Turn down for what? How to survive the holiday party

Christmas Party
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At one time in my life I loved to drink. I thought I drank alcohol just like any other normal person … loving every minute along the way. It was fun. I thought I was fun. Then I developed this shocking allergy to alcohol.

Just like that, like a flip of a switch, I couldn’t have one drink without being drunk for hours. So now I don’t drink. So as we get closer into the season of holiday parties, where everyone thinks it’s an excuse to get it in and get messed up, here’s a foolproof formula on how to survive the holiday parties without having a drink:

1. Always be self-assured

Most people drink because it calms their nerves, that it makes it easier for them to talk to people. Not true. We see this all the time, when someone takes a shot or finishes a drink before socializing with the cute lady or guy that they have wanted to ask out for months. Alcohol is just a Band-Aid, providing an ego that really doesn’t exist. If you’re at a holiday party and don’t know very many people? Alcohol doesn’t change that. So just introduce yourself. Just be who you are, you don’t need alcohol. Trust me, it only makes you look worse.

2. Always keep a drink in your hand

If you want to look the part, hold a ginger ale, or sprite with a lime in it, or even just a cranberry juice. And no … I’m not saying that you want to trick people into thinking you drink because it will make you super cool. Not at all. The point of this action is it stops people from offering you drinks that you will have to turn down, which can be uncomfortable. Besides … I get tired of explaining to people why I don’t drink. This helps me avoid that issue. Another great thing about holding a drink in your hand is it affects your body language. I have found that when there is nothing in your hands, you have a tendency to put them in your pockets, or cross your arms — which definitely sends the wrong message. By holding a drink, you will open your body language up so that you look more comfortable and approachable.

3. Most of the people around you will be drunk

Most of the people around you at a bar or the party will have consumed a few drinks. Being clearheaded at a party can be hilarious, because you can really process what’s going on around you. Trust me, several of your colleagues or friends will do something stupid, embarrassing or both, which can be downright hilarious. Nothing is better than being able to actually notice the craziness of the drunk people around you. Here’s the advantage: You will remember everything that happened, and thus be able to recap the night in great detail the next morning.

4. Participate in the party; find something to do

If I am at the party and I am not drinking, I often get bored much faster than all of my drunk associates, but I also don’t want to be the guy that goes home at 9 p.m. My solution? Find a way to occupy your time at the party. I like to control the music. It gives you something to do, people will definitely talk to you because they will want to request songs — it’s the perfect position to be in, especially if your music is on point.

5. Put your cellphone away

A really good way to make yourself look like you are super uncomfortable and having a terrible time is to stare at your phone during a party. I know this because I am guilty of this. Being on your phone makes you look unapproachable and bored. It is one thing to check your messages, and another to download a game app. Put your phone down and have a good time. Most importantly, what I have found is that most people at holiday parties really don’t care if you drink or not. Bottom line: Being alert always gives you the upper hand when dealing with people. You don’t need to drink to talk to people. You don’t need to drink to stay entertained. You don’t need it to drink to get your dance on. You don’t need to drink to meet people!

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