Things I Know: I am Sucky at the Social

Digital Parents lunch, Blogopolis, Glowless, Lina

You may (or may not) have noticed that neither my Blogopolis nor Bloggers Brunch wrap up posts have mentioned much about the social side of the events. I haven’t gone into great detail about who I met, who I loved, who I didn’t get to meet but wish I had.

I, like many of you, have been reading the other posts surrounding these events and have read time and again that more than the events themselves, it’s the networking and chance to meet and talk to people we have become friends with online which really gets people excited.

It’s the chance to be with ‘like beings’ that is the real appeal of traveling across the country, or for hours from another state or encourages bloggers, particularly those in the Mummy Blogging set, to leave their families at home.

I am about to admit to being the odd one out here. My social experience was not what I had hoped. I froze up, avoided meeting certain bloggers I thought were ‘too big’ to even know who little old Becky from Becky and James would be and I generally didn’t fit in.

Yes, I spoke to wonderful bloggers who I have so much to do with online and I met some of the most gorgeous people but every moment of those social interactions I was torn between loving and hating it. And so today, I know I am Sucky at the Social. Like really sucky.

I found that I didn’t feel like I ‘clicked’ and when there were obvious groups of like minded bloggers, I found myself standing alone, panicking, wishing I could just “be a real person”.

When I got out of the car and let my mother drive away on Saturday morning before I even knew where the Zinc building was I had high hopes that my confidence would continue and grow.

I had hoped that attending the Brunch the day before would help me be a socially capable person.

However, I felt early on, that going to the Brunch might have actually hindered me. Especially when, after leaving with my mum and kids, I started to see floods of bloggy lunch tweets and instagram photos. I felt so on the outer, so not cool that I was negatively effected for the next day.

There is no one to blame but myself. I froze up, panicked. There was no particular thoughts I could catch onto and reform; I was in full blown panic attack territory and there was little I could do to break myself out without having a complete meltdown. I was faking it but I was far from making it.

I did so enjoy the chance to talk to Kate from Kate Says Stuff as we were ushered from table to table for filming during the Brunch. I did get excited about hugging and meeting Cate from Keep Cate Busy and Clairey Hewitt. I did love meeting the ever gorgeous Miss Glow and I wanted to give her a big hug and I felt very happy to be sitting at her table for lunch, along with the lovely Lina of Mothers Love Letters (check out her blog, it’s gorgeous) and I loved having the chance to catch up with Caz from The Truth About Mummy.

It felt right to be with people who got the whole blogging thing, it felt amazing to be able to talk about my passion for my blog and hear it reflected in others. It was good to be with my kind. And yet it was utterly heartbreaking that I still didn’t really feel able to fit in even though I felt like I should have.

I left blogopolis with tears in my eyes. Tears of complete disappointment at myself.

I know I was sucky this time and I will probably be sucky next time and I know there WILL BE a next time. Maybe next time I will attend the social functions and maybe that will help or maybe this is just going to take me a little longer than others. But, I will get there. I know it.

I also know I am flogging with Glowless today and supporting Jeans for Genes day.

FYBF
What do you know today? Join Shae from Yay For Home.

34 Comments

  1. Hey, you’re not the only one. I didn’t attend either! OK, so the brunch was when I was working, but anyway…
    Just wanted to let you know that you’re not alone. 🙂

  2. I have only started to get right back into the blogging thing, and was not at Blogopolis. But the way you describe the not-feeling-like-you-fit-in-thing, feels only too familiar to me, and I’m sure I would have been a bit the same had I been at the conference. Hell, I was feeling that way last week when I took my son to his cousin’s birthday party, trying to fit in with other mums. I, too, am sucky at the social. But if we keep faking it, maybe we’ll eventually make it?

