Adulthood can be lonely; social anxiety can often times be a big factor the older you get. Social Anxiety can range in degree from general nervousness displayed through ticks and aversion to social settings; or it can manifest as full on panic attacks that can mimic stroke and other health conditions.
There are countless instances that find adults, young to middle aged, suddenly needing to strike out into public alone. The list varies from breakups, to divorce, to relocation, or even just making the all too familiar transition of shedding toxic, childhood friends. Often times, this leaves newly single the task of going it alone. Unfortunately, the idea isn't as simple as it seems. Adjusting to sudden solo social interaction can be daunting at best, causing many to become hermits. Well, the time of being paralyzed by attending events and functions is over. Here are a few tips I suggest to get you on the path to becoming more daring, and more importantly, calmer when faced in public alone.
1. Plan Ahead
Much anxiety is brought on by unexpected situations. Taking control and planning your night out can empower and enable you to try things you'd never normally do.
2. Think Outside the Box
Living in a big city, it can be easy to fall into the bar scene trap. Activities such as book clubs can be a great way to meet people without all the nervous ticks that mass crowds can bring. Sites, such as Meetup.com, are excellent ways to find tons of people with similar interests.
3. Know Your Limits
It's important not to be pessimistic about going out. A lot of people try to take on too much at once and end up overwhelming themselves. That doesn't mean you should cut off all chances of trying something new, but knowing just how far you're willing to go can help you from drowning or your first excursion out.
4. Be Safe
Above all, being safe should be the utmost concern on your venture. Make sure you let someone know where and when you plan to go. Try to contact someone regularly while you're at the event.This can even be a scapegoat for those moments we realize an event isn't as "wow-derful" as we thought. Be aware of your surroundings, avoid paranoia, but don't flounce around by the seat of your skinny jeans.
Here's a safe, fun event to attend that's different from the standard social anxiety inducing scene. One part networking, one part "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner", BLEND Events offers a contemporary approach to communal gathering. Organizer, Nicole Vasquez, noticed the richness among her colleagues and sought to put together unique events that thrive from the blend of the attendants. Going on their third month, Nicole and the BLEND team are no strangers to forging out into new territory.
Each BLEND event has a total of no more than 10-12 attendants. Each occasion has a theme along with activities and discussions; all the while, you can sample some of the premiere restaurants around the Chicagoland area. Did I mention the 3-course meal as well as unlimited wine and beer? Each event price varies but will usually run you between $40-$50, but well worth the price counting the caliber of eats and other amenities such as small part gifts or full on swag bags.
I got a chance to attend True Chicago: Hidden Gems & Insider Insight. I was pleased to know that despite my "blogger status" I was still a novice to many of the fascinating things left to explore in this City of Big Shoulders and even bigger sites. I enjoyed myself immensely and was pleasantly surprised that any social anxiety I felt by attending alone, quickly melted away.
If you're interested in attending future BLEND events the contact info is below:
The next upcoming event is geared strictly for the ladies!
937 N. Damen, Chicago
Thursday, August 22nd, 2013
Italian Restaurant. Chocolate. Gifts. Laughter. All Things Girly.
And Wine....Lots of it.
All proceeds will be donated to the Chicago non-profit CAWC which provides support for victims of domestic violence, and operates a local shelter for abused women and their children.