How to Mingle With Strangers at Parties

Sometimes, the hardest thing to do at a party is mingle. There's nothing worse than feeling that you are the only one with nobody to socialize with. Here are a few tips to help you out.


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    Always make sure you know who the host is and why the party is happening (especially if you are going as a friend of the friends).
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    When you arrive at the place of gathering, stop at the door for a few moments and look around. This will give you time to get your bearings. See if there is anyone you know and walk towards them.
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    Even if you don't know anyone, walk into the room with a smile like you know at least half the people there. Chances are you will get smiles in return.
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    Find your host. Compliment them on the great party, and the number of people there. In fact if you admit that you don't know most of them, they will probably introduce you around.
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    When you are introduced, put your hand out for a firm handshake (no sweaty palms). If you do choose to shake hands, make sure the handshakes are not too limp nor too hard. Shake once or twice and say something, like 'hello'. No one wants their hand shaken off the socket or to feel watery palms. It's important to make a good first impression.
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    If your host has not told you the person's occupation, ask them. Ask if they usually live in the area. If it's a students party, ask them about subjects they are studying. Wait for one answer before the next question. Talk a little about yourself - where you are living and what you are studying, etc.
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    Look around. If you see people in groups chatting, walk towards them. See if you can overhear bits of conversations. If it's something you are familiar with, say: "Excuse me, but I couldn't help overhearing. Hi I am -----" and "If you don't mind, I would like to hear your opinion about this, since I am interested in this too." More often than not you will be welcomed. Let the person continue to speak and finish what he's saying. When you are sure he's finished, state your opinions politely, not aggressively. A good way could be to say: "I am sure you are right but don't you think..." You will most likely make acquaintances like this. When a topic of conversation fades out ask the people in the group about themselves. They will probably ask you the same.
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    Seize upon commonalities. If you are from the same workplace, you may have a lot more in common. Ask them about the work in their department, any changes that have been made etc.
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    If you overhear something you know about, politely join in "I'm sorry, I couldn't help but overhear that.." (and introduce yourself) "I'm ... How do you know.... (the host)?". Make sure that you are contributing something to the conversation, not just making idle talk.


  • Do not keep talking about yourself. No one likes a bore.
  • Be a good listener. Pay attention when others are speaking, and they will include you in the conversation.
  • Don't stand in a corner and wait for someone to come to you to talk - it probably will not happen.
  • Never criticize anyone or talk about anyone to people you meet. You never know if they might know the person about whom you are talking.
  • Most people love to talk about themselves, so ask them about their work, or their interests, or what they like to do for fun.
  • Dress according to the occasion.
  • But if things do not go well, and you see someone else sitting in a corner, this may be a good way out of hopeless situation; make the approach, come out of the corner. You can team up together and look less on your own.
  • When meeting someone, use their name right away, as in "Good to meet you, John," while looking them in the eyes. This helps you remember them and makes you seem friendly and confident.
  • If they look fit, ask them if they work out, and compliment them on their appearance. Chances are you will find a common point of interest.
  • If you use their name twice, "Hi John, it's really nice to meet you John," you are far more likely to remember their name later in the evening.


  • Try to remember the name of the person to whom you are talking so you can address them by their name another time.
  • Do not talk too loudly, don't mumble and be clear about whatever you are talking about.
  • Comments to a lady like "you look hot" will likely not be appreciated.

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Categories: Social Gatherings