Editors' Corner

Notorious Etiquette: How To Break The Ice At Garden Parties

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Ah, the warmth! The singing birds and not a cloud in the sky, when we get lucky! The beautiful season is finally at our doors and we cannot wait to do three things in particular: wear summer dresses, eat fresh food outside and lie on the grass. And what’s even better is that we can do all these things at the same time, at one of you friend’s garden party — or at your garden party, if you are into being a host and cleaning up for an entire day once it’s over!

Now, garden parties are great, but they have one main problem: they normally take place during the day. Awesome, right? Until you remember that the main reason while most winter parties are actually so successful because they happen by night, fueled by a couple of drinks that go a long way towards breaking the ice. Yep: garden parties have drinks, sure, but getting slightly tipsy in the middle of the day is simply not as socially acceptable as it would be under cover of darkness.

But don’t worry, for we are coming to the rescue with some ice-breakers you’ll want to share with all of your shy friends back home. Here is how to break the ice at garden parties.

Embrace weather talk

Weather talk is just lame if you think it is. To start any conversation, embrace the dullness of weather talk. “Sunny today, isn’t it? But a little windy for my taste.” The secret is one: own it, grasp its essence. Talk about the weather like you have never talked about the weather once in your life before.

Compliment some piece of clothing

The best form of flattery is not imitation, which is actually rather annoying, but is complimenting someone on something she/he is wearing. “Love your necklace!”, “This dress looks great on you!”, “Wow, I am going to steal your earrings as soon as you are not looking!” are all things that could work on the coldest of hearts. Just do yourself a solid and mean it. Spotting a fake complimenter is easier than you think; you’ll know when you see one.

Ask unusual questions, for once

If small-talk bores you, shoot for the stars. “What’s your shoe size?”, “What do you think of the latest developments in quantum mechanics?”, “How many brothers does your mother have?”. Go random or go home. Shooting a very unusual question can scare the boring people away, and attract those who are just on the same wavelength as you.

Discuss the latest internet tendency

When you want to own a topic which will work almost always, go for internet trends. Everybody has Facebook. “Have you seen that video where cats are scared of cucumbers?”. Of course they saw that video. Go for it. Just avoid to discuss internet tendencies with not very tech-savvy individuals over 70.

Find common dislikes and join forces

Connecting with someone over the same dislike for the Kardashians is easier than you think. It also helps to decide whether to hang out with someone for the rest of the party or not. Can you imagine spending a delightful afternoon with someone who then turns out to be a Kylie Jenner fan? No thanks.

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