Office parties can be something of a minefield to navigate. Whilst they are a great opportunity for you to get to know your colleagues better and let off some steam, things can go wrong if you aren’t careful. In fact, a study found that 51 percent of employees felt nervous about returning to work the next day, and 40 percent considered handing in their notice after the party.
On the other hand, there are also a whole host of other things to consider when you are attending office parties as an introvert – the prospect of nerves, initiating conversation and the pressure to have a good time can cause unnecessary stress.
Introverts are not averse to social situations. They enjoy being a part of the fun as much as anyone else, and an office party is no exception. PSG Global has some tips on how you can get through the party season at work without breaking a sweat.
Have a power nap beforehand – If your party is happening after work, consider squeezing in a power nap. Studies show that naps can help to reduce blood pressure, so you could consider it as a way to calm your nerves.
Turn up, but conserve your energy – Your presence is likely to be appreciated by your fellow colleagues. Even if you are only planning on coming for a couple of hours, the fact that you made an appearance can make you feel more involved and can give you something to talk about when you return to work the next day.
Just listen – Socialising for too long can drain your social battery, so whilst being at a bustling gathering can be exhausting, you can still engage in conversations simply by being an active listener.
Stay hydrated – Want to avoid feeling like you’ve been hit by a bus the next morning? Top-up your water levels throughout the night. Sure, you’ll be making trips to the bathroom a fair bit, but you’ll be doing yourself a favour by avoiding that killer headache the next morning, since alcohol is a diuretic and makes you dehydrated.
Line your stomach – Pace yourself with enough food so that the glass of red doesn’t go straight to your head. Your office party is absolutely the right time to dive into canapes and indulge yourself in all the food and this is particularly important if you are planning on drinking.
Honour the ‘introvert hangover’ – As an introvert, you may find that you need more downtime than usual after your office party. If the event is lucky enough to fall on a Friday, it is perfectly fine to schedule a duvet weekend where you can recharge with some television, reading, or anything else that will help you to recalibrate.
Keep the gossip to a minimum – Everyone lets their guard down at office parties, and whilst this should be encouraged, be careful with what you say. Engaging in gossip, however well-meaning it may be, might come back to hurt you in the future. Things like over-sharing about your personal life or saying something about a colleague could wind up as an awkward conversation back in the office/with your boss/HR.
There are plenty of other ways to have a good time, for example, your shower-esque singing is unlikely to wind up as a job-threatening prospect.
Leave your card at home – Chances are, after the party your colleagues might want to continue the festivities elsewhere, so bring enough cash that will get you through the night. Don’t let the party season be the reason you wake up to an unpleasant surprise when you check your bank statement – your post-party self will thank you for it.
Stay professional – Whether it’s your attire for the party or how many drinks you have, don’t overdo it. You may be off work, but remember that your behaviour is still going to be watched. Stay within your limits and when in doubt, follow the mood of the room – you don’t want to be the first person to sink!
The office party is a time to have fun and celebrate your successes with your colleagues. A big part of it is also recognising that as an introvert, you bring your own unique emotional intelligence and qualities to any social situation you are in. Own it, be yourself and let the office party be a chance for you to truly enjoy yourself.
Maham Azam is a writer at PSG Global. She enjoys writing about wellness, HR trends and is a huge advocate for mental health awareness.
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