Social events ebb and flow throughout the year. Depending on your Myers-Briggs "personality test" results, attending any one of these functions could either bring enthusiasm or dread. Regardless of how you may feel about it, the truth of the matter is, you're going to the damn party.
But don't fret! I've compiled a cheat sheet of quick tips to help you be an awesome guest. And none is contingent upon being any one type of personality:
#1. Be on time.
Really. Arriving early can undermine last-minute details and upset the host/ess. If you're shy and try to 'blend in with the crowd' by showing up late, don't. That's about as successful as a comb-over.
#2. Speak to the fact.
It's going to happen. Without a doubt you will be put on the spot about this or that. And there's no one around to bail you out. Do what I do...Speak to the fact.
For instance, you're at an art exhibition and suddenly you're being peppered with questions seeking your thoughts and opinion on x, y, and z. What do you say? Easy. You answer their questions with statements of fact. You could say, "The scale of this piece would look great in a formal dining room..." My personal favorite is, "The saturation of color is both alarming and yet not at all inappropriate for this piece." Speaking in fact and throwing in a few double negatives (smartly), will get you through virtually any awkward conversation.
#3. Avoid politics and religion.
Since NOBODY follows this cardinal rule, see point number two for smooth sailing.
4. Pocket the toast.
Always come prepared. You absolutely NEVER know when you may be approached to give an impromptu toast. That moment of silence where you can hear a pin drop isn't the time to be searching your brain for a one-liner. Do yourself (and everyone else in the room) a favor and keep a brief toast easily accessible on your phone...so that you can reference it before delivering it.
One of my universal favorites:
"Who would ever believe that in a child so young there lies the power to save our planet. And yet here we are today not as adults, but as grown children still dreaming, still soul-searching, still seeking to love and be loved. May our hearts be as full as our glasses, and our homes as warm as our heart. My dear friends, be blessed."
5. Communicate Thanks.
Most people bring gifts to the host, which is great. But seldom does anyone communicate gratitude after the event. The style in which you should say thank you really depends on the scale and type of event. However, you must also be true to the way you communicate. There is nothing wrong with sending an email.
I always prefer to send a VERY SIMPLE hand-written note. Don't be fussy and wax poetic. Just be casual and thoughtful about it.
There are a million other tips but this is a good place to start. Go out there and enjoy your event!