Whether you're an introvert or an extrovert, we all have those days where we don't want to be sociable, but we're thrown into a social situation. Surviving those moments when you're thrown to the wolves is tough -- but if you can figure out why you don't feel like socialising, it's possible to overcome that feeling.
Title photo by Barret Anspach.
Not wanting to socialise has many causes, and countering them is the only way to survive the experience. To that end, let's look at a few reasons why you might not be in the mood to hit up a social event, and deal with them accordingly.
You're Tired And Don't Feel Up To It
From my own perspective, "being tired and not feeling up to it" are the two most commons reasons why I don't like to go out, and it's easily the most frequent thing I hear from friends. Sometimes you don't have a choice though, and you have to get out and socialise regardless.
In this case, the trick is in forcing yourself to wake up a little in hopes that you'll be up to socialise when you're awake. As ridiculous as it sounds, a short bout of exercise is a simple way to get a little energy and a quick walk around the block might restore your energy.
Caffeine, of course, does the trick, but has its share of downsides. If you don't want to resort to caffeine, it might be best to hit your body's other fuel source: food. As WebMD points out, certain complex carbs found in whole-grain foods are a great way to get a quick energy boost when you need it. Often, you just need to get a little extra fuel in your system and you'll be good to walk into any social situation with your head high and your brain tuned for conversation. Photo by Andy.
There Will Be People There You Don't Like
So, your main cause for concern is that your arch-enemy is going to be there. It's OK, we've all been there, and it's a perfectly reasonable excuse not to go somewhere. But you don't have to let it stop you being sociable.
The easiest way around this is to try and time your entrance or exit so you don't actually run into the people you don't like, but that's not always a possibility. Sometimes you have to face up to them.
In most cases, running into someone at a social function who you don't like is no different than working with someone you don't like. As we've discussed before, you may have to dig deep and figure out why you don't like a person. Perhaps, once you figure out the why, you can move on and have a perfectly good time.
Of course, that's not always the case. Sometimes you just don't like people. If it's a big problem, it might be time to step up and tell someone you don't like them. It's not an easy task, and half the battle is preparing yourself to deal with the conversation. Just remember, we all have people in our lives we don't like -- before you go confronting someone ask yourself: "What's my objective in telling someone I don't like them?" If you don't have a good reason, it's probably best to just avoid them. Photo by Deborah Austin.
You Hate Small Talk
The majority of people out there don't like small talk, but we all do it. Thankfully, you have lots of tactics to make small talk bearable.
One of the best ways to deal with small talk is to turn it into an actual conversation. You can do this pretty easily by mentioning small details until something sticks, or even just by learning the right questions to ask. If you're struggling to think of questions, the FORD technique (family, occupation, recreation, dreams) is a simple way to come up with interesting topics.
Once you find that question, it's time to listen. One thing I've learned over the years from being horribly awkward at small talk is that people love to talk about themselves, and the more you allow them to do so, the more they'll like you. The trick, in this case, is all about finding that middle ground where you're both interested in something, and then just letting them talk about it while listening intently. Not only do you walk away with a whole new perspective of the world, you also potentially make a new friend with a common interest. Photo by Dirk Baranek.
You're Stressed Out Or Preoccupied With Something Else
Stress can wreak havoc on your body, and if you're stressed, going out and socialising is likely the last thing you want to do.
How you deal with stress depends on its source. The best ways to deal with acute stress are to relax, give yourself some time, and talk it out with those around you. If you're stressed about the social obligation itself, it's not a bad idea to change your expectations, try and stop stress before it starts, and remember that sometimes the best way to deal with it is to do something unusual. Perhaps being sociable is exactly what you need. Photo by artethgray.
Some people just plain don't like socialising, and that's totally fine. But on those occasions when you're forced out (or you force yourself out), knowing the reasons why you don't want to socialise, and tackling them ahead of time, can help make the experience much more enjoyable.