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Anxiety re street party

(109 Posts)
Willow73 Sat 22-Apr-23 13:55:52

I moved to our street a year ago. They all know each other as they have young children. We are having a street party and they have said bring your own food. For my husband and me that will be a sandwich and cake! I don’t find it easy to socialise at the best of times and have started having anxiety problems over this. Any advice is welcome and does anyone else feel like me?

AGAA4 Sat 22-Apr-23 14:09:48

Arrange to be out if you really don't like street parties. Or you could just be there for a short time. You may actually enjoy it and want to stay.

wildswan16 Sat 22-Apr-23 14:13:29

Take along a plate of sausage rolls, or cakes. Then just be honest. It is a wonderful opportunity to get to know your younger neighbours. Introduce yourself, that you are very new to the street and how lovely it is to have an opportunity to meet everyone. How nice it is to have so many youngsters around. etc etc. I'm sure there will be other "older folks" there too, so you can gravitate towards them if you feel more comfortable.

If you feel too stressed out then you are quite at liberty to go back home. Just don't start getting stressed before it even happens - worrying is difficult to stop, but doesn't help anything really.

BlueBelle Sat 22-Apr-23 14:13:58

I think it’s natural to feel a bit shy and unsure for a lot of people when they don’t know anybody, but you have got a husband with you not like making this move on your own
The only way is to plaster a smile on your face and do a bit of small talk you know the stuff ‘what a beautiful day’ ‘I love your little girls coronation dress’ ‘what a lovely turn out’ ‘I’m fairly new here my names willow what’s yours?’ If no one mixes at least you have your husband to hang on to
Take your cake and sandwich and if you’re good at cooking why not make a plate if something simple like cheese straws to offer around you can always make friends with food 😂
You might make a lifelong friend You never know I ve got a best friend that I met just by chatting out of the blue it’s not easy if it doesn’t come naturally I used to be painfully shy but as I ‘grew up’ I found I could talk to anyone, anywhere. Still not so good in important situations though

Germanshepherdsmum Sat 22-Apr-23 14:14:51

I hate enforced jollity. I’d be wolfing my sandwich and cake as quickly as possible and inventing a reason to have to get home (headache coming on?). We deliberately chose a very small village with mainly retired people, no screaming kids, and they don’t go in for this sort of thing thank goodness. Bah humbug!

pandapatch Sat 22-Apr-23 14:19:54

What exactly are you anxious about? what food to take,?chatting to people you don't know? I was going to suggest other possible anxieties, but didn't want to give you things you hadn't thought about to add to the list (I am an expert worrier!!!)

62Granny Sat 22-Apr-23 14:27:13

When we had a party last year for the Jubilee , I bought two ready prepared pizza cooked them on the day and took them down , my husband did not want to come as he is not a royalist . I stayed about 40 mins said a little hello to some to the neighbours I knew and introduced my self to others then came home everyone was lovely there was no pressure stay for hours I knew the children would enjoy the pizza and I seen a few of them taking a slice.
Some had taken chairs and a their own picnic and small bottle of fizz or beer others had set up a BBQ outside their front. Honestly it was very relaxed. You don't need to feel pressurised at all.

Willow73 Sat 22-Apr-23 17:17:19

Thank you for all your advice.
I think I will go along but know I’m going to feel uncomfortable. It’s the reason I don’t join clubs or classes just having to converse to others, gets worse as I get older.

Louella12 Sat 22-Apr-23 17:20:44

I'd just take a cake. Wish everyone well and go back home. That's what we do. Street parties are not my thing at all

Witzend Sat 22-Apr-23 17:21:44

Take a nice big jug of Pimms - a guaranteed ice-breaker! And have one yourself - it might well relax you.

Blondiescot Sat 22-Apr-23 17:53:56

You don't have to stay a moment longer than you want. Take something with you, hand it over and just see how you feel. If you want to stay a little longer, give it a wee moment and see how you feel. You might start to enjoy yourself. But don't feel under any obligation. These things aren't compulsory.

Whitewavemark2 Sat 22-Apr-23 18:12:47

Honestly what I’ve discovered over the years - people won’t notice your absence - just turn up with your contribution, then say quite honestly that street parties aren’t your thing but wish everyone a splendid time and cheerily wave goodbye and make your escape.

