(Closed) Fellow introverts… How do you deal with the awkwardness in this situation?

posted 9 years ago in Emotional
Post # 17
Member
505 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

Bravo on attempting to speak with the younger girls! Too bad they weren’t very receptive.. I’m not much help because I often do hang around Fiance in these situations, or manage to find someone chatty and interesting if there is anyone there. 

Post # 18
Member
392 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

@MrsNewDay:  As an introvert I have always dealt with these situations in either 2 ways.

If the people are snobbish, I keep to myself and have a grand ole time making fun of them in my head.

If they seem like a reasonable people, I get nervous and crack inappropriate jokes, get embarressed at being so cheesy and then remain quiet for the remainder.

So, wow I was no help at all. I’m sorry. 🙁

Post # 19
Member
78 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: May 2016

@MrsNewDay:  Hehe, yeah I got that he wasn’t at the bridal shower, but my question was why you wouldn’t want to cling to him at the wedding etc.

 

I might be projecting my own feelings here, but it sounds a little like you want him to think that you are someone you’re not – a socially extroverted person in all situations. Why not just accept that you are an introvert in social gatherings, and be as comfortable as you can by mainly hanging around him and the people that you do know? He is already amazed by who you are.

 

Post # 20
Member
321 posts
Helper bee

Fellow introvert here.  This used to be a big problem for me, too.  Although I still end up sometimes being the quiet one at a gathering, it doesn’t usually bother me anymore.  Sometimes, though, I feel like I’m squirming the whole time.  My tricks are to appear unfazed even if I’m alone and happy, with the hopes that someone will approach me.  Looking uncomfortable or unhappy seems to just make people not talk to me.  It also helps to have a drink (as I’ve seen others mention, haha).

The thing that helped me feel less awkward about it (and thus look more comfortable) was when I realized that those who are more easily sociable didn’t even notice if I wasn’t talking to someone at that moment, because they were busy talking.  I wasn’t under some spotlight or anything.  Plus, even the more talkative people tend to have a moment here and there where they aren’t with someone.

Also, just faking it seems to help sometimes.  If I joing a group and act a little excited to see them it is easier for them to include you, and then it is smooth sailing from there.

Taking breaks helps me to ‘recharge’, too, between talking to groups.  I’ve been at parties where the host will have a big stack of books.  Most people know I’m very much into reading and writing, so if I take a few minutes to peruse the titles and authors on their shelves it’s no big deal.  I think as long as I look like I’m doing it because I want to and I’m curious rather than to avoid social contact it’s fine.

Post # 21
Member
3148 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

@DarthBetty:  lol no help but that was cute. 

I’m a very big introvert.  In all honesty i try hard to avoid situations like that because i just hate them. If i have to go i cling to whoever seems to be making small talk i can listen to or participate in. Which sucks because FI’s family loves to play games and I HATE ALL GAMES!! So then i partake, and dont try because i hate playing games so i may as well just lose. 

Anyway, usually his Brother-In-Law and Father-In-Law are easiest for me to converse with so i tend to be around them. In that situation, i would have clung to Mother-In-Law and tried to meet people through her. 

Oh god i would have been awkward as hell. MEH. 

Post # 22
Member
2203 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

I’m not an introvert, but I also am not fond of being in a room full of people who all know each other and I don’t know anyone. I’d either a) sit quietly and just not speak unless spoken to or b) send gifts to showers but not go. I;m a busy girl, I don’t want to spend hours out of my day awkwardly socializing when I can just send a gift. 

Post # 23
Member
321 posts
Helper bee

@Idunn:  “Why not just accept that you are an introvert in social gatherings, and be as comfortable as you can by mainly hanging around him and the people that you do know? He is already amazed by who you are.” +1

 

There is nothing wrong with being introverted.  It’s easier for me to go into these situations knowing that I may at times be the listener/observer and that it’s okay.  Although I’m always receptive to it, I don’t always feel the need to talk to someone.  Why should anyone else care if I’m content being the observer/listener from time to time?

ETA: Plus, if I’m content not talking to someone at the gathering, I get the added bonus of not looking awkward.  I think looking awkward is much worse.

 

Post # 24
Member
28 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: September 2013

This is definitely me. I am a therapist, so I literally talk to people all day long. But socially, I am very introverted and anxious. I think it’s about accepting yourself for who you are. I don’t worry about people thinking I’m weird, or trying to talk to people if I am not feeling talkative. If someone talks to me, great, if they don’t, thats fine too. Actually, sometimes I prefer when people don’t talk to me, because it takes quite a bit of effort for me to talk to someone I am not comfortable with and appear comfortable. Most likely, 98% of the people there won’t even notice if you aren’t chatty. As long as you are friendly when people talk to you, I think you are fine. And the more events you go to, the more comfortable you will be. Just don’t overthink it!

Post # 25
Member
625 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

I used to be the world’s biggest introvert. Uber shy and could not even call and order a pizza.. had to get someone else to call for me.

