I was told recently about a woman who had felt totally out of place attending one of the Singles Club gatherings. It was her first visit, according to the report, and she felt that she was totally ignored (except by the lovely lady sharing the story with me). Apparently, the people there were all mingling, but she wasnít included.
Well, I felt badly about her (perhaps true) perception and I apologize on behalf of all of us who can easily get caught up so busily chatting with friends and acquaintances that we may not notice someone new. So, to our readers who may suddenly decide to visit for the first time a group, a dance, or an open-home party, Iíd like to offer these suggestions:
Although many of the clubs have memberships, not everyone goes to everything and there are so many activities, so sometimes itís difficult to recognize when a person you wind up talking to is a newcomer or not. On the other hand, oftentimes there are name tags indicating whether one is a member or a guest.
What may look like a clique could actually be the re-acquainting of people who have been out of touch. Many times the gatherings bring folks together who only see one another at these events.
If you are new coming to any of these activities and feel shy or uncomfortable, when you register or sign in be sure to let that person know you are new on the scene and would like to be introduced to a couple of people. Then try to introduce yourself to three more people (force yourself!). We all had to do it at one time or another.
Look around for the most out-going people at the event. Chances are, if you introduce yourself to them as a first-time visitor, they will take you around to meet others there.
Donít wait to be noticed. Sometimes it is hard to know who is new. Then again, you may not be the only new person there.
Come with a friend. Sometimes it is easier to mingle when you have a buddy with you.
Call ahead of time if a phone number is listed in the announcement. Tell the person who answers you are a "newbie" and would like someone to watch out for you.
Or, you could e-mail me and, if I plan to attend the event, I will meet you there and introduce you around. If I donít plan on attending, I will be glad to connect you up with someone who will be there.
Sometimes, we get so caught up in our own feelings that we think of the worst possible scenarios.
Socialization is easier for some than for others, but I have found that these events, on the whole, are welcoming and friendly. So, if you are out there and had a bad experience, try again by using these suggestions.