Help! I've Been Invited To A Wedding!

Discussion in 'Social Anxiety Disorder' started by janemariesayed, Jan 9, 2017.

  1. janemariesayed

    janemariesayed Junior Member

    Advice needed, please!

    I have been invited to a wedding in a couple of months and I suffer from social anxiety in a big way. I know the groom well enough, and his wife to be a little. They are both wonderful people and I'm really touched to have been invited.

    His sisters also work in our local shop and they are also very nice people who I see when I go into the shop. I know the groom's mum as well and she lives very close to me.

    But although I know these people, it's only the groom that I actually have sat down and chatted with on numerous occasions. I am scared stiff that I need to walk into a party and not really know anyone. How do I strike up conversations all evening with strangers? :arghh: OMG! What do I do?
     
  2. Alex

    Alex Senior Member

    Can you take a plus one? If not, ask if there is anyone else you know on your table. Weddings are quite nerve racking, and I'm not a fan of them either.

    I think the best thing to do is just be yourself and be a good listener. The question people always ask is which side do you know, and then conversation can stem from that.
     
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  3. janemariesayed

    janemariesayed Junior Member

    Thanks @Alex. Well a couple of friends were supposed to be going as well as me and I would have gone along with them. It doesn't look like my friends will be going now so I would have to go by myself. I don't think it's a sit down evening, as it's just the reception that I've been invited to but the thought still scares me.

    This darned anxiety makes me feel so shy! :nailbiting:
     
  4. Alex

    Alex Senior Member

    A lot can change! I know I backed out of a posh wedding in a castle that cost my friend a fortune, and I lied and said I had to work. The thought of going there and not knowing anyone (it was miles away in Leeds) was too much, as well as the pressure of a posh wedding. I felt bad, but the anxiety of going was worse.

    If it's local it's not too bad as you can go home or arrange a cab back. If it all gets too much, you can say you have a headache and leave, but don't worry too much, because weddings are events where people know there will be strangers. Watch Four Weddings and Funeral and you'll be fine!
     
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  5. janemariesayed

    janemariesayed Junior Member

    Ha ha ha, @Alex I think I will definitely take your advice and watch Four Weddings and a Funeral! :joyful: It's just that, you know those people who are always left sitting at the table on their own? I have a big fear that that will be me! Even if it wouldn't be, I fear it. Then going up and talking to complete strangers and not really knowing what to say.

    I think if I were to go, I would not stay very long as I feel stupid and embarrassed going on my own. It may end up that I make an excuse and not go altogether unless I can get my head round it before hand. I will still get them a gift and if I don't go, I can always give it to them afterward. I wonder if giving them a gift will earn their forgiveness for not going to their reception, or is that a bad attitude for me to have?

    That wedding looked like fun, being in a posh castle! I love castles but would still have been very shy to go by myself.

    If I do decide to go I will try to remember to ask which side do they know and see how the evening pans out. :arghh: Not looking forward to it though!
     
  6. DanStelter

    DanStelter New Member

    Hi Jane -

    That's tough. If I had to go to a wedding and only know the groom fairly well, I'm not sure I would go. I've always had good friends at weddings. You could engage in some polite conversation at your dinner table.

    Keep checking around for a +1. Otherwise, maybe you could plan out who you're going to talk to and what you're going to talk about. For example....the sisters. How's their shop going? Ask the bride what she thought when they first met. Ask her the most embarrassing things he ever did.

    You could ask a couple strangers who they know and how they know them.

    Personally, I hate dancing. So if I went alone, I'd go for dinners and chat with a few people and go home.

    I'm just throwing out ideas.

    It'll help you maintain the relationship with your friend. And you'll feel good because you made an appearance.

    And if anyone asks, you just say you didn't know too many people but you had a good time while there.

    That makes it work for everyone, at least. And don't beat yourself up for how things go afterwards. That's the most unhelpful thing social anxiety sufferers do.
     
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  7. janemariesayed

    janemariesayed Junior Member

    Thanks for your post @DanStelter you have certainly given me some good ideas. I was thinking not to go and was trying to come up with an idea for an excuse. You are right, though, I've met the bride only a couple of times and it would strengnthen that bond with her as well as with her Husband. I would have to write down the tips you have given me, but they are really good and make me feel more encouraged to show my face. I could get a taxi there, and tell the taxi to come back after one hour. But then, I know that, that one hour will seem like a life time to me. I know as well, as I sit here and write this post, that the groom would understand if I told him that I was agoraphobic and suffer from social anxiety. He already told me that a couple who I know well will be going too. The thing is I don't think they will be going. They suffer from social anxiety too and they avoid people, they don't answer their door to anyone for ages at a time. It was always an effort for me to go around and see them and when they don't answer the door, one tends to stop trying. I'm not taking it personally as they are like that with everyone.

