There are one of two things you’ll experience at the company holiday party. Either you’ll have the time of your life enjoying the social setting with your coworkers, or you’ll have the time of your life – avoiding your coworkers in their not-so-professional element.
In fact, chances are you’ll notice some transformations in the personalities of your work associates and if your company throws a mandatory holiday party, you might want to consider steering clear of some of them.
There’s a thin line between casual and professional that becomes even thinner when music and an open bar are tossed into the mix. Awkward pauses and work tensions are not the objectives here, so if you want to have a good time connecting with the folks you spend most of your week hours with, there are some of these personalities you should avoid like the plague.
You know this person. They’re usually the ones talking about their wild weekend with some wild people who did wild things. So, when they have plans to attend the holiday party, it’s time to get wild.
Professionalism flies out the door and the new mission is to trap a victim under the conveniently placed mistletoe. Getting into a conversation with this person will likely leave you grossed out and avoiding their third-floor department for months after.
Your evening will feel like a night of dodging coy remarks, cleverly masked by the available alcohol.
As embarrassing as a conversation starter like ‘Hey, have you seen the common room at night,’ sounds, to a flirt, it’s gold. Run and run fast to save an awkward Monday morning of regret.
You’ll probably want to drown in your own sorrows when you come across this person. Their conversations may start with something like “Did I ever tell you about the time…?” And is usually followed by a voice screaming “TMI” in your head.
They’ve been dying for a workplace social event to get closer with their fellow employees and will take any chance to get into a deep conversation – even if it doesn’t come with an invitation. Closely related to the common gossiper, the over-sharer is normally the person who goes too deep into detail about a past breakup, make-up or spring break drama they’ve encountered.
The real damage is done here when the holiday party is over and you’re forced to have a new work friend who is comfortable sharing personal information with you – regardless of how weirded out you are by it.
Word of the wise is to stay tight lipped if you find yourself cornered. If they can share how much they loathe when John from copying hogs the good printer, imagine what they can share about you to John.
The open bar is the only reason this merrymaker attended this celebratory event. Secretly thankful it was mandatory, they’re usually on a first name basis with the bartender from the beginning of the night.
By the time everyone shows up (and a couple of shots later), drunken slurs are a part of normal conversation. Don’t be surprised if this person shows some oversharing qualities.
It’s easy to get sucked into their jolly mood but it’s just the booze. Having the best time is the only objective here but professionally, it could be bad for business.
Schmooze, chit chatter, possibly the most talkative person at the holiday party, the hobnob is networking 24/7. They’re usually first in line for every opportunity to rub elbows with the bosses and if you think a social company party loosens them up, you’re wrong.
Don’t get too deep into conversation with this schmooze because there’s always a hidden agenda behind the innocence of “so, how long have you worked in HR?”
Keep your guard up and your defenses high with this person as your holiday party banter about the boss’ reluctance to recycle those sick days at the end of the year, will get back to the top.
Party pooper and never in the mood for the holidays, this coworker will probably feel the need to mention how crappy the party is with every turn. The bar will never have the right drinks, the music will always be dreary and the decorations are just the worst every year.
When the scrooge is around, it tends to bring down everyone else’s spirit. It’s almost sad how mopey this person can be and even if your merry goal is to spread the holiday cheer, save it for another time with someone you don’t have to see again when the shiny ornaments come down.
Have Fun at Your Company Holiday Party
These celebratory moments to cap off the year should be fun, lighthearted and certainly something to look forward to. It’s totally normal to get loose and enjoy a good time but keep in mind the thinning line between professional and casual. Make friends and mingle with the folks you share a workplace with and spend the night far away from some of those who can suck some of that fun out.