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7 Reasons I Hate Work Social Events

May 30, 2014 by Lady Unemployed

I hate social events at work

I didn’t think I would have anything to write about this week, because I’ve been so occupied with some things lately, I just haven’t been inspired to write on my blog(s).

But today, someone else is leaving my department and she had been with the company 10 years, so they wanted to have everyone go to lunch in honor of her last day.

Let me tell you this – I have never been a big fan of work social events. I can’t even remember the last time I enjoyed myself and didn’t feel awkward.

Inspired by this event (and as a way for me to sort of vent out some frustration), I decided to compile 7 reasons I hate work social events and why these types of events make me feel uncomfortable –

1) I never know what to talk about.

I notice in these types of things people love to talk about after work events that have long since passed (that I haven’t gone to), travel (which I don’t have the money for), buying homes and other expensive things I also can’t afford, things they do on the weekend, and other chit-chatty grown up stuff I haven’t been able to fully embrace since reaching the “grown up” phase of my life.

The problem is that the types of things that busy my time and my life aren’t really talked about. I love to read books and write stories and rarely do I find myself in a conversation at these things that talk about anything remotely like that stuff. I also love watching television and going to the movies and that’s not brought up either. I pay attention to the news and that is a topic avoided.

Basically, I just don’t know what to say.

That’s probably one of my biggest issues, but here are a few others:

2) When I do talk, I’m not heard (literally).

I have a quiet voice and when I’m at any work place event that has a large number of people, I am always embarassed to have to repeat myself. I hate it and it just makes me not want to speak.

Not to mention, when I do repeat myself, it usually falls flat.

3) I’m self conscious about how/what I’m eating.

This is probably a result of a 5th grade teacher humiliating me once in front of the whole class during a buffet once, but I am really self conscious about my eating habitst and food choices. I also tend to eat fast, which is a terrible habit I need to drop, so I get worried when I have eaten way more than the company I’m keeping. Plus my dietary choices these days are limited, so I am picky, which leads me to usually asking embarassingly specific questions to the waiter/tress or I stick with salad.

4) You have to socialize with people you don’t like.

In some cases it’s possible to avoid them, but sometimes you don’t have a choice. This leads to a growing resentment of having to be near them and see everyone else appreciate their existance.

5) They go on too long.

Today was a luncheon and really, I only wanted to be gone longer than forty-five minutes to an hour. Instead, it went on for two hours. I didn’t know what to do that whole time. After a while, I just got tired of sitting there smiling at conversations where I didn’t know how to respond.

6) Every self-conscious body or