Office Holiday Parties and Your Crush: Make Your Move or Lay Low?

Office Holiday Party EtiquetteOffice Holiday Party EtiquetteBy Sarah Rae for BounceBack.com

Having an office crush during holiday season can be a blessing or a curse. Office holiday parties mix professionalism and clear boundaries with alcohol and celebration. Someone is bound to make a horse's patoot out of themselves. What's worse is when you add the desire to be perceived as charming and attractive.

Take the temperature of your workplace. Is it like a family, a little too friendly, borderline hostile, or downright scandalous? What would happen if you spent all night in the corner talking to your crush? What about if you leave together? Could you live down the repercussions relatively unscathed? If the thought of it makes your stomach turn, think about saving the flirting for a private encounter. Ask your crush out for drinks after works, sans coworkers.

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Get your one-on-one time. It's important to talk to your crush in one to one conversation. This is a great way to zoom in and get to know them in a non-work sense. On the other hand, give them room to breathe. Excuse yourself to use the bathroom and don't immediately return to their side. Hobnob and circle back to them later. This should help you stay out of the friend-zone or just keep you from looking absolutely obsessive.

The fact that you know all the same people in the workplace makes them prime material for chit-chat, but don't limit your conversation to office gossip. That's too much like "talking shop." Talk about what you do outside of the office. Show them your life has a much broader scope than within these 4 walls.

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Don't go overboard and wear something completely out of the ordinary. Dress office-sexy. That means don't show lots of skin or cleavage. Don't wear something 2 sizes too small or a massive amount of cologne. Choose form-fitting clothing with clean lines. A pin-stripe pencil skirt and a silk button-down can be the golden ticket.

Make yourself stand out without being obnoxious. That means following the biggest rule of all: Limit how much you drink. When you feel tense and unable to be yourself, it's normal to reach for another drink. Remind yourself that you're not necessarily amongst friends. No matter how chummy you get during the holidays, in the new year they're still going to be your professional acquaintances.

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If your crush gets tanked, abort the mission. Being too intoxicated might make them a little too friendly, annoying, or even downright unattractive. The person you would get to know at that point isn't necessarily the person you have a crush on. On the other hand if they start to flirt with everyone or take another coworker home, you'll probably be taking your sights off them.


Sarah Rae is a writer and editor from New Orleans. She lives in Brooklyn, NY. More information can be found at www.sarahrae.net.


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