If you don’t want to stand in one corner, pretending to read important emails on your smartphone or stuffing yourself with one too many meatballs for fear of having to engage idle banter with strangers, here are some cool tips on how to leave a party after making a few new friends — Facebook, real-world — whatever suits you.
Talk, talk, talk
Talk with anybody, just to practice, perhaps it would be better to start with acquaintances at work. We’re creatures of habit, we see the same people all the time, so that compliment turns into a smile, a more extensive greeting, which can turn into a conversation. That’s how you build social networks.
Don’t be too comic
You don’t have to be particularly funny or witty to engage with strangers: You just have to be nice. A good way to practice is to
find someone who’s alone and begin conversation, as there is no pressure to entertain a group of unknowns.
Make an effort to learn about current events, the local issues in order to be able to contribute to conversations.
Be on time
If you’re late for the party, you’re likely to have missed out on the window for establishing rapport with different people. By now, groups have already formed.
This requires an internal clock and auto-editing: know when your time is up. That is, try to refrain from dominating a conversation with a topic that may interest you, but doesn’t interest others. Test the waters by stopping periodically to see if others are weighing in or changing the subject.
Don’t be afraid of quickies
Circulate, mingle, make an effort to talk to several different people at the party. One way to move along: “I’ve got to go, there are a couple of people I need to talk to.”