Your Healthy Living - December 2021

Page 14

Your Body


tricks Tips and advice for feeling self-assured at Christmas parties


ork Christmas parties can be somewhat daunting, but never fear! Our experts have plenty of tips to help you feel at ease and confident on the night.

Be sure to smile!

“Confidence is very much about attitude, so as you approach the party, adopt your best natural smile,” says Lucy Beresford, psychotherapist, relationship expert and broadcaster ( “This means that people who see you will see a cheerful, confident person and they will respond to you in kind. So, this means that your very first moments at the party, or even as you approach a group of colleagues, start off on a beautiful note and generate a warm interaction.”

Remember you’re not alone

“Remember that many people find the office Christmas party stressful, so recognise that you are not alone if you are lacking in confidence,” says Lucy. “Even people who look confident are often covering up some insecurity or other. This sense of compassion not only means you are paying attention to your own anxieties, but it also means you are less likely to feel inferior to anyone who is coming across as very confident. And if you can reveal to a couple of trusted colleagues that you are feeling a bit nervous, it’s possible they will share their vulnerability too – and you can band together on the night.”

Get the conversation going

“Many people like the opportunity to talk about themselves, so be the gracious listener who is happy to hear their stories,” says Lucy. “For this, you need a couple of conversation openers. Remember to ask open questions (i.e. questions which don’t elicit a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer), and have some up your sleeve, such as ‘What are your top three songs to get you in a good mood?’ or ‘If you could have any superpower, what would it be and why?’ This way, you don’t have to be the life and soul of the party, but you also get the chance to start some interesting conversations.”

Be grounded

“If you want confidence, sense your own body,” says Julia Hollenbery, author of The Healing Power of Pleasure: Seven Medicines for Rediscovering the Innate Joy of Being (available on Amazon, priced £14.55). “Feel your own feet in

14 December 2021

contact with the ground, the sensations in your arms and legs, your torso and head. Sensing will bring you in touch with the here and now, with your feeling responses to the people, food, music and all. Let yourself be surprised and guided by your instinctual responses. Stay true to the physical you.”

Enjoy yourself “The game of corporate competition and competence can pause at a party and human imperfect vulnerability can show,” says Julia. “There is enough time and space to find the heart-to-heart space with your colleagues. You’re not in a meeting now and there is nothing to achieve. Showing vulnerability actually feels more comfortable and creates connection and empathy. It is a chance to enjoy conversation – and to bond as people – without agenda. Be personal.”

Remain self-aware

“Perhaps the main thing at a Christmas party is not to drink too much, not to say the wrong thing by accident and ruin a perfectly good relationship or project,” says Julia. “When drunk, self-awareness drops and the primitive brain’s ancient fight-or-flight patterning kicks in. Not cool. Do eat, drink and be merry, and stop indulging early enough to be your sensible self.”

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