Going out and being social can be tough, which is why sometimes (most times) I like to come up with excuses to cancel. There are times, however, when going out is unavoidable. And sometimes, the most stress-inducing of times, you have to go to these events alone. I have been in this situation a various amount of times, which is why I feel I am qualified enough to create a helpful guide on how to survive these events.
If you are the kind of person who is extroverted, very friendly, and oozes charisma out of every pore of your body, this is not the guide for you. But then again, you are probably not even reading this because you are out with your very many friends having the time of your life. (It is also debatable that anybody at all is reading this blog.) If you are the kind of person who will play eighty rounds of Bejewelled Blitz in bed and realize that you "accidentally" made yourself too late and now you have to cancel your plans, read on.
1. Make sure your phone is fully charged. This will be your lifeline and will help keep you somewhat sane. If you ever start feeling a little anxious because you haven't opened your mouth in fifteen minutes, you can fire a text off to someone letting them know how uncomfortable you are in your situation and then spend the rest of the night checking your phone and waiting for a reply.
2. Listen to some upbeat music on the way to the event. This will help pump you up and make you feel like you can achieve anything. Try to listen to something current and hip; maybe this can be a good conversation starter! Do not listen to the Interstellar soundtrack on loop for days on end and absolutely do not bring this up in conversations - you will only receive confused looks and you will be shunned for being a weirdo.
3. When you arrive, take a couple laps around the space. Make sure you pretend that you are looking for someone - continuously swivel your head and squint your eyes. You will gain the tiniest sliver of hope that perhaps you will run into someone you are slightly acquainted with (you won't), and make it look like you have friends. Don't take too many laps, otherwise people will notice that you have been aimlessly wandering around for twenty minutes and will be concerned that you are just staking out the place to rob it. After covering every nook and cranny twice, settle into a spot by the bar. Check your phone to see if you've received a reply (you haven't).
4. Get a drink at the bar. The alcohol will take the edge off and perhaps make it easier for you to talk to strangers. If you drove, you're out of luck. Go practice your social skills by asking for a water from the bartender. If there is no bar and no food, pretend you are a ghost and leave immediately.
5. Unclench your jaw. I know that this is all a very stressful ordeal, but clenching your jaw will make you look very angry and nobody will want to talk to you.
6. Scan the room and try to make eye contact with other people. Somebody who is extroverted, very friendly, and oozes charisma out of every pore of their body will take notice of your desperate eyes and sweaty face and invite you to join their group to take you out of your misery. Feel your shoulders drop as relief takes over your entire body. Be prepared for a lot of small talk. You will accidentally tell them something way too personal in your attempt to be witty and charming - don't worry about it. This will keep you up for hours upon end when you get home.
If one of these people do not take you under their wing because they are too busy having fun with their real friends, try to spot another person who looks like they are out alone. They too will be scanning the room with panic-stricken eyes or completely engrossed in their phone. Try to pluck up the courage to talk to them. If this gives you too much anxiety, settle on making awkward eye contact with them every six seconds. This will give you the illusion that you had some sort of human contact that night.
You did it! You survived going to an event by yourself. Pat yourself on the back and use this as an excuse to stay in bed for the next two weeks. You earned it.