This is something almost everyone will be familiar with. Let's face it, we all love parties but it is one thing to go to parties and a completely different another to know how to act at a party. Awkwardness or shyness won't really get you any fun. Then there's the other end of the spectrum: being a wild party animal. That might be fun for you but not so much for other people and your subsequently party invitations will be greatly reduced! So the following are our takes on how to behave at a party just right.
15 Important Tips on How to Act at a Party
First and definitely the most important: you're not there to sit in the corner and read a book; you could have just as easily done that at home. So, go out there, leave the shyness behind and talk to others at the party. Who knows, you might end up making a great professional connection or just a really great friend! It never hurts to know other people.
Remember that this isn't an all-you-can-eat buffet. The food is there just for the effect, so that people aren't uncomfortable while having a good time. Eating up all the food at a party is considered very distasteful and people don't like those who do so. So control the appetite and do what you went there to do: have a good time with other people.
Keep a check on the liquor
Well, I know most college kids won't really pay heed to this one but I'll say it anyway. Getting completely sloshed isn't good for anyone: not for you and definitely not for the other guests. Saying something inappropriate or acting completely ballistic is something that is really looked down upon, especially at professional gatherings. So, don't go all out!
Don't disrespect the host
Since he/she is the one who invited you in the first place, respect them. Pay attention to the rules and regulations that they have placed over the gathering. You might not agree with some of it but then you can always leave the party if you don't like it. As long as you're there though, it's best if you don't embarrass the host.
Know when to show up
This depends on your level of intimacy with the host. If you are close, it's best if you go early and help him/her out in getting all the arrangements together. However, if you are just another invitee, don't go too early! It's not a good feeling to be the first at a party. So call up other people and check when they plan to come and reach 15 minutes later, just for good measure.
Know who to bring
Knowing how to act at a party requires knowing who to bring or whether to bring anyone at all. So read the invitation carefully, and then decide on your company so that they won't embarrass you and therefore the host.
Remember your manners
Yes, this is important. Remember to say “please” or “thank you” every time someone serves you food or drinks. Greet people you know and politely introduce yourself to those you don't. These are the absolute basics of knowing how to act at a party but they cause a massive impression with people.
Know when to leave
So you know when to show up, it's best if you complement that with the knowledge of the appropriate time for an exit. If you are having the worst time ever, there's no point staying. In any case, it is considered polite to stay at a party for at least an hour. However, if you see that the host him/herself is displaying signs of discomfort, it's time to hit the door!
Don't show up empty handed
This is one of the biggest no-nos in the party-rule handbook. Showing up without a bottle of wine or the like is a sign that you don't really care much about being a part of the gathering and are just there to hog and drink. Bring some snacks along with you; even a bottle of liquor. It'll help you settle in as well!
It is usually considered rude and petty to talk about other people at a party. Remember that everyone there has come to have a good time and they don't want their evening marred by distasteful stories about someone they know. Refrain from gossiping no matter how tempting it may seem. This will help you talk about other things which will help you get to know other people at the party.
Keep your guard up
While drinking or having a good time, people often forget one of the biggest rules of how to act at a party: never let your guard down. You don't want sensitive information to leak out of you just because you were a little tipsy. Granted, the party is a place to relax but don't shut off completely. Keep your senses while enjoying yourself!
Don't talk loudly
No one likes a loud person. It is uncomfortable for surrounding guests as well as the person you are talking to. No one likes to eavesdrop on others' conversation and it is especially uncomfortable when someone wants to talk but they can't because you are being too loud beside them. Respect other guests and let them enjoy themselves while doing so yourself.
Don't flirt openly
Well this is pretty obvious but all the same, no one likes a creep. Be subtle when you are talking to the opposite sex and don't come off as needy and attention-seeking. Learn to respect others' space and they will come to talk to you, not the other way around.
Take care of your attire
Some parties may have a dress code and it can be embarrassing if you don't read the invitation and show up dressed conspicuously different. Also, refrain from wearing revealing clothes. It is not something people really find comfortable, especially at professional parties.
Lastly, have a good time!
Right! Don't forget about yourself, you are going there to have a good time just like everyone else, so relax, let your hair down (not too much!) and enjoy yourself.