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The Plus 1 Perspective: A Guide to Being a Plus 1 During the Holidays

The holiday season is here and so are the somewhat arbitrary office parties that come with it. Granted I haven’t been to many lately considering we’ve been on pandemic watch for the past few forevers it feels like but for the few I have attended, I picked up a few things that tend to help everyone involved.  


The most important thing and arguably the hardest to accept for most is that life as a “Plus 1” isn’t glamorous and it won’t be. You’re in a complementary role by default so the task at hand is to make your significant other or whoever it was that invited you feel, look, and sound great and/or better. There’s no need to place unnecessary pressure on yourself outside of fitting the dress code and being on time or at least ensuring that the reason you are late is no fault of your own. 


As a “Plus 1” we are our person’s safety blanket for the event and should approach it as such. They already asked us to accompany them meaning they trust us enough to not mess anything up so do just that. Be yourself and be PRESENT. In all fairness, the chances are we won’t know anything about these other people aside from what “tea” gets spilled at the house so it is very easy to pick up the phone and scroll the night away but that completely defeats the purpose of being there. Being present is just as important as showing up. 


Looking toward the lighter side of being a Plus 1 you honestly have the least stressful job of the night. It’s not your function and it’s not your people so you owe nothing to nobody. As long as you can hold a conversion and remember mostly everyone’s names you’re golden. 


As far as self-preservation goes, that’s where you can be creative. 


Quick Side-note: As I begin to understand how aging works I’ve realized that a “Hangry” person is far worse than just about anything else so please eat something for the safety of those around you. I would suggest at the minimum grabbing a snack before you go just in case food isn’t a focus and maybe even a drink or whatever you use to relax beforehand.

Obviously, this doesn’t mean getting to the point of no return but just enough to take the edge off and truly just “be”. 


Walking into a room full of strangers can be a subtle stressor even if the person that brought you is excellent at introductions and inclusion.  Anything short of at least reading the room could result in a terrible evening trying to play catch up or using mnemonic devices to remember names that aren’t even close so please please please, pay attention. 


In the event that this is a social gathering with music and dancing feel free to have a good time. For those of us with two left feet, let’s not be too hard on ourselves, odds are half the people in attendance can’t or won’t dance either. However, if you do decide to dance just be mindful of your surroundings and note that throwing that thang in a circle is most likely the wrong idea. 


All in all, being a Plus 1 is something to take pride in and something to enjoy. Whoever invited you went out their way to bring a new face around coworkers and superiors so be your best self and have a good time!


Malcolm Anderson 

Malcolm Anderson is a Cum Laude graduate of Reinhardt University. From the beginning of his education, the ideas of creativity and ever-expanding curiosity were instilled in him. He loves working with children and helping them believe that they can do anything they put their mind to, a lesson he was taught from an early age. Although his focus is on Sports Media, Malcolm has been writing for various mediums over the past few years and aims to expand his repertoire in an effort to reach as many people as possible.


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