If you suffer from social anxiety, the thought of attending a party can be a nightmare scenario. So many people and you probably only know a small percentage of them. All talking louder and louder until they're shouting just to be heard and seen over the other people around them. It can be incredibly daunting, even if you usually can handle these situations.
I've paired up with costume company "Disguises" to put together a guide on how to attend those events you just can't miss.
1. Armour UpIf the goal is to fit in, become anonymous. Nothing will make you stand out more than misreading the vibe of the party. Is it a jeans and chill kinda thing. Should I wear heels? Is it a themed costume party?? A dress up party is ideal for people who suffer from social anxiety because hiding behind a mask can put a physical barrier between you and the rest of the crowd. Roll your eyes in peace behind the safety of your creepy Yoda mask. Check out costume retailers like Disguises and get yourself something rad but also comfortable. The key is to blend in. Don't chuck a Bridget Jones.
2. Take Back UpDo you really want to go to a party where you don't know anyone? Well apart from the host which I'm just guessing you know. They'll likely be too busy hosting to keep you cool and collected. Stick with your friends, or maybe the host has a pet dog that you can go sit in the yard and pet. That's the best backup if I have ever seen one. As a last resort, take a plus one. That means they probably won't know anyone else either, so they'll only have you to talk to also! While you pet the cat.
3. Know Your LimitsYou know when you've seen reached your limits. You showed up, and if the host really knows you, then they should truly appreciate what a feat that was. If they don't then screw them, why did you even come to this crappy party?? If you're not quite ready to leave yet, take a breather, in the bathroom alone or in the backyard hugging a fluffy pup. If you're not loving the situation you're in, move somewhere else.
4. Have An Exit StrategyIt's best to prep in advance that you can't stay long, for whatever reason. Which makes it all the easier when you have to leave. Especially if you've already given an excuse. No need to come up with one on the spot. Plus your excuse can just as easily be put aside if you find you’re doing okay and want to stay.
I find saying goodbye at a house party seriously awkward. Do you want people to make a fuss if you're leaving? What if they make no fuss at all, what if they don't even care? What if they make a judgey comment about you leaving? If there is enough people at an event, I mostly just leave without saying anything. Make up some reason about it later. Once you get outta there. No reason you should stick around waiting for a good window to announce your goodbye.
Anxiety can be a bitch but you can try your hardest to have it under an ounce of control. I know it's dumb but sometimes there's events that you're just kinda expected to be at. Be it with friends or family. Sometimes you actually want to go, just sitting home watching an entire series on Netflix looks more enticing. Honestly though that will always look more enticing.
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