4 Ways to Survive Your Office Holiday Party- Or Any Party You Don’t Want to Attend

Originally published on PhiladelphiaMFT

It’s that time of the year where people pull out their ugly Christmas sweaters and get into the holiday spirit. One of the best ways to achieve that at work is the annual holiday party. It’s a special time where you get to come together with your boss and coworkers and really let your hair down over Christmas carols and heavily frosted cookies. While that may sound amazing for some; others are less than enthused about awkwardly interacting with coworkers over punch that could use a little more “holiday cheer”. Regardless of where you fall on the scrooge meter, there are ways to survive your holiday work party.

1. Be mindful about alcohol.
It’s well known that alcohol is used as a social lubricant but too much of the spiked nog can have you or your coworkers behaving regrettably. Be mindful of how much you drink even if everyone around you is getting deep into the holiday spirit. It’s better to be safe than sorry especially if you don’t like your job or the people you work with; we also know that alcohol is a truth teller.

2. Avoid awkward situations with boundary crossing coworkers.
If you have a coworker who tends to cross boundaries in a professional setting, you can be sure they’re going to cross those same boundaries and then some in a relaxed party setting. Do yourself a favor and avoid them if you can and if you can’t, be ready to excuse yourself and exit the interaction when necessary.

3. Give your guest the heads up.
If you’re bringing a guest to your work party, give them the heads up about some of the interactions and relationships you have with you coworkers. You don’t have to gossip but there is nothing wrong with letting them know who you like to interact with and who you tend to avoid like the plague. Doing so will give your guest an idea of what’s going on if something gets a little weird.

4. Know when it’s time to go.
There is a moment in every party when you get the feeling that it’s time to leave because on some level you know it’s about to go down. You’re not exactly sure of what ‘it’ is or why you feel that way; but you know IT’S. ABOUT. TO. GO. DOWN. Know when you need to leave and let your guest (if you have one) in on the exit plan.

At the end of the day the work party is supposed to be fun-filled; so relax, enjoy yourself, and utilize these tips when necessary. Happy Holidays!

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