Every been alone at a party and knew no one? It had been a while for me. Normally I know at least two thirds of the people at any given house party or barbecue. At this particular party, I did not.
There was this slight panic that chill over me as my two friends left the party for a moment. My pulse raced and I had a hard time breathing. I went into the nearest empty room and collected myself. What am I going to do? Do I play on my phone? Do I go eat more food? What did I do with myself? What if they don’t like me? What if I just sit and wait? Will someone come talk to me? Wow this food is great! Don’t sit there and look like a bump on a log. Stand tall, confident, like you were meant to be there. Were all the different questions and comments that ran through my mind.
As a introvert-extrovert kind of person, I do well in small groups. I stick to the people I know and every now and again reach out to others. This party had at least 90-100 people. Okay, I am be exaggerating but still. I didn’t panic, I simply got small glass of wine and rejoined the group and kept people talking. The hostess, super awesome. She introduced me to more people and then well it was fine. It was that slight panic though. Do something.
First I didn’t want to just stand there on my phone. I talked to the first person to my right. Look them in the eye and introduced myself. Then I created small talk. How are you? What do you do? How do you know <insert host name>? etc.
Sometimes it lead to bigger and longer conversation. Which was totally fine with me. I just kept the conversation focused on them. I only answered questions if they asked me but would keep a generalized response. One on one conversations I feel fine with, it’s the group conversations I tend to watch play out and insert generalized comments here and there to keep the conversation rolling.
By the end of the party I had met over half of the attendants and played ultimate Frisbee. Even got hugs from most of them. Hugs are nice. I do at least.
Moral of the story, do some thing that scares you every day. Even if it’s a simple as talking to a stranger and asking them how their day was. Or going out and meeting new people. Why not? What do you have to lose?
Keep kicking and smiling! -TJ Banski