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Other people's parties

(107 Posts)
Calypso8 Wed 20-Sep-17 07:28:09

I,v never liked other people's parties , I,v always gone and suffered them but now I just don't go . I try and explain to Friends how I feel but they just don't understand and quite simply take affence , the last one I had to go to I worried about for weeks before and on the morning woke with dread in my stomach , I completely and utterly hated it and wanted to go home as soon as I got there , I,m fine with my
own family party's , I know it's me but I just wish ' friends ' would understand, dh doesn't mind them and mostly leaves me to ' socialise' anyone else feel like I do ?

Anya Wed 20-Sep-17 07:33:48

What is it you hate exactly?

Calypso8 Wed 20-Sep-17 07:36:53

I know it's me just feel very uncomfortable and very self conscious ?

MawBroon Wed 20-Sep-17 07:40:11

Oh how I agree!!
I am not anti social, try to overcome shyness and to mingle, chat, take an interest etc etc but I am not really comfortable especially if the majority of other guests seem to know each other.
I have ducked out more than once (and then wonder why I don't have a life!!)
Worst of all were staff parties and even now I am retired I cringe at (and decline) reunion type dinners with former colleagues.
Is it because I am really not comfortable with superficial "small talk"?
But family parties ✔️
Coffee/drinks/a meal with friends✔️
Even my own parties - although since Paws recent illness they will be confined to family do's ✔️
I bet a lot of people feel the same, that "why did I accept the invitation" sinking feeling !!

MissAdventure Wed 20-Sep-17 07:46:23

I don't do any socialising that I don't enjoy any more. Life is just too short, and I can't stand getting dressed up, other peoples music, or alcohol. I never have, really, and I just think I'm old enough now to be able to put my foot down!

polyester57 Wed 20-Sep-17 07:52:19

Oh, I know exactly how you feel. I´ve always hated them, felt closed in, didn´t know how to strike up a conversation, general chit chat feels so trite, nobody really listens to anyone else, they just go off on a tangent, was never good at witty repartee and so on and so on. Nowadays, just don´t do them anymore. I love to see my friends individually and have a really good in-depth talk about what they´ve been doing and usually remember past conversations and am able to ask questions. All my friends and family now know and just accept it. I remember, some years ago, I attended a party for "war brides" (British women who married foreign servicemen) and one of them turned to me and said "I´d really rather not be here. How about you?" I knew exactly. When you are older, you can say exactly what you think and what does it matter, really? In the wider scope of things? At last you can be you.

Lisalou Wed 20-Sep-17 07:59:12

Funny, here I thought I was the weird one out - wonder if the majority of people at a party are all thinking to themselves "wish i hadnt come" and smiling on the outside?

On the other hand, I love having friends over to dinner, or going to their houses, as long as the group is all good friends and is not more than ten or so.

I wonder if it is the crowds for me (don't like crowded shopping centres much either) or just the inanity of the general conversation. The other thing I detest is the hypocrisy of the "have to mingle" thing. Why can't one continue a happy conversation while it lasts?

Anya Wed 20-Sep-17 08:03:07

I agree with much of what's been said so far and I feel we are of an age to say 'thanks, but no thanks' to invitations we don't want to accept without causing offence.

In fact, I don't know many people our age who throw 'parties' any more.

BlueBelle Wed 20-Sep-17 08:03:54

Calypso I totally understand I am a very sociable person but I find parties a real trial always have been very very self conscious and feel awkward I want to be invisible but then I feel left out
Mawboon your sentence " I ve ducked out more than once and then wonder why I don't have a life' really resonates
Even some family parties make me really uncomfortable my son had a big one two years back I didn't know a soul as I don't see my family very often ( overseas) so had nothing really to connect with, nothing in common, they were all way out of my league moneywise .... I couldn't expect to hang around my son's family so tried small talk with the few people who approached me but was so much happier when all but a few people went home and we had coffee around the kitchen table I think my sons family thought I was ill or anti social which I m not at all I can spring up conversations easily on trains and buses and planes and am a good communicator but somehow parties totally intimidate me and I really do struggle .......but then I rarely get asked now and that conversely feels just as bad

downtoearth Wed 20-Sep-17 08:19:00

I dont enjoy large gatherings and we rarely socialise in this way but I enjoy seeing friends individually and chatting .I prefer to observe rather than take part...until someone gives me a glass of wine or two....then its like jekyll and hyde....grin

vampirequeen Wed 20-Sep-17 08:20:56

You're definitely not alone feeling the way you do.

