Calling all introverts… Instead of reverting to default wallflower mode at your next holiday party, here are a few quick tips on making any social setting your comfort zone, courtesy of author Jeanne Martinet and her book, The Art of Mingling: Fun and Proven Techniques for Mastering Any Room.
Don't panic. You are not the only person feeling this way. Just try to relax and say to yourself, "I'm going to fake it till I make it."
Scrutinizing body language will help you find a person or group of people who will be receptive to talking to you… Take a quick inventory: Is there space between people's bodies? Is someone in the group looking out at the party population in general? Are they leaning in toward each other, as if they don't want anyone to overhear them? Note: Don't forget about your own body language signals.
If the fog of silence starts to engulf you, all you need to do is to think M.I.N.G.L.E., and use the initials to remind you of these all-purpose topics.
M stands for Meeting
“I feel as though we’ve met before. Have we?” “Where did you first meet the hostess?”
I stands for Internet
Talk about something trending on Twitter or that you saw on Instagram. Or even something in news: “I just heard that Amazon bought another start-up for a billion dollars!”
N stands for Nearby Places
Bring up nearby restaurants or great architecture in the neighborhood. Something even as simple as “I haven’t been to this area for a while. I can’t believe how much it has changed/hasn’t changed.”
G stands for Go
“Are you going away for the holidays?” “I don’t often go to big parties held at bars, but this is really fun.”
L stands for Likes and Dislikes
“I really like this cheese.” “I love it when Janet has these parties.” “I hate being so late, what did I miss?”
E stands for Events
Is something culturally major happening? Fold it in—the Olympics, the Super Bowl, Cher on Broadway….