Girls night out - social anxiety hell
Post Reply
 
Thread Rating:
  • 0 Votes - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
06-03-2017, 08:17 AM
RE: Girls night out - social anxiety hell
Thanks for all the great tips, they are much appreciated! I'm taking my girl to practice tomorrow so if there are any mums (it's often just the dads) there I'll try to make myself stay and converse instead of running and hiding in my car.

Unless it's raining. Although if I catch cold I'd have a handy excuse to avoid Saturday....

no....must....stay....positive.

Sent from my ALE-L21 using Tapatalk
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 4 users Like ukatheist's post
06-03-2017, 09:48 AM
RE: Girls night out - social anxiety hell
I hope it works out! That kind of social situation would make me uncomfortable, too. Lately I've been more social than I have been most of my life. So I'm any better at it yet.

I often myself analyzing what people say and how they say it, making my responses a bit too slow and measured. I was at a support group meeting this weekend, and had several different conversations where I realized after the fact that I was having trouble understanding the points people were making in conversation, or the subtext. That's not usually the case, and I felt like the entire day I was just missing something in the exchange. It was weird.

But, I've decided to just keep trying. And began to realize that there are so many more people out there like me- who doubt what they say or how they say it later on that day. Who dwell on the situation afterwards. It's generally not constructive- so if you find yourself doing that- try to distract yourself in some way. With something that calms you and entertains your mind for a bit. Don't let it take up your whole consciousness. You're likely not the only one thinking over things and worrying that they said something dumb. Chances are you didn't say anything dumb.

Having a way out, is a good idea. It gives you the security to know that if things are too uncomfortable- or if you've expended all of your social energy- you can duck out.

Take baby steps. Try to have at least one conversation with one or two other people at a time before you bail.

If small talk is difficult, don't let the conversation stay on small talk. Move it toward talking about something that interests you, or that you've seen interests them.

Also- try to remember peoples' names. This is probably one of the hardest parts for me. But that can be something you focus your mind on at the start of a conversation- rather than if you appear "normal" enough, or are talking normal enough, etc.

I hope these suggests aren't dumb lol. Blink

Good luck! Big Grin

Hug
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 2 users Like Emma's post
06-03-2017, 10:03 AM
RE: Girls night out - social anxiety hell
There's a lot of good advice contained here.

I'm an introvert as well and social interactions can really suck the life out of me. I mean, I like my friends and going to parties and all the rest, but afterwards I need alone and quiet time (with my SO is fine) to recharge.

What you're experiencing is normal; no need to be ashamed or concerned about it.

As far as "how to do small talk effectively" bit, I will harken back to my days as a single guy who was somewhat successful in meeting women. Regardless of the end-game of social interaction, the principle remains the same: get the other party talking about themselves. People love to talk about themselves.

Not sure how to open? Everyone has something about themselves that's unique. Maybe it's, say, a bracelet or necklace. "Say, that's an interesting necklace. It looks unique. Where did you get it?" Suddenly your conversation partner is talking about how they picked up the necklace on their trip to Mexico and how much fun they had, etc. Now you know they like to travel. "So where else have you gone that you've really enjoyed?" Etc etc.

The details (necklaces, travel) are just cues to get and keep the conversation going.

It takes practice but, hey, if I can do it, you won't have any trouble.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 2 users Like Heath_Tierney's post
06-03-2017, 10:15 AM
RE: Girls night out - social anxiety hell
It's been mentioned before, but I came in to say "divide and conquer" your fears. Try pre-meeting as many of them as possible.
What was going to be a total train wreck could turn into some winks and nods between you and your new acquaintances.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes skyking's post
06-03-2017, 10:24 AM
RE: Girls night out - social anxiety hell
(06-03-2017 07:21 AM)ukatheist Wrote:  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.

Uk - there is absolutely nothing wrong with just smiling and looking around at all the people. If nothing else, you are there to people watch.

If anyone asks, "Are you ok?" Just tell them that you aren't so much used to the crowd situation - just be straight forward and say it's a bit to get used to all at once.

Not drinking this time (especially since you barely know these people) is a good idea. You can have the bartender give you a soda water with some fruit bits on a stick so you can have something to nibble & do with your hands. If anyone tries to convince you that you need a proper drink, you can tell them you already have one.

