The Japanese Proverb says that, “the reputation of a thousand years may be determined by the conduct of one hour.”
We may stretch that one hour into a few more hours because that is what the timing of the social function is all about. We may have few hours to impress people, do networking and leave our impact on them. Contacts might help us in furthering our career, might be a potential source of a new business; such contacts could develop into a brand new friendship or could even be the beginning of a new relationship for us.
Suffice to say that the proper implementation of the behavioural sciences in the social gatherings holds a lot of positive potential in our lives.
The following guidepost may help you in carrying yourself with self-confidence and dignity to any social gathering.
Dress Code: A fine sense of dressing depending solely upon the invitation, whether it is formal, semi-formal, casual, black tie, business dress, white tie etc. shall help you to feel confident about yourself in the function and shall help you in meeting people with ease and élan, without worrying about what the others might think of your improper attire.
Carrying a Gift to the Host: Generally, bringing a bouquet or any other appropriate gift to the host would be an appropriate thing in a social gathering.
Timing of Arrival: Your arrival timing to the function plays another important role in your social etiquette. Arriving too early might mean that you are too eager to attend the party. On the other hand, arriving late/too late to the function indicates rude behavior on your part towards the host and to the rest of the people at the party. Hence, the arrival time should be kept well within the first 10-15 minutes of the time mentioned in your invitation card.
Host formality: Locating the host and making an appearance in front of the host, having a few words of nice ties shall indicate your arrival indirectly to your host, which is a part and parcel of the party decorum.
Self Esteem: With such a good sense of dressing along with a smiling face and self-confidence, you will automatically become a great success in any social gathering or a party.
Have fun with dignity: Party is a place to have fun and to let loose your inner self. Don’t be rigid, rude or be aggressive to people. Be polite, crack some jokes, talk about topics of interest to the group and generally enjoy yourself and help others to enjoy themselves as well.
Move around the gathering: Mix gradually and freely among the people within the party; greet people, circulate among the known faces first, talk to them for some time and then, when being introduced to new people, talk to them well helping them to feel at ease around you.
The Knowledge Factor: Always be ready with the knowledge on the current affairs, the current political situation, the famous films or TV serials, basic tit bits about stock market, world politics etc. which will help you to deal with multiple personalities. You may never know whom you are going to meet next!
Feel comfortable: If you are alone, you may walk around a bit, savoring a glass of drinks/soft drinks of your choice, looking at the atmosphere with a soft smile on your face, thus making yourself comfortable and allowing anyone to talk to you on your rounds.
Time to Leave: Towards the end of the party, by the time Coffee/desserts are being served, you may excuse yourself softly from the group of people you were talking to, by saying polite thanks and after saying an appreciation for the well organized party to the host and then you may leave the party.
Don’t be the last person: You should never wait for the party to come to an end and then leave as a last person from the premises.
Write Thanks: Write a thanks note to the host appreciating her/him on the party within a couple of days. That would make sure of further invitations for you from them….:)
Q . I always feel self-conscious and rather am afraid of any social gathering and could never feel comfortable with anyone in the group. Rather I would be waiting for an opportunity to rush out of the area so that I can breathe freely. How can I feel comfortable in a social gathering?
To comfort you first of all, you are not the only person who feels so at a social gathering. There are multitudes of people who feel suffocated in a party or in a function. The only remedy to such a fear is to attend more such parties and social gatherings, despite your fears and self-conscious feelings. It would be better if you could go with a companion/a friend at the initial stages. Once you gain some confidence, you will start feeling more comfortable and someday, you may even start missing out on a social gathering!
Just take a note from Ralph Waldo Emerson, who says that,” do the thing you are afraid to do and the death of fear is certain.”
Q . Whenever I go for party, I get very conscious of eating. I land up not eating anything at the party. How should I overcome this?
Boost your self-confidence. Eat something before you go for the party. In the party, take small portions of simple dishes which are easy to eat. Just slow down and eat in a relaxed manner. Soon you will overcome your inhibitions.
We may have just a few hours to meet people, create an impression on them and establish our contacts with them in such gatherings. Show a lot of self-confidence and put on a full faced smile. Enjoy!