Nannykay Wed 20-Sep-17 08:31:13

Even when I was young free and carefree I hated "house parties"' going to someone's house, dancing in the living room, fighting your way to a Buffett in the dinning room, what's that song "always in the kitchen at parties". As for family ones, when the children were small, they would be off playing, the men in one room having fun, and the women in the kitchen ! Now I'm older, we opt for family meals in a restaurant, being a large family we have been known to take over the whole place.! I know it's expensive, but a general invite goes out, normally by my SIL, numbers booked, dB pays, then splits the bill by families and we settle with him a week or two later. No work, no hassles three or four times a year. I just declined other invites, why go to something you hate, life's to short. That said, I often do a Sunday tea, just very close family, brothers, SILs, now most children have left home I don't feel I have to invite them,

Alima Wed 20-Sep-17 08:34:08

Glad we are not alone. Even DGD's first and second birthday parties were a trial, in the garden, her Dad's huge family in one huddle, us three on the other. Never again! The best ones we went to, only a few, were when we ended up in the kitchen chatting to whoever came through. "You'll Always Find Me in the Kitchen at Parties" certainly rings true!

cornergran Wed 20-Sep-17 08:55:46

Both sons married women with huge party oriented families. They invited us from the beginning and still do. I've tried, believe me I've tried but I just feel oh so uncomfortable. Mr C struggles with his hearing and finds any big group a trial. So now we opt out, often offer to babysit so others can go, there seems no reason to put ourselves through something I know will be unenjoyable and awkward. We get on well with them all in small groups and individually, I suspect some think we're odd but we have never been party people, unlikely to start now.

Alima Wed 20-Sep-17 09:07:29

downtoearth, now that's another story! Always easier to mingle when you've had a few. Can't hack the hangovers nowadays though!

lemongrove Wed 20-Sep-17 09:09:53

I think hearing, or lack of it, plays a big part, it certainly does with me.Am used to smiling and nodding at large gatherings, without hearing much of what is said.?
Am happy enough to go, but after a short while these things become tedious and I want to go home, or at the very least, find a quiet place to sit. I often get stuck with a real bore who is overjoyed that somebody seems happy to hear all about his hobbies or trip to Outer Mongolia.
Have had to attend many of these kind of parties over the years, and DH enjoys them, all I can say if you have to go to one is have a glass of wine or three the moment you get there.?

lemongrove Wed 20-Sep-17 09:12:28

If you are hard of hearing, or simply can't do small talk,
Then just listen, start off with a question, and most people will be very happy to talk about themselves, in fact, they will light up with joy.

Greyduster Wed 20-Sep-17 09:22:23

I'm afraid I'm another who can't do parties - I've always been the same, although no-one would describe me as being in any way antisocial. I generally struggle to make conversation these days and can't wait to get away from large gatherings. Even extended family parties are a trial to me. DS and DiL throw very good parties but they have lots of friends and DiLs family are good at organising big bashes. We are generally included in their family celebrations, but I am never particularly comfortable with it, even though they are adept at making everyone feel included. We used to have a group of about a dozen friends and used to have rounds of dinner parties which we would enjoy going to, and hosting in our turn. They were great fun and went on into the wee small hours sometimes. Sadly, time has taken its toll on numbers and the remaining diners don't get together very often now.

ajanela Wed 20-Sep-17 09:56:14

I am a very social person, I am ok with lunches or dinners, coffees but parties no. I just want to go and do the washing up and I don't like washing up! I don't like small talk, I can't say I get nervous just waiting to make a polite exit. I would prefer to sit and talk with with a group of people and have a proper conversation.

glynis1234 Wed 20-Sep-17 09:58:15

I feel anxious when I go to parties, I often just want to go home. I often regret going and rarely enjoy it, people say, go you will feel better when you get there. This is rarely true for me. Reading these posts I can see quite a few people feel the same. When I am at a social gathering I always think everyone else is having fun and it's just me feeling the way I do. Might make me think differently next time.

Gagagran Wed 20-Sep-17 09:58:23

It's all such hard work isn't it? Having to smile and look happy and cheerful and making small talk with people you don't know and may never meet again. Face aches from smiling, feet ache from smart shoes and back aches from standing too long. Must be an age thing.

Love my family get togethers either at home or eating out and we have one such at the weekend when our eldest DGD hits sweet 16. Can't wait!

wilygran Wed 20-Sep-17 10:00:32

I find a social gathering is like a day's work and always have! I've always had to grit my teeth behind my forced smile grin

Lyndie Wed 20-Sep-17 10:01:47

I totally understand how you feel. I have spent my life attending parties talking small talk to people . I am really good at it but it gets tiresome. Sometimes you really click with someone and think a new friend but it very rarely happens. My career was in marketing so spent a lot of time working a room of strangers. So not shy at all but now I prefer to be with friendly intelligent people where you can talk about anything. Even stuff unPC.

MissAdventure Wed 20-Sep-17 10:02:34

I stopped going out with friends for nights out years ago. Nothing to entice me. I dont dance, can't stand the kind of music played, not looking for a man and don't drink, so it seems pointless to put myself through the angst of it all, plus the cost!

Musicelf Wed 20-Sep-17 10:06:59

Oh, isn't it good when you discover you're not the only one! I hate gatherings and have spent far too long in the past making up reasons why I can't attend. Now it's more a case of "I'd love to, but I don't want to."

I think we should all get together for a coffee and a chat......!