Treating Mental RSI Since 2010. Socialising Survival Guide. : Cannot Be Bothered

Socialising Survival Guide.


Do you ever find yourself in a situation where you have to go to a social event that you don’t want to?

Whether it be through work sucking any desire to be sociable out of you, being invited out by people you don’t actually like all that much (such as work colleagues) , or you just cannot be bothered; this section is here to help. This is designed to help you get through such engagements in a dignified manner, avoiding as much of the agony as possible and getting you out of there as soon at the nearest opportunity.

Social Occasion Survival Guide

Guest writer: ‘Singsy’

Singsy’s Intro:^

The term ‘Social Occasion’ is one that sends a shiver down the spine, and will almost certainly have one utter the words “I really cannot be bothered”. As a phrase it is purposely mysterious, knowingly vague and almost impossible to define. Take the first word, ’social’, the seeking, or enjoyment, of the companionship of others. Not a very nice thought, but simple to grasp as a concept. The word ‘occasion’, however, manages to encompass almost any scenario the imagination can conjure. So it’s no wonder that when invited to such an event the knee-jerk reaction is to lie; make up an excuse on the spot to guarantee a no show, and then flesh out the particulars of that lie in a less face-to-face situation. (Head on over to the excuses section for more on such excuses)

Unfortunately however, there are certain social occasions that come with a ‘moral obligation bill’ attached, those occasions where you will be forced to ‘enjoy the companionship of others’ and you will have to do this in the most uncomfortable of scenarios. The following will hopefully provide a few tips as to how such interruptions to an otherwise relaxed day can be dealt with, enduring as little pain as possible. (By Singsy)

Perfect Planning^

  • By perfect planning, I mean watching as much television as possible

It’s beautiful; the task that so many of us consider to be our only real talent can also be seen as research. I don’t mean just watching the quality HBO series like ‘The Wire’ or ‘Sopranos’, I mean all of it. Try to focus on the programs that generate swarm’s inflated opinions like ‘Britain’s Got Talent’, ‘The Apprentice’ and ‘Big Brother’. Now, when you’re at the event there will undoubtedly be many awkward silences as groups of individuals, having never met before, are forced to interact. You will desperately want to remove yourself from this situation without having to say too much or answer questions about where you grew up or what your job is. So asses these people, ask yourself “are these the kind of people who think it’s amazing that a middle aged woman’s only friend is a dog that she’s taught to dance? Or are they be more the type to discuss the allegories to the Iraq War present in The Wire?” Once this has been established, phrase the relevant question, for example “hey, how about that man who could play the trombone using his tear duct” and then, as you watch these people fight for some free air to view their pointless opinions, you can sneak off to the bar and enjoy some alone time with your favourite tipple. Don’t be afraid to try this over and over on all the sorry individuals that you get forced to speak to, it’s current, its relevant, and if you’ve prepared well enough there is no way you won’t be clued up on at least one television show they have been watching.(By Singsy)

  • Listen to loud music before hand

Get yourself pumped up by listening to some very loud music that will get your blood pumping and will help gear you up for the impending onslaught of small talk and trivialities. Many times I’ve been sitting on my sofa, which of course has never felt comfier, staring at the TV wishing that my planned evening of lounging hadn’t been so cruelly ended, only to crank up some music and swiftly feel a lot better. It may not ease the heartache but at least it makes you feel less lethargic and ready to leave. Make sure the music is appropriate though, listening to Radiohead on full blast is unlikely to have the desired effect.

  • Have a drink before entering

To steal a line from the waste watch’s own, Jay Hurst: You wouldn’t be expected to undergo surgery without the help of anesthetic, and nor should you be expected to go to a social gathering ill prepared. I always like to head down the pub first after finding a friend who is equally socially awkward/lazy. This is definitely the preferred method to having a drink at home, which can lead to you getting far too drunk than is appropriate for a 6pm kick off to a party.

How to Make it Through Unscathed^

When entering into whatever event it is that a family member or friend has decided you will enjoy the main objectives are; to come away from it having not suffered immense humiliation, achieving a dangerously high blood alcohol level and to have been immediately forgotten as an entity by all other guests. So how is this achieved? Somebody once said to me “perfect planning prevents poor performance” that person was a twat, but nonetheless we can draw on the basic message of the statement as a starting point to get you through that inevitable social misery that lays in-wait. – (By Singsy)

