The solution for the socially awkward to attending events, from someone who has stuffed up.

I often wonder why I am so socially awkward. Perhaps it stemmed from some terribly embarrassing incident that occurred when I was a child, at one of the seemingly millions of events I was forced to attend. Considering how many weddings and parties I was at, I should be an expert at both entering an event and then “making the rounds”, sharing my wit and my warmth.

Maybe that’s the issue – I’m fine when I’m attending an event with people I know well like family and long-time friends, but I’m not so fine with people I’ve met through work, and their partners whom I’ve often never even met.

Also it’s easy to enter an event with a partner or a group. My husband is one of those natural social butterflies. He can talk to anyone and is intimidated by nobody. He’s often the life of the party.

Sometimes the simplest of things can be your undoing. Image: Mamamia Entertainment

They say you marry someone with traits you don't have and I've certainly done that. And if he was invited to at least some of the work-related events I'm being forced to attend at this time of the year then I'd be "home and hosed". Instead I have to face them alone and by the time I even arrive - having started to feel anxious from the moment I woke up, that feeling of anxiety increasing with every hour that passes - I'm in a bit of a state and it's a miracle I can even get out of the car.

What I need to do is just figure out a great way to make an entrance and then just go through the motions. It's all about the body-language. Instead of shuffling in apologetically and hiding I need to smile, pull my shoulders back, puff out my chest and walk in with confidence.

I am confident, I am confident, I am confident.

I am HAPPY TO BE HERE. Really, truly I am.

Once you've entered the event successfully, here's how to strike up conversation.