Monday, 26 December 2016

How to survive an event

Have you ever dreaded the thought of going to a party?

Parties can be quite uncomfortable for some people.

 For other people it is their natural habitat and they thrive in this kind of environment. They walk around talking to anyone and everyone. They grow more energetic with every person they talk to and every drink they have.

But, what can you do if you don't thrive in these kinds of conditions?

What can you do if the idea of going up to people that you don't know fills you with dread?

It can be very scary in these kinds of situations and because you fear rejection it leads to inaction.

I know from experience when I have been in night clubs and I will see a woman that I want to talk to and I will make up excuses why I shouldn't.

"She looks busy."

"She is talking to her friend."

"I'm enjoying my drink."

"It's too noisy. I won't be able to hear her."

"What do I say? I don't have the perfect opener."

See, all excuses which is basically telling yourself that you fear being rejected by that woman so you don't do anything and in the end you both miss out. You miss out on meeting someone special (possibly) and at the very least practice been rejected. Also she misses out on meeting you which quite possibly could be the highlight of her night.

Do you understand my point?

It's interesting. I remember having a conversation with a friend more than 20 years ago. We were talking about and I quote "feeling socially superior" around other people. When I think back about that conversation, we weren't feeling socially superior we just felt comfortable around some people and not comfortable around other people. We knew that around a certain group of people we could be charismatic and fun because we knew that we were going to be accepted by the group. But when you arrive at a party where you don't know anyone your fear of rejection can inhibit you.

I know on a few occasions I have arrived at a function where I don't know anyone and I have that "I don't give a f***" attitude and I will go up to the first group I see and tell a couple of jokes or funny stories and get absolutely no reaction at all. This can be quite demoralising for some people and it has been to me on occasions but the secret is to remember that this kind of social rejection is not a reflection on you. You were just being yourself and they may have been in a bad mood. I know that is hard to accept sometimes but you can't please everyone.

The best way to ease yourself into parties is to look for people who are standing around by themselves. They are probably a little bit like you in that they are feeling a little anxious and would welcome someone coming over to them and saying hi. This is at the very least a great warm up for the remainder of the event.

When you go to the gym, you are developing your body. You are becoming stronger and stronger. You can also do this with your social muscle as well.

You can:

  • Attend parties and events
  • Talk to strangers on public transportation. (This is difficult believe me)
  • Talk to people on the street
  • Go to bars and clubs by yourself. (This is extremely difficult)
  • Join some kind of public speaking club. Toastmasters is my suggestion.
I think the moral to all of this is that most people are anxious about how they are perceived in public and it would do you well to remember this the next time you try talking to someone. You can make them comfortable as well as yourself. 

Parties and events don't need to be uncomfortable when you know what to do and you remember that most people are in the same situation. 

With this knowledge, parties and events can be very, very, very enjoyable. 

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