Kateryna Spiwak

Article Summary:

How to Mingle

Does the thought going to a party or dance fill you with fear? Although some may never lose the jitters experienced as high-schoolers, with a little preparation and a little planning, you can take control of a socializing opportunity and have a great time.
Here's how:

1. Adopt the right frame of mind before even leaving home.
You're really just going out to have fun, not to get a marriage proposal before the stroke of 12. Focus on the fun, not on the fears.

2. Build your confidence.
Reflect on your attributes as you're getting ready to go out. Although you still get the occasional blemish and your hair still misbehaves, you're no longer that scared kid whose knees shook at the thought of dancing with your "crush". You're all grown up now, with accomplishments and greater confidence in your bag of tricks. If need be, ask your friends to remind you of your positive characteristics.

3. Prepare a strategy.
Determine what you want to get out of the evening. If you just want to have a fun social evening with friends, do what comes naturally. Stand around and chat, or hit the floor and shake your booty. However, if your goal is to be noticed by that great gal or guy, you need to try something different.

4. Be seen to get noticed.
This means you'll need to wander around. (Yes, it can be scary.) Change locations, move between floors, visit the bar, and get out on the dance floor. (The really crafty might even want to stake out a spot near the facilities, because everyone heads there eventually.)

5. Scan the place for interesting people.
Ensure you see everyone who may be of interest to you. Take note of the gems and prepare to get noticed.

6. Get near someone you find interesting.
When you find someone you like, stop near them and dawdle there for awhile. Make sure your body language conveys approachability. Try to appear relaxed and casual, with a pleasant, friendly facial expression.

7. Get the conversation started.
If they don't start a conversation, take the lead yourself. Take the pressure off by adopting the perspective that you're just being friendly and casual, rather than trying to get them to profess true love within the next 10 minutes. A simple, "Hi, how's it going?" accompanied by a smile works wonders. Too shy for that? Eye contact and a smile can work just as well to break the ice. Still too aggressive for you? If they're with friends, start talking to one of the others instead. Once the ice is broken, chances are they'll introduce you to the others they're with. Alternately, get a friend to start the conversation and naturally draw you in. Now try to assess the person's interest in you. Is small talk flowing well, or is it just marginally less painful than dental work? If you're getting a good vibe, a lot of interest, and warm body language, stick around and keep talking. If not, politely excuse yourself and move on to the next person lucky enough to meet wonderful you. You're in control, and working the room to your advantage. Refresh your drink, and off you go on your next adventure.

By preparing yourself ahead of time and taking control of the situation, you can turn an evening of passivity or boredom into a great opportunity to meet people you want to date!

Kateryna Spiwak is a dating and interpersonal skills coach who helps singles build greater confidence and skill for more effective dating. She helps clients develop a polished personal image, stronger communication & body language skills, solid relationship assessment skills, and savvy with all aspects of the dating process. She works with individuals, conducts speaking engagements, and writes provocative articles on all aspects of dating.

Frequently consulted on dating issues by the national media, Kateryna has been widely featured in print, on radio, and on television. Her professional training includes a B.A. in Psychology, certification in Life Skills Coaching, and certification in Human Resources Management.

Kateryna can be reached at 416-762-4267; or visit www.dating essentials.com.

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