Ellen Reddick shares a few tips to help us be excited and confident at our next reunion. She says first of all and most importantly, we have to RSVP and then attend, now you can start to get excited about connecting with people you have not seen in years.
How to act at a class reunion:
- Smile. Nothing covers nervous jitters better than a friendly face.
- Mix and mingle with different people. Do not limit yourself to the group you used to hang out with. You might discover that you have more in common with the former captain of the football team or the former president of the Future Farmers of America than the person you used to TP houses with.
- Help others. If you see someone standing alone, approach the person and strike up a conversation. Doing this might make the difference between someone being miserable and having a good time.
- Only ask general questions. You do not know what has happened in their life and they will tell you if they want you to know.
- Be respectful of everyone. Never tell embarrassing stories about things people want to forget. This includes bringing up an old crush in front of a person's spouse.
- Remember that people age differently. Never make comments or ask rude questions about other people's weight gain, wrinkles, gray hair, loss of hair, or other age-related changes. You may have kept your youthful body, but others may have experienced something that prevented them from going to the gym every day.
- Do not brag. When you approach the former class president or head of the debate team, it is perfectly fine to mention what you currently do for a living. However, you do not need to brag about the fact that you can afford a mansion and a vacation home on the Mediterranean, with household staff to run both places. That serves no purpose other than to make the other person miserable or make you look like a windbag.
- Dress well. Dress appropriately for the occasion. There is nothing wrong with wearing a designer dress or a custom tailored suit, but you do not need to brag about it. By the same token, if all you can afford is something from the thrift store, make sure it is clean and there are no rips or holes. No one needs to know the origin of your outfit or how much it costs.
- Limit alcohol consumption. Do not drink too much, or you might say or do something you will later regret. You will also leave an impression that will last until the next reunion.
- Avoid conflict. If someone else holds a grudge against you for something that happened back in high school, there may be nothing you can do about it. Once you see that the person is spoiling for a fight, walk away and avoid him or her for the remainder of the party.
- Exhibit good manners. Use proper etiquette from the moment you walk in until you leave.
- Be who you really are. Whether you are the CEO of a major corporation or a school janitor, you are still part of the same family. Do not put on airs or be ashamed of what you do for a living.
- Help out. Regardless of how much you hate planning, cleaning, or whatever is needed, chip in. It is rude to leave all the work for others, and not helping can give you the reputation of being the "lazy cousin."
- Do not complain. Never complain about the food, the weather, or other family members. You are all in this together, so try to have a good time.