Just make this a recognizance mission: you are there to people watch, listen to the conversation of your new acquaintances and just explore what's going on with the local nightlife.

You control your situation - keep it light - gather info - don't forget to smile.

You never know ... you might gather enough info and find out you actually like it. Shy

A new type of thinking is essential if mankind is to survive and move to higher levels. ~ Albert Einstein
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 7 users Like kim's post
06-03-2017, 10:35 AM
RE: Girls night out - social anxiety hell
(06-03-2017 10:24 AM)kim Wrote:  
(06-03-2017 07:21 AM)ukatheist Wrote:  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.

Uk - there is absolutely nothing wrong with just smiling and looking around at all the people. If nothing else, you are there to people watch.

If anyone asks, "Are you ok?" Just tell them that you aren't so much used to the crowd situation - just be straight forward and say it's a bit to get used to all at once.

Not drinking this time (especially since you barely know these people) is a good idea. You can have the bartender give you a soda water with some fruit bits on a stick so you can have something to nibble & do with your hands. If anyone tries to convince you that you need a proper drink, you can tell them you already have one.

Just make this a recognizance mission: you are there to people watch, listen to the conversation of your new acquaintances and just explore what's going on with the local nightlife.

You control your situation - keep it light - gather info - don't forget to smile.

You never know ... you might gather enough info and find out you actually like it. Shy

That's great advice! Especially about the drink!
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes Emma's post
06-03-2017, 11:10 AM
RE: Girls night out - social anxiety hell
(06-03-2017 08:02 AM)jennybee Wrote:  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

I'm the same way. I love being around people and having sparkling, witty conversations. I also like to try out a new pair of high heeled shoes or cool boots so what better way than to go to a party. I have a leather coat I made and I'm dying to go somewhere and wear it.

But being by myself is fine too.

When I'm at a party and I see someone who sits by themselves it doesn't bother me and I don't think less of them. Part of being around people is the variety of personalities you meet. A quiet person is perfectly welcome. I figure they're a writer and observing the scene to record later in a book and then they'll have the last word and put us all to shame.

Shakespeare's Comedy of Errors.... on Donald J. Trump:

He is deformed, crooked, old, and sere,
Ill-fac’d, worse bodied, shapeless every where;
Vicious, ungentle, foolish, blunt, unkind,
Stigmatical in making, worse in mind.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 2 users Like dancefortwo's post
06-03-2017, 11:32 AM
RE: Girls night out - social anxiety hell
(06-03-2017 10:35 AM)Emma Wrote:  That's great advice! Especially about the drink!

Hope it helps - drinking is just one more thing and if you know you can control it, it just takes off the pressure.

When I'm out, I like to pace my drinking since, I know the people I'm usually around have their own limited ability to do so. Wink

Even if I do drink a few more than usual, my last couple of "drinks" are always water - and I try to spread them out over a couple of hours. It helps revive the brain cells pretty quickly. Wink

A new type of thinking is essential if mankind is to survive and move to higher levels. ~ Albert Einstein
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes kim's post
06-03-2017, 12:21 PM
RE: Girls night out - social anxiety hell
Also, remember that most communication is non-verbal, and that most extroverts won't notice if you don't say anything; they're too focused on interacting and getting their message across.

They will notice your body language though, so you might want to practice the appropriate visual cues (in front of a mirror); just smiling and nodding your head may be enough to get you through the evening. Most people LOVE good listeners.

As previous posters have suggested, be prepared to ask some very general, open-ended questions, then listen to the answers, throw in a few "oh, that's interesting" or a non-committal "hmm" and you're good to go.

Try to imagine the group as a collection of individuals with whom you can have one-on-one conversations, rather than as a unified gang. If it's a stand-up/cocktail situation, be prepared to drift from one conversation to the next with a smile and a polite "excuse me" .

If you feel particularly overwhelmed, head to a bathroom stall, close the door, close your eyes, take a few slow, deep breaths and regroup.

You can do this.

Good luck! Thumbsup

Your faith is not evidence, your opinion is not fact, and your bias is not wisdom
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 4 users Like Reducetarian's post
06-03-2017, 02:18 PM
Girls night out - social anxiety hell
I'm overwhelmed with the kindness you guys are showing me, you are all wonderful people Heart
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
Post Reply
Forum Jump: