How do I not come off as awkward at this holiday party?

I'm going to a holiday party where there will be all sorts of people in my professional field. I'm still in school for it, but it's for all people who are studying it and who are actually doing it.

The problem is that I'm most comfortable when I'm with myself or in groups of 2, sometimes 3. I'm more myself and funnier and less approval-seeking and more confident. However, in greater groups I find I become more of an observer and am generally ignored and when I do try to make a comment, I try too hard.

So I'd rather just go around and talk to people who are alone or in small groups.

However, I know people will be turned off if they see me walking around alone. And I'm sure there will be stretches where there's no one to talk to so I'm just standing there, looking pathetic. Doesn't help when trying to get girls.

Even worse, a girl I'd been crushing on for a long time (and failed to try to get) will be there and, worse, she's so into my friend, flirts with him like how she used to with me, so they'll all be in a huge group, while I'm like a nomad.

I should have invited one of my friends (we're allowed one guest), but it's too late now.


What's Your Opinion?


What Girls Said 36

What Guys Said 25

  • Selected as most helpful

    The best way to not come off as awkward is to be confident (or should I say "fake confidence"). Don't be conscious of yourself and be present at the party. Be aware, have a good time and make yourself heard.

    Now's the time to bring your charm into the party. If you walk alone, walk confidently. Maybe talk to a random stranger, or someone you recognize and make friends.

    If you find yourself "generally ignored", make a good impression and find a Great Way to say your comment and then use that opportunity to steer that group in your direction. Be the leader in that conversation and have an insightful perspective to share that makes people want to listen to you.

    Practice in the mirror how you're going to display yourself. If you find yourself nervous in a group, find one person that is less intimidating in the group and imagine your talking to him/her only.

    As for the girl, forget about her for minute and just enjoy yourself instead of worrying about her. If you happen to talk to her, stay friendly! And after a while, excuse yourself and go back to being At the party. Who knows? You might end up amusing yourself and actually become the life of the party or someone everyone will remember and want to know.

    Hope this helps! :D

  • 24d

    Well damn...No drug can cure your, just be yourself and be confident, the rest will come to you

  • 27d

    We all have opinions as in we all judge so who cares if you look pathetic , your pathetic look might even be charming for some one

  • 28d

    A piece of advice: at the party, you're thinking about yourself WAY more than other people are thinking about how awkward you may or may not be. These other studetns are most likely thinking about how they look themselves.

  • 28d

    try just branching out and talking to people in larger groups. it may make you feel uncomfortable and awkward, but shrug it off and put on a good face. maybe drink a little to ease the nerves? try to just ease yourself into the conversation and don't force anything.

  • 29d

    I'm like that too. I like being in smaller groups because it's more intimate rather than being in one huge group of people and seeing whether your input will be liked and acknowledged.
    Damn, the girl issue is a put-down but there's nothing that can be done. I suggest you just look spiffy as hell and try to have a good time so you don't look like you're bummed out by her going after your mate.
    Yeah, you should have invited a friend.. that would have helped.
    A good idea would be to chat up a person who looks just as awkward and out of place as you are and help them feel at ease so you'll forget about your nerves. Approach people who are less intimidating and work your way up to the ones who make you most anxious. Move around the party, don't always be in one place.
    Also, start the conversation with an open-ended question that can get the whole group talking. They'll answer not only to the entire group but always to you because you're the one who brought it up and they'll have you in mind.
    It doesn't hurt to have a drink or two as well.. just don't drink to the point when it makes you look foolish.

  • 29d

    Fake confidence.

    Act like you know what you're doing even when you don't. Walk up to other people that are standing around alone an awkward and talk to them.

  • 29d

    By having a beer or two. those help you socialize more

    • 29d

      It's honesty. 1 or 2 makes people relax at the end of a hard day. Any more and you are fucked

    • 29d

      lol I hope that was sarcasm :p I mean drinking to get more relaxed isn't that sort of sending the wrong message? :p

  • 29d

    Why is this in the no opinions section?

