Girls night out - social anxiety hell
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06-03-2017, 06:52 AM
Girls night out - social anxiety hell
So...I am going on my first ever 'girls night out' .... at the grand age of 37. I have social anxiety and have in the past only socialised when my hubby is there to act as a buffer, but I'm tired of being a virtual recluse if not for my sake then my kids.

The night out is with the 'mums' of my daughters footie (soccer) team on Saturday and I am so not looking forward to it, the panic is already setting in.

I've already decided to drive and not drink, so I have an exit strategy. I'm terrified that I'll just end up spending the whole evening mute.

I know the theory of small talk, but I tend to panic, overanalyze and concentrate on my next 'move' so come across as robotic and disinterested. My brain seems to freeze when I'm stressed so conversation is stilted.

I have in the past (in other attempts with different groups) tried to explain about my SA, but as a result isolated myself further as people thereafter looked at me as though I was in some way mentally deranged so I'm reluctant to 'come out'.

Any tips for staying calm, avoiding the brain freeze and keeping the convo going?

I shall now go throw up Sad
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06-03-2017, 07:03 AM
RE: Girls night out - social anxiety hell
I shall go throw up in solidarity.

I am not good in these situations either. When my son played sports I was okay when the moms and kids went somewhere to grab a bite to eat since I could focus on the kids. I do okay one-on-one with a lunch or something with another woman but a large group...not so much.

Keep in mind that you will have your car with you so there is an escape plan in place.

I will hope that things go better than expected. Undecided

I wish I had advice but the scenario also makes me queasy.

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06-03-2017, 07:05 AM
RE: Girls night out - social anxiety hell
(06-03-2017 06:52 AM)ukatheist Wrote:  So...I am going on my first ever 'girls night out' .... at the grand age of 37. I have social anxiety and have in the past only socialised when my hubby is there to act as a buffer, but I'm tired of being a virtual recluse if not for my sake then my kids.

The night out is with the 'mums' of my daughters footie (soccer) team on Saturday and I am so not looking forward to it, the panic is already setting in.

I've already decided to drive and not drink, so I have an exit strategy. I'm terrified that I'll just end up spending the whole evening mute.

I know the theory of small talk, but I tend to panic, overanalyze and concentrate on my next 'move' so come across as robotic and disinterested. My brain seems to freeze when I'm stressed so conversation is stilted.

I have in the past (in other attempts with different groups) tried to explain about my SA, but as a result isolated myself further as people thereafter looked at me as though I was in some way mentally deranged so I'm reluctant to 'come out'.

Any tips for staying calm, avoiding the brain freeze and keeping the convo going?

I shall now go throw up Sad

I don't have social anxiety but I am an introvert and hate groups of people, I do better with one or a couple. So I am wondering, would it help you to get to know one or two of them better before taking the leap?

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06-03-2017, 07:12 AM
RE: Girls night out - social anxiety hell
(06-03-2017 06:52 AM)ukatheist Wrote:  ...
I know the theory of small talk, but I tend to panic, overanalyze and concentrate on my next 'move' so come across as robotic and disinterested. My brain seems to freeze when I'm stressed so conversation is stilted.
...

Lemme guess...

[Image: de41fd4ae26d81093433ac918d21b4cd.jpg]

(06-03-2017 06:52 AM)ukatheist Wrote:  ...
Any tips for staying calm, avoiding the brain freeze and keeping the convo going?
...

Yup.

1. Stick to one-on-one or max. one-on-two conversations

2. Ask pertinent and short questions about the person with whom you are conversing i.e.active listening. Getting them to do the talking will ease the burden of you having to talk.

3. Other people are generally tedious so fake as much sincerity as you can muster when asking about their family etc.

4. Keep eye-contact, but not too much i.e. don't do this:

[Image: 25jk0mo.jpg]

Good luck.

Oh and 5. This will drain your energy. Plan to have some 'alone-time' afterwards even if it's just sitting in the car for 10 mins listening to some soothing music.

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06-03-2017, 07:14 AM
RE: Girls night out - social anxiety hell
Blaaah I wouldn't touch a group meet social thing with a 10 ft pole.

My advice, having been in similar situations (youth group), would be to let others to lead conversations, and pipe in when you feel like it. Don't worry if you're quiet. I can't small talk to save my life, but I somehow get by at work as a cashier.

If you get worn out, make sure you've got an escape route handy.

Good luck! >.<

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06-03-2017, 07:19 AM
RE: Girls night out - social anxiety hell
(06-03-2017 06:52 AM)ukatheist Wrote:  So...I am going on my first ever 'girls night out' .... at the grand age of 37. I have social anxiety and have in the past only socialised when my hubby is there to act as a buffer, but I'm tired of being a virtual recluse if not for my sake then my kids.

