Saturday, September 8, 2007

Have I lost the art of mingling?

I attended the Australian Breastfeeding Association Regional Workshop this morning and during the tea break, I found myself going off to the bathroom because I didn't know a single person there. When I returned, I literally stood and looked around for an individual, pair or group that I could start a conversation with but they were all already DEEP in funny conversations. I didn't have my conversation starter (aka Aaron) with me. I didn't want to seem anti social by sitting down. So I just....STOOD.

I knew that this was a workshop for breastfeeding counsellors and community educators that have known each other for some time but I still wanted to go because I am interested in the topics. (And, I hope to be some sort of counsellor/educator in the future)

In a previous life, I never encountered this problem. I wasn't a power mingler but I've never had to stand around awkwardly trying to fit in. There has always been a nagging fear in the back of my mind that I would become stupid or lose touch with the outside world after leaving my regular job for self employment (and now mommyhood) where I spend so much time home alone.

Was today the first sign that my worst fears are coming true? I don't like to think so since the local ABA meeting I went to was fine. But I really do need to find ways to 'get out more'. Its easy here in Brisbane but Palembang is a whole different story.

I'm still kicking myself for not being more 'out there' and trying harder to make some conversation.


Surfergirl said...

dont worry it must be just this specific meeting. it happens to us all from time to time (awkward mingling).
i tagged you in my latest post btw :)

Jean-Luc Picard said...

I must admit, I've never been too good at mingling.

Bilbo said...

I tend to be a little shy in new groups, but it always helps if you have something in common with the others (which you do with the breastfeeding group). Because I read so much, I'm a fountain of useless trivia which is handy for breaking the ice and starting conversations with small talk. I don't think you'll have a lasting problem...don't worry about it.

John said...

It's hard for me to imagine that a woman that shares as easily as you do in writing would have trouble in person. It is always a little awkward in groups where you don't know anybody--but you do have something in common.
I love Bilbo's comment about the fountain of useless trivia. I think we must be long lost brothers from different parents. (I know my parents are different!)

Amanda said...

I'm more determined than ever to improve my ice breaker mingling skills. Once I get IN the conversation I'm fine....its just the start of things.

I think I need to develop a little trivia fountain myself :)