How to behave really awkward at an event

If getting out of your comfort zone is part of your (Lunar) New Year’s resolutions, then you only need to follow this guide. You can only enjoy the good times more, if sometimes you have a swift experience of pure, unadulterated awkwardness. Let me show you how.

  1. You let yourself easily be convinced to attend a certain event. Even better if it is paid so you will not want to skip on it. Even better if it is on a topic you like, but you know there is a readon you normally do not attend these things. The community aspect is not what attracts you, but you can always try right?
  2. Follow the build-up to the eventintensely so you can imagine how you will be liking it once it happens. Realise this is not your thing but the pain of your hard-earned money just wasted hurts even more. Try to stay optimistic, you often have situations where low expectations generate the best results.
  3. Make sure you are pretty tired and/or have any other physical inconveniences that are not bad enough to deter you from attending. A runny nose, or some muscle ache always helps. Perhaps the weather helps and it is cold or wet outside so it makes you not want to go nor leave.
  4. Hang out with some nice people on forehand. Ideally get invited to a hangout session by your friends or some confirmed nice people but decline it for the unknown, quite reliably less entertaining option.
  5. Create a moment of introspection by eating alone or grabbing a drink to gather some confidence. Do this near the venue, thinking you could get a sneak peek at the event, but in reality nothing will be visible.
  6. Park your bike in front of the venue and struggle with your bike lock. Wonder if this is a sign you should not go but persist because you are a well-functioning adult.
  7. You enter and exchange a few words but you already see the people at the entrance are busy and know each other. You try to see where the event is happening, but they tell you it is all the way in the back. You buckle up (figuratively) and go for it.
  8. Once in the back you realise literally nobody is known to you. You try to match some people you see to faces you have seen in online posts and photos. The one person who you would recognise is also not seen.
  9. You decide to go the toilet as an escape. But after walking 3 rounds, there is no toilet to be seen. You try to see again if you recognise somebody and walk around again thinking you know someone. It is not the case so you walk back, stand on the side and look at your phone as a substitute.
  10. Walking around you seemed quite confused apparently because somebody approaches and asks you “Are you okay?” It makes your skin crawl a little, but you ask for the toilet and are politely pointed where to go to.
  11. On the toilet you hear voices from people who are going to the same event but have signed up together. You are not sure what you will be doing, but it has only been a few minutes. You inhale, exhale and go out again.
  12. You try to get a free drink, because that is one of the few tangible things you can get out of the event. The bar is busy but also weirdly ignorant of their customers. You commiserate with someone else in the line but his turn comes up earlier than yours and you just wait and get ignored for a while by the staff.
  13. After you finally get your drink, you look around if there are people striking a conversation that clearly shows they do not know each other. You latch onto a person who is semi-interested in what you do, but also do not feel a real connection in the topics you discuss and the conversation as a whole.
  14. The one person you recognise at the event suddenly turns up and you exchange a few words. The person you were talking with leaves, but also your new conversation partner is hauled away to take a photo. You decide to get your second drink to make sure that is at least ticked off. You are being ignored again and it seems people behind you are whispering about how long you had to wait.
  15. Checking the program for the fifth time, you see the performance should already have taken place, but decide to wait it out just to get a good idea of how uncomfortable it is to not have someone to talk to. You think it is quite a funny paradox how this is a community event, but you feel like such an outsider especially with so many similar people around you.
  16. You get your phone out again and someone points out you dropped something. you try to make this a conversation starter but fail. You try to listen in on some other conversations, but cannot really follow anything and just try to read something on your phone
  17. People are clearly starting to prepare the room for the performance and you help with moving chairs to have something to do.
  18. The performance finally takes place and it is cute but also a little bit lackluster. You decide it has been long enough that you can go to the toilet again. You spend some time there and then decide it is fine for you to go. You slip past the entrance people and deeply inhale and exhale once you are outside.
  19. You struggle with your bike lock again and fear you may not be able to get home quickly. But fate is friendly after this evening and lets you go.
  20. While reflecting on the event, you decide to write something about the whole thing so it was not entirely useless. You have faith if any event happens again it will be better since you should know some people by then. And you try to convince yourself of the value this experience brought to you.

It may seem like a daunting list of things to do, but the end result is guaranteed. Happy New Year everyone!

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