Eventually, it happens to almost everyone: standing on the sidelines at a party with a beverage or appetizer in your hand, with no idea of what to say or do.
But party anxiety isn't a life sentence. Try these tips and you might find that you like parties after all.
Don't put too much pressure on yourself. You are not obligated to be the life of the party or earn the undying affection of every party guest. It's only a party!
Start with people you know. A conversation with some familiar faces can loosen you up and make it easier to chat with new people later.
Pick the perfect arrival time for you. Are you more comfortable with a smaller crowd, or do you prefer sliding into an existing conversation while the party is in full swing? If arriving a couple of minutes early or late (within reason) lets you have a better time, then don't agonize about it—just do it!
Create strategies to meet and talk with new people. You might ask your host to introduce you, or just stick out your hand and do it yourself. Have a funny story or interesting facts in your back pocket as conversation starters.
Don't be afraid to join groups of new people. It's a party, after all. You can listen to the conversation, participate with easy questions and statements, and let it build from there. You could also put it all out there with a simple, "I don't think we've met before. What are your names?" It's easy to do and instantly initiates a conversation that includes everyone.