Be miserable, not rude^

This is very important. Being down at a social event is fine, provided your reasons are not the event itself or the company you’re in (even though they are)*. Keep your reasons vague and cryptic, this will prevent anyone from prying and will, almost certainly, lead to them making an excuse to leave instead of you – a rare treat. The only bond that connects all the guests at this event is that they all know the host, the host is the one who wants their shindig to be a success and that means keeping people happy. So when people say to them “oh, that guy with the triple gin and tonic looks a bit down in the dumps”, instead of admitting they know a socially inept loser, they will make up an excuse on your behalf. Provided you have not been rude, then the other guests will be keen not to engage in further conversation with you, whilst simultaneously finding it very hard to dislike you (you may even get some after the event sympathy). Another positive result from this tactic is that the host will think twice about the importance of your presence at the next bash and for any future events that may branch off from this one you certainly will not be asked.(By Singsy)

* I agree with this point whole heartedly – never let on that you are not enjoying their party and are looking to escape as soon as possible, your friends will take this personally and will set out to ‘fix’ the problem. A cheap tactic that they will often utilise is to try and get you as drunk as possible.

As Singsy covers, this is dangerous territory, what they don’t realise is that when in this mood, being drunk is precisely the state in which you will be the most volatile. The last thing you want is to let out how you really feel about being there, so proceed with caution. Depending on whether you think an early escape is possible or not, try to keep an eye on your mood as you become increasingly intoxicated. This is really something to play by ear, if in doubt – leave. (Dan)

How to Dress^

Keep your attire plain. A fairly simple tip but it is important. When you’re desperately trying to keep a low profile and just getting through the evening is paramount wearing a T-shirt with any slogan or band name or evan an obscure film reference is not worth the small talk it invites. People will latch on to the slogan and ask inane questions because they think that you are trying to display to everyone a window into your whacky personality, they don’t understand that you haven’t done laundry for five weeks and you don’t know whose T-shirt you’re wearing. And if it is your favourite West Wing T-shirt, and they do ask you about it, trying to explain to someone not educated in television that Santos and McGarry were not really on the election ticket but are characters from TV is really not going to reflect well on you. (By Singsy)

Hiding in Plain Site^

Now these tips are all well and good going in, but once you’ve quaffed several pints of strong cider and a few G&T’s it’s going to be difficult to keep to the TV programs fallback. You’ll be getting a little lose with that tongue and real feelings may come spewing forth. So establish the ‘rowdy’ group early on and keep track of them. Whilst it is not your intention to engage in general conviviality with these oiks, they will provide you with decent cover from those you are keen not to offend. For these are the guys that revel in the ’social occasion’, the perfect forum to show everyone just how cool they are and how high they’ve raised the bar of enjoyment. By keeping close to this group you will create the illusion of enjoyment without even having to engage with them, because they will be far too concerned with making sure people see how much fun they are having. And should that Gin fueled tongue of yours let fly a little home truth here and there, these drunken yobs are far less likely to remember it in the morning. (By Singsy)

Escaping Unwanted Conversations^

You can pick your friends, but sadly you cannot pick theirs. Whether it be someone asking you about your job, telling you about theirs, or just being really annoying sometimes you just have to get out of a conversation as fast as humanly possible.

  • Pretend you smoke (or at least pretend you smoke much more than you do).

The smoking ban has provided the perfect excuse for what previously used to be unexplained disappearances, which required complex, fabricated reasons to explain. Now you can sneak off to be on your own to avoid conversation or humiliation and simply respond when quizzed “i was having a cigarette”.(By Singsy)

  • Toilet Breaks

I know it may seem like this site is obsessed with toilet trips, well that is because they are crucial. This is a simple one, just excuse yourself when the person talking at you pauses for breath, head to the toilet, and by the time you have returned they will most probably be so terrified by their own company that they will be engaging someone else in conversation, someone who most likely looks a little more interested than you do.

  • Phone call

Same set-up as the toilet break tip above, excuse yourself for a phone call – step outside and have a breather, when you get back in hopefully you can find a quiet corner to sit with your drink.

The Day After^

  • Avoid any ‘post-match analysis’.

The fact is; being somewhere you don’t want to be and being with people you don’t want to be with will end up with you having to drink you way through the torment, ultimately doing or saying something that you will regret. Never bringing it up and avoiding anyone who witnessed it – for enough time to have passed for them to see someone else do something worse – is the only healthy option. This is why the person that told me perfect planning prevents poor performance was a twat, because no matter how much planning goes into something like this, you cannot account for what happens when a reluctant, volatile, drunken guest is forced to interact with others. Unfortunately we have to accept that when it comes to social occasions perfect prevention is the only way. (By Singsy)

The End^

Need some prevention? Need to know how to get out early? Then head on over to the excuses section now!

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