I’m pretty much the opposite now. I still like to be on my own sometimes but I have come out of my shell and with a little effort I can socialize with the best of them.

One trick that I use all the time is asking questions. People love to talk about themselves. Give them the opportunity by peppering them with about a half dozen questions and give them the chance to open up. Questions like ‘how do you know the bride?’, ‘where are you from?’, ‘what do you do?’, ‘how did you meet your husband/fiance/bf?’. I find most women love telling stories and given the opportunity it’s a great way to start a conversation! 

Another easy one is find someone else that is sitting alone and sit by them and chat them up. It’s much easier to start a conversation one on one than in a group of people already talking. 

If you know one or two people there, ask them to make introductions! That can help open the door and find you someone that you may have something in common with.

Good luck 🙂 I know it’s hard and totally sucks but with some work you can do it!

Post # 26
Member
68 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: July 2012

I agree with PPs that it’s important to accept your introversion, because there’s nothing wrong with it even though others make you feel like there is. But weddings are long and you might get a bit bored.

One thing I’ve tried is to sort of study my husband, who has an exceptional gift of gab. I noticed that one way he gets conversations going is by asking questions about anything until he hits something that the other person is really interested in, and hones in on that topic. People love talking about their passions and will go on and on if you seem engaged in it. And listening to them makes you likable.

It’s nice to practice a little strategy for when you really want to start a conversation, but don’t feel pressured to start one just because you’re worried about people’s perceptions of you. Anxiety makes you feel like people are watching and judging you way more than they are. Good luck!

Post # 27
Member
138 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

I’m an introvert too and can relate, sounds like you made the best of a tough situation by speaking with the older ladies – which is totally ok since that’s who you came with/good bonding time with Mother-In-Law. Agree with PP on several things:

1. This sounds terribel but if you’ve identified a crowd that isn’t welcoming, AVOID future situations where you’re stuck with them without your fiance or an “anchor” you’re really comfortable with – people will understand if you have another commitment (i.e. can’t come) and send a lovely card/gift and perhaps offer to take the bride to lunch 1 on 1.  Hopefully there isn’t an expectation that you attend ALL of his family’s events?  Life’s too short to waste an afternoon in unwelcoming/bad company 🙂

2. Ask questions – small talk can be fun when you open with questions “how do you know the bride?  where in town do you live?  Have you played this game before? Can you believe the weather we’re having?” etc are all good openers to other topics

3. Give compliments – complimenting the decor, the theme, some small aspect of another person’s outfit also helps to break the ice at time

4. Help out – seek out the host and offer to give a hand or see if she needs anything…being busy always helps me feel less awkward and gives you a reason to interact with people you don’t know as well

Post # 28
Member
201 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2015

@MrsNewDay:  heh I can totally relate. I have to attend these functions a lot as my Fiance has a large European family. I will chit chat and make small talk, but if I feel really uncomfortable, Ill go browse reddit in the salon area. Ive also brought novels to these occasions. I am polite to  folks, but I definitely cannot do the whole room full of strangers thing for a long period of time.

Post # 29
Member
299 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

I’m an introvert, but I’m the outgoing version. I have found that the following three things work for me:

1.) I have a few questions to ask anyone (regardless of age) and rely on, “Tell me more,” if their answers are brief. If they obviously don’t want to talk I move on to the same conversation with someone else.

2.) As an introvert I can happily sit with a glass of wine, half listening to someone else’s conversation, and smile and nod without being too involved in general.

3.) I offer to help the hostess with something, thereby keeping myself busy and possibly creating camaradie with other helpers.

Post # 30
Member
10286 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2015

I can relate. My brain is no good at small talk, I find it torture. So, I have to plan in advance. I usually make up there questions or topics that are safe and appropriate for the crowd, that I can use as conversation starters. Other good ones are noticing a pretty piece of jewelry or whatever and passing in a compliment so long as its genuine. 

as for the younger girls ignoring you, the older women are just as interesting if not more so, so get to know a few of them. 

Personally, I hate going to showers anD parties. Btwn once I am there, I usually meet a few cool people and am reasonably glad I went. Then I rush home to finish my book:-) 

Post # 31
Member
1263 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2012

Major introvert here! I didn’t read through every response, so not sure if anyone said this but…

I usually talk to the older people – not only do they often have some great stories, they usually don’t have as many people wanting to talk to them, so only need very minimal encouragement (nods, smiles, occasionally exclaiming at how amazing they are). All the young people tend to clump together and talk, so the older people are often on the fringes. Plus, people usually take the older folks’ opinions seriously, so if you go to your cousin-in-law’s wedding and make a good impression on great-aunt Mildred, then that will usually filter down to the rest of the family too.

Failing that, I usually chat with people about what I know we have in common (“So how do you know the bride?” or “I’m here with Fiance, but he seems to have abandoned me.”), then drop in stuff about work, hobbies, whatever. I spent ages at a recent wedding chatting to a guy who bred dogs, simply because I mentioned we had just gotten a puppy. It was great, we both got along like a house on fire and really enjoyed chatting to each other.

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