Category Archives: Social Anxiety 101

Being A People Person is Highly Overrated-Part II Overindulging at Social Functions

As I’ve said before, I’m not really socially adept, especially in large groups of people that I don’t know. My playful and innately funny nature is severely compromised when I’m out in public. The only way to overcome the anxiety of being amongst other humans is to imbibe from time to time which usually gets me in trouble. There is a fine line between tipsy enough to speak fluently and relax around others and getting all out shitfaced and saying/doing things that you KNOW will induce guilt the following morning and many mornings to come. Here are my top 10 alcohol induced faux pas:

Throwing back one too many beers at a work sponsored tailgate and having to desperately pee between two open car doors because the line to the port-o-potty was way too long. In front of one of our suppliers no less. I can only hope his memory has dimmed and saved my professional face.

Falling down the steps of a two level bar, landing flat on my face in front of a packed house after a couple of hours of drinking with the owner of our company and our purchasing agent.

A night in Vegas that ended with me passing out, facedown, on the couch in a suite that I shared with the owner of our company while he and the guy who delivered room service at midnight discussed my lack of drinking skills. My boss is evil and ate all my damn dinner.

Jumping down off of my top bunk, pulling my pants down and sitting  on my roommates bunk telling her I had too pee after a long night at the bar in college. She was good enough to lead me to the actual restroom. Ah, the joys of Tequila.

Downing a couple of shots of vodka in the Welborn Hall bathroom prior to giving an oral presentation in college on “The Joys of Four Color Process Printing” to third year printing majors. I plowed through it with flying colors, only slurring a few words.

Not drinking ENOUGH at a recent seminar where I made an ass of myself, verbally, instead of sucking down more alcohol. Damn having no designated drivers on a night where there are at least a hundred people you don’t know and you have to stay sober! I made up for it later at a bar across from the hotel by doing a Jagerbomb that induced heart palpitations all night.

Ok, so that’s only six. I’d like to say it’s because there were only six episodes of overindulgence, but I know better. They are the only ones my memory has retained. The rest are buried in some deep, dark part of my brain where shame and guilt have locked them away!

I’d love to hear your “overindulging at social functions” stories, if only to make mine seem a little bit less mortifying!

Being a People Person is Highly Overrated…Part 1 Introductions

When it comes to meeting new people there are appropriate social structures in place to facilitate positive interaction. Eye contact, a handshake, a smile, a small verbal pronouncement of who the hell you are all convey the idea of how introductions to someone you’ve never met before are to be made. I’ve had to endure this torture for going on 40 years now and there are certain categories of introductions that I loathe worse than cleaning up dog puke at 3 in the morning. On our bed. After a long night of drinking and bad Chinese food.

The “Gripper”-you know the guy who wants to show you that he “works out” and squeezes the living shit out of your hand. Not only does he clamp down on your extremities with an iron fist, but he also doesn’t let go until your fingers turn a dark shade of puce.

The “Wet Noodle”-I’ve had several of these, 98.9% of them by women who while wishy washily shaking your hand are also sizing you up as competition. The wet noodle is usually accompanied with a high pitched giggle and a hair flip. Beware the 1.1% of men who fall into this category…they forgot to pack their balls that morning!

The “Swamp Thing”-You know, the shake that you can’t quite get a good grip on because their hand is slicker than a hooker at the end of a successful evening? I carry hand sanitizer to every event I am required to attend in preparation for this one!

The Vibrator-This one turns me on slightly in a dark kind of way. The Vibrator grabs your hand firmly and continuously pumps it up and down in short bursts while talking for the next 2 minutes. I usually need a drink after this one.

The Reach Around-One hand handshake while the other snakes around and clasps the back of your hand, or your buttocks depending on the amount of alcohol consumed. These may or may not be accompanied by the shoulder bump or half hug.

I’ve found that a firm grip for 4.5 seconds belies a sense of  confidence and openness at starting a conversation.  Actually I’ve got that down to a science.

Wipe sweaty paw on pants/skirt

Swing arm around and firmly grip opponents new person’s hand for the designated allotment of time.

Smile and make eye contact.

Give name.

Then the real fun starts!

Next post…the dangers of overindulging at social functions!