How To Handle Social Events Better
Dear Selfless Esteem,
How do I handle the constant social events I have to go to? I don’t enjoy them but feel I need to make appearances. And when I do, I feel like I have to act a certain way and be someone I am not. It really makes me weary and I dread going to all of them.
Thanks for expressing what a lot of people feel to some degree, especially since I think our social muscles are out of shape after the pandemic. Your honesty is refreshing. 👍
Let’s look at the components of your letter:
- There are constant social events you have to go to because you feel you need to make appearances.
- You don’t enjoy the social events and you dread going to all of them.
- Social events make you weary.
- You feel like you have to act a certain way and be someone you’re not.
Now let’s address each part.
Constant Social Events
You stated there are constant social events. Are you sure you have to attend all of them? If you haven’t done so already, ask God to help you discern if there is at least one you can decline graciously. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths” (Proverbs 3:5-6).
After this process of elimination, of course there will still be ones you should attend to make an appearance. Please read on for tips on how to handle them, and see the related post, “Yes, You Can Stop Feeling Insecure! Here’s How.”
Before the Social Event
You stated you dread going to them. Is there anything, even a tiny thing, you can look forward to? Could you invite someone to go with you, whose company you’re sure to enjoy? Or maybe there’s something you can anticipate sharing with others, such as a story, joke, idea, or one of your favorite dishes.
What about that Parsley Pecorino Sausage recipe you’ve always wanted to try? Now you have a bunch of “guinea pigs” to try it on;).
Whether or not that’s an option, remember every attendee at the social event is a unique individual. Make a quest to discover something interesting about someone.
During the Social Event
You stated you don’t enjoy social events. You may not enjoy them in their entirety, but I challenge you to find at least one enjoyable thing while you’re there and relish it. The following are possible examples:
- Delicious food
- Seeing smiling faces
- Sitting still (a break from endless errands and chores)
- Beautiful weather
- Wearing something fun or new
After the Social Event
As you depart from the event, reflect on the highlights. Did you learn something new? Did you make new friends and/or reconnect with old ones? Did they devour the Parsley Pecorino Sausage? (¬‿¬) An attitude of gratitude will reduce the feeling of “dread” toward the next event.
Socializing = Draining
You stated social events make you weary. I’m not going to assume you’re more introverted because everyone needs a break eventually; socializing requires mental effort.
On top of that, there are certain people, who drain our energy. To explain further, I believe that the individual energy of two people balances during their interaction. Thus, someone with lower energy than you will cause your energy level to drop after a while.
For this reason, it’s important to spend time in the presence of God on a regular basis. He is the source of all energy and love (Acts 17:25; 1 John 4:8). For more details about focusing on God, see the posts “Why Selfless Esteem Is Better Than Self Esteem,” “The Real Truth About God,” and “How To Pray in 5 Simple Steps.”
And be sure to take a Sabbath day of rest each week (Exodus 20:8-11) with at least part of it being sedentary activity, such as reading or taking a nap.
Social Is As Social Does
You said you feel like you have to act a certain way and be someone you’re not. Do you mean acting like a social person when you feel like your social skills are a bit rusty? “Fake it till you make it” might apply in that case. If not, find a competent therapist in order to discuss the discrepancy and practice expressing yourself.
I close with a video for your entertainment because your feelings are relatable. Thanks again! 👊
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New King James Version®. Copyright © 1984 by Thomas Nelson Publishers, Nashville, TN. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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