Won’t make a scrape of difference to the party and you will enjoy your afternoon🙂🥳

silverlining48 Sat 22-Apr-23 18:19:12

Its a great opportunity to meet your neighbours. We have lived here over 30 years and dont know any of ours, apart from the house next door.
We were the young family then but no longer and it would be nice to think we could knock on a neighbour's door, someone we knew, in emergency.

Jaxjacky Sat 22-Apr-23 18:19:42

I’d go Willow73 take a bunch of flowers in a container you can leave to pop on the table, food is a minefield for other people these days.
Enjoy your food, if it’s full tilt when you want to leave just go, maybe a quick thank note online or whatever afterwards.
It’s not everyone’s idea of fun, but showing your face is not a bad idea.

MerylStreep Sat 22-Apr-23 18:29:52

I had street party anxiety last year at the jubilee.
Myself and 2 friends organise these parties.
Last year we put the bunting up ( imagine the bunting zigzagging across the close) the night before.
On the morning of the party a delivery driver removed the “road closed” sign and drove through the bunting.
We got it sorted and had a wonderful day.

Nell8 Sat 22-Apr-23 18:30:30

Good for you, Willow deciding to give it a go. "Better to regret doing something than not doing something" ... or words to that effect!

I wouldn't worry too much about having to make polite conversation. I expect everything will revolve around the children getting high on sugar. There should be some entertaining people watching.

Oldbat1 Sat 22-Apr-23 19:01:28

I would at least make an appearance even for ten minutes or so. I’m not a socialiser and normally avoid parties but we had a wonderful street party last June and there is to be another one on Sunday the 7th May. My intention was to stay half an hour but I was outside for 8hrs!!! We had sharing tables for food, quizes, colouring for young kids, croquet, sports day egg & spoon, hula hoop, cake comp, bingo, best crown etc. Looking forward to this one which is more low key and fingers crossed weatherwise. Our street is the best street I’ve ever lived in with a lovely mixture of people young and old. Wouldn’t hesitate asking any of them for help if/when needed.

Salti Sat 22-Apr-23 19:03:38

I would bake or buy something nice..... sausage rolls, buns, ice cream....anything with more or less universal appeal .......and appear when things are underway. Give an organiser your goodies and ask them to share them out among the kids. Depending how you feel either make your excuses and leave or stay a short while and chat.

Salti Sat 22-Apr-23 19:06:53


I would bake or buy something nice..... sausage rolls, buns, ice cream....anything with more or less universal appeal .......and appear when things are underway. Give an organiser your goodies and ask them to share them out among the kids. Depending how you feel either make your excuses and leave or stay a short while and chat.

Even if you don't stay you'll be remembered as the nice lady who brought.....whatever.

Woollywoman Sat 22-Apr-23 19:11:00

I find these situations very difficult too, and sometimes have to use little white lies to get out of them. I was brought up to be honest, but sometimes one has to bend the truth as extroverts often don’t understand introverts! (Maybe you are an introvert like me?) Good luck with doing whatever you are comfortable with.

VioletSky Sat 22-Apr-23 19:27:20

Ask yourself

1. Is this anxiety over something you would normally actually enjoy if you attended


2. Is this anxiety over something you historically know you won't enjoy

Hide behind the sofa or have plans elsewhere

3. Is this anxiety over something you don't want to attend but will feel guilty if you don't?

Arrive late, leave early

Chardy Sat 22-Apr-23 20:38:30

Have a few stock questions - which house is yours? Which of the children are yours? How old? Do they go to the local school? Whereabouts is that school? Something about the food...

NotAGran55 Sat 22-Apr-23 20:48:33

Is there a law in your street that says that you have to go? Nothing on earth would persuade me to go to anything like this in our village . Nothing to do with anxiety, I simply wouldn’t like it and wouldn’t go.
Be true to yourself OP and don’t be pressured into going if you really don’t want to.

henetha Sat 22-Apr-23 20:49:02

I share your social anxiety, Willow. Don't feel bad about it, just do the minimum and then leave if you still feel uncomfortable.
If you really dread it then simply don't go at all. But don't feel guilty. We are all different and some people simply find too many people at once horribly overwhelming. Good luck.

welbeck Sat 22-Apr-23 21:06:00

don't get stuck on asking about where children go to school etc, or you could sound like a stalker.
people are super vigilant these days.