Welcome to the awkward person's guide to holiday parties. From someone who's been there.

The social season is my idea of hell.

And, look, normally it’s not an issue. Normally I just say no.

“Thanks so much for the invite but I won’t be able to attend.”

At this time of the year I am being inundated with invitations to work-related events and every single one of them fills me with dread.

I like the idea of going to the events. I am flattered to be invited. Logically, I know it would be a good career move for me to attend.

Then the butterflies start in the pit of my stomach and my brain fast-forwards to the day of the event and all of the things that could go wrong.

Minutes before I was excited at the thought of attending – wow, how fun, great, time to party – and then my shy self kicks the deranged cheerleader in my brain and chimes in with…

Who the hell do you think you are? You KNOW you’re going to say and do something wrong and then feel like crap for days after, if not RUIN YOUR ENTIRE CAREER.

It’s a friggin’ minefield.

So far this year I’ve fobbed off several invitations to work-related events but there are three I absolutely cannot avoid – my work Christmas party, my husband’s work Christmas party and an industry event that I really want to attend because I love the people who work there.

Now I just have to calm myself down, figure out what to wear and avoid cancelling at the last minute. Not to mention actually walk into the event and be a social butterfly.

There’s just two problems.

How do I un-glue my feet from the doorway and then how on earth do I start conversations in the most non-awkward way possible.

Luckily there are lots socially confident people in the Mamamia office who gave me all the advice. Take notes my friends.

Social season NAILED.