Read these 19 Social Situations Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Office tips and hundreds of other topics.
Pass out pre-addressed index cards to each person. Have everyone write down their three favorite gift categories on the blank side of the card. (For example, books, CDs and gourmet cookies.) Collect and fold the cards so that the names don't show. Have each participant pick one of the cards from a basket. If the person picks her own card, have her put it back and pick another. Ask each person to keep the recipient's name and the category chosen a secret.
An excellent way to show your appreciation for being invited to a party is to arrive on time. Speak with your boss (or bosses), socialize with co-workers and try to mingle and meet some of the guests that you don't know.
When being introduced to someone, make sure you look the person in the eye, and greet them with a firm handshake. (Keep your right hand clean and free to shake hands. It helps to balance your food, drink, and napkin in your left hand to prevent having to switch items from hand to hand.)
For a change of pace, try a company celebration that captures the holiday spirit —an event, party or carnival with proceeds going to a charity. Select a local charity with whom to plan a volunteer activity. Employees can decide whether or not they want to have a party or donate the money that would be used for the party to a charitable organization instead.
If the party is being held away from the office determine what is the proper attire before you and your companion arrive. If the party is formal, wear formal dress. Women should wear conservative party dresses. Leave the revealing and bright colored dresses for strictly social affairs and not the office party.
Instead of the traditional evening office party, consider hosting a breakfast, brunch or lunch that will allow employees to include their families in the festivities. Better yet, follow up your early-in-the-day party with an early dismissal --a gift most employees will surely appreciate.
One way to speed the ice-breaking process at an event where you don't know the other guests, is to learn what you can about them before the event. Ask the host to brief you about their occupations and interests. Then when the big day comes, you'll be better prepared.
While at an office party, avoid salty, greasy, or sweet foods. These tend to make you thirsty, giving you an excuse for having an alcoholic beverage. Instead, eat foods that are rich in starch and protein. These stay in the stomach longer and slow the absorption of alcohol in the bloodstream.
With a little too much to drink or in the spirit of seasonal abandon, co-workers may exchange personal secrets or make or accept amorous overtures for which they'll hate themselves in the harsh light of the workday. The safest way to avoid such embarrassment is to be aware of its possibility and stay in control. Limiting your drinking is a starting point. And it should go without saying that the use of any illegal substances at a party won't be tolerated.
Office parties are a strange mix of social pleasure and office politics. Avoid drinking too much. Over-indulging may be the number one cause of inappropriate remarks and behavior at office parties. Remember: you have to face all these people when you go back to work, so leave a good impression.