Social Etiquette: Being a Good Guest at Your Partner’s Office Party
As noted in yesterday’s post, an employee needs to take the lead when bringing a guest to a workplace social event. Simple gestures such as making introductions and not talking shop can go a long way toward making your significant other feel welcome.
But some responsibility also falls to the visitor. A person who has agreed to attend a picnic or a party should be prepared to make the best of it. Not only will a good attitude lead to a better time, such behavior reflects well on the person who brought you. Plus, you never know what you will get out of the event, from a valuable networking contact to a firsthand review of that new restaurant across town.
If you do find yourself feeling out of place, relationship expert April Masini of the advice column Ask April recommends remembering that you don’t have to stick by your date's side. “Superglue wasn't part of the deal. If things are turning into a shop-talk marathon, look around and find someone else to talk to. Chances are you're not the only one in this situation at the party!”
Likewise, Masini suggests grabbing the steering wheel (metaphorically, of course) if the discussion is taking off without you by using your grace and social finesse to get in. “Interject yourself into the conversation with a witty remark or a question that is about a reference in the conversation. Use your social skills -- to see who else has social skills enough to take the cue and redirect the conversation!”
Lastly, remember why you came in the first place. A partner who wants to bring you along is offering a glimpse into his or her life outside of your house. Seize the opportunity with a smile, even if it means keeping a happy face while the office tech guy presents a mini-lecture on the history of computers.