How to Be Social at a Party

Whether you’re shy or you want to get better at being social, there are lots of things you can do to let loose and have fun at parties. Make some new friends by talking to people and getting to know them through conversation. Do an activity that gets people together to have fun. If you feel uncomfortable, bring friends to the party or hang out with people you know before you meet new friends.

Method 1

Making New Friends

  1. Image titled Be Social at a Party Step 1

    Look approachable. If people are avoiding you or not coming up to talk to you, assess your body language. Notice if you’re crossing your body and try to uncross your arms and legs. If you’re looking down (or on your phone), look up and try to make eye contact with other people. Smile and look friendly.[1]

    • If you appear open and friendly, people are more likely to approach you.
    • Stand near the action of the room. If you’re standing far from the crowd, it may be harder for people to approach you.
  2. 2

    Introduce yourself to people you don’t know. Find someone you don’t know and introduce yourself. Keep it simple and don’t overthink it. Once you know each other’s names, you can start a conversation or find things you have in common.

    • For example, go up to someone and say, “Hi, I’m Liv. What’s your name?”
  3. 3

    Ask questions to get to know people better. Asking questions shows that you’re interested and engaged in conversation. Make a point to ask open-ended questions so that the person can elaborate on their answers and build on the conversation. You’ll get to know each other better and keep the conversation going.

    • Ask questions such as, “How did you end up in Los Angeles?” and, “What kinds of things do you do for fun?”
  4. 4

    Talk to new people as they arrive. Meeting new people is easy if you’re the first person they interact with once they get to the party. If you notice somebody new show up, go up to them and introduce yourself. If there’s food at the party, offer to get them a drink or show them the food table.[2]

    • If you and the person are of age to drink alcohol, offer them a drink.
  5. 5

    Find ways to connect with people. Search for things about someone else you can connect with. You might find someone who attends the same school or university as you, is from your hometown, or is wearing a similar shirt. You have more things in common with most people than you might think.[3]

    • Comment on what you have in common. For example, say, “I like your shirt! I have the same one.”
  6. Move around the room. Avoid staying in the same place all night. Get in the habit of moving around and seeing the room from different vantage points. This will help you observe what other people are doing and if you want to meet other interesting people present at the party.[4]

    • Moving can help you seem alluring to others and might keep people guessing. Aim to move every 10-15 minutes or so.

Method 2

Being Social in a Group

  1. 1

    Join groups slowly. If a bunch of people are together talking and you want to join the group, hang back for a moment and listen in to the conversation. You don’t need to walk up and contribute right away. Wait until you’re caught up on what’s being discussed, then chime in with a question or a statement.[5]

    • For example, if people are talking about sports, say, “I couldn’t believe the game last night!” If people are talking about school, say, “Who else has an exam tomorrow?”
  2. 2

    Start an activity to get people engaged. Especially if it’s a big party, it’s likely that people will break off into smaller groups. Suggest a card game or board game and invite people to play with you. It may be easy to talk to people while you play the game and being in a smaller circle can make you feel more comfortable.[6]

    • Put on some music and get people to dance.
    • Ask people you don’t know, “Do you want to play cards? We’re getting some teams together.”
  3. 3

    Include others in group conversations. If you successfully join a conversation with other people and someone new walks up, invite them to join the conversation. Let them know what everyone is discussing or invite them to contribute to the discussion.

    • For example, say, “Tim just got a puppy and we’re discussing dogs. What do you think about having a puppy?”
Method 3

Leaning on Friends to Feel More Comfortable

  1. 1

    Bring friends to the party. It’s easier to be social if you know other people at the party. Meet up with your friends at the party or go altogether. Knowing that your friends will be there can help you feel more comfortable and at ease.

    • Make sure you can invite people to the party and it’s not invite-only.
    • Invite people that you know well so you can talk comfortably around them.
  2. 2
    Hang out with friends to start. Assuming you’re not at the party alone, lean on the people you know. It’s okay if you feel shy or want to hang out with familiar people at first. Feel comfortable and at ease before you go meet new people.
  3. 3

    Meet friends of friends. If you want to meet new people but feel shy, have a friend introduce you to their friends. It can be nice to have something in common and know the same people. Ask a friend to introduce you to the people they know at the party.

