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.


Most Helpful Girl

  • 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

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What Girls Said 36

  • 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.

  • Yeah if that's how you feel in social situations, inviting a friend is the first thing you should have done. Why is it too late? The key is to try your best not to be awkward. Try to remember that you're likable, smart and have an importance. Try to think about how you are when you're in a small group, and bring that attitude in a group of a couple more. In a professional feild you are going to have to learn how to engage and be social. Maybe think about taking a speech or communications class. And don't just stand in a corner looking around. It will be noticed but not in a positive light.

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

  • I'm kind of like you. In parties, I prefer sticking with the people I know or am at least comfortable with already--even during family reunions.

    Try looking for people you already know; they could introduce you to the others, removing the difficult step of gathering the courage to introduce yourself. Also, you could contribute to the conversation whenever something you have something to say about pops up. This is why I suggest staying in a small group (around 4 people, including you) because 1) if any awkward silence occurs, others could chime in and save the moment, and 2) you won't feel as on the spot because 4 people is more intimate than, say, a table of 15 people.

  • 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.

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What Guys Said 25

  • 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.

  • 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 :)

  • 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.

  • "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.

  • UGH!
    >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

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