How to survive a party alone

Going to a party where you won’t know anyone? Fear not! Check out these 5 tips for the next time you fly solo.

1. Lend a helping hand

Presumably, even if you don’t know anyone else, you should at least know the host. Offering them a helping hand is the easiest way to calm your nerves, make yourself look busy and strike up a conversation. If you’re at a casual get-together (think BYOB), offer to pass around drinks or bring your own to share. After all, everyone loves the guy (or gal) with the cold beverage.

2. Ask for an introduction

If you’re friends with the host, consider asking to be introduced to someone with similar interests, job titles, etc. Since you’ll already have a mutual friend in common, it won’t be awkward. Plus, by asking the host about something you two share in common, you’ll come prepared with a built-in conversation starter. Piece of cake.

3. Look around for the dog/cat of the house

Cliché? Sure. But if you're struggling to think of things to say or just need a break from small talk, showing Fido or Fluffy some attention will give you something to do until you're ready to rejoin the humans. Plus, you're guaranteed to meet the other pet-lovers at the party this way, so it's a great way to find those folks and strike up a natural convo.

4. Offer up a compliment

Asking where someone got their super cool T-shirt or pair of shoes is a quick and easy way to get a conversation going. A simple “I love your ring! Mind if I ask where you got it?” is all it takes. And you can compliment more than just clothing. If you’ve just met, for instance, say something like, “Oh, I love that name. Are you named after someone?

5. Just walk up and introduce yourself

Start with a simple introduction: “Hi, hope I’m not interrupting. I’m [insert name here]” and extend your hand for a friendly handshake. Or just lay all your cards out on the table and say “Hi, sorry to interrupt, but I don’t know anyone at this party and you guys look like nice people … I’m [insert name here].” Then, after introductions have been made, follow up with a question to keep the conversation flowing. For instance, ask for the story of how everyone met the host, then offer up your own — the more specific the response, the better. Instead of saying “we went to college together,” tell a funny anecdote. Before you know it, you’ll be introducing guests to each other!

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