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Sunday, November 10, 2019

How To Survive Family Work Events When You're not Married and Don't Have Kids

So you get an email announcing that there will be a family day event at your job. *cue the eye roll* 

No matter how well executed these types of events may be, they can be awkward and difficult to navigate. Especially when you're not married and don't have kids often because these get-togethers are tailored around just that. Not showing up may make you feel unsupportive to your company and may potentially look bad but going will be kind of awkward to your entire soul. 

So what do you do? 

By the way, I want to enforce that don't think being single with no kids and marching to the beat of your own drum is a bad thing. But I also have no issues with the idea of being married with kids if that's something that creates happiness. Both lifestyles have their shiny qualities, however one isn't better than the other (in my mind). 

Often going by yourself to work events can cause unwanted probing questions like: "Are you dating anyone?" or "Do you have a boyfriend?". One year at a holiday party, I confidently and cutely answered "no" because I didn't care to go into my full dating life to work people. That type of response always fosters frowning I-feel-bad-for-you-faces and "aw, well you'll find someone" reassurances. The thing is, happiness can exist without a significant other. But for some reason society wants us to couple up because that's just what people do. *cue another eye roll* I guarantee all marriages, ain't happy ones! I am against doing something just because it's the norm and just because everyone else is doing it. It's almost 2020. Let's unpack and throw away these normalities that are old and outdated. 

Until those above said social norms are deep in the dump, here are 4 ways to survive a work event while rolling solo. 

Show up and Look Good
When you look good, you feel good and this will show as you make your way into the room to say hello to your coupled-up co-workers. By looking your best, you will automatically feel more confident than if you just strolled in looking meh with messy hair and a poorly pulled together outfit. 

Plan to Hang out with a Co-worker You Like Before the Event
If you're having anxious feelings about the event, voice them to a trusted co-worker and ask to sit with them at the gathering before it happens. You don't have to be attached at the hip to them the whole time, but it will give you a good home base should you find yourself wandering aimlessly in the sea of parents running after their kids in the blow-up bouncy house and finger paint. 

Bring a Friend
If your workplace allows you to bring a friend, take advantage of that! Just make sure the friend is workplace friendly and won't get shitfaced because this is supposed to make your life easier - not harder. You don't want to worry about the behavior of the person tagging along. With that said, choose your buddy carefully so they can have your back throughout the event and relieve some of the pressure. 

Keep the Conversations, Polite, Short and Sweet
Small talk can be painful but sometimes it can be nice to chit-chat with people you normally don't see on a daily basis at your job. Strike up conversations about the food you just ate, if they have any vacations planned or maybe a show or movie you just watched. When the conversation naturally fades out, politely exit by going to refresh your drink or crossing the room to catch up with someone else. 


And there you have it...Tools to survive Family, well, and work event. 


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