Your stomach rolls at the first mention of it in your staff meeting. “Well,” someone says, “we need to plan the holiday office party.”

And running through your head, thanks to John Lennon, is “Imagine there’s no office party…”

So it’s planned and you’re going. But it’s more obligatory than pleasure.

How will survive your office party?

Here are the three keys to survive your office party.

Relax
Just be yourself.

If you prefer to talk with just a few people in a deep conversation, then do that. If you’re a social butterfly and everyone there is your friend, then have at it! Avoid the extra stress of acting outside of your “normal.”

A coaching client came to spend some time at our farm to conceive with me a Work Positive lifestyle. It was fall, and as we walked and talked, we stopped beside a horse pasture. The sun was setting, and it lit up a maple tree. My client noticed the tree.

Earlier, he talked about how critical others were of him. As we stood there, leaning on the fence, soaking in the maple tree, I noticed a cedar tree beside the maple. Compared to the maple, the cedar was dull.

“Look at the cedar tree beside the maple,” I said. “What do you see?”

“It doesn’t look as good as the maple beside it,” he said.

“But the cedar doesn’t appear to be bothered by that, does it?” I asked. “In fact, it doesn’t seem to care at all. It’s just standing there, being a cedar tree, without any need to compare itself to the maple.”

“It’s just being a cedar and letting the maple be itself,” he said. “I can do that.”

Relax at your office party and be yourself.

Remind Yourself about What You Can Control

You don’t have to try to be perfect at your office party, telling the perfect joke that the boss loves. Or, prolonging your stay at the party when you’d rather be at your child’s play because there’s an appropriate amount of time to be seen. There are some things you can control about the office party, but there are more that you can’t. Do the best you can at controlling those things you can.

My wife tells the story from her childhood of decorating the Christmas tree along with the rest of her family one Christmas Eve. All of a sudden, a knock came at the door, a sister answered, and said, “Well, Santa Claus! Are you here to see my little sister?”

My wife ran for her bedroom, scared to death that Santa Claus had come on Christmas Eve and she wasn’t ready. No cookies and milk. No bedtime prayers. Not in bed asleep. Which means she’s a bad girl and Santa’s not going to leave her any presents.

Like my wife was with Santa, sometimes you think you have to be perfect at the office party as if your boss is a jolly ole elf. And yet you know you can’t be. Remind yourself about what you can and can’t control.

Resolve to Persevere
The party has a time limit, either one you set or the planners did. Choose to hang in there until the deadline is met.

The temperatures plunged below freezing for over a week. It was our first cold snap. We were trying to adjust to it except for this one rose bush in our backyard. This bush didn’t get the memo it was time to stop blooming. One bloom at a time appeared on the bush, its resplendent colors bursting against the gray-brown backdrop.

As each bloom emerged, I cut it at just the right time, brought it inside, put it in a vase, and marveled as it unfolded its beauty. Who would have thought—a rose blooming in freezing temperatures!

Your office party may be cold. You may feel like imaging there’s no office party. Like my rose, persevere by relaxing, reminding yourself of what you can control, and resolve to bloom in the midst of it all.

And that’s how you survive your office party!

Author's Bio: 

Dr. Joey Faucette, a best-selling author, speaker and coach, is the founder of Listen to Life, a business-coaching firm, and creator of “7 Weeks to Work Positive” and the “Work Positive Master Coaching Program.” His latest #1 Amazon best-seller is Work Positive in a Negative World. Discover more at www.ListentoLife.org