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Author Topic: Social Problem
SandyBeachGirl
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I have been invited to a pool party with like 25 other people. I really do not want to go. But the person who invited me is really close to me...she's related to me...

Anyway, I am not a real social person, and I dread this party. It's like I'd rather cut off a limb than go to this party. I do not make friends easily. And everyone who's going, I'm not friends with, nor really know them that well. I dread her party, when I know it should be a happy time. I'm also self-consious about my body, since it's a pool party.

I have told her that I have this social phobia thing and she's like, "Oh it's OK, you can still come." And insists me on going. Since she's really social and her friends are really 'out there' I feel extremely weird because I'm the type of person that just 'keeps to myself.' I've tried telling her, but she just refuses to actually listen or understand where I'm coming from.

My question is, how can I feel better about going to my sister-in-law's pool party? Thanks for your help!


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LilBlueSmurf
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Can you bring a guest? Maybe you'd feel better if you had someone you were close to. You can try viewing it w/ a positive attitude ... Sure there's people there that you don't know, but that just means you have more opportunities to make new friends.

Other than that ... You really don't HAVE to go to this party if you don't want to. It sounds like more trouble than its worth. If you're really and truely not comfortable going to this party, your sister in law will just have to accept that. She'll get over it ... And the party will still go on


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SandyBeachGirl
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Thanks for commenting.

But the thing is, I really can't make friends that well. I'm not the type of person who just chats up a storm and has a 'good 'ol time.' And I thought about bringing a guest, but my sister-in-law will just not understand me or see my point, when I've talked to her about that type of situation before, she really doesn't get where I'm coming from, since she's social, and I'm not.

I kind of feel obligated to go to the party because, she's my sister-in-law. I always see her and when I do, I don't want to shame away for how I rejected to come to her party. Anyway, thanks for commenting.

[This message has been edited by SandyBeachGirl (edited 03-06-2005).]


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LilBlueSmurf
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So you're obligated to go to your sister in laws party, but she doesn't feel obligated to let you bring someone else or listen to your reasons about why youre uncomfortable going ...? Something seems wrong there.

Have you actually talked to her? Are you just assuming she wouldn't understand?

You could lay it out like this ... You really would like to bring someone, and if that's not okay, then you're just not comfortable coming. Compromise.


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SandyBeachGirl
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No, I have talked to her. ANother situation popped up somewhat like this a few months ago. She didn't listen to my side. It's very hard to explain.

I just don't want to dissappoint her in me not going just because of my social issue.


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spinnersis
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Did you actually ask her about bringing a guest? I could see her nixing a guest if it was a formal dinner or something, but a pool party? It doesn't seem like it should be a big deal at all. You don't have to make it a big deal when you ask her either, just say, "I don't know any of the people at this party, so would it be cool if I brought so-and-so?"

If that really is an issue, maybe you could have your brother (I'm assuming that your sister-in-law is married to your brother) talk to her. Does he know about your social phobia? Would he be willing to intercede on your behalf?

I really think it sounds like you're stressing out much more than you need to over this. My mom got married last summer to a guy she's been dating for about three years. He is part of a huge extremely close-knit family. They're a clan really. And back a couple years ago when things between my mom and step-dad were getting serious my brother and I started getting invited to their family functions. That was intimidating enough, but I was pretty shy back then. I spent a lot of evenings just sitting and listening to them interact. Usually they'd talk to me or invite me to play a game with them and as I got to know them all better I got more confidant about these functions. First I had to remember all their names, I have five step-aunts and all their names begin with K. But they're a really fun group of people and now that I'm comfortable around them, I'd usually rather go to one of their family gatherings over my mom's side family gatherings.

If you really feel like going to this party is something you want to do for your sister in law (note: want, there is no reason to feel obligated to go, your sister in law will not likely feel rejected or dissapointed in you if you don't go) then go. You don't have to talk to anybody, just sit somewhere warm with a cool drink, enjoy the pool and the food. If they really are an outgoing crowd they'll probably talk to you without you having to make the first move. If they aren't outgoing they'll probably just leave you alone.

Try and relax, that's what this whole function is about. Don't worry about the socializing. Bring a book to read, or a sketch pad, or knitting or something like that. Then you can sit quietly and do that if you start to feel overwhelmed. It may be an avenue for conversation too. If it's something you enjoy and like to talk about and someone asks you about it, it may be a less threatening way to start talking to someone. I hope some of this is helpful, good luck.

-Anna

------------------
The enemy is the tyranny of the dull mind. -Tom Robbins, Even Cowgirl's Get the Blues


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misslane
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is it your first time going to a party with this crowd? do you know anyone else besides your sister-in-law and brother? i agree with spinnersis that if your sister-in-law isn't bing understanding then you should talk to your brother. if you really don't want to go you can always say 'oh something came up' or call the day of "im sorry but im feeling under the weather, and i dont think i can make it."

if you decied to go, but dont want to be seen in a bathing suit, you can just 'forget' to grab it at home.

i know that sometimes you can really dread these things but they can turn out to be fun:

the first time i went to my boyfriend's brother's and sister-in-law's for a party i was a wreck. i only knew the three of them. his brother is 7 years older then he is, so while we are still in high school they had all graduated from college and had careers. after about an hour of getting there other people there came up to my boyfriend and i and started talking. after the first uncomphortalbe hour it became injoyable. no we tend to go there for a party every month or so, and i know almost all of them. the first time is always the hardest, but now i look forward to going over there.


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SandyBeachGirl
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Thanks for replying! I'm atcually starting to feel a bit better...

With the guest thing, I am just assuming she'd would think it to be awkward. During her engagement party, I asked to bring a friend and she and her sister were just, I don't know how to say it, they showed an awkward silence and kind of rolled their eyes? I got the emtion, but I was able to bring a friend.

This isn't my first time going to a big social event, but it is my first time with their crowd of people. I am OK with her sister-in-law, but not sure about the people invited. True, the anticipation of the event is much worse, so maybe I'm sweating over nothing...

Anyway, thank you for all of ya'lls comments!


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gloworm
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is your sister-in-law older than you? i'm assuming she is. sometimes i think that adults forget how awkward these types of social situations can be for younger people. i'm 24 and i still feel uncomfortable going to events with my parents where i don't know many people. even though i'm technically an adult, i still feel awkward sometimes around my parents' friends because they are so much older than me and have families and careers and such and i'm just getting out of college and trying to figure out what i'm going to do with my life.

i don't think it's unreasonable in the least to ask your sister in law and/or brother if you could bring a friend with you to the pool party. i would hope that they would want you, as a guest at their party, to feel comfortable and have fun. clearly, you feel shy around their friends and would be more comfortable if you had someone you could talk to and relax with. your sister in law seems like a really social person so it may be really difficult for her to understand why you feel the way you do. but that certainly does not make your feelings any less important or valid.

so i agree with Smurf-- ask her if you can bring a friend so you will have someone you feel comfortable talking to there. if she says no, then tell her you won't feel comfortable at her party and would rather not attend. i'm thinking she will just say that's fine since it really shouldn't be a big deal for one extra person to come to a pool party, especially if it will make you feel more relaxed and comfortable.

and if that doesn't work out, you could always show up for a little while and then tell her that you have to leave early because you somewhere else to be.


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