It’s almost work Christmas party season and for many of us, it’s a time that we really don’t want to put ourselves through. In theory, there should be no pressure to do so either, but often we can feel like we have to and we spend our entire evenings trying to navigate it effectively.
This year, many businesses are going all-out on their Christmas parties after the last few years, and often they can be booze-fuelled, drug-fuelled and quite riotous occasions, which for some can be problematic.
The workplace is full of different characters, and with a lot of emphasis on booze at Christmas parties, it can often alienate those that don’t drink, whether it be for religious regions, conscious regions or the fact that they are recovering alcoholics. In the case of the latter, especially, it can be incredibly tough.
The same applies to drugs too. Drugs are common in the workplace, especially in city-based roles, where cocaine is rife. And for those suffering from an addiction and have sought drug and alcohol advice, the last thing they need is to be surrounded by it.
Which can make the Christmas party feel almost impossible.
So, how do you navigate a Christmas party, avoid temptation, avoid confrontation, and get through it with as little drama as possible?
Set yourself goals
While it’s not work and you don’t need to be setting yourself performance based targets, having little goals can help you get through it. For example, if you don’t want to drink much, you can set yourself a goal of three drinks and then leave, or no drinking until 9pm.
Alternatively, you can set timing goals, such as stay until 9pm and then you can make the call as to whether you wish to leave or not. There is an art to leaving a party early, which you can find out more about here. This will help you get through it, knowing you have an exit strategy, as well as knowing you’ve done your bit for socialising with colleagues.
By mingling often, you can get away from any scenarios you don’t want to be involved in. For example, if one group is going in heavy on the booze, you can move on to the next group of people who may be being more sensible. In fact, you can continue to mingle until you find the right group of people who are on the same wavelength to you. This can be particularly effective if you’re new to the business as it not only allows you to find the right group for you, but it also looks like you’re making a conscious effort to get to know everyone.
Stand your ground
Ultimately, your colleagues should be respectful of your choices, whether that be what you drink, how long you stay or anything else. They’re grown adults and shouldn’t pressure you to do anything you don’t want to. Therefore, stand your ground and say “no”. And hopefully it should be that simple.