As a single girl with a wide circle of friends, I find myself with invitations to a myriad of events, parties, and Girl’s Nights Out on a fairly regular basis. I’ve never been categorized as “shy” by any means, but I have to admit, facing down an invite to a big event with very little detail provided as to the who/what/where of the goings-on can be a little unnerving.
So how does an Indie Chick approach the event with all the kick-ass confidence she can muster? By following a few simple steps below, you can tuck a little of the anxiety away and be prepared to have a good time whether it’s a simple backyard barbecue you are heading off to or a black tie, celebrity-filled charity event.
Do Your Homework
By finding out as much as you can about the event, the venue, and the people expected to attend, you can get a feel for what type of event you can expect, the appropriate angle to take with your wardrobe selection, and who you should be prepared to run into while you are there. Sometimes just having a little bit of knowledge on your side can help calm your fears about being over/underdressed, not bringing a gift/donation if expected, and being mentally prepared if the odds of running into your ex’s new girlfriend are fairly high.
It’s about eliminating as many variables as you can to make your time there as stress-free as possible.
Give Yourself Options
Knowing you have options is key to keeping event anxiety in check. If you are attending an event with a friend that tends to drink too much or is likely to leave you hanging at some point, offer to drive separately or just meet her there. Nothing is worse than ending up stranded at an event full of strangers or at a place you don’t feel safe at. At the very least, have a plan B lined up like another friend that you can count on to be on call to come get you or a have a taxi service number saved in your phone.
Taking a bag with items that would be logically appropriate to cover pretty much any scenario that your event could throw at you is always a smart choice. Include things like a change of clothes, provisions for an overnight, a swimsuit if the chance of hot-tubbing should arise, or supplies needed for any other type of unexpected opportunity. I’m not talking about a full-blow suitcase here, just a few essential items thrown in a bag that will allow you to handle any contingency that might be presented to you with grace. Nothing is worse than a barbecue turning into an impromptu pool party and you ending up having to squeeze into the hostess’s spare suit that is a size (or two) too small or worse yet, missing out on the fun completely! Be prepared!
At the very least, bring a cute pair of flats to change into if you are starting out in wickedly high heels because let’s face it, even the most seasoned stiletto lover could use a comfortable option to turn to by the end of the night.
The goal with this suggestion is, even if you don’t need to use any of the items you packed, at least you have the peace of mind heading out the door that you are covered regardless of what the day might hold and you can just focus on getting to the event and getting your fun on.
Make Up Your Mind to Have a Good Time
Half of the battle of having a good time at an event you aren’t 100% comfortable at or with people you may not know very well is deciding ahead of time that no matter what, you are going to enjoy yourself. I can’ tell you how many times I have almost talked myself out of attending something I was invited to because I didn’t know all the people that were going to be there or just didn’t know much about what was going on or what to expect. For me, it’s always the “unknowns” that make me doubt that I will have fun because I’m simply not comfortable with “unknowns”.
I also can’t tell you how many times, after doing my homework and being prepared, that I ventured off to the party/event/girl’s night and had an amazingly great time because I had made up my mind ahead of time to just suck it up and put myself out there regardless of my uncertainty. More times than not, the people are more welcoming and fun than I anticipated and I end up meeting some great new friends and having a fantastic time. What a shame it would be if I let my anxiety and uncertainty hold me back from going and having that experience!
Rock It Like You Own It
One of the biggest advantages of walking into an event where very few people know you is that you have a chance to make a great first impression. Being a gracious, courteous guest is key. Thank the host/hostess for the invitation. If they did not directly invite you but you are a friend of a friend, make sure you introduce yourself. Asking if there is anything you can do to assist throughout the night is also appreciated. If the host/hostess assures you it is all under control, let the fun begin!
Walking into a room full of people you don’t know can be a daunting task, doubly so if they all already know each other. It’s time to take a deep breath, put a smile on your face, grab a cocktail, and join the party!
The more people you introduce yourself to, the quicker you will feel comfortable with the setting. If you brought a guest, make sure you also include them in the introductions. Don’t be afraid to join in a game or conversation, or better yet, extend an invitation to someone you don’t know to join in something you are doing. It’s about making connections and finding your comfort level. If you are having a good time and enjoying yourself, people will want to be part of that!
The bottom line is that you are in charge of your own good time. Doing your homework, being prepared, and making up your mind to have a good time before you even walk into an event will give you the confidence and peace of mind you need to rock it like the amazing charming, daringly fun Indie Chick that you are!