  • 34d

    look confident and find a group that your freinds with all parties break into licks just find your own click and also you might be overthinking some people might be worried about themselves also dont worry about what people think so much

  • 45d

    You're not awkward its all in your head, just stop over thinking it

  • 1mo

    Just remember: everyone is so worried about what other people think about them, they don't really notice anyone else. Don't over think it. Be comfortable standing alone at parties, if you can pull of looking OK doing it, it's really attractive. Fake it till you make it! And if you feel uncomfortable socializing in groups, stop trying to make comments others will approve of - ask questions!

  • Try to blend in a be cool, then it won't matter also drink 1-2 bevs

  • Be confident even when standing alone. Don't mope and look pitiful just be yourself no one can ask more than that of yiu.

  • Don't be so down on yourself! People are really only thinking about themselves, they aren't paying attention to what you do or who you are with. Just relax and be yourself :) Also, try asking someone to go with you. Better yet, ask that girl that you like! Is she single? She's available! You will never know if you don't take a chance and try.

  • there is going to be other people there that are like you so find them and talk to them. and make the situation with your crush into a positive one. since you know her talk to her. sorry this is kind 8 months late but here's your answer :) haha

  • What the hell is that I found this in unanswerd quistion and not it show you got 29 wow

  • well just try and be in groups so people don't notice you are alone and try to invite a friend even if its late.

  • Mingle with people while you're there. Avoid large groups. Stop to talk to people in groups of one to 3 at the most. Try to talk to everyone at least everyone will be by their self or with one other person at one point durring the party.

    Just relax, bring on the charm, and most importantly be yourself =)

  • Why is it too late to invite a friend?

  • just go around and talk to small groups about your job

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  • 20d

    u need to find somebody there

  • 24d

    Shit. I was going to suggest bringing a prostitute. Maybe you can say you're sick and skip the whole thing?

  • 27d

    You are one of many such people who have an introverted personality. You like small groups as you say, and in larger groups, you may be comfortable in conversation only if you are very familiar with everyone in the group.

    I suspect among your friends, they obviously know you, but many of them will not know each other or at least know each other but aren't friends. That is one of the reasons you keep in small groups. If you invited all your friends to a single room, it would probably be an awkward social gathering where you know everyone, but nobody knows anyone else.

    In order to seem less awkward, you need to learn some better social skills and ability to small talk. Small talking is a great skill to have, discussing interests and hobbies when you sense someone may have similar experiences, but not going overboard nerd. Avoid useless subjects like the weather, where nobody cares about and use only in a work elevator.

    Instead, if you are all drawn to a same professional field, I would start by chatting with someone you know. After some time, draw someone else that you know into the conversation who is passing by doing the following:

    1. Simply call them out and greet them.
    2. Introduce them to the other person you are speaking to by name, and what they do to kickstart. Say something nice or interesting about each person.
    3. Continue your previous conversation topic, but focus more attention on the new person, so they don't feel awkward.
    4. If the conversation starts to wane, you may want to direct your questions to a more personal nature and ask about their hobbies and non-work stuff. Everyone likes talking about themselves.
    5. Another thing to do is to chat with beer in hand. Liquid gold always makes people relax and chat more. Suggest going to get some food/snacks/drink refills. Keep note of when someone's drink is empty, like if they're fiddling with their bottle.

  • 27d

    Call a escort for the evening and tell everyone she's your girlfriend from out of town

  • 29d

    Flirt with someone new. It's time to move on from this crush you "failed to try to get," regardless of whether or not she's into your friend. Dare to possibly fail!

  • 31d

    i woudn't go if its not required, dont put yourself in a vulnerable position on purpose

  • 33d

    I'm kind of the same. That sounds rough having to see a girl you like flirt with your friend. I wouldn't even go in that case. If you want to go, just don't worry about it. Have a good time, mingle and just be confident in yourself. I do things alone all the time, and, to be honest, I usually enjoy myself so much more. People even approach me way more often. Do avoid the girl, though. I could never enjoy myself if that was happening to me.

