I know many a person who loves to throw and attend cocktail parties. But for the rest of us, they can be downright stressful. Will you know anyone there? Can you find someone to strike up a conversation with effortlessly or will you be stuck in the corner with some bore talking your ear off? And then the bar — will there even be a bar?
Unlike a dinner party where food is a given and conversation often flows freely, cocktail parties are trickier (though mishaps happen at dinner parties, too). Some cocktail party niceties are commonsense, like being courteous to your fellow guests or listening when conversing with someone (as opposed to tuning out). Bringing a small gift for the host or hostess is also standard.
But there are some oft-forgotten things to keep in mind to ensure that you don’t end up as the star of your friends’ cocktail party horror stories. You might know one of those, the wildly-drunk guest, or the person who spilled red wine all over the (still-stained) carpet. Have you ever double-dipped that wing into the ranch dressing? You don't want to be that person, either. From what to do with that cocktail toothpick, how to handle a boring conversation (or lack thereof), to what party foods to avoid, if you read — and remember — these 11 guidelines, you might find that there is no reason to stress about cocktail parties at all.