“Holiday office party” is kind of a oxymoronic statement for a lot of us. There are a lot of other kind of parties we would much rather enjoy like a karaoke party with our close friends or a cookie party with our family. But no excuse, you gotta show up or human resources will notice as well as the annoying guy you share a cube wall with. So here are some tips on surviving the dreaded holiday office party.
- Brace for the occasion. Take your medication as prescribed beforehand and if you are able to have an “as needed” medication for anxiety as an example, make sure you have that slipped in your pocket or handbag. You never know how the night is going to go.
- Think positively. This is the perfect time to see your officemates in a new light, perhaps even dressed differently than what you usually see. It could literally be an eye opening experience. Leave the daily grind at home and flip the switch to make the party your place of entertainment instead of Netflix.
- Don’t be “that girl.” You know exactly who I am talking about. The chick who gets too drunk or wild. There is a time and place for everything and the holidays office party is not it, chica. Not only will you embarrass yourself but it just could cost you that promotion you were gunning for or if nothing else give the boss an idea of your personality that is not fully accurate.
- Don’t fight over the white elephant gift. You can always tell people’s true relationships during this game. One stealing from another simply because they know someone else wanted a certain gift. Petty isn’t pretty.
- Try to find a date that knows about your bipolar disorder, even if it is just a friend. Sometimes you need someone who knows your tells. This is important if you have been on a manic kick because all bets are off on how you will let the party influence you. Also if you deal with anxiety as well this person can help you to refocus. Whether it is doing breathing excersizes together or going for a brief walk, having a supportive friend or loved one is extremely beneficial.
- Stay away from office politics. This party is for celebrating, not deliberating. The boss did not allocate funds for a party for people to talk about work. If he wanted that he would have called a free meeting. This is his or her way of saying thank you. Accept it.
- Now if you want to say (and it isn’t expected) thank you for “hey, thanks for having me as an employee with your company” do not give anything too personal. A picture of you or your family is awkward. Even a massage – though well intended – can be read into. I say, stick with giftcard. Coffee is a good one if they drink it. Any breakfast or lunch place they frequent. Or that new sushi place in town for your boss and his or her significant other.
- Have fun! Do not be afraid to have a good time. Just because it is probably lame does not mean you cant find a way to have fun. Ugly Christmas sweaters alone are meant for quick-witted fodder. Meet someone new at the office that you do not really no yet or who recently joined the office, imagine how he or she feels.
So, unless you work for one of those “cool” companies who really knows how to get down, settle for what you got and be thankful you have a job or can continue to work because some of us don’t even have that.