This evening, there is a gala (which I hope is casual because I don’t have anything dressy) with food and drink.  I am going but I am rather dreading it because I really suck at networking and meeting new people.  Really suck at it.  I am shy.  I hate that awkward feeling when you try to insinuate yourself into the conversation.  I get really nervous and scared and want to go and hide.

And then, there’s the “drink” part.  I think just about every medication I’m taking says not to drink alcohol while taking it and I’m on five of them.  So, no wine for me.  It’s awkward to be the one person who is not drinking alcohol.

5 thoughts on “Schmoozing

  1. I’d imagine there will be lots of people not drinking at the “gala”. I know that if I was expected to network, I wouldn’t want an alcoholic drink, I’m worried enough about saying the right things without having lowered inhibitions. It’ll be fine, and worse comes to worse, find another person who is awkward (this is a science conference right? for all our training we’re still an awkward bunch) and comiserate with them about how much networking sucks.

  2. I’m the same way in those situations. What I usually do is sit somewhere off to the side and just observe for a while, then head in (or usually someone comes and talks to me).

    I hope it went well!

  3. The best thing to do in these situations is make a goal for yourself to meet 2-5 people, and then make yourself do it. Usually once you meet 2, it is easy to meet the other 2 people they met, and so on. Be brave! And remember what you know- there are plenty of other people there who feel EXACTLY like you do.

  4. I totally get that thing about not wanting to be the only one not to drink alcohol. Why people assume that you should is beyond me. I usually try to talk to people whos talks I liked/remembered and ask them something, then maybe to someone I remember. What also works is chatting people up at the buffet. Have you tried that is it good sounds dumb but leaves it open to the other person to engage. Which is my main problem talking to strangers at a conference. I don’t want to be put in a place where I can’t leave the conversation so I am hard put to do it to other people.

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