Gold Christmas balls with glass of fizz
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December 12, 2016 4:06 PM EST

I was recently at my dentist office in Rockefeller Center thinking, aye yai yai, who schedules an Invisalign check up on the day of the NYC tree lighting? Oh, I do, oops, but that’s how committed I am to having straight healthy teeth, I guess. (See Dr. Levin, I’m committed!!) Anyway, it got me thinking: we really do go out of our way to fit everything in before the holiday party, even if it means going into the maze of traffic, into the CRAZIEST artery of all of Manhattan, to get something done.

As I was leaving the dentist’s office, I was sharing the elevator with several girls who must have worked in the building. They were discussing how they couldn’t believe the fact that one man who was married became so drunk that he was hitting on a girl that worked for him. It definitely wasn’t the first time I, or any of us have heard this story, but it got me thinking — do people really get too wasted at holiday parties still?

Read More: 19 Helpful Tips for Throwing a Painless Dinner Party

I haven’t had a drink in over 9 holiday party seasons, so it’s hard for me to remember my last inappropriate behavior … NO, wait, I do remember it. It was the Umberto of Beverly Hills Holiday party, and yep, I got very drunk. So drunk that I thought that it was my place to grab the microphone and make a toast to Umberto himself on behalf of all of the thousands of people who got their hair done at his famous salon in the 90210.

I don’t remember what I said. I just remember that years later I am lucky enough to still be able to call his daughter my best friend. But it is something that should have never happened.

You see, holiday parties get tricky. They get tricky for many reasons, one being that they bring out your best or worst self. If you’re good with people, this will be a great night for you, where you shine bright and get to really spend time one on one with people that are usually too busy for you.

If you aren’t so great with people, this will be one of those awkward times where you wish you hadn’t gone, you know you should, you kind of have to, but you want to just check your coat, with yourself in it.

I have good news for you, whoever you are: you don’t have to stay long enough to even allow the anxiety to make its way through your blood stream. Here are my foolproof tips to make sure you have an awesome time, and get the respect for showing face, even when you don’t want to.

Read More: 3 Ways to Make Sure You Exercise During the Holidays

1. Fly solo

You’re going to want to go in, grab a sparkling water in a wine glass, and go to the key people in your company to celebrate the year with them.

2. Do not drink alcohol

In this situation it is totally your call to drink or not drink, but I say don’t do it. It doesn’t lead to anything great, and it is the liquid courage that could get you into trouble. You can drink on Friday when you’re home with your boo.

3. Be confident

Go in with the attitude that you want to get along with everyone no matter what. It’s the season to embrace it all, let your guard down, be nice, and then get out.

4. Go easy on gifts

Be careful giving gifts to your boss in front of people. Send him or her something super cool, like a fruit basket. It’s not too personal, but shows you appreciate his teamwork!

5. Don’t eat your nerves

You will find that eating before you go will help you not nervous eat while you are there! Eat all the veggies you want, watch out for sweets.

6. Keep up the good work

Be the first one to work the next morning, and the only one who didn’t drink!

Party on!!

Stacey Griffith is a senior master instructor at SoulCycle and the author of the upcoming book Two Turns From Zero. Stacey’s motivational coaching style combines a passion for dance, athleticism and mind-blowing music—all set to the beat of her voice. Follow her on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

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