Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Ask The Park Wife- Holiday Party Interaction

Dear Park Wife,
It is the holiday season and I have been invited to many parties that I need to make an appearance at for work purposes. Here is the thing, I am uncomfortable in big groups of people and look like a goof just standing there. Any recommendations, aside of staying home and eating cake?

Oh sweetie, I love me a party, but I understand your predicament as I am married to a hunky ranger that would rather be in the woods appreciating nature than standing in a room full of people talking about what he would consider nonsense. Oh, but I thrive on it.

The key is to becoming a good conversationalist. Here are a few tips to get you through the merriment or scaryment.

You are going to have to spark a little conversation at some point. There is only so much eating that can be done, I know, sounds crazy, but true. You need to be sincere or genuine because people will see right through it if you are not. Don’t talk about yourself, ask questions of them, everyone likes to talk about themselves, well, almost everyone. Use some tried and true ice breakers: Where are you from? Where did you go to school? How do you know the hostess? Have you seen Precious or any other movie that just came out? Did you try the spinach dip?

Within a few questions you will hit on something that will make a deeper, livelier conversation. Try to avoid yes or no questions. Also, you have to act interested. You can do this through facial expressions; interest, understanding, sympathy, awe. Practice your acting skills at home if you need to, make sure that candid camera is not around, you are going to feel goofy. Watch out Angelina, there is a hot new actress in town!

Now, a Southern woman’s lesson on complimenting. Oh, this is dangerous territory. If you are going to compliment someone, mean it! People instinctively know the sincerity or insincerity of a compliment. This is the surest way to dig yourself into a hole. You know the big necklace your boss’s wife is wearing is ugly, just don’t go there.

Follow your instincts, not your impulses. You can do this and you might even enjoy it…GASP!

And, for goodness sake, please remember to send a thank you note to your host and/or hostess the next day.

Pretty is as pretty does,
The Park Wife


The Lumberjack's Wife said...

Thanks for the tips! :)
Now if you could only tell me what to wear . . .

Jenn said...

Thanks for the tips! I can always use a refresher course on public apperances. I have been know to talk to much.... I'll have to try you advice about facial expressions with boys. It will be our expressive arts class for the day ;)

Susie said...

That's great advice!

mindy@thesuburbanlife said...

Kick-butt advice, Park Wife! I'm pretty sure anyone following your advice would do just fine at a party and might actually find themselves enjoying it! My problem is exactly the opposite...I enjoy myself WAY TOO much at parties. Any advice about that?? =)