What’s your party archetype?

Trust me, getting good at parties will be most important skill you invest in no matter what your lifestyle or dream is. 

You won’t ever hear anyone say it, but the most critical life skill you will ever develop is being good at parties.

Hear me out. Your diverse network of friends and their wealth of skills, advice and support, are an immense asset to the life you will build: from the business you start in the future, to how you meet your future spouse, raise your kids, buy a house, deal with crises, find a job, passion, career or hobby, or go on vacation. 

And getting that diverse network in place has everything to do with how you socialize and make connections. Getting good at it is all about how you express your unique brand, how you charm and inspire people, and what makes you likable.

Many people make the mistake of expecting this skill to come naturally but I’m here to tell you that like anything else it must be developed and honed over time. A few bad experiences early in life or a difficult environment at home, can leave you with crippling social anxiety, and the feeling like you never quite measure up or are enough. But succumbing to this feeling and isolating yourself will only make it worse.

Identifying your unique party archetype will help you zero in on what you naturally do best, and hone it to stellar quality. It will also help you understand the type of party you would be most welcome at and the people who would appreciate you the most. 

Let’s break it down.

1. The Gloria

Maybe your unique contribution to a party is your appearance. Consider the elegant fashionista whose presence elevates any event she attends. She doesn’t need to be smart or funny, or even say a word. All she needs to do is just listen and smile. Her contribution is simply in her being — in her style, elegance, beauty, and glamor. 

2. The Professor

On the other end of the spectrum you have those whose greatest contribution to a party is their intellect. These are the people who command a rapt audience as they eloquently discuss the finer details of global politics or wine making, share a dazzling array of factoids, or expound on some obscure topic. Their unique skill is in making anything fascinating and palatable through their own interest and curiosity. 

3. The Artist

Here you have your singers, dancers and musicians who can take any party up a notch by setting the mood for good vibes. The karaoke singer with the incredible voice, the guy with all the moves on the dance floor, the pianist playing old favorites for everyone to sing along to, the singer/songwriter serenading you with her guitar. They create atmosphere and provide entertainment.

4. The Charmer

Your unique contribution is the warmth you bring to the room. You’re the kind of person who walks around greeting everybody by name, with deep eye contact and genuine delight, making them feel extra special by remembering details about their lives and asking questions about how they’ve been that reveal how much you appreciate them. You make everybody feel welcome and at ease — although you can be a bit of a social butterfly, flitting from person to person, not pausing long enough for a substantial exchange. Your unique style means you are adept at meeting new people and making them feel like old friends in no time.

5. The Comedian 

You are the guy with all the wisecracks and dad jokes, putting a smile on everyone’s faces, even if you sometimes make them cringe. Or you’re the stand up comic entertaining everybody with your stories, opinions and physical mimicry. You’re always welcome at parties — even if you may stir up a bit of controversy, you do it with flair and panache. Unlike our next archetype…

6. The Donald Trump 

Let’s face it: you’re obnoxious but people put up with it. You’re unapologetically yourself and give voice to the politically incorrect things that everyone’s secretly thinking. You’re not to everyone’s taste but you do bring an element of interest to any otherwise vanilla gathering. You walk a fine line between attracting fans and making enemies — sooner or later you offend everyone! But you get invited to parties because your confidence and penchant for trouble is a vibe that we all need a little of in our lives. 

7. The Adventurer 

This is the person who is always swooping in from somewhere and about to head someplace else. They elevate the gathering by bringing an international flavor and sense of worldliness, glamor, and sophistication to those who might otherwise live humdrum lives. Alternatively, they might be more of an outdoors type or thrillseeker, a spiritual tourist, or hippie, scientist or anthropologist. Either way, they embody movement, lifelong learning, willingness to take risks, and an openness to new experiences.

8. The Host/Hostess 

You’re the guy or gal who really knows how to throw a shindig. Maybe you’re a fabulous cook and throw the best dinner parties, or perhaps you have an amazing house with a view or a pool. Your home might be the place everyone loves to drop by and you often have impromptu gatherings. You love having people over and offering nourishment for the belly or the soul.

9. The Chameleon 

If you don’t naturally fall into any one archetype, you might be a chameleon. As a chameleon, you may be adept at mimicking your environment and can adopt any persona as the occasion demands. For aspiring Chameleons, it doesn’t hurt to add any or all of the skills mentioned above to your repertoire. Learn to cook or mix a drink, make an effort with your appearance, always have a joke, a story or a few factoids on hand to share, go on a few adventures and don’t be afraid of a little controversy. Be willing to look foolish on the dance floor or at the open mic. Make an effort to at least say hi to everybody even if it feels awkward or uncomfortable. Cultivate charm by reading the manual on How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. Develop the dexterity to blend in anywhere.

Whatever you do, don’t isolate yourself. This is an area of life worth paying attention to. Like everything else, practice makes perfect.