Whenever you attend a party, there always seem to be those people who grab the attention and have an easy time interacting with anyone and everyone. But if you don’t have a personality that’s naturally bold and extroverted, you might find it difficult to stand out.
Become the Life of Every Party
Whether it’s a cocktail party, business party, or fraternity party, someone always stands out. Other guests typically gravitate towards this individual and, from the outside looking in, it’s easy to envy their status. And while there’s something to be said for adopting a more unassuming role, there are some things you can do to become the life of the party. Here are a few suggestions:
- Don’t Show Up Empty-Handed
Most people are going to show up to a party empty-handed. Times have changed and the old cultural norm of bringing a housewarming or hosting gift seems to have gone the way of the dodo. This creates an opportunity for you.
As a rule of thumb, never show up empty-handed. By bringing a bottle of wine, case of beer, candle, box of chocolates, etc., you force people take notice. This gives you an advantage from the moment you walk through the door.
- Wear Something Unique
Most people think that the only way to stand out at a party is to be the obnoxious drunk who makes a lot of noise and sucks up everyone’s attention. There are, however, much subtler ways to win the room over.
One option is to wear something bold and unique. For example, wearing a Christmas suit to a holiday party will allow you to stand out and share some laughs with others. It encourages people to start small talk with you, which provides more of an opportunity to shine.
- Listen Instead of Talk
Another common misconception is that you have to talk incessantly to be the life of the party. Again, this is false. If you genuinely want people to like you and enjoy being in your presence, try listening instead of talking.
When you listen, you make others feel appreciated. You also remove the pressure of always having to say something, which means your words will actually have meaning when you do talk.
- Start Conversations With Intentionality
If you’re going to start a conversation with someone, avoid making lame small talk. You should also resist the classic “What do you do?” question.
“Most of us don’t have jobs or careers that reflect who we are as a person, so asking what someone does to make rent doesn’t help you to get to know anyone,” entrepreneur Mark Shrayber writes. “The best conversations are the ones that allow room for open-ended answers.”
But it’s also a good idea to begin conversations with intentionality. In other words, seek to find something out about the people you meet. As opposed to talking about the weather, purposeful conversation could lay the groundwork for a future friendship.
- Remember Names
People like other people who remember their names. It makes them feel special, important, and understood. When you meet people at a party, do your best to remember their name and then use it later on.
If you have trouble remembering names, you may find some of the following tactics helpful:
- Repeat the person’s name after they say it. Then use it at least once in the conversation.
- Couple the person’s name with the place they were born. So instead of meeting Cindy – it’s Cindy from Manhattan. Or instead of trying to remember a generic name like John – it’s John from Vancouver. Coupling a name with a defining characteristic helps.
- Sometimes you forget someone’s name right after meeting them. It’s perfectly fine to admit as much. Letting it go for too long, however, will lead to some awkward tension. If you forget someone’s name, simply ask for it again when you finish your conversation.
Be True to Who You Are
At the end of the day, striving to be the life of the party shouldn’t lead you to make questionable decisions. There’s nothing wrong with standing out, but don’t compromise your values, morals, and integrity along the way. It’s important to always be true to who you are. If it just so happens that you can also be the life of the party – great – but this shouldn’t be an either/or scenario.