A situation which is created by being invited to a party by a person you know a little bit...but not terribly well. As a kind gesture, they invite you to a party they're going to/hosting. This creates a situation where you have lots of people who are old pals, or at least know each other's names, and you barely even know the person who invited you. This is an interesting position to hold, as it allows you to observe and analyze a social ring from a somewhat detached position. You can learn a lot from being in this position. No matter how many times I've attended a party with people I don't know, I am always put back to the same mental "space" every time I enter a social situation where everyone else knows each other. Despite being generally reserved with people I don't know that well, I'm something of an extrovert. So I put my "funny" hat on, and try to leap in where I see an opening. Years of using comedy as a defense mechanism has honed my ability to find humorous juxtapositions in pretty much anything. (Whether it is appopriate to do so or not. I've gradually lost the ability to distinguish between "funny" and "creepy". Ah well...)

Advice for social situations from the socially inept

If you find yourself in this situation:

  1. Be yourself. Most people are sorely tempted to fall into "social chameleon" mode in situations like this. To that I say Feh. If people don't like you for the way you act, so what?
  2. If you drink (and aren't driving), do whatever. If you don't usually drink, just because everyone else is, don't feel pressured to drink. (gawd, I'm two things into this and I sound like an after school special. Better shake this up a little.)
  3. If you do want to get to know some of the people around you, don't be afraid to make an ass of yourself. As long as you draw the line before "somebody better call the cops", what did you lose? You didn't make friends with people you didn't know anyway.
  4. Your radical ideas about radical ideas have already occured to others. Don't "introduce" yourself by being the creepy guy who preaches all night. There's making an ass of yourself, and then there's bein' creepy.
  5. If you don't make *great* friends with the people at the party, don't sweat it. As long as you have a good time, why worry about it? You may be best friends with some of these people a few months from now because of the party, for all you know. Look at the big picture.

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