Large social gatherings, a shy, awkward, introvert’s nightmare.
We all know it, we’ve all been there.
We’ve probably made excuses NOT to show up.
We’ve probably motivated ourselves somehow to show up with some kind of car ride pep talk.
It’s probably even safe to say that you’ve probably thought about all the possible scenarios, planned your escape, planned who to talk to, who to find, what words to use when seeing someone, the possibilities are endless, sorta.
So here are three tips to deal with these kinds of situations that will hopefully change your perspective of large social gatherings..
1) Improv, Be There to Listen, Engage, and be Fully Present
Don’t think too hard about everything beforehand, it only generates more unnecessaryanxiety. Just let it all come naturally to you in the moment as you remain present in the moment with others. For instance, if you’re at a wedding, talk about someone’s suit.
“Hey, nice suit, where did you get it?”
Remember to talk about the person, point someone out about THEM. People love, LOVEtalking about themselves – in another post I said that we are narcissistic creatures, and as history could tell, we truly are.
Only think about a situation when you have a lost for words to say. Have a back up conversation, almost like extra ammo in your pocket just in case your first clip runs out. But try not to think of social gathering situations like a battle, think of it, like IMPROV, a way to support, engage, be present, and play off one another like an orchestra.
Communication is an art folks!
2) Think, INDIVIDUAL, Not Group.
You’re not going to make a speech. You’ll be talking to ONE person at a time most likely, even if a group of people engage you.
Just think, ONE PERSON AT A TIME. Need I say it again? ONE PERSON AT A TIME.
Here’s a helpful tip, as soon as you get there, just find that one person and engage with them. Then when you’re done, move onto one other person!
Once again, you’re not there to make a speech. You’re there to connect, re-connect with individuals, with people, on a personal level!
It’s one of those things where you are looking into quality, not quantity. Maintaining eye contact, talking about the other person and showing interest will far exceed someone who is just there tobe the most popular person in the room. Sure, everyone may know who the host is, but do they know who the host IS. Ahhh, see that, see what I did there?…I don’t either…but I hope it makes sense.
3) Know That It’s OKAY to Be Quiet and Just Standing Around!
If you actually look around, there’s people actually doing the SAME exact thing you’re doing!
If you are stuck in this situation, just start humming, thinking about something very deep like, what you’re going to do afterwards or the next day, or even start go to the restroom.
The reason you feel awkward by just standing around is that you think people are literally watching you. But first and foremost understand this – no one, i mean no one is constantly watching your EVERY single move. They’re far more interested in themselves than on you!
What you’re thinking and what’s going on in your head, may very well be what’s going on in another person’s head. There’s a lot of people and a lot of interaction going on, that last thing in their minds is to think about what you’re doing and concerning on how dumb you look just standing around, which of course, you probably aren’t.
I get it, it’s not easy. Being in a crowded room, feeling the pressure to interact. Feeling the gazes, the eyes, the insecurity. It’s all there. But YOU’RE NOT ALONE. People are different, grew up certain ways in different social settings, cultures, households, etc.
What I generally notice is that the shy, quiet people are the least judged, within a social gathering, so it’s all the more okay to be quiet when you feel like being that way without having to worry!
Don’t allow the potential “what-ifs” to ruin your time at a social gathering. Remember this next time you’re at a large social gathering.
Insane Introvert, out!