By Nina Patel:
I get it, social skills are hard. We’ve all been stranded, friendless in a sea of mildly familiar faces with no idea what to do with ourselves at one point in our lives. We’ve all pretended to take a phone call and hid in the bathroom for the duration of an event in order to avoid talking to people. We’ve all taken up smoking and developed an addiction to nicotine just so we could leave an awkward situation by saying we “needed a cigarette.” There’s no shame in climbing out the fire escape of a thirty story building on your best friend’s birthday to avoid their uncle’s cousin’s wife’s aunt whose name you’re ashamed to have forgotten. But take it from someone with a PhD in charmology, there is a better way. Here’s how to be the most charming person in the room at any given social event.
Weddings can be awkward when no one knows who you are, so the best course of action is to make yourself known. It’s common knowledge that anyone who makes a toast at a wedding is practically a celebrity for the night, so you’ll have to give a speech. Traditionally, only close family and friends of the newlyweds are asked to give a toast, but the truth is, it doesn’t really matter how well you know the couple as long as your speech goes on for over twenty minutes and opens with Webster’s Dictionary’s definition of marriage.
During times of grief, people are looking for a little light in their life. So the best way to charm those in pain is to be their source of comic relief. And who better to be the subject of your punchlines than the recently deceased? I know what you’re thinking, but no, it’s not immoral to poke fun at dead people. No one wants their funeral to be a grim snoozefest. Really, you’re doing them a favor by livening things up.
Everyone lies at highschool reunions. Your job is to expose these lies, taking the attention off of yourself, who has accomplished nothing in life but has at least been honest about it. Spend the weeks before your reunion scrounging up dirt on everyone from your highschool. Take a sabbatical from work, cancel plans with friends, devote yourself entirely to exposing your peers. Dig up everything from divorces to lawsuits to job losses, and interrupt your class president’s welcome back speech to publicly announce your findings. Everyone loves a snitch, so this will go great for you, or, at the very least, it will make the night interesting.
Family reunions are a breeding ground for passive aggressive criticism, so you’ll want to keep the attention off of yourself. The best strategy is to pick a scapegoat. Find one person in your family who has done slightly worse in life than you, and keep them with you for the entire night. Refrain from standing too close to accomplished relatives with successful careers or healthy relationships, as you will most definitely appear weak in their mighty presence.
When a work acquaintance with few friends invites you along to their bachelor/bachelorette party out of pity and lack of options, make sure to match the tone of the group. Since the party will likely revolve around drinking, make sure to get more shitfaced than anyone else to the point where you have no control over your actions and are relying on the bride/groom-to-be to drag you kicking and screaming away from a bar fight. After getting the entire group thrown out of a bar, scream “surprise” and reveal the fact that you were never really drunk and the whole thing was one big hilarious prank. Then stage a kidnapping and make the group walk around the city in the middle of the night looking for clues in an elaborate scavenger hunt that you spent months putting together. The clues will eventually lead them to a singular bottle of champagne, which the bride/groom will open, only to discover that the popping of the cork triggered an extravagant fireworks show. The fireworks will spell out your name, at which point you will arrive on horseback and the entire party will crowd around you, chanting your name. Trust me, it’s foolproof.