The night out is with the 'mums' of my daughters footie (soccer) team on Saturday and I am so not looking forward to it, the panic is already setting in.

I've already decided to drive and not drink, so I have an exit strategy. I'm terrified that I'll just end up spending the whole evening mute.

I know the theory of small talk, but I tend to panic, overanalyze and concentrate on my next 'move' so come across as robotic and disinterested. My brain seems to freeze when I'm stressed so conversation is stilted.

I have in the past (in other attempts with different groups) tried to explain about my SA, but as a result isolated myself further as people thereafter looked at me as though I was in some way mentally deranged so I'm reluctant to 'come out'.

Any tips for staying calm, avoiding the brain freeze and keeping the convo going?

I shall now go throw up Sad

I just went on a girls' night out last night (three other women who are past and present members of my singing group). It's a kind of new thing for me, too. When my son was younger, I went once to a GNO that was so obnoxious and uncomfortable that I decided never to do it again...and I basically didn't for another 10 years or so. I've always been more comfortable in mixed-gender groups, and more of my close friends in adulthood have been male than female, so the GNO thing is late blooming for me.

Things that might help:
1) Some of your fellow moms may also be a little nervous/uncomfortable about this night; it helps me to realize that I'm probably not the only person there whose social skills aren't perfect.
2) Topics for conversation: kids, the soccer league, the menu/restaurant, weather, other moms' careers, planned vacations, movies, household appliance disasters, all of these tend to be safe and to solicit answers that lead to larger general conversations. When in doubt, compliment the mom's kid and ask a follow-up question (Sally runs so fast, does she get that from you?).
3) Write down a couple of topics and questions on an index card, put it in your pocket...you won't need to refer to it, just writing things down will help a couple of approaches stick in your head.

Finally, girls' night out is dependent on the women involved, and it's possible that you won't have enough in common with these women to become close friends. However, it's good practice to go so that when you find a fun group of women, you'll have the skills to connect.

Good luck!
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06-03-2017, 07:21 AM
RE: Girls night out - social anxiety hell
I know them all on a fairly superficial level (Hi, how are you? Good thanks, you? Yeah, not too bad thanks...........*tumbleweed*), idk if one-on-one would be better (nowhere to hide) but if I'm honest it probably be would be good for me if I could muster up some balls to do it. The problem is finding someone who'd be willing to grab a coffee​ with the odd, quiet girl though, why would anyone want to. I'm sure they have far more enjoyable things to do than spend an hour in awkward, stilted conversation.



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06-03-2017, 07:24 AM
RE: Girls night out - social anxiety hell
(06-03-2017 07:03 AM)Anjele Wrote:  I shall go throw up in solidarity.

Here you go...

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06-03-2017, 07:58 AM
RE: Girls night out - social anxiety hell
Good luck - I hope you have fun!

"If you don't have a seat at the table, you're probably on the menu."

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06-03-2017, 08:02 AM
RE: Girls night out - social anxiety hell
I love going out and being around people, but also value my alone time. For instance, I enjoy parties but also need time to just go off and meditate or practice yoga on my own away from everything. For me, it's not about social anxiety, it's about the need to get away from the world and everything in it for a bit. I love social time, but value quiet, alone time. I need that balance. So while I enjoy social things, I can understand why some may not enjoy this type of thing at all.

As someone who enjoys these types of situations, things I usually do (if I'm going somewhere with a group of people I don't know very well) is to think of a few things we have in common. Like Julep mentioned regarding your situation-kids, soccer, school, other groups your kids belong to. Maybe talk about some things that are of interest to you--a book you read, a movie you recently saw, an art or exercise class you liked. All of these topics can easily lead to further conversation.

Sometimes if someone has a piece of jewelry or outfit or hairstyle that I like, I'll compliment them on that. Greeting people with a smile, while obvious on some levels, is a good way to appear approachable, friendly.

I think the idea of meeting up with another mother ahead of time for coffee may help your anxiety. That way it's one on one and not a group setting. I'm sure they'd love to grab a cup of coffee with you. They may be feeling the same way you are or may like to go out and do things like me and would love to make a new friend.

And if you go and end up being more on the quiet side, so what. There's nothing wrong with that. I have friends who are more one the quiet side, and I adore them.

Also, you have a great personality, who wouldn't want to be your friend? I see you post on here and you're always funny and smart. That can translate into meeting new people in real life if you let it. Be yourself and you'll do fine. Smile
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