Keep calm and make conversation: The introvert’s guide to Christmas party chit-chat
What’s the best thing about Christmas? The food? The presents? A week off work?
And the worst thing?
Well, for the introverts among us, it might well be the glut of social events — BBQs, dinner parties, work functions, school concerts and drinks nights … phew! Such occasions where you’re required to frock/suit up, eat, drink and make merry with a bunch of different people can trigger anxiety and worry for many.
Hey, you might even be the life of the party!
Even if you thrive in a small group setting, the thought of being in a room full of people you don’t know well (or at all!) can feel daunting. Worse still, it’s likely you’ll have to have to make conversation with them!
Rather than hibernate well into the New Year, arm yourself with some simple strategies for soulfully joining, participating in and leaving party conversations. Hey, you might even be the life of the party!
How to break into a conversation group:
You know the deal. You’re standing on the edge of a cluster of party-goers and you’d like to join in. But how? One easy way is to make friendly eye contact with a member of the group and make a brief introduction. Something like, “Hi, I’m Bronni. I don’t want to interrupt but this sounds like a fun conversation!” Hopefully, that will spark engagement and grant you a place in the group.
Soulful conversation starters:
Ok, you’re “in”! Now what? If you find yourself stuck for words, try a few of these juicy festive conversation starters to get the ball rolling:
- What’s the best present you’ve ever received?
- Handmade gifts — yay or nay?
- If Santa gave you $100 a week to spend exclusively on yourself, what would you do?
- How do you imagine Santa spends February?
- What was something that made you laugh out loud this year?
- What festive food do you most look forward to every Christmas?
- How would you outfit Santa for the hot Aussie climate?
- What’s your favourite Christmas movie/carol?
- Pudding or pavlova? Discuss.
- Have you ever had a white Christmas?
- What’s something you’d love to get better at in 2018?
- Name a gift for less than $5 you’d be thrilled to receive?
How to gracefully leave a conversation.
By now, you may well feel completely talked out! Moving on from a conversation, either to grab a drink, find someone else to chat with or head Home, can be tricky, too. Keep your exit strategy simple — wait for a natural break in the conversation and politely state your reason for leaving. You could try: “It’s been lovely chatting with you. I’ve just spotted Dan and I was really hoping to chat to him tonight. Catch up with you later.”
Best of luck with your social gatherings, friends.
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