This post could work equally well for any party. The only difference is there is no drinking, depending on the denomination. Also, there probably will not be any uncomfortable conversations, unless someone reads out of Song of Solomon. Christian parties are easier, because everyone knows they are supposed to be nice to everyone else. The basics in this post will be for any party setup.
Nice Does Not Equal Friendly
This post is about being friendly at a Christian party. I know people think they do not need lessons on how to be friendly. I respond flatly with, “Yes, you do.” I describe a lot of people as nice, but not friendly. Many times I feel like the words nice and friendly are misused. I see nice as a character trait, and friendly as a skill. I think this happens because you cannot be friendly if you are not nice, but you can be nice and not friendly. These are people who are nice, but quiet, and unsure of themselves in conversation. There is nothing wrong with these people: they are just not skilled in friendliness yet. Enough of the observations, let us get to the how to.
How to Start Conversations
Every journey starts with a single step, and every party starts with a single conversation.
Finding Someone to Talk To
This is the easiest part. Find someone standing alone against the wall, and talk to them. They are easy to find. You have probably been one of these people. They are easy to talk to, because they want to talk to people. When at a party, people know they should be social. No one goes to a party to stand against a wall and not talk to anyone. The problem is they do not know how to start a conversation. If you start the conversation, they will be grateful for it.
I always start the same way. I say, “Hello, my name is Eric.” I give a reach out my hand for a hand shake. I keep my hand out there until they give me a handshake and tell me their name. If they do not give me their name, I ask. It is very important to remember their names from then on. I will admit I am horrible at this.
Starting the Conversation
People put too much pressure on the beginning line of a conversation. In reality this only lasts for about 5 seconds. You can start out with something completely lame; it does not matter. What matters is the follow-up. You can start with the simple question about where they live. Then ask more questions about it. Is it in the city, suburbs, or country. Then go into a story about how that is the same or different from one of the places you lives. Then you can ask them about that part of where they live.
The point of the above conversation is to get them to relate to you. People relate about how things are the same or different; it does not matter which one it is. Since this is the case, you can relate to anyone thousands of different ways. I hope you can see, you do not have to talk about where a person lives. You can talk about anything. this is just a framework
To the life of the party, you can not talk to just one person. You have to build a group.
Building a Group
As you see someone you know walking by, grab them and tell them how the person is the same or different from them. The person you grabbed will look interested, and want more information about it. The person you were previously talking to, will feel obligated to explain. If you see someone you do not know, grab them and ask their opinion on something you were talking about. Comment on their opinion and introduce yourself. If you continue to do this, you will build a large group.
Breaking From the Group
As the group grows larger, there will start to be side conversations within the group. Some time in the conversations, you will see an opportune time to leave. You can always go back. Start back from the beginning and start with one person again. After you have done this, you can float from group to group, splitting people off and adding them to other groups with no problem. By the end of the night everyone will know your name. The only downside is, now you will have to remember everyone else’s name.