Confession time: For the longest time I would have major nerves when it came to going to house parties or social events. I just couldn't crack how to become the person everyone wanted to talk to at a party — that outgoing, enthusiastic personality seemed so out of reach whenever I'd walk through an apartment door and was met with a crowd of faces. Clutching the champagne to my chest, I'd freeze, smile awkwardly, and hurry over to the kitchen to get my first cup of alcohol. But the thing was, when I was with my friends I was dynamic. My personality was like a sparkler: I was excited, happy, always taking up space in a conversation. So why couldn't I do just that in a bigger setting?
It was because I was approaching it all wrong. When I had to meet up for lunch with a pal, there was no pressure. But when I'd walk into a dinner party I'd put all these expectations on myself: I had to impress, come across as amazing, reach this impossibly high standard I had in my head of what an interesting person was. And it was off-putting. So if you yourself are a wallflower, this might be exactly why. And we're going to shake it. Below are 11 tips on how to be the most magnetic person in the room.
1. Give Yourself A Pep Talk
Real talk: You have something valuable and fun to contribute, no matter where you are. You matter and people love you — it's the reason you have friends! So why would you doubt that coming into a party? Before entering the soiree, give yourself a pep talk to remind yourself just that so you can come in with confidence. Life coach Kate Marolt explained, "When I first started doing this, I would say to myself, 'Kate, you’re awesome. Everyone here wants to be your friend. You are pure love. You are so much fun.' before walking into any situation." Do it and see how you change!
2. Set Some Intentions
It's easier to know how to behave if you have a couple of goals in mind. Marolt gave examples, stating, "If you’re out on the town, maybe your intention is “fun first.” An option for a more intimate evening, like a dinner party, might be something like curiosity or warmth. What energy do you want to bring to the table?" Knowing what personality you're aiming for will make it easier to slip into that character.
3. Rewrite What It Means To Meet People
Meeting a group of strangers in a room isn't a chore or a tap dance. It doesn't need to be about you standing there with a frozen smile or doing back-flips to prove you're a cool person. Instead, approach the situation with a new goal in mind. Business writer Marla Tabaka from entreprenuer site Inc explained, "Do you dread attending networking or social events? Look at it this way. Everyone there has a story. Walking into a room of people is like walking into a library or video store: There is so much to learn and enjoy!" Enter a party expecting to find exciting and funny stories, and your outlook of the shindig will change.
4. Be Attentive
Nothing gives you the warm feels like a person that's hanging onto your every word. They could be quiet the whole time — chiming in only when it's time to ask "and what then?" and "how did you even react to that?" — and you'll come away from it thinking they're the most amazing person you've ever met. Be that person. Lifestyle writer Kimberly Mikesh from self-improvement site Happier advised, "Being that person who makes someone feel truly heard will make you stand out in the best possible way." Be excited to hear people's stories, and you won't have a dull moment at the party.
5. Let People Know They Delight You
We take our social cues from body language when in a conversation — a smile and head nod means they're paying attention, a laugh means we're doing a good job, and a shuffling-in-closer moves they're hanging on to every word. But how rewarding does it feel when someone flat out tells you you're amazing to hang out with? Do that to people and they'll love you. Dating and confidence coach Nick Notas offered, "When they do something that delights you, let them know." If it's someone you already know at the party, tell them a favorite story about them or when you first realized they were awesome. Or if it's a new person, let them know what impresses you about them or what personality quirk you already love. Help them realize their awesomeness.
6. Toss That Fear Of Rejection
But really, who is actually going to turn away from you and walk away at a party? That's an unbelievably ballsy move to make, and 99 percent of us don't have that kind of a mean streak. So toss the fear aside of being rejected flat out and approach the person. There's no way they're going to turn you away. Business writer Ivan Misner at Entreprenuer explained, "When you take an active rather than passive role, you develop your skills and lower your chances of rejection." Practice makes perfect!
7. Keep That Energy High
Even if you're not naturally a person that lets confetti canons loose when they talk, you can totally fake it. Speaking to a person with high energy and an excited way of talking is infectious, and will attract minglers like bees to honey. Why? Because it'll make them feel like that enthusiasm is geared towards them. Tabaka pointed out, "Look people in the eye, smile when appropriate, and keep your energy high with humor and passion. People will feel valued and appreciated when you focus purely on them, leaving a lasting and favorable impression."
8. Don't Shoot Yourself In The Foot With Body Language
It might take an effort, but make sure your body language is open and inviting. Misner advised, "Even if you're cold, bored, tired or just don't want to be there, don't cross your arms. It makes you seem defensive, nervous, judgmental, close-minded or skeptical." When sitting on the couch, keep your arms open and at your sides. Stand tall and keep everything uncrossed. Smile and go into confident, straight-backed poses. People will see that you're not scary to come up to and won't reject them. So they'll come.
9. Be Curious
Still don't really know how to approach someone on the fly and start chatting? Structure the move this way: You're really curious. You're curious as to who they are, what they're like, what kind of stories they have, what was their first dog's name, everything! Approaching someone with that mindset really takes the pressure off because you're just there to satisfy an interest. Business writer Christina Desmarais from Inc explained, "After all, people are drawn to those who genuinely want to hear their stories. When was the last time someone took an interest in your dreams and desires? How did it make you feel?" You'll be magnetic in no time.
10. Be Free With Your Love
Everyone loves a good, genuine compliment, so don't be stingy with your observations. Marolt recommended, "Someone’s earrings catch your eye? Tell her they are gorgeous! Glowing skin? Adorable laugh? Sassy outfit? People can tell when you’re being sincere, and it’s an amazing ice breaker." When you find yourself admiring something, don't keep it to yourself. Spread the positivity and good feels.
11. Talk About Stuff You Love
When people say they don't know what to talk about, they're just being lazy. We all have passions! Anything from road tripping to your old Pokemon card collection from fifth grade, as long as you launch into a topic you're passionate about your conversation will come out aces. Tabaka offered, "Choose a topic you are passionate about, and your eyes will light up, as will your smile." Enthusiasm is infectious, no matter the topic.
Follow these tips and you'll find yourself being the most magnetic person at the party. It's time to shed that wallflower status!
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