Tuesday night was the Main Munch (or is it still Kinky Drinkies? I think there was a cake with a name change on it but people still use both names and I’m confused). Anyway, regardless of the name, it was on Tuesday.
I turned up too early, which led to worrying that I had forgotten what day it was. But it was the right day and the bar staff confirmed they were expecting the “meeting” so I got myself a drink and waited, trying not to worry because the bar staff had confirmed… you get the idea.
Then some people arrived so I knew I was right place, right day – just early. All good.
The adventure is always to see how much I, shy introvert, can manage to interact with others. I know a handful (as in, around about the fingers of one hand) out of the group as a whole, to talk to, and they tend to be the most connected people, with demands on their time from all and sundry. This leaves me with the challenge of trying to talk to Other People, who are Strangers.
Tuesday night, as usual, there were a few new faces and I made a point of trying to remember their names and face, and getting some conversation with as many as I could before the night ended. Usually, this fails and other people talk to them instead. This time, however, I succeeded and managed not to be hover creepily but actually approach with a modicum of confidence – it helped that I was present for initial introductions, had (mostly) remembered people’s names, and knew they were new. This provided a conversational excuse and a way to introduce myself. I chalked up conversations with two men and three women I had never seen before, and some words with people I knew as regulars but not really conversed with – making it a very successful night as far as socialising goes. Very tiring as far as introversion goes, but hey, if you want to succeed you generally have to work at it, and work means exhaustion, no?
I think I volunteered to be a greeter for the discussion/debate munch at the end of the month. This also is a way of setting myself in a role where I can talk to people one-on-one, establish myself as welcoming and friendly and happy to talk, without the pressure or problems associated with large groups. Hopefully, I will be able to use this to build on my other self-work and gain confidence in my social skills.
I managed a couple of cheeky lines with the women (and hit on a totally straight guy – but he was cool about it) and believe I managed flirty rather than awkward, although not too sure how close to the border I came there. Nobody seemed uncomfortable, so I’m counting that as a win.
On Thursday, a further “socialising win” when I managed to strike up a conversation at the bus stop – and yes, the women involved were equally invested (introducing topics as well as accepting my opening), it’s not a case of forcing myself on them. Also, very much not a “pick-up” type of script, though by the end I had the feeling it could have developed that way. No, the “win” is just managing to make open, and occasionally flirty-feeling, conversation with others. It’s a good sign, though as ever, I have to battle the feeling that it’s not repeatable. It clearly is.