    • I am hoping that faking it will lead to me making it. I have high hopes for both of us x

  3. I have the biggest girl crush on Glow, we ran amuck at the AMB Conference earlier this year. She’s divine!

    Just take your Blogopolis as an experience to learn from and next time around, I’m sure you will be feeling more confident xx

    • She is, indeed, divine. I knew she was awesome but she’s even more so in RL!
      I plan on using this as a learning experience. I just hope it won’t take too long before I feel ‘normal-ish’

  4. I totally get where you are coming from. I never really feel like I fit in even when I should. I always feel on the outer. But thats on my crazy head…

    I’m disappointed I didn’t get to go (and meet you) the the bloggers brunch (or blogopolis), my hubbies work schedule changed and I had to cancel. Luckily I hadn’t bought my blogopolis ticket yet.

    • Sucks that you missed out!

      I think you’re right, this kind of thing is so a head thing but I don’t know how to get out of my own head and just ‘be’.

  5. Big love to you Becky.

    YKW, I *am* a social person but I was really struggling by the end of the brunch. It was crowded and overwhelming and I was kinda happy to go home.

    I left blogopolis early too for similar reasons, so don’t think for a moment that you are alone.

    xox

    • Thank you lovely Kate.

      The Brunch was full on. I had started feeling quite claustrophobic with all the people in such a small place. I was just glad I didn’t end up having a panic attack on the floor with all the pushing and so on!

      It’s good to know I’m not alone, thank you x

  6. Hi Becky. I am a UK blogger and I recently went to Cybermummy. I was nervous as hell. The famous bloggers seemed like such big characters, and they knew each other well, so it was too intimidating to speak to them. But there were far more people like me, who were smaller, but still really interesting, and were actually interested in me! I have since met one of the famous bloggers, and she is lovely, so I think it is just going to take time to feel comfortable at these events. In the meantime I will just try to speak to whoever is near me, and soak up the learning. It will be a long time before I feel confident enough to make it to an after-party!
    Glad to have found your lovely blog!

    • Thanks for the tips. It is hard to feel like a small fish in a big (huge) pond, but you seem to have the right approach – I wish I had had the presence of mind to do the same

  7. Guess what, i do promotions for NuffNang & blog a few times a week & i didn’t even know it was on. Either that or i just eliminated it from my brain as i live in Canberra with 4 children & a husband in Brisbane, so i simply could not attend. I’ll have to start going to these things one day, at this rate, when my high schooler can babysit for a weekend, as my husband is stuck (well not stuck but working hard) in Brisbane for another 2-3 years) so one day!! I’m very social & confident, yet tossed into new cities with schools to find & people to meet, i’m constantly starting from scratch, this year it was high school. I’ll just walk up to a nice bunch of parents & introduce myself as being new & strike up a conversation & get the vibe if i should move on. You all have something in common, be it THE same school your children attend or in your case, a blog. Next time ensure you know someone & walk in with them/ arrive together & barge into groups as a combined force. Your energy will be contageous & you bet your life many of the big bloggers started off the same way, along & new, rocking up with the one & only person they know. Maybe leave it a while or attend a smaller conference before you go to a big one like this again. One thing is, the more i socialise & show my children how to break into circles (imagine me having to do 6 new cities as an Army wife) they pick up on the social skills & use them themselves. I also tell them to hone in on the lonely looking ones, or new folk, make them feel special & be open, united & open with “hello, i’m nervous & new here too” as an ice breaker. Above all, don’t be put off OR beat yourself up, you gave it a go!! You don’t suck at the social, you are just practising.
    FYI i don’t use FB or Twitter or have an iPhone or know how to send photos off my phone, OR subribe to anything which comes to my phone, so i wouldn’t have any photos showing up on my phone at all, i would have been in awe of your amazing social media & technology in your pocket honey!! Chin up, we love you, you picked out some ace people that i like too, next time go in linking arms ready to take on the world/ blog conference. Finally, plenty of people are confident on their blogs or ‘famous on line’ yet are awful, or shy, or incredibly boring in real life, i’ve seen it honey, they crumble when people realise they aren’t who they think they are!! Much rathat chat to the real Becky from Becky & James blog any day darlnig, over brunch & other events. Love Posie

    • I’m with Posie.

