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Social Survival Guide

Social Survival Guide

Office parties, neighborhood gatherings, family reunions…without a doubt, the holiday season is the time for get-togethers. Too bad making small talk over cocktails and hors d’oeuvres is your worst nightmare.

You don’t have to be the life of the party, but you don’t want to be a wallflower either. To survive this year’s festivities, follow these simple tips:

  • Make it a point to arrive early, while the party is still small. (Just not so early that you’re first.)
  • Ask the host or hostess if you can help prepare, serve or clean up. Keeping your hands busy and moving around eases social jitters. If you get the standard, “Of course not—you’re our guest,” find a way to jump in anyway. No one will refuse help with cleanup.
  • Faced with small talk, ask open-ended questions and let other people carry the conversation.


Then all you have to do is nod and smile. And remember, going out is about having fun! You don't have to be the life of the party if that's not your bag, but do try to make it a point to meet someone new or reconnect with old friends. Improving relationships now can carry you through the coming year—who knows when you might need someone (or when someone might need you?)

Posted: 12/11/08
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springshine

That's probably the case for many of us!

Bikiniskigirl

As an only child, I struggled with shyness growing up & when I went to high school, I knew very few people there. Then someone told me I was perceived as stuck-up because I didn't talk to many people. Not liking that label, I decided to create a "character" I would play that was not shy but was outgoing & friendly. I called her "the alter-me". I literally acted as if I were a person in a play, would get into character as an actress would do, & then tackle social situations that I had previously avoided. It worked. I spoke with strangers, made new friends, went to events with groups of people & actually enjoyed myself.

One day I realized that I had become the character I was playing. The "shy-me" is still inside & she is still nervous in social situations; when I tell people that truth they laugh & say I'm kidding. With so many years of practice, it seems I've got my "part" down flawlessly. I'm glad I tried it.