Party Flock – What’s Your Social Style?
At any event you will likely see a variety of Social Styles. Here are some you may recognize, and some tips to socialize with them. Although I’ve worded them in the feminine pronoun, these birds may also be any gender. Which is your social style?
The Hummingbird flits from group to group flapping her wings – I mean arms. The Hummingbird usually has a bright smile and a beaming happy face. Her entire body seems to gesture as she uses her eyebrows and hands in uplifting motions and sweeps. Her voice is typically high and lilting. She is a positive, sparkling and light-hearted social style at any gathering.
Beautifully and fashionably dressed, the Cardinal makes a stunning presence. Regal, elegant, mysterious and aloof, she holds court with her fans. Food and drinks are brought to her as her good favour is sought after. She expects attention and prestige. If you want to know what’s ‘in’, just ask a Cardinal. She is a wonderful friend when she is as beautiful on the inside as on the outside.
The industrious Sparrow makes herself indispensable by seeing what needs to be done and following through. She quietly serves food, removes debris and cleans dishes. Her gaze is clear and direct, her movements are quick and efficient, and her demeanour is warm and inclusive as she goes about her business ensuring guests’ needs are fulfilled. It is a blessing to know this generous spirit.
The life of any party, the charismatic Crow is not only comfortable being the centre of attention, but may require it. She gets people dancing and laughing, and is the instigator of anything truly fun. She may seem overwhelming to the Swallow or Wren, as she has a powerful, exuberant energy. If you have a Crow at your event, it’s sure to be lively. You could give her the position of ‘Entertainer’.
The Robin makes both a great host and great guest. With impeccable and gracious manners, she is elegant, refined, and poised. Polite, charming, warm, and welcoming, this social style helps put guests at ease, and ensures their comfort. The Robin is adept at planning and creating an inviting, well-organized, and successful event. Her attention to detail is reflected in her coordinated dress and accessories.
The Swallow is quietly present. She is comfortable by herself, and may be part of a small group when invited to do so. Her body language and speech are low-key – this social style has no desire to be the center of attention. Introduce her to people with whom she has something in common, as she may not instigate conversation. She may be one of the first to leave a party, as she is not comfortable with people she doesn’t know.
Socially anxious, the Wren agonizes at being left out of conversations, and at being included in conversations. She usually avoids crowds, and will only attend your event if it’s important to her. She may appear nervous, with darting looks, agitated gestures, and closed body language. Her voice is very quiet, and she speaks very little. Do what you can to help the Wren feel comfortable; she is grateful to be in conversation with another Wren or a Swallow.
You may not feel comfortable with too many Woodpeckers around. The Woodpecker can hammer away at an idea very loudly, often in a complaining or judgemental manner. With her lack of sensitivity and social awareness, she can be a negative disruption at your event. Putting her with a crow can get her into a positive swing.
A variety of Social Styles can make your event interesting and interactive. To re-work an old cliché, get birds of many feathers to flock together. (Sorry, I couldn’t resist.)
Karen Brunger. AICI CIP is President of International Image Institute Inc., and is a Past President of the Association of Image Consultants International.