Whatever it is that makes you occasionally miss out on parties — being an introvert, being shy, some combination of both sprinkled with social anxiety — if your goal is to get out of your comfort zone more this year, use this guide to make it to more events this holiday season.
Say "yes" to only the ones you want to go to — and can fit into your schedule
Hey, you don't have to make it to every event this holiday season if you don't want to. There's power in saying "no" and spending quality time with yourself and your loved ones. In fact, consider your first tip only saying yes to the events you'd really like to make it to this year as well as the ones that will comfortably fit into your schedule. This will keep your stress levels down and keep you from backing out of attending events.
Already be dressed and out for something else
If, like me, you spend a disproportionate amount of time working from home in yoga pants, anxieties can run high when it comes to having to face the world — and pants with buttons — again. One of the quickest ways around that initial get-ready fear is simply to make plans to do something out in public (therefore requiring public-acceptable clothing) before the event in question. Could just be running errands — something that will have you out, dressed and interacting with people other than your cat. This will make the ease into a party situation a little less abrupt.
Connect with a good friend beforehand
Related to the above tip, if you always dread that first dip into connecting with other humans, fearing you'll be nothing but a ball of awkward, connect with someone who loves you for who you are first, so you're feeling good and like you're a normal human capable of communication.
Wear an outfit that hits perfectly between confident and comfortable
Some folks might advise to go out and buy something wild — bold, even — so you feel like another person and use your outfit like a costume to effect a different, more party-loving persona. But I say don't be fancy, just be you, just a slightly less disheveled you. Don't try out any new outfits or shoes, wear clothes you know you love and that fit you well. (Just not yoga pants unless it's specifically a yoga-themed party.)
Add a little caffeine into the mix
Some folks might be into letting adult beverages loosen them up before an event, but something even better is caffeine. Because sometimes low energy feels like "I don't feel like going." Those with anxiety might avoid caffeine (since for some people it might exasperate existing symptoms), but others just feeling lazy might benefit from downing a few cups of strong tea or coffee and letting the jitters vibrate them on over to the company Christmas party.
Dance your way there
At this point in your life, you probably know what kind of music gets you going, and what brings you down. Don't match your music to your mood, match it to the mood you'd like to have. So before you've got to go somewhere and competently interact with others, get some music going (and maybe your body moving).
Say hello within the first 5 minutes
If I don't dive right in and stick an outstretched hand into a circle of people within the first five minutes of getting to a party or gathering, I end up hovering around the food table, looking at art or trying to get the resident pets to converse. If you're like me, jump in early. You'll have so much fun you'll remember it the next time you're thinking about flaking on an event you want to go to.
Are you looking to attend more parties and holiday gatherings this year? Let us know your tricks to getting out the door more often!