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Power Moves for Parties: Moving Beyond 'Nice to Meet You'

Parties are terrible. Here's how to make them worse.
January 20, 2016, 6:10pm
Photo by Studio Firma via Stocksy

Like Kylie Jenner, I have spent these early weeks of 2016 realizing stuff. The main thing I've realized is that most parties are bad. There are a lot of reasons why this is true, but it can be boiled down to a few key facts: 1) They often happen outside your home; 2) you generally do not have the power to eject people you don't like from a party that's not yours; and 3) most people do not buy enough party food to really meet everyone's needs. On top of these issues, the combination of mutual acquaintances + alcohol + a desperate need to be desired, liked, or base-level accepted makes parties in general a social minefield. To wit:

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You: Hi, Laura.
Laura, someone you have spent time with on between three and five separate social occasions: Nice to meet you.

Ooooh. Ouch. While it is possible that, like Brad Pitt before her, Laura suffers from a condition known as face blindness, it is also possible that she is pulling a Party Power Move. Realistically, one of the only reasons people attend parties is to mildly assert their superiority over other guests. Saying, "Nice to meet you" to someone you've already met is a tried and tested classic, but here are a few other moves that will take your Condescending Bitch persona to the next level. Walk with me to the chips.

Read more: Resolutions to Make 2016 Your Best Year Ever

Keep Your Shoes On

No self-respecting adult should be hosting a Shoes-Off party in 2016. To show your hosts and the rest of the guests that fashion comes before everything else in your life, keep your shoes on all night, regardless of the implied or stated party policy re: footwear. Sure, you'll look like a total asshole. But you'll be a total asshole who's four inches taller than everyone else.

"I don't follow you on Twitter."

For reasons unclear, it has become socially acceptable in recent years to go up to people at parties and say, "I follow you on Twitter." This is a disaster. There is no response that makes the ensuing conversation comfortable for both parties, and an uneven power dynamic has been established from the beginning. Instead of waiting for someone to say this to you, simply walk around the party informing those you do not follow of their status. If you are met with sheepish silence, you are doing it right.

I have other plans tonight, and they are probably better.

Spend the Night On Your Phone 2.0

Any chump with an iPhone can ignore her colleagues on Twitter or Instagram. It takes a truly brave partygoer to spend all night on the host's landline. Position yourself by the phone, fingers poised, and immediately begin to dial if someone tries to start a conversation with you. This is especially effective on a rotary phone, but any phone with a cord you can twiddle menacingly will do.

"I've read it!"

Before attending a party, read literally every book ever written, and every article on the Internet. The moment any piece of writing is referenced, confidently shout, "I've read it!" This will get you out of thousands of unnecessary minutes of exposition from men in bad cardigans, women with haircuts that are trying to Do Something, and grad students.

Photo via Wikipedia Commons

Occupy the Food Area

The snacks table is the lifeblood of any party. Be the king or queen of the night by standing guard over the dips and forcing possible buffet participants to answer a series of riddles or skill-testing questions. Reward the worthy with food and your company. Send the rest to the smoking area, hungry.

Keep Your Coat On

A variation on Keep Your Shoes On, this approach takes things up a notch by implying that you could be departing the party at any moment and simply don't have time to remove anything you're wearing. If it's very hot inside, take frequent smoke breaks, or insist your host turn down the heat. Either way, this move makes a statement: I have other plans tonight, and they are probably better. Bonus points for also mingling in an ostentatious hat.

360-Degree Ghosting

Instead of leaving without saying goodbye, simply never show up. In fact, never attend another party again in your entire life. That'll show 'em.