Sometimes one of the bravest things you can do is go to a party alone. That and playing dead around a bear. It’s a toss-up. I don’t know if this is limited to women, but all my lady friends have issues going to parties alone. The usual fears swim about in our heads: what if I wind up sitting in the corner all by myself? What if no one talks to me and the host is the only person I know and they’re going to be too busy to talk to me? What if I am unbearably (see, bringing it back to the bears) awkward? What if I am overdressed? Or underdressed? Or not dressed at all?
I’m here to tell you that you can do it. I’ve gone to parties alone and only one — ONE — was awkward and not fun. So what did I do? I left. It’s that simple! You say your polite goodbyes and then get in your mini cooper and get the hell out of there.
Here are some tips for braving a party all by your badass self.
1. Take some Vicodin! Or as I call them, ‘Lil Vickees. No, I’m kidding, that’s a terrible idea! But if the idea of social interaction makes you uneasy, try a beta blocker. Or an all natural Stress B supplement. There’s no shame in that! Social settings are harder for some than others.
2. Listen to your favorite tunes before you leave, and on the drive/walk there. Pump yourself up. Music has been proven to make your brain happy, or something, I’m not a scientist with a computer, I’m just a girl, standing in front of the Internet, asking it to love her.
3. Dress in your favorite outfit. Look good so you feel good. If you feel best in a pirate costume, you wear the damn pirate costume. What would Lady GaGa do, right? Or what would Kate Middleton do? Just use their spirits to guide you as you dress. You know those heels that make you look and feel like a Supermodel, even though you’re 5’2″ or whatever? Put. Them. On.
4. When you get to the party, smile and introduce yourself to whoever answers the door. Or whoever is nearby if the door is unlocked. I hate that. I hate walking into an open house without someone greeting me. What are we, ANIMALS?
5. It also helps to bring something. A bottle of wine, perhaps, because that’s what adults do. Or fruit roll-ups, if you want to go in a totally different direction. Either way you’re saying, thanks for letting me in your home; allow me to buy your friendship.
6. Engage people. Join their conversations, but not in a weird way when you hear people laughing and you jump over and start laughing even though you have no idea what’s going on. That is never appreciated. If you meet someone cool while you’re making small talk, stick around them, but not for the whole party. You want a buddy, not a parent. Don’t be afraid to make the rounds across the room. Ask people about themselves. People love to talk about themselves, especially if you’re in LA.
7. Compliment someone on their hair, outfit or accessories. But only if it’s a genuine compliment. Saying something like, “I LOVE that ring! Where did you get it?” can open up and entire discussion!
8. Drift towards the food/drinks area. That’s where people gather most. Well that and outside in a smoking area. Anyway. You can take your time, snack on some chips (“Try the salsa, it’s fab”) and have a drink to calm your nerves. Or offer to make a signature drink for the party based on whatever’s there, with or without alcohol.
9. Bring a camera and pretend you’re the official party photographer. Then you can hide behind a lens all night and the extroverts will love you and follow you around.
10. Mad Men. Just bring up Mad Men.