    I wouldn't look around for a +1 as the invite was just for me. I could perhaps ask but I doubt that would come to pass.
     
  8. Natasha0717

    Natasha0717 Active Member

    :D I actually just started my own thread about fear of going to weddings. Just saw your post now, so of course I will contribute. :joyful:;)

    I don't know what advice I can give you, since I seem to struggle the most with weddings myself. Sometimes I wonder if I secretly didn't get married because then I would have had no choice but to attend my own wedding. :hilarious:

    If you're not on too many anti-anxiety meds or antidepressants, a couple drinks ALWAYS help. I wish I could do this, but my Xanax doesn't allow me to drink at all. Just makes me feel weird instead of happy and carefree like alcohol used to. Xanax doesn't play nicely with alcohol, so I've had to take alcohol completely out of my life. [For now.] One day, I'd love to be off of Xanax and only take it occasionally for sleep like I used to. Then I could have a few beers at scary events.

    Maybe you could only go for a half hour to an hour and at least make an appearance. People don't really pay attention to how long you stay or what you do or what you say, they only really remember if you were there or not. Find a quiet spot somewhere at the hall/banquet center. There's always one, if you look for it...you will find it. Usually it's a huge, empty room that has no event going on at the time - right next door. Keep taking little breaks and head off to your quiet spot when you feel nervous or find it difficult to find others to talk to. You'd be surprised how long you can hide out in the quiet room and nobody will even look for you or notice you're missing.

    And make sure you have a getaway car, and by that, I mean your own car, or at least a cab - so you can take off whenever you want and you won't need to depend on someone else to drive you home. That's a huge mistake. Because no matter how much they promise you they'll "only stay for a little while"... they always end up staying a lot longer. People get crazy at weddings and start having too much fun and for some reason refuse to want to go home. I've never understood this. Just show up in time for dinner, make yourself a plate and eat only a little because we all know how uncomfortable it is to eat in front of people, esp. at weddings, and remember to bring a small baggie or tupperware product and fill it with all the food you didn't eat so you can enjoy it when you get home while watching your favorite movie. That will be your reward for attending the wedding.
    Hey, that's what I do. Good Luck. :) I feel for ya. Just get it over with and then you can forget about it like it was all a bad dream.
     
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  9. janemariesayed

    janemariesayed Junior Member

    I've already decided not to go @Natasha0717. The thought of it sends me into a panic attack. :rolleyes: I'm going to make my excuses to them and give them their gift before hand. They will know that I haven't forgotten them and I'm sure they will forgive me. The getaway car is a problem too. My car isn't working, neither is my mobile phone so calling a taxi isn't an option. Sure I can get a cab there but I don't want to get stuck standing outside waiting. I feel embarrassed to have to go on my own. Even for ten minutes. My agoraphobia isn't allowing it at the moment. Perhaps down the line of therapy I will be able to but it's too soon at the moment.
     
  10. Decentlady

    Decentlady Member

    I am so sorry to hear that you opted out of attending the event. I think facing a situation when you are mentally brave enough to do so and being with someone beside you can help a lot.

    Besides it would be better to start with a smaller crowd first just to see how it goes than jumping into a huge one.

    When you do get free time you could visit say a public library were you don't have to speak with anyone and yet be among lots of strangers. Slowly you can brave being at a public park or a children's playground.

    Such things add up and give you confidence to be own your own among strangers.
     
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  11. janemariesayed

    janemariesayed Junior Member

    Thank you for your ideas @Decentlady but I have social anxiety which is pretty bad. I've debated and deliberated and I just won't be able to go. I am not ready yet for that kind of exposure. I am sure, though, that with therapy my mood will change. I've had panic attacks just by thinking about it. I don't have anyone to go with me so I would have to go on my own and that is really impossible for me at the moment. Of course, I am disappointed with myself but I am sick. It is a sickness that has been brought about by events that have happened in my life. I'm getting help so I don't expect it to be like this forever. Even small crowds scare me. You are right that a bit at a time, slowly build up and I will get better. If I had someone to go with I would probably feel a bit different.
     
  12. janemariesayed

    janemariesayed Junior Member

    Having the wedding jitters needn't have worried me at all. I didn't go to the wedding and I tried to call the groom the day before. I didn't get an answer, not surprisingly so I waited till a few days after the wedding. I called him again and he was as nice as pie about it. I told him the truth that I suffer from social anxiety and he was really understanding. He didn't feel offended at all so I am relieved that it all came off okay. I really hate to offend anyone so it was important to me how I dealt with it. I gave them a tagine as a present so I'm waiting to hear about the lovely Moroccan stews they'll be eating.
     

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