One of the topics we spoke about on Angel’s Angels (a radio segment you can’t miss – it’s every day 17h10) was about the anxiety that comes when you don’t have a plus-one to take to an event.
So here’s a step-by-step guide on how to be social for your next event or party you have to attend, when you’re solo.
Step 1: Pump yourself up. Pumping yourself up right before an event will help you break that negative self-talk cycle and stop yourself from wanting to cancel last-minute. Play some music while you get ready and imagine you’re going to meet friends. Fake it til you make it.
Step 2: Set goals. Sometimes we panic before an event because we don’t know how things will turn out. We place too much control in the hands of strangers and forget that we can actually control the outcome of our outing. Set your own goals: It can be anything from: I’ll stay until all the speeches are done, or until I’ve met 3 new people.
Step 3: When you arrive, make eye contact with people and stand in the middle of the room. Did even the thought of doing this step freak you out? I get it. While we wish everyone would approach us to start a conversation, this might not happen so easily when you’re far away from everyone in the room. When people are nervous, many of them resort to safety behaviors to reduce their anxiety. Examples of this may be: keeping your eyes glued to your phone, and staying on the outskirts of the room. Although it feels ‘safer,it makes you look unapproachable and closes you off.
Step 4: Find a group of people that seem open to having new company join them / look for the others who look solo. Going to a party or an event can be scary because once you arrive, it seems like everyone knows each other. Try standing next to a group of people who appear to be open to having others join the conversation. (They may be standing slightly apart and occasionally glancing around the room.) Simply stand close by and then in a break of conversation ask: Do you mind if I join you? Then introduce yourself. If you’re looking for the other solo people there, you can start a conversation by saying: “Gosh, I don’t recognize many people here, how about you?”Step 5: Remind yourself that being there alone is a positive. There are upsides to being at an event without a plus-one: you can navigate the room independently, you get to decide who to speak with and for how long, you’re able to leave when you’ve had enough and not have to take care of or check-in with another person.
Bailey’s Hi-5: 5 Steps on how to be social when you’re solo