Is it worth it to learn to socialize this way?
January 17, 2013 2:53 PM Subscribe
For various reasons, I've never been entirely comfortable with a very common type of social event -- I'd characterize it as meeting in loud spaces in the evening with strangers around alcohol. In college, they were frat parties. In business school, it's been beer blasts. In professional life, it's been bars and happy hours.
These social events are so common that I haven't been able to avoid them entirely, and I realize to some extent attending them is important because they're so common -- this is how many people meet mates, job prospects, connections. Is it worth it to force myself to get better at enjoying them, or am I completely justified in avoiding them as much as I can?
(personal details follow)
posted by Borborygmus to human relations (27 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
I'm quite a few years out of college, but have returned to business school, where there's a lot of socializing that takes place in this way. That scene has never been my thing, even when I was in college.
I'm not an avid drinker. I'm a bit of a health nut, and would prefer to get up early to exercise. I'm also pretty small, physically, so I find it hard to make an impression in those loud, crowded places. I'm not big enough to claim my space and command crowds, and I tire out trying to shout over the music. Otherwise, I'm pretty sociable. I can make an impression in smaller, quieter environments like dinner parties and meet-and-greets.
I know we often have to do things we're uncomfortable with to grow, but is it worth it to continue to subject myself to these events? I know there are other types of social events, but loud parties seem to cast the widest net, and I might not be able to avoid it one day, so maybe I should get better at it.
On the other hand, is it futile to try? I'm not going to get any bigger or louder to conform to these spaces, nor give up my health obsessions for a questionable return.
Has anyone been in my shoes? Given the demographics of Metafilter, I expect most people will suggest that I spend my time elsewhere, but I'm especially interested in anyone who's tried and succeeded.