a peek inside the fishbowl

20 Oct, 2004

Bye bye shy girl

Posted by andrea in: Misc. life

So tonight I have a women’s business networking event to go to. I am excited about it, I truly am. There will be a lot of interesting people there, of that I am certain. And I am *almost* ready for it. I bought some new clothes for the occasion: funky pink top with faux flower on the side (I never thought I was the type for faux flowers, but there you have it), a black pencil skirt with slit up the front (sophisticated AND sexy!), and while I was at it I bought a really fun ring with a huge multi-faceted pink “diamond” on the top… you know, just for fun.

So far so good, but a small part of me is dreading it. When I go to these events, I have trouble with one thing.

Talking to people.

I know, I know, it’s common. But there are times when I really have to force a grin on my face, stick my arm out and approach a total stranger. I feel obnoxious when I do this. It’s not usually in my nature.

Over the past few years I have learned a few tricks in order to make these kind of schmoozing events less painful.

1. Bring a buddy. If you’re lucky, your friend will be more outgoing than you are and will drag your sorry butt around the room. Worst-case scenario: you and your friend hide together in the corner of the room and drink the night away. Hey, at least you’ve had some fun.

2. Just do it. Get out there and pretend you are someone else, someone much more confident than you are. Don’t worry. What’s the worst thing that can happen? (Ok, you *could* stick your foot in your mouth, and congratulate a potential new client on her pregnancy only to find out that she’s not even pregnant, but don’t even think about it.) Is it best to say less? I think that might work for me. Quite often my mouth will run off without the direct supervision of my brain. But that’s just me.

3. Nervous? Find a mantra, recite it endlessly. “I am wonder woman” works for me.

4. Do not eat anything with small green things in it. i.e. parsley, cilantro etc. You will worry about getting it stuck between your teeth. And you don’t want green bits stuck between your teeth. Bring floss just in case.

5. Drink one non-alcoholic beverage after every alcoholic beverage. Drink, but don’t get drunk.

6. Avoid the little snacky items that are often found that these kinds of things. It’s hard, I know, but it’s difficult to talk and eat and look cool while you’re doing it. If you’re going to eat something STAY AWAY FROM THE CHICKEN WINGS, and for godsake eat something that you can easily pop into your mouth, chew and swallow quickly. Roast beef might have gristly bits. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Last night Mark slaved over the printing of a huge batch of business cards for me. (Thank you sweetie!) That was the last thing I needed to get out of the way before tonight.

Anyway, wish me luck!


1 Response to "Bye bye shy girl"

1 | Ryan

October 20th, 2004 at 10:40 am

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Bonne chance! Go forth and shmooziply!

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My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark and our dog Piper who is kind of a big deal on Instagram. We also have two human daughters: Emma (20) and Sarah (18). During the day I work as a writer at The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999. The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, family travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa for families. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

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