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How to Not Be Shy at a Party

by Karen Kleinschmidt, Demand Media

    You may feel you're missing out on a good deal of the excitement at parties and long to interact and mingle with others in an easygoing manner. This will take some effort on your part, and you can make it easier to do if you consciously focus your attention outward, according to Mark Tyrrell, therapist and author of "Overcome Shyness in 5 Easy Steps," published on the Uncommon Help website. Rather than focus your attention on how you are feeling on the inside, ask questions of others and take genuine interest in their answers.

    Topics of Conversation

    Before attending the party, check out who might be there. Research a few topics of conversation that might be of interest to people you would like to talk to. For example, if you know a group of people at the party belong to a hiking club, do a bit of research about a local one and prepare a few questions to break the ice, advises Tyrrell. If there will be friends or acquaintances that you have previously conversed with at this party, use facts from these conversations to start a new conversation. For example, "Hi, James. I know how much you love reading. Have you read anything new?"

    Smile and Respond

    Smile and make eye contact with others. This will help to prevent people from labeling you as aloof or snobby. Smiling, along with a positive attitude, tells others that you are approachable, according to Tina Tessina in a SelfGrowth.com article. Smiling not only helps other people feel good, it can help you to feel more relaxed as well. People will be more inclined to start a conversation and feel more at ease conversing with you.

    Help Out

    If you are having difficulty mingling at a party, ask the host if there is anything that you can do to help. This offers you the opportunity to smile and strike up a conversation with her while mixing up the fruit punch or setting out the paper goods. Begin a conversation with other people who might be helping out. Offer to get the barbecue started; this can help ease any anxiety the host may be feeling. Be careful not to overdo it. If the host looks like she has it all under control, she may be less appreciative.

    Self-Help for Anxiety

    Before the party, practice a bit of self-hypnosis, as this will help prepare you to be less shy at the party, suggests Tyrrell. Lie down, focus on your breathing and imagine yourself being social and relaxed at the party. While at the party, return to focusing on your deep breathing when you begin to feel anxious. The trick is to make your exhale longer than your inhale, recommends Tyrrell.

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    About the Author

    Karen Kleinschmidt has been writing since 2007. Her short stories and articles have appeared in "Grandma's Choice," "Treasure Box" and "Simple Joy." She has worked with children with ADHD, sensory issues and behavioral problems, as well as adults with chronic mental illness. Kleinschmidt holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from Montclair State University.

    Photo Credits

    • Goodshoot RF/Goodshoot/Getty Images

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