    • For example, ask your friend, “Who do you know here? Can you introduce me?”
  4. 4

    Avoid socializing with only your friends. Parties are a great time to meet people. While it’s cool to be with your friends at the beginning, make an effort to meet other people as well. This will help you make new friends who you can hang out with at future parties.

    • You can always create a group that is a mix of new people and old friends.
Method 4

Dealing with Discomfort and Anxiety

  1. 1

    Ease your symptoms of anxiety. If you start to feel anxious before or during the party, focus on ways to decrease those feelings. Find a technique that works for you and do it before and during the party. You want to feel comfortable and put the focus on others, not yourself.[7]

    • For example, challenge negative thoughts about your performance, awkwardness, or that you don’t fit in. Replace your negative thoughts with rational and optimistic thoughts instead, such as “I’m an interesting person” and “Making a new friend can be fun.”
    • Take some deep breaths when you start to feel nervous or anxious.
  2. 2

    Build your social confidence. Building your social confidence helps you look and feel more comfortable in social settings. Tune into how others feel and look at their social cues so that you can respond better and focus less on yourself. Notice if someone looks bored, enthusiastic, or engaged and take their cues to continue the conversation or not. When you have a great interaction, remember what you did well and try it again.[8]

    • If you experience a failed interaction, don’t lose hope. Nobody has perfect interactions all of the time. Try again later or with someone else.
  3. 3

    Don’t give up if you feel uncomfortable. There may be times you feel awkward or uncomfortable, especially at the beginning of the party. Stick with it. Even if you feel uncomfortable, this doesn’t mean you will feel this way the rest of the night. Work through your discomfort.[9]

    • For example, set a challenge for yourself. Go talk to someone you haven’t met, even if it’s a brief conversation. Having a challenge can help you be motivated and push you slightly outside of your comfort zone.
    • If you couldn’t break the ice with the first person you met, remember that you might do better with the next person. The more people you meet, the easier it might become.
  4. 4

    Talk to a therapist if you struggle with social anxiety. If going to a party fills you with fear and you want to run away, you may suffer from social anxiety. Assess your symptoms and talk to a therapist about how you feel. Your therapist can help you manage your symptoms and help you to cope with potentially scary situations. Look for a therapist who specializes in working with people with anxiety disorders.[10]

    • Find a therapist by calling your insurance provider or contact a local mental health clinic. You can also ask your physician or a friend for a recommendation.

Expert Q&A

Ask a Question


  • If you’re of age and alcohol is served, drink a small amount of alcohol if this helps you feel comfortable and warm up.

Related wikiHows

Socialize, Be Funny and Make Friends

Throw a Progressive Dinner Party

Quickly Make an Alcoholic Party Punch

Be Sociable

Be Fashionable at a Pool Party

Enjoy Solitude

Look Confident at Social Gatherings

Be Social at a Party when You Don’t Know Anyone There

Meet a Girl at a Party

Survive a Boring Party

Enjoy Yourself at a Party Without Drinking

Crash a Party

Be Fun at Parties

Mingle With Strangers at Parties

About This Article

Klare Heston, LCSW
Co-authored by:
Licensed Social Worker
This article was co-authored by Klare Heston, LCSW. Klare Heston is a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker based in Clevaland, Ohio. With experience in academic counseling and clinical supervision, Klare received her Master of Social Work from the Virginia Commonwealth University in 1983. She also holds a 2-Year Post-Graduate Certificate from the Gestalt Institute of Cleveland, as well as certification in Family Therapy, Supervision, Mediation, and Trauma Recovery and Treatment (EMDR). This article has been viewed 468,821 times.
9 votes – 62%
Co-authors: 74
Updated: May 6, 2021
Views: 468,821
Categories: Party Socializing

Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 468,821 times.

Did this article help you?