Topic: Absent's Party / Socializing Advice.
Being in a small group conversation at a party is kind of like playing in a band in some ways.
At parties, you have to pull your weight, or other people have to pick up your slack. I think when I was younger I really underestimated how much effort "normal" people put into social interaction. You have to bring more to it. I don't mean worry, like internal anxiety and shit. Don't spend too much energy in your head. You have to bring more energy and ideas to the outside. Like, actually mentally commit to socializing. People like people who are interested in them, pay attention, ask questions, except not with a weird vibe. It takes a lot of energy. Idk if some people *enjoy* it more, or what, but that's kinda what it takes to network I think. I think, when I personally get to know people well, I get a lot more comfortable and the flow of the conversation becomes a lot more natural. I can just talk with them honestly. Fall back on past experiences and shit. But when I meet new people, I probably don't put enough energy into the conversation and shit.
Like when I'm at parties and there's some kid shorter than me cracking up 30 people and everyone is focused on him and laughing, that's not an accident. Dude probably has a lot of experience and practice making conversation and jokes. He's quick and can make shit happen. He's working pretty hard at it. You don't just show up bummed out and expect to really enjoy yourself, that's literally just making other people work hard around you to try to make sure everyone is having a good time, which is the point of a party. Like you gotta bring some energy to the table, not just show up and stand in a corner or something.
Wanna get invited to more parties? Bring something to the social table. Talk to people. Engage. Expend more energy. I actually think if you get too drunk then you lose your ability to really engage, unless everyone else is also about as drunk as you. I was already pretty drunk by the time the people I was really interested in interacting with showed up, and they were playing catch up w/ the drinking. It's more of a burden for me to try to entertain them because stupid jokes aren't as funny, but as everyone starts to get more and more drunk, people laugh at stupid shit and have a good time. You don't want to drink too fast and get too drunk too early. but you also don't want to not drink and not interact and not be able to engage due to anxiety. It's kind of tricky. You gotta be prepared to expend energy.
If you say something weird or something that doesn't go over well, you just gotta brush your shoulders off and give people attention and shut up for a bit and just engage. Laugh at jokes. Etc. Idk. I mean, I love partying. Love it. I went to like 3 or 4 parties over the past few years where I showed up and I was a huge bummer for the host. They had to spend extra energy on me to make me have fun. I shouldn't have gone if I wasn't up for it. Gotta not do that. If you feel yourself getting into a depressive / anxious slump, you gotta work to get out of that so you don't blow your chances of having a good time.
Now, the real trick is to do all this without being a sperge. Don't come off as needy for attention, and don't come off like you have ulterior motives. Like, some guy complimenting someones hair in a flat monotone voice with no reality behind it. It comes off as weird and creepy instead of a legitimate compliment. There's a middle ground, though. People are willing to brush off weird shit to keep the party rolling, and if you're not too fucking weird they'll still have fun and chill with you. I'm actually pretty good at not being on a completely different wavelength as everyone else. I don't think I tend to come off as fake. My problem is either 1.) too drunk, 2.) too anxious or depressed, but I don't think I come off as fake. So that's sorta what I'll be working on the next few parties.
Also, while we're on the topic, avoid saying a bunch of negative shit. In fact, unless it's essential to the conversation, just don't say negative things at all. It tends to be abrasive and kills a good vibe, replaces it with a sort of hostility, even if it's not directed at anyone in the room / at the party.
Look, everyone has problems. I have problems, you have problems, that girl you have a crush on has plenty of fucking problems. Stop making things about you all the time. Don't be the dickhead who tries to control the conversation or shuts people down. If there's one thing I've learned working customer service over the years, it's people respond positively to positivity, and if they don't they probably have some shit going on in their life and you're not really the reason for their negative shit anyway. Move on. It's your job to try to make other peoples lives a little easier in social settings. Why is that your job? Because this life isn't just fucking about you. Stop trying to be dark and edgy and jaded in real life. Yeah, everything sucks. Yeah, life is shit. Yeah, I want to kill myself from time to time. That doesn't mean I need to inflict that on other people and mope at parties that people invite me to because I seem ok to them at first. Or whatever. Anxiety really sucks, depression really sucks, but look, do what you can to make life better for other people. Try to be positive. At the end of the night you'll feel a lot better when you go home than you will if you are a defeatist. Basically, there's nothing you're going to win by shooting others down or feeling bad for yourself or feeling superior or feeling worse.
It's kind of like, ok, my friends throw a party and I'm invited. (They throw a fuckload of parties and I'm invited to maybe one a month, so obviously I'm not on the level I want to be and I haven't been able to actualize all of this advice just yet. People who are really good at this get invited to all the good parties, introvert or extrovert.) When I'm in a group conversation or whatever, I don't just stand there awkwardly, I pay attention to what people are saying and see if I have anything to input. When there's a lull in the conversation, if I thought of anything, I'll add it. Or if there's a lull and it feels tense or something I'll just say whatever to get the conversation going, maybe just start a whole new conversation at random. I don't force anything. If nobody bites, I don't just keep repeating shit. (Which I did the other night when I was drunk as piss, no worries tho eventually someone laughed and my dumbass drunk self moved on pretty quck.) Don't do that. Like I have a problem switching my train of thought quickly, as I kind of focus on one thing and let it spin around in my head for a while and I feel like I *need* to express that particular thing because I put work into making it up in my head. Yeah, don't bother with that. Just let it go and flow with the conversation. If you're not super tense you'll get better at making good jokes / conversation as you go. It takes tons of Practice, but like I said it gets way easier after you really get to know people. Drinking only helps until you're drunk, then it gets worse unless everyone else is also drunk.
This is all shit I wish someone explained to me a long, long time ago, and it's all very true and it hurt a lot learning it lol.
It's really hard to be a good conversationalist / be engaged / apply energy to a conversation when you're anxious or feeling down. I know, I've been there a lot of times. It makes me cringe at my past self. I feel bad for the people who tried to cheer me up so many times. Who had to pull me into conversations. But that's not *you*. You probably can't think of something that really excites you off the top of your head, but I fucking know you've been excited about *some* things in life, at some point. You have to learn to bring that kind of energy to conversations to be the life of a party. You can get by with less energy than super outgoing popular people, but this is something you should be working on. Nobody is just a naturally dull person, and very few people are just magically naturally super energetic conversationalists. Even the "naturals" are just doing something they learned, even if they learned it early on and it's ingrained in them now.