by JLS Photography - Alaska - CC via Flickr

I'm pretty shamelessly anti-social and I usually avoid most holiday parties (despite how festive I am this time of year!). Do any of you know how to manage holiday parties even though you aren't a fan? Well, I came across this list of socializing tips sent out by ToastMasters that you may appreciate.

1) Look for a friendly face.

I think this is a great tip. Go into the room with a smile and look for the first person that smiles back. Ideally, you will be walking in with someone you know so you can cling onto them for as long as you can. Or find the one person you know and follow them throughout the party. That's what I do!

2) Watch your body language.

Toastmasters says to be aware of your body language. I think this is an excellent tip. I know when I get uncomfortable in these situations I slouch and cross my arms over my chest. Not exactly the most open stance to have in a party. But they suggest to make eye contact, put your phone away, and be an active listener.

3) Share your stories.

Basically, don't do what I sometimes end up doing and share hot button news stories and/or grim or potentially offensive things at a holiday party. Like sharing that story about a coworker who loved ranch. So share things that are PG and happy and humorous that can please a crowd. Share that stuff. And don't forget to ask about the stories of the people you are talking to. If you forget, don't worry, I do too.

4) Set your expectations.

So be ready for people not want to go into depth or great detail with you, if you happen to find someone to talk to. Things are light hearted and most likely people will be seeking out the free food and drink. And don't do what I do and back out of the party once you realize you don't have anyone to talk to. Mingle!

5) Know when to exit. 

Toastmasters suggests that before you exit make it a point to greet people you haven't had the chance to talk to yet and be sure to thank the host as well. I tend to slowly back out and assume no one will notice I've left. Don't do that either.

Do you have any tips for surviving holiday party season?