  • 34d

    >Parties always break down into twos to fours anyway - look for these, even if they are clicks
    >Continue to try to get a partner, especially a gal with such an interest - could be a classmate w/o such an invitation - tell her you'll pay her back, as this is a favor
    >Establish some goals (if not doting on your partner) such as wanting to know more about XYZ, then asking around WHO would know more about this at the party = instant hit; ABC would be a backup like getting employment; also bring a dead ringer joke on this topic in case the conversation brushes on it
    >Coming a bit late after everyone's had a drink or two makes them more social

  • Party survival chart:

    1. Do you feel confident to go up and meet people in groups?

    Yes? Go to 3. No? Go to 2.

    2. Drink alcohol. Go to 1.

    3. Do it.

    • 33d

      Haha! Good advice.

  • Its actually difficult to look confident alone, but if I were in that situation I'd just chill out and listen to the conversation around me, and if I think I can have some stuff to say that in a conversation that would be the opening where you can actually be meeting new people.

    A similar situation was when I was having dinner with this girl I just knew for about 3 hours in another country, and all of her friends are with her.

  • "The problem is that I'm most comfortable when I'm with myself or in groups of 2, sometimes 3" - so it's safe to say that you are not comfortable in groups? Why not go to use it as an opportunity to meet a professional in your field and ask them questions about your future career, etc. Rather than trying to score a date? Who knows, you could end up making a good impression and landing yourself in an intern position. Personally, I would never try to date a girl in my field. Too little diversity in our work-lives to keep things even remotely interesting.


    Hey, babe! What did you do at work today?"

    "You should know, you were there.."

    Also, you're only as pathetic as you feel. Just like it's not what you say so much as how you say it. If you're standing there on the sidelines awkwardly and thinking "Oh, man.. I'm such a loser! no one will talk to me!" it's much more likely that someone who looks at you will think "Wow, I'd hate to be that awkward loser - I wouldn't talk to him!". Conversely, if you're completely fine with being alone and comfortable, it's a lot less likely that someone will view you in such a way.

  • Just go and be yourself. Don't worry about the female. She should be pretty insignificant in your life now anyway. And if worse comes to worse hope that there's some social lubricant (alcohol) when you need to speak to a large group.

  • You sound just like me :) I like your plan. Talk to who ever you want to, don't let other people, including yourself, make you feel inferior. Holiday parties aren't that great of a place to pick up girls anyways.

    Best of luck :)

  • first off... chill out!

    secondly, stop trying so hard to impress... never try to impress... strive to be YOURSELF...

  • In a small group that seems closed off, they are generally already talking about something private, don't approach them. If it's a couple of guys who are facing outwards you should be able to come up and introduce yourself to them. Say "Hello, my name is X. How are you doing?" Listen to the conversation then speak when you have something to add. Don't interrupt, don't be rude but interject where there is a chance. If the conversation isn't going anywhere, you say "Well, it was nice meeting you guys, I'm going to go get some punch now", shake hands and leave. Small talk is a low risk venture, not much to lose, not much to gain. Make sure to meet the party's host/ess and thank him or her. If you don't feel like you're going to have much success already, bring a book. I've had people come up to talk to me while I was reading at the party, people who are alone are surprisingly approachable when they aren't looking gloomy or depressed. Best of luck! Pax Christi

  • Dude, it's all good. You need to adopt confidence and a carefree attitude before you go there. You have to know that you ARE the sh*t. Read the book "The Game" by Neil Strauss. Go out and game women and people in general and you will OWN that party.

  • Just go with the flow and try to be yourself. I think you will do find if you try to mingle with different groups and walk around. Also if your crush is their just do your best to try and not get to destracted on what she is doing.Just have a good time and have fun.

  • Fake it. Seriously, you fake it until you make it. Most people will be fooled.

  • Simple, you fake it until you make it. You might feel awkward doing something, but I've found--just because you feel something doesn't mean it's so. I was going into a tournament, and felt jittery, but my teammates, as one put it, thought I was "as cool as a cucumber."

    People often assume better about others.

  • You should have invited your friend! One friend with you won't make you look like a nomad.

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