Socializing isn’t something everyone enjoys.

The good news is you can finally overcome your discomfort regarding socializing! If you prefer a quiet evening at home over cocktail parties, you’re not alone.

However, it’s important to learn to be comfortable in social situations.

The hardest part – breaking the ice – only takes a couple of minutes. Once you’ve established rapport with someone else at the party, the rest is easier. The main thing to remind yourself is that these are people just like you – with many of the same goals, likes, and dislikes as you.

Try these strategies to enjoy yourself at social occasions and maybe make a new friend or two before the evening is over:

1. Plan ahead for a party. Decide a couple of weeks in advance what you’ll wear.

* Ensure your outfit is washed, ironed and hanging on the hanger ready to go a couple of days before the party. change the way
* If you have the least bit of concern whether the clothes will fit, try them on a week or so in advance of the party.
* Women will find it helpful to select all accessories they plan to wear a few days in advance as well. 
* If you’re supposed to take a dish or hors d’oeuvres to share with others, select something you’ve made before that people loved. 

2. Use positive thinking to ready yourself. Say to yourself, “I’m going to meet some new friends today” or “Maybe I’ll have a few laughs or learn something interesting at the party.”

3. Remember: You’re not alone. Remind yourself that others there may experience some discomfort in social situations, too.

4. Bring a friend or family member.

5. Take a deep breath and circulate the room. Others are there to make connections, just like you.

* Smile and introduce yourself.
* Make a comment on how you’re connected with the party goers. 

6. Show a sense of humor. If you can say something funny and appropriate for large groups, go for it.

7. Use the food and beverages as fodder for conversation. “Those chocolate truffles are to die for.”

* Making such comments to the person standing next to you at the hors d’oeuvres table will likely encourage them to respond to you. 

Apply some of these suggestions to your next social gathering and you may find that you actually enjoy it!