friends at dinner

Whoo-hoo, a party! Get the grill on, set the mood with tropical music, cocktails and finger foods for a distinct experience. Summer is the season of shorts, sunscreen, travel, having fun and having margaritas. But we need to also add something else to your plate--a little party etiquette. You need to be cognizant of your performance and your synergies, especially if co-workers are attending the event. Oversharing, drinking too much and walking into a summer party looking like you’re going to the club are things that you want to avoid. Don't fall off the fast-track in your social life because the environment is super chill and people are more free-spirited. You don't want any professional or personal blunders to haunt you later on. Here are 7 things you should avoid doing at a summer party.

Watch how much you drink.

Alcohol plus your unwavering opinions are never a good concoction. It could lead to a bad Monday morning at the office or with friends. If you're a sloppy drinker you don't want your interactions with colleagues or strangers to be a disaster. Make a goal when you go out with friends that you will not have more than one drink. By setting boundaries, you will keep yourself from overdoing it. If you want more than one drink, get a coffee instead, or get some fresh air to change your perspective. Know that getting drunk has consequences like getting into arguments and flashing people (you know it happens). Find a few non-alcoholic cocktails that you adore and bring them to the party to contribute.
Utilize seltzers and juices to mitigate alcoholic drinks to guarantee that you don't get hammered.

Don't bash people.

"People who are constantly putting others down, criticizing everything, and making cynical comments haven't learned how to constructively express their anger,” the American Psychological Association explained. Really pay attention here as your emotions could fuel oversharing with people. This can be your boss, your spouse or other co-workers because you never know who might overhear you. If the day you had makes you want to lament to everyone about your strapping life, leave your sentiments at the door or don't go to the party. Besides, people are not there to be your personal therapist.

Don't dress like you are going to the club.

You might think it's hard to do at a summer party, but some dress like they are going to a bar. If you know that work colleagues are attending, you don't need to strut your stuff. "You've worked hard to create a professional image, and revealing clothes can alter your coworkers' and manager's perception of you as a competent professional, "author Susan Bryant recommended. There is nothing wrong with looking good, but you also don't want to attract the wrong attention.

Avoid discussing work.

For goodness sake, please don't talk about your job all the time. How boring! This is a party, not the office. Relax, get to know people and leave the complaining and meetings at your desk. If it comes up, just be on guard on what you share.
Remember that you need to remain neutral in your conversations. If you don't know the people at the party then go with the flow of the conversations.

Thank your host.

Thank and say goodbye to the host before you leave. It is rude to leave without doing due diligence. It could make your host wonder if something happened to you or that you are hiding from the affections of a creepy guy. Lizzie Post is the great-great-granddaughter of etiquette expert Emily Post. She shared that acknowledging your host is a necessity. "If the host is mid-conversation, you can probably wait a couple of seconds," said Post. "This person had you over and she's wined and dined you, so it's only polite. It's also just nice to let people know when you're exiting their home."

Don't complain.

You might not like the food, the atmosphere, the house or the people, but don't complain. You could be talking about so many other things and no one wants to be around a complainer. Keep your opinions to yourself and wait until you go home to vent about it. When you complain, your body releases the stress hormone cortisol. Your blood pressure rises and blood sugar spikes to help you prepare and this is supposed to be a party!

Put away the phone.

Be sociable and put your phone away. If you invited people to a party would you want them on their phones all the time? Brendan Francis Newnam, co-host of the radio show, The Dinner Party Download explained: "It’s no more realistic to think that people won’t look at their cell phones than to think they won’t judge your apartment. That said, cell phones are corrosive to the fellowship that makes dinner parties special. In short — they are simply not okay." More hosts are making people put their phones in boxes or baskets to get them to mingle more with each other. It is a party, so try to be a little social without ducking behind your phone. Disconnect for a couple of hours, you might actually enjoy your time there.

So there you have it, you can be dignified and have a great time when you attend a party this summer. You might not be perfectly polished, but you won't embarrass yourself.
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