Surviving a party knowing few people/only the host

Being quite a sociable person, I get invited out quite regularly, and sometimes end up at parties where I literally only know the host – the host who just so happens to be busy entertaining all their other guests and therefore is unable to babysit me for the entirety of the evening. It’s never nice not knowing anyone at a party, and from personal experience I know that all you want to do is sit in a corner and drink up alone until someone (hopefully) comes to rescue you. However, this is not a productive, nor fun, way to go about social gatherings.

As of this, I’ve created this little guide to help myself and hopefully other people for when they end up in similar situations.

What to wear

Make sure to ask the host about dress code, you’re already going to stand out as the newbie so it’s best to at least look the part. Male fashion is usually pretty straight forward, smart jeans and a shirt to match no matter what the occasion (obviously barring black tie ones). However, for women it varies:

  • For a typical house party: Always go for something smart casual so you look approachable and friendly – perhaps, jeans and a nice top, or denim shorts and tights. Take care with footwear as shoes may have to be taken off and you may not want to be barefoot, nor wearing socks with holes in.collage-2015-08-25 (1)
  • For a garden party: If the weather’s nice go for a ditsy dress with a denim jacket and flats (you don’t want your heels sinking into the grass!). Or if a dress is not your thing, slim fit trousers, or smart white jeans are also an option.collage-2015-08-25
  • For a party with a venue: It’s always good to make an effort for these sort of gatherings, as effort has gone into planning and hiring the venue for the occasion. I’d usually go for a smart dress, or outfit that you feel comfortable in yet still feel like you look the part, with heels of course (it’s probably one of the rare times you get to wear them).collage-2015-08-25 (2)

What to bring

  • Bring a gift for the host – this gives you an excuse to approach them and introduce yourself, hopefully with them spit-balling names at you after doing so because they’re grateful for the gift and understand you don’t know many other people in attendance.
  • If it’s a casual gathering, bring some sort of drinking game – even a pack of cards wouldn’t go a miss as it’s something that gets people grouped together and involved, regardless of how well they know each other (after never-have-I-ever that factor could change).
  • A friend – I’m always more comfortable meeting new people when I have someone familiar with me because I can relax and refer back to them in conversations to help them keep flowing.

Top Tips

  • Enjoy yourself. If you get into the mindset that the party is going to be fun, there is nothing stopping you from coming home feeling that way. You should not be worried or anxious, because the whole point of a party is to get like-minded people together, and to have a good time. Sometimes with the help of alcohol.
  • Go forth and mingle – this is the most important thing to do, there will be other people who do not know everyone and would like to make a friend to survive the party, and who knows, you may even meet someone who happens to have everything in common with you. Mingling means your social circle will get bigger, and you’ll be introduced to even more people, maybe eventually been invited to another party where you only know them as a host.
  • If all else fails – go home. It’s always polite to show your face, but if it’s not your scene you can always leave with the sense of achievement that you’ve tried something new.

Good luck

Rae Coppola

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