Parties: loathe 'em or hate 'em, you can't enjoy 'em!
Or perhaps I'm alone here. Maybe you would, in the words of the Beastie Boys, "Fight for your right to PAAARTY!" Different strokes for different folks and all that.
It has always confused me that, in every personality analysis I've ever done, I come out as an extrovert; as someone who is the life and soul of a party, when actually, I'd far rather stay at home with a good book.
But staying at home with a good book tends to disappoint the people who've invited you. Presumably they included your name on the invitation list because they actually wanted your company. It's an honour to be asked, and really, you don't want to let them down.
And it's the party season coming up. It's time to get on those glad rags, to pin on your happy face and go to face all those people with similar happy faces.
So how do we get through the party season?
I do have a few tricks to share with you. First of all, I always volunteer to drive. That way I don't lose count of the glasses of wine and end up embarrassing myself and my host (oh, yes, it has happened).
As I find "working the room" an excruciating ordeal, I look around for the shy/older/disabled person sitting in the corner and go to sit with them. It's normally a quieter corner, so one can actually hold a reasonable conversation rather than shouting inanities and often this person is so fascinating the majority of the time can be spent with them until it's an acceptable time to make one's adieux and leave.
Finding the kitchen and doing some washing up for one's host is a good option too – although you may have to do some fast talking to explain that yes, you really do prefer to be out in the kitchen instead of "enjoying yourself" at the party proper.
It is difficult to be with people when you're going through a tough time; you probably want to hole up like an animal in pain until it all goes away. But, hard though it is, it does normally do us good to be with other humans; their energy feeds us.
So I'd say accept all the invitations; go to the parties. Put all the survival techniques into practise, and – you never know – you might even enjoy them; just a little.