In an effort to increase my social circle, gain contacts for my business and get involved in an organization, I went to a social event last night. I arrived somewhat excited as I had been looking forward to going. I left feeling foolish and disappointed in myself.
I’m generally a social person but faced with a large, slightly overcrowded room full of women only was, I admit, daunting. The noise level didn’t help. I signed in and got my name badge then headed over to the raffle table to hand over an apron and a card carrier that I was donating. Whilst I did manage to say a bit about the work (i.e. handcrafted from recycled fabrics), I still felt nervous. And shy! I wheedled my way back through the crowd for a break in the “ladies room” then downstairs to get a drink.
That took ages and when I returned, a few women were trying to speak. From the back of the room it was impossible to hear any of them. So I struck up a conversation with one of the ladies involved in the event who was hanging back in the wings so to speak. She was nice and we discussed future involvement routes. I still felt slightly nervous but talking one-on-one to someone was much better. Easier somehow.
When the speakers finished and the crowd began chatting again, all I could think of was “I have to get out of here!”. I just couldn’t cope with so many people and so much noise. Somewhere inside me there was a fear that a person or people would speak to me and I didn’t like the idea. And so I collected an application, made my excuses and left.
I’m not normally very shy or nervous. Maybe it just wasn’t the right night for me, maybe I wasn’t in the right mood. My daughter had come with me and was lurking about in the shadows. Perhaps I was conscientious of that. Also it was hot in the room and I felt encumbered by my jumper, scarf, bag and the leaflets/magazines I had picked up. The volume in the room didn’t help either. I simply detest having to speak over a crowd to the point I feel I am shouting. In addition, it was late evening and I was tired. I’m not used to being out after my daughter comes home from school – it throws me off a bit.
It would seem all of these factors combined to prohibit me for making the most of the situation. It frustrates me. I know people who would have worked that room and come away with a handful of names and numbers. That’s what I wanted to do!
I suppose there are lessons to be learned, skills to be worked on and experience to be gained. The thing is that despite things not going to my plan, I am glad I went. Perhaps it is the challenge of something new and uncomfortable that attracts me. Whatever, I will be going back next month and to other events in the meantime. I’m not one to give up easily 😉