      Once you introduce yourself it does break the ice. I’m good at things like this, I am confident, I network well in my job, through playgroup, the school, kindy etc, etc, and it’s still hard.

      Everyone has asked me how I enjoyed going to Melbourne. It was my first break away in about 4 years. Serial. But I said I enjoyed the experience but it would have been nice to be with a social group or with a friend at least. Because having someone for support and to hang out with makes a big difference. I didn’t have any of that, I only knew two people that I had meet for two hours before hand. I didn’t want to bog people down with telling them I was by myself because I thought they might need the space themselves, I thought I’d leave myself open if anyone invited me to be included in something and I decided if it didn’t happen that was OK. I had been in a similar experience first meeting mothers group girls and was upset I didn’t have a friend those first couple of weeks. six years down the track I love those same girls and the relationship and friendship is so strong, it just took a while. So I am thinking I’ll keep doing what I am doing and putting myself out there and I might come off with a IRL friend too.

      hope that helps Becky! xxx gemma

      • I love how you went in prepared.

        I didn’t even think about the possibility of being included – or not – in meet ups outside of the official events and so I was quite taken back that they were happening and sad that I wasn’t part of them.

        I think you’ve got a great approach and will definitely be trying to do the same.

    • Thank you Posie. I am ever aware of my social failings in terms of teaching my children appropriate ways to interact with others.

      Your tips are wonderful and I will keep them in mind for next time.

      Your encouragement is so appreciated x

  8. Oh Becky, I really feel for you. I didn’t go to either, but have been at plenty of media events like this as a journo and walked away with tears in my eyes. Socialising and small talk are not my strengths. However, I have to say, I attended my first bloggy event last month (the Colgate Bloggers Brunch) and it was small, intimate and I felt such at ease with the women there. I wish you could have been there to experience that, Becky. It was such a wonderful introduction to the bloggy world for me. xx

    • I had so wanted to go to the Colgate Brunch, it would have been a lovely lead up, I think. And I wanted to meet you!

  9. I really should have made a list of people I wanted to catch up with and ticket it off! I missed out on big chats with many bloggers-you included

    • I think a physical list is a great idea. I found I got there and saw many people I ‘knew’ that I got overwhelmed and missed out on chatting with so many.

      Next time – we’ll catch up!

  10. You are crazy lady. You are fine at social, super fine. Brunch was a tough one, really tough, squishy and the time went fast, I felt a bit lonely too, odd, surrounded by such nice women, but you know what I mean.

    As for drinks, I went and left after an hour. The the conference I skipped the lunch I had RSVP for and went with a smaller group, as that is easier for me.

    Looks are deceiving, I may look and sound comfortable, but not always feeling that way.

    See you next time, let’s chat more!

    • Thank you, thank you, thank you. Coming from someone who met me this is so great to read.

      I am relieved I wasn’t the only one who felt alone at the Brunch. It was a crazy morning!

      A smaller group for lunch is a good idea. Next time I might do something more like that just to avoid putting pressure on myself.

      Yes, next time let’s chat more x

  11. Wanna know a secret? I’m terrified going to these events. I feel strangely like I fit in with everyone and yet no one at the same time… So I fake it. I smile and chat and pretend I’m confident. After a little while I forget I’m pretending and end up truly enjoying myself. Fake it til ya make it xxx

    • I think you need an Oscar because, lady, you are the best faker EVER. You seemed so at-ease and oh-so-amazing.

      My faking was so not up to par. I’m practicing and I will (try) give you a run for your money next time 😉

  12. You know what, I felt exactly the same way. I guess I just felt bad to admit it so I didn’t blog about it.

    I noticed at the DP lunch that most of us barely talked and the people who are completely comfortable in social situations took over the conversation which is usually the case.

    I felt like I clicked with these people online but once we were in the real world all my insecurities kicked in and I froze up too. I just couldn’t think of anything to say and therefore didn’t get to speak to nearly half of the people I wanted to.

    • Honestly, Alicia, I didn’t notice that at the DP lunch. I guess I was too busy racking my brains for something to say and freaking out that I didn’t look around and go ‘at least I’m not the only one’.

  13. Hi Becky,

    I think we missed each other at the Blogger’s Brunch. It was really hard in that squishy space. I too didn’t know many people and didn’t get a chance to say hello to some of the people I wanted to meet (like ClaireyH and Glowless)…being shimmied around like sardines meant I was constantly apologising for being in the way as someone was trying to get past or knocking someone as i moved around. I am naturally shy too, but for my job in IT sales I am forced to do the social event thing and whilst I used to dread it, the more you practice the easier it gets. I have learned to that often people who you think are a bit arrogant by not really interacting with you, are often quite shy themselves. I have had a few people who are now great friends tell me they didn’t like me at first because they thought I was up myself 🙂
    Am really glad you posted about this as it’s always reassuring to hear others have similar struggles. Also, where are you based…if you’re in Melbourne would love to catch up with you. x

    • I agree that the situations surrounding the Brunch weren’t ideal. I’m sorry we missed each other in the push and pull of the morning.
      Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this.
      I’m in NSW actually, but I hope to be tripping to Melbourne much more regularly! Next time I’m on my way I’ll let you know!

  14. Awww Becky I can imagine being exactly the same if/when I go to one of these events. Big hugs for you and I am so proud of you, knowing this is how you were feeling and you went and saw it through! Lots of love xox

    • Thank you x

      That’s what makes me know I can do it again because I managed it this time, even feeling like this. And I am proud that I pushed myself out of my comfort zone and survived.

  15. Hi Becky, I know I will feel the same when I finally take the plunge and attend a conference. And I don’t think we are alone. It is so easy communicating online but face-to-face is something else again….don’t beat yourself up about it!

  16. Lovely Becky – you are selling yourself far to short. I have met you at 3 events now and ALWAYS find you so welcoming and enjoyable to talk to. Yes you are quiet – but so approachable and easy to talk to. In fact I am alwas so happy to see your friendly, happy face in the crowd. You are also a very committed mummy and it’s hard to be overly social with you have your children there to think of. When I was younger (I can say that I turned 40 just a few months back!!!) I avoided big groups because they made me so uncomfortable. But over the years I’ve learned a big secret. Most of us feel the same way. There are a few naturally outgoing people but many of us are the same a you. “Most of us are like the rest of us”. You write such a beautiful blog and personally, I think you’re lovely. Remember – the deepest wells have the most precious jewels. Looking forward to meeting you again 🙂 Cazxx

    • Ahh Caz. You always know just what to say to make me feel better. And make me just a tad teary.

      I have to admit to feeling quite surprised at how you find me; I always thought I was a closed and unapproachable kind of person. Your words give me hope.

      Thank you x

  17. Becky, I know how you feel. I almost didn’t go to Blogopolis or the drinks the night before because I didn’t know anyone. But I made myself and was glad I did. I found the pre-conf drinks hellishly intimidating, walking into a full bar with cranking loud music and not having a clue who was a blogger and who wasn’t. I wanted to turn and run, but again, made myself go up to someone and smile. Unfortunately I can’t remember her name (because I was so terrified), but she was wonderful and immediately introduced me to other people. Phew! I will look out for you at the next event 🙂
    Laney

  18. I suck at socialising too. I feel your pain xx

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Hot Chocolate and Broken Dreams | Becky and James - [...] to her as I had an attack of the ‘oh-my-gosh-she-is-so-amazing’, also known as being Sucky at the Social, has…
  2. A vlog to cover the fact that I’m in a blog slump | Becky and James - [...] and hasn’t returned. So, instead, I am going to post a vlog I did that I meant to put…

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *