Dear Preston: How Can I Overcome My Shyness?

preston bailey overcoming shyness

(Image via i am milka)

Dear Preston,

It’s only mid-December, and I’ve already been to way too many holiday parties. As a florist, I’m used to doing the floral decorations and then leaving. But as a guest, I can’t leave so quickly. I find most parties pretty dull, and I can’t wait to get out of there. I read somewhere that you’re shy, too. But I know you must have to go to a lot of parties. What do you do to make them more enjoyable?

Sincerely,
Party Pooper

Dear PP,

I know what you mean. I’ve been to many parties that had all the right ingredients: great decor, good food, excellent entertainment. And, yet, it felt like something was missing. I think it has a little to do with people like you and me. We’re a bit shy and sometimes assume we won’t have a good time. However, whenever I go to a party planning on having a good time, I usually do.

Perhaps it’s as simple as spending time with one or two other guests in particular and getting to know them. You don’t have to “work the room” if that makes you uncomfortable.

As a host, I think it’s important to invite a good mix of people who may or may not know each other particularly well. That way, no one guest feels left out. As a guest, I look for a familiar face I feel comfortable approaching. Often, that one person will introduce me to other guests, and then I have plenty of people to talk to. I also like to be on the look out for other folks who, like me, might be feeling a bit shy and are by themselves. If you see someone standing alone, go introduce yourself!

Dear Readers, how do you make your guests feel comfortable when you entertain? What about when you’re a guest — what’s your strategy for having a good time at a party? Any tips for PP? Please share your ideas in the comments!

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