and friends or endless work socials.
- If you wouldn't want to meet someone who feels the way you do, change the way you feel. You can't become a different person but you can be a person in a different state. Listen to music, go for a walk or take a moment to remember just one time you met someone and it worked out beautifully. Repeat as often as necessary to find the self that people will look forward to meeting.
- Think about why you've shown up. If you're at a social you don't want to attend, there must be a pretty good reason. Play the 5 what's game. Begin with "what brought me here?" and then ask "why difference does that make". Repeat that question 3 more times. e.g.What brought me here? My partner made me come. What difference does that make? My partner will be ticked off if I duck out again. What difference does that make? t will be tense when we get home. What difference does that make? I need a hug. What difference does that make?I feel safe when things are good with my partner.
- You might be surprised. Remember a time when you had a conversation with an acquaintance that you enjoyed or that made a lasting impact on you. Go all the way back in time to remember where and when you were and be curious about how it was that you managed to have a powerful connection out of the blue.
We don't all love parties, but we all love feeling welcome. We all love finding out something we didn't know that we need to know. We all love having someone else recognize something strong or interesting in us. If you want to enjoy the season of small talk, live big. Be the person who offers a genuine welcome, the person who shares relevant information, the person who is curious about the person in front of you.
You'll be surprised how quickly time passes at the next event you've been dreading.