Pretty much around now the annual slew of office knees ups, sports club throwdowns and festive catch-ups of friends who you’ve not seen in a while a year fill your calendar and turn December into a mulled wine muddle of celebration and semi-awkward disco dancing with colleagues you’d ordinarily shuffle awkwardly around in the office’s tiny kitchen.
Whether you fancy Mo from accounts or are dodging Lisa from marketing - here’s three ways to navigate the party season without making the morning tea-making dodgefest any more awkward than normal.
I like someone I work with.
Aww that’s swell. The office party might seem like the perfect opportunity to declare undying love/dive in for a kiss and if it goes your way that’s great but if not, it’s an extremely public route to rejection. If you think there’s a spark suggest something smaller and engineer a walk to the same transport hub so you can have a better conversation.
Something happened. How do I make sure this is not totes awks?
First of all, establish for definite if either of you want anything to come of this. And that you’d like to still get along as you did before if not. Grown-up bit out of the way, establish if anyone from the office saw. Even if you’ve decided not to be awkward, people in the office might not make things so easy. You’ll want to agree how to handle it in advance. If you can make light of it other people will not see it as a big deal either. (did you use a condom? if not, get a test)
I’ve noticed a colleague giving me ‘a look’. And asking me if I’m going the Christmas party. Every. Single. Day. How do I make sure this is not totes awks?
We mentioned we're big fans of minimising public rejection for people. How comfortable do you feel with this person? Could you speak to them before the party? Maybe mention you’ve noticed they seem interested in your party plans and thought it was worth mentioning you don’t date people from work (only a problem if they then write their resignation letter or you also have party problem no 1 to contend with). If that’s not possible don’t worry, you can be friendly while keeping your distance and if you have to administer a knockback, do it gently and quietly.
With the best will in the world, like in Jurassic Park, sometimes life just finds a way - try not to stress any tinsel-time trysts, you’ll be laughing about them in years to come.