Do you ever have to go to a party? I mean, most people seem to love these events. Dancing, loud beats, giggling with friends, and eating appetizers – all of these sounds appealing.
Unless of course, you do not like partying. Then the lights hurt your eyes, the beats vibrate through your body uncomfortably, and the groups of people seem impossible to break into and join. That is how I usually view parties.
However, tonight is the big theater party. Everyone is so thrilled. I, on the other hand, want to stay in bed and read or something of that sort. Being with everyone sounds like such a chore. Well, I can bring my book and find a place to hide, right?
Anyway, I will try to make it through this party. Just one evening, right?
Last night, my family and numerous other people set sail on a lovely dinner cruise. The annual fundraiser for the non-profit my dad runs, this evening was filled with food, strangers, and small talk. What most would view as a relaxing evening was a night of high anxiety and dread for me. Although I refused to eat in front of strangers and hid away part of the trip, overall I had a victory simply boarding the boat and attending the event.
Small talk terrifies me more than almost anything else. Ask me a question about literature and I will drone on for hours. Compliment one of my siblings and I can reminisce dozens of old stories. Even come to me with a deep dark problem or moral question and I will enjoy a meaningful discussion. But when attending parties or meeting new people, I am at a loss for words. Is it still proper to talk about the weather or is that a topic of past eras? Should I ask multiple questions to get to know someone or is that prying into their life? How much eye contact am I supposed to make without staring them down? So many unanswered questions race around in my head.
Worse yet, everyone seems to know how to behave except for me. Feeling lonely and discouraged, I just want to skip each social event and hide under a blanket in my room. However, that also is a miserable way to spend one’s whole life. Thus, I have made up a list of ways to do small talk effectively.