How To Survive Awkward Holiday Gatherings

This is the season when party invitations pour in. From family gatherings to company celebrations, the holiday cheer assails you from every angle. Not everyone holds the cheerful tune in the same manner.

If you have social anxiety or have a tendency to be awkward during parties, then you are not alone. Many people experience “holiday anxiety”. Here are some ways to deal with it…


Whether you like it or not, small talk is the core of social gatherings. If you label yourself as a person who is not good at conversation, you might be so stressed about the things you say that you end up saying nothing at all. Navigate through casual conversations by preparing for it.

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Share at least two interests or experiences. Or better yet, dwell on the new things that you can learn from the person that you are talking to. Focus on the other person. Ask simple questions such as “What keeps you busy?” or “How do you see your field changing a few years time?” You may also ask a couple about the story of how they met.


Be honest with yourself! You probably get along better with your friends than your family or co-workers. That is completely understandable. You have chosen your friends based on your compatibilities. Being with them this holiday season can be a breeze!

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While, family members are fixed whether you are like-minded or not. Accepting this fact can help you quit expecting to get along with everyone. Instead, focus on loving your family in spite of your differences.


Parties are the breeding grounds of strangers. I know that you are way beyond the “stranger danger” stage, but you might be worried about meeting new people. The anticipation of interacting with strangers can stimulate personal questions such as will you be boring or weird during the conversation. Stop ruminating about these thoughts!

Remember that a conversation is a two-way street. It is not your duty to carry the talk the entire night! If the person seems uninterested or less chatty, he or she may be tired or preoccupied. Who knows? This person may be socially awkward too.

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Above all else, you must do your best to stay present in the moment. Post your holiday photos a day or two later. You do not need to compete online or keep up with the people who brag about how amazing their holiday experiences are!

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