Last week I had the idea that I should be socialising and getting used to my new local area. We plan to live here for a while, so it makes sense to settle in. After some searching, I was able to find some local groups on Meetup that seemed reasonable; a couple of books groups, a tech meetup, a speaking one and a board games group.
As the board games group was meeting up last weekend, I thought that would be a good group to start off with and so I signed up to join the group on Sunday.
As the meeting time got closer, I did get a little anxious, but I had already resolved to go. If I felt really awful, I could always step outside and take a break before going back in.
Unfortunately for me, the Meetup in question happens at a pub, and last Sunday there was a football game of some interest on the TV. This being a pub, there were football supporters crowding all the tables and shouting, as you do.
I’ve nothing against this sort of crowd, I just don’t fit in to it.
I’d arrived early and my anxiety kicked in hard enough that I took myself back outside for a quick breather. I was already starting to feel like it had been a mistake to go and that I didn’t want to be there, but I was sure I could manage it.
When I went back in, I stood at the bar and tried to get the attention of the bar staff, but was ignored in favour of other customers arriving after me… perhaps regulars? Or they were just more practised at getting attention? Either way, it just annoyed me enough to get me out of there again.
I never did meet that board games group and I decided that I wouldn’t go back. It’s okay that I don’t like that atmosphere, there are other places for people to meet that I would be more comfortable in. By all means, step outside your comfort zone now and then, but if something feels wrong, there’s no need to push yourself.
So that was my failed attempt to socialise. Maybe I’ll find something in a quieter place like a cafe or library? Or an outside thing? We’ll see.