Having (and Being) Fun at Holiday Parties Part I: Extraverts
The holidays approach, along with year’s end – both are great excuses for a party. We’re not talking about a family dinner, but a party party. Friends, friends of friends, and a few new faces. A bit of cutting loose at someone’s place, out on the town, or even in the office. The kind of party we sometimes want when life seems too serious.
Not all personality types approach parties with equal enthusiasm or skill, however. Each type has their social quirks (and we’re not referring only to Introverts). Sometimes the most energetic, outgoing personalities can stumble or be too splashy, especially among those with different styles of engagement.
But the best get-togethers are those where everyone has fun with each other despite their differences. In this article, we’ll look at ideas for pursuing the goal of not only having a good time, but sharing good times too. Each personality type has something to – wait for it – bring to the party, and we can all learn how to make our presence a present.
Because going to a party is often better with a buddy, we’re going to use the buddy system, pairing types by shared personality traits that relate to how they socialize. In some ways, these buddies speak similar social languages, sharing certain strengths and weaknesses.
We’ll also offer a few tips for each pair – things they might keep in their pocket (metaphorically or literally, if desired) as a reminder of their party goals. Since every individual is different, these tips are merely a seed to be customized by anyone using them.
So, let’s get down to it!
Party People: Campaigners (ENFP) and Entertainers (ESFP)
When it comes to the likely behavior of personality types, these two are often happy to be the life of the party. Extraversion and the Prospecting trait make them down for whatever, and the Feeling trait helps them engage others on a heartfelt, human level. They love having a good time, and they love when others have a good time with them.
What to bring to the party: Sheer energy. Whether you’re a Campaigner or an Entertainer, your personality is well suited to a positive party vibe, so leave your personal issues at the door and let your smile shine into the darkest corners of the room. Offer everyone your friendship, especially those who seem uncomfortable or shy. You’ve got energy and positivity to spare, so make everyone feel like a cool kid even as you revel in your own fun.
What to leave at home: Indiscriminate behavior. Your intent is pure, but be aware of how your energy and choices can affect others. Try not to take things too far – or leave them incomplete. If you agree to an event or a time, stick to it. There are people on the other end of every promise. And those shy people you’re shining your light on? Don’t blind them. Asking them to dance is flattering, but dragging them onto the dance floor can be terrifying.
- Elevate everyone. Use your natural party powers for good.
- Check yourself. Be wild, but don’t get lost in the wilderness.
- Be considerate. You’ll sow joy by being empathetic to people’s limits.
Two to Tango: Debaters (ENTP) and Entrepreneurs (ESTP)
Debaters and Entrepreneurs love to bounce their ideas off of other people, enjoying meeting people and having lively chats about almost anything. Extraversion and the Prospecting personality trait make them thirsty for life, and the Thinking trait gives them an intellectual vigor. Their quick wit can light up a room, and they’ll doubtless share clever ideas on how to make things fun.
What to bring to the party: Friendly wit. Your banter can make people smile, and it may even draw a crowd. Display your virtues and enjoy uncovering others’ as well. Nothing makes people feel better than being engaged with bright interest, even if it’s more intellectual than empathetic. Lean at least as heavily on your inquisitiveness as your expressiveness, and you’ll be appreciated.
What to leave at home: Ego. You’re not the only star, Sunshine, and pulling everything into your orbit isn’t always the best way to brighten a room. If someone else takes the stage, become their fan and bask in shared fun. Or, explore who and what awaits in another part of the room. Bounce around. Balance your flash by being receptive, and you’ll create blazing fun for all.
- Engage equally. Be interested in others.
- Listen a lot. Don’t just wait to talk. Listen, then respond (or aim for at least 50/50).
- Be silly. People can respect smarts, but they can join in laughter.
Fun Facilitators: Commanders (ENTJ) and Executives (ESTJ)
These personality types are inclined to get things done – and can be just as vigorous when it comes to having fun. Extraversion and the Judging trait make Commanders and Executives socially bold, ready not just to have fun, but also to make fun things happen. The Thinking trait means they often take a somewhat deliberate approach to partying, but this can pave the way to fun for all who dare to dance in their wake.
What to bring to the party: Your lighter self. You know what you want to do and how to do it. You might enjoy hosting the party, or at least have the guts to get your group into the VIP section. Chat, laugh, listen to what others say, and don’t stick only to substantive topics. Offer democratic leadership to boost the fun, and then back off and enjoy yourself no matter what others get up to.
What to leave at home: Control. A key element for many people to have fun is a no-pressure atmosphere, and sometimes even no direction, so grant that to others and have fun in your own way. Don’t merely relax your grip. Be happy to have open hands (preferably waving them in the air like you just don’t care). If you must act, let yourself be directed by other people’s expressed desires and needs – make fun happen on their terms and revel in being an effective facilitator.
- Just relax. It’s a party – it doesn’t need to be perfect to be awesome.
- Host the moment. You have a powerful presence. Be fun to be near.
- Warmth is fun. Connecting emotionally isn’t your main thing, but laughter loosens people up like nothing else. Find reasons to laugh.
Revelry Royalty: Protagonists (ENFJ) and Consuls (ESFJ)
Protagonists and Consuls might be the original party-makers. Extraversion and the Feeling trait make these personalities enthusiastically people-focused – social interaction isn’t just their way to unwind, it’s a rewarding part of their lives. And the Judging personality trait moves them to shape their surroundings according to their values, likely making them a social hub – and maybe the start of a party.
What to bring to the party: A carefree attitude. You believe deeply in certain values, and chief among them is a firm idea of how people should treat each other. Bring this with you in case anyone needs a joyful boost. Enjoy the chance to relax and go with the flow – fun isn’t always sensible, and positive self-indulgence is half the reason to party.
What to leave at home: Strict supervision. Make sure you don’t get so caught up in caretaking that you forget to have fun. More importantly, make sure people want to be taken care of before you step in. There are times when it’s okay to let others stumble and make mistakes. After all, you deserve a break from responsibility now and then.
- No parenting. Be a friend, not a helicopter parent.
- Loosen up. Surrender your expectations to fun.
- Treat yo’self! Nothing is more proper at a party than your happiness.
We’ve discussed the Extravert buddies up front, but this party’s just getting started. Join us for the second half of this article, where we’ll get into the Introverted personality type buddies, watering the wallflowers with some ideas for socializing this holiday season. And as always, please share your thoughts on this article in the comments below!