Post # 1
Hello fellow introvert bees (and extrovert bees as well, however extrovert bees usually don’t have to adapt to this “problem” hence I’m singling out the introvert bees)!
This past weekend, I was at a bridal shower for my SO’s cousin. Obviously, my SO wasn’t invited so I went with his mom. His mom and I get along, and everything is great in that department. However, when I got to the bridal shower, I did not know ANYONE besides my SO’s aunt and their family friend. It was kind of a tough crowd as there were a few cliquey and some snobby girls. I tried to start a conversation with two girls my age sitting across from me, but they answered in two word sentences and left. I felt really really awkward and uncomfortable just sitting there with a bunch of older ladies (I am 30)… and the worst thing? I have three weddings to go to this year for the SO. THREE. Including the one for which the bridal shower was. That means three events where I can either cling to my SO (which I really don’t want to do) or just be super awkward the way I was at this shower.
Hence, fellow introvert bees, how do you deal with this? How do you attempt to mingle at events where you don’t know anyone? Any tips would be greatly appreciated. My first wedding to go to is mid-May, and I don’t want to be 1) clinging to the SO or 2) standing around awkwardly alone.
Not sure if this goes into “emotional,” but I felt that the “how to deal with the awkwardness” scenario is definitely an emotional issue. Plus, I want to reach brides and non-brides alike.
Thanks for the help!
Post # 3
I wish I had some great advice for you but I don’t. I’m a big introvert and would just sit here quietly, maybe talking to my Mother-In-Law. I might try and make some small talk but if I got attitude from anyone I would just sit and smile.
This kind of stuff always comes up for me because my husbands family is super social and I never know anyone. If I’m not attached to his side I just try to act like I’m not super uncomfortable. Good luck!
Post # 4
Okay. So I hate socializing when I am not drinking. I was at the rugby game the other week, and since I wasn’t drinking, I didn’t want to go to the social after the game. I mentioned this to my friend, and she was like, “You just need to go. It will be awkward, and it will not be fun, but then it will be okay. And every time you do it, it’s like practice for the next time.” So I went. And it was awkward a little but it was also okay.
You just have to force yourself to talk to people. And just accept that it’s awkward.
Post # 5
@MrsNewDay: Fellow introvert here.
I’ve been there! When FH and I first started dating, we went to multiple family get togethers (and family on his mom’s side is huge) and he introduced me to everyone and I said hello and then he just….left.
He went to hang out with his cousins, making jokes, laughing, and just having a good time. Me? I sat on a chair in the corner staring at my phone & hating him with all my passion.
Then I got up to get food because, seriously, I would not want to talk to me at that point. As soon as I turned my frown upside down and developed a more welcoming appearance, all of his aunts and uncles started talking to me. Where are you from, what do you do, where did you meet…blablablaaa. That was that.
Ever since then (and it’s been 3 years since I met them) I kind of just come at the situation like I know everyone and they are all super friendly.
The thing is that there is a fine line between trying too hard and being totally anti social. The best thing you can do is appear confident in your own skin (even if you’re not, which is totally ok btw) and also not needy for attention or trying to fit in.
Great things happen when you open up and smile!
Post # 6
I don’t have any good advice, I usually just cling to SO if it is his family or friends things. Or talk briefly to the people I do know and am comfortable with. If I don’t know anyone besides SO and he goes off for a few moments (he usually stays with me except for getting a drink or something) I stand awkwardly by myself.
Post # 7
Talk to the older ladies! Their conversation can surprise you and entertain you. Or if no one will really talk back, just listen. Sometimes listening to other families/groups of friends talk can be kind of like watching a gossipy talk show. That way you still show up and show that you care about the bride-to-be, but you shouldn’t feel obligated to force conversation with anyone.
(you could always throw back a couple of glasses of wine before you show up, too 😉
Post # 8
I’d just wind up talking to the older ladies. Don’t know why, but that’s the situation I find myself in most of the time!
It’s better for me to talk to someone than to stand around by myself… I get too anxious and jittery if I let myself do that.
Post # 9
- Wedding: October 2014 - Restaurant
I am kind of introverted too, and I have to do a lot of family stuff for my SO. I usually find someone else that looks awkward too (younger, my age or older, doesn’t matter) and strike up a conversation.
It can also be fun to help out with the party, volunteer to do something (like games, clean up food, write down gifts, etc) which can keep you occupied.
It also helps not to blame yourself in these types of situations. Lots of people are awkward in crowds and don’t help you out with conversation. And a lot of these family events can be super boring too (my friends and family are more fun and lively than the SO’s and we BOTH agree on that). If I know I am trying and not being antisocial and I’m still not having fun, I chalk it up to the crowd and the party in general, not my personality.
Post # 10
I’ve just accepted that I’m introverted, and that that’s completely OK. I don’t stress about not coming across as awkward, don’t worry what to say to people or how to engage them.
It’s made me a lot more comfortable at social gatherings. If people chat to me, I have conversations with them, if they don’t – I just talk to my Fiance.
What has helped me do this is that the Fiance is perfectly fine with me clinging to him, because it means that I go with him to social gatherings. Howcome this isn’t an option for you? It’s his family after all.
Post # 11
It sucks the girls were bitchy to you. If people my own age weren’t willing to chat with me, I’d move on to the next group of people to talk to. I’d never just sit there silently – that would make me feel even more awkward! Just ask people how they know the bride – that should spark up lots of conversation. Learning small talk is an important life skill and the more you force yourself to do it, the better you get at it and the less awkward it FEELS (most of the awkwardness is something you FEEL as an introvert, not actual awkwardness from what you are doing/saying).
The first wedding I went to with Darling Husband that was someone in his family, I just got up after a drink or two and started dancing with all his female cousins – we had a BLAST and it was a good way to break the ice for future gatherings. I kind of became “one of them” when I took the initiative to do that.
Sometimes you just have to put your big girl panties on and put yourself out there. It’s honestly the only way to get over being a super introvert.
Post # 12
@peachacid: Your friend makes a good point. I will definitely take that into consideration. Thanks!
@Birdee106: It’s funny b/c my SO’s mom is actually quiet as well and an introvert – his dad is the talkative one. I just want to be able to talk to more than 2 people at an event, you know?
@Mimoza: Yes! I guess smiling / being confident works if you don’t have an audience of snobs. 🙂 Again, yes, I don’t want to be “that girl” who texts/is on her phone the whole time. Gravitating towards the booze/food is always the best idea – I find that I have way more to talk about than the standard small talk when at the food / booze stand.
Post # 13
@Jacqui90: The weddings will be easier than the shower b/c I will have my SO to cling to. I just can’t be with him 24/7.
@winstonchurchill: I love the wine idea. I will definitely try that for the mid-May wedding. 🙂 Enough to get you tipsy, happy and less awkward – not enough to get completely wasted. And yes, I have to say the older ladies are entertaining.
@CakeyP: Yes, that’s what I did at the shower – sat with the bf’s mom and the fellow older ladies. Looking back, it really wasn’t that awkward. I mean, his mom is who I knew and who I came with. The bride I only met twice as well as her mom (my bf’s aunt) and they were busy, so I couldn’t really interact with them. I mean, who else could I talk to at some a quick 3 hour event with scheduled games and gift-opening? Thanks for not making me feel alone!
Post # 14
@lucygirl1: Great advice! I will definitely pay more attention next time and see if anyone else doesn’t know anyone and start up convo.
Kudos on the volunteering idea too. I am always looking at the “volunteers” at these events, and I’m like, “Dammit, they don’t have to stand around making small talk!”
@Idunn: Well, in the bridal shower case, he wasn’t there! I couldn’t cling to him as he wasn’t there! 🙂 I guess it’s a pride issue – I want my bf to be able to see that I can hold my own in such settings. He’s amazed by my abilities professionally – for some reason I am NOT an introvert when it comes to business/professional settings/job intervews/business networking/etc.. I just have issues in strictly social situations for some reason.
@MrsWBS: Lol, that IS what I asked the two girls as that’s pretty much standard small-talk. I got two words out of htem and left, but you are right, I should have just moved on. My confidence was sort of diminished b/c I got an allergic reaction on my face a few days ago, and my undereye area was all puffy and weird. I didn’t feel 100%. I’m losing weight and will have healed by the first wedding so I will have the confidence to get out there more then.
Thank you all for your help thus far! I’m open to more ideas as well.
Post # 15
Unfortunately, I don’t have any real advice since I am the “cling to who I know” type. It’s actually the standard in SO’s mother’s side of the family, since they’re a fairly large family and can be intimidating, with only a few exceptions. I have found myself lately chatting more with one of his cousin’s GFs, since she’s also sort of introverted. On his other side, all of the females are mothers or grandmothers and tend to always talk about issues related to raising children, so I am pretty much forced to sit by myself if the men are in the other room praying (Orthodox family members).
If I were in your shoes though, I would probably just talk with the older women at the bridal showers, though.
Post # 16
@MrsNewDay: Socially awkward introvert here. I would have done exactly what you did: try to make small talk, and if they werent receptive, stop trying. I’m not going to be people to speak to me.
Went to a shower recently were there were lots of gals my own age and very few older women. The younger gals didnt want to talk to me, so I just socialized with the “adult” crowd 🙂