I receive questions and concerns about how to act when going to events to meet new people on a daily basis. Many times the questions are asked after these individuals have attending an event. A lot of these awkward scenario could have been easily avoided if they would have just talked to me BEFORE their first event. So I’ve decided to put together this list of my top 10 mix and mingle tips.
So, before you even think about RSVPing for your next get together take a look at my list. Any of these bad social habits sound familiar? “AH-HA!” You’re welcome!
1) Step Away From The Cell Phone. Need to make an important call? Do it before you go out. The message you’re sending to people around you is,“I’m not interested in talking to you.” Not a great first impression.
2) Don’t Travel In A Pack. Ladies I’m talking to you! You wonder why the gender ratio is so XX chrom heavy at events and to top it off you don’t get approached? It’s because you brought your best friend, your sister, your cousin and you’re cubical mate and were glued to their side the whole time! Approaching one person is daunting enough, but three or four? Terrifying.
3) Keep Your Opinions To Yourself. If you were at a party of a co-worker or friend, would you EVER toss around critical opinions of the guests while within their earshot? No, you wouldn’t. First, the person you’re dissing might hear you and you could end up hurting their feelings. Second, you’ll definitely be overheard by someone and branded a jerk.
4) Don’t Drink Too Much. There’s a reason people are tired of going to bars and clubs to meet people.
5) Be Self Aware. Intention is not nearly as important as Perception. “But I was just being funny!” you say. Well, maybe your comments are entertaining to people who know you and who know you’re a good person. But someone you meet for the first time may not. Don’t have a clue? Ask a friend to give you honest feedback as to how you come across and what sort of impression you make. Your friends love you and want you to be happy. They’ll be honest. It might sting a bit, but you’ll thank them.
6) Keep In Mind That “Outgoing” And “Aggressive” Are Two Very Different Things. Smiling and saying hello to someone first makes you outgoing. Firing questions at them and following them around makes you aggressive. Making light conversation is outgoing. Challenging someone to a round of darts or debating who should be the next American Idol with someone makes you aggressive.
7) Don’t Bring An Attitude With You. Nothing turns people off more than an “I’m better than you/You’re not good enough for me” attitude. Most people pick right up on it, too, so don’t think for a second you can mask it with a smile. Your body language, inflection in your voice and conversation will give you away.
8) Attend by Yourself. Going back to tip #2, the chances of meeting someone at an event designed for guests to mix and mingle doubles if you go it alone. It’s not like going to a bar on a Friday night by yourself. Everyone at the event is attending because they want to meet people. Go it alone. You’re a Big Girl/Boy. Come on, you know you have it in ya…
9) Dress Appropriately. Wear something that you’re comfortable and confident in, keeping in mind the Intention versus Perception idea. How you dress is a direct reflection of how you feel about yourself. Whether you like it or not, you do have to try a little bit to impress people. Looking unkempt tells people you don’t care about yourself. If they don’t think you care about yourself, how can you convince them that you could care about them?
10) Take A Risk. Dating and relationships are all about putting yourself out there. If you aren’t willing to take a chance and attend an event to meet people, you may not be ready to have a new friendship or relationship. Allow yourself to be led. You never know what’s in store for you. Don’t let your fear or insecurity prevent you from giving it a try. Take Heart in the journey!