How to cope with social anxiety at parties this Christmas and New Year
Here are a few of our top tips to help deal with the symptoms and hopefully make the experience a bit smoother.
Michelle Zelli, a life, confidence and behavioural coach spoke to Fabulous Online and has given her best tips for managing Christmas party social anxiety.
Bring a friend with you
Michelle said: "Ask if you can bring a friend, this will always help you with moral support and not feeling left out if you don’t know many people, and prevent you from standing there like a lemon waiting to be spoken to."
Don't get drunk to mask your anxiety
"Booze dissolves inhibitions and gives you confidence in abundance. Which makes it great for fun party games and getting on the dance floor but all too often one too many can turn from fun into fury. And that feeling of dread the next day. Avoid getting too drunk at all costs, getting drunk should not be used as a quick fix for confidence. This year why not mix a selection of non alcoholic cocktails to intersperse with the strong stuff?
"How do you want to act with these people? Get honest with yourself before the event.
"If you are harbouring a grudge or feel awkward with certain people, why not take the season of goodwill at it’s word and get in contact before you meet?
"No blame or shame, just an honest desire to move forward and have a lovely Christmas. Everyone is there to have fun at the end of the day!"
If you're super anxious about what conversational topics to cover, pre-plan some neutral topics to discuss.
Michelle says these can consist of easy things such as: "Holidays, hobbies and even the weather."
She adds: "Put 'getting along with this person' at top of your agenda and the conversation topics will come clear to you."
Make sure to smile
"Our body position and facial expressions account for over half of communication.
"When you smile, the brain of the other person is 80% more likely to consider you as ‘safe’ than if you have your resting face.
"It will make you feel happier too!"
If you really don't wanna go…
"Learn to say ‘no!’. You don’t have to go to everything and get yourself over tired and not on best form.
"You are no use to anyone as a frazzled, stressed, hot mess.
"Guard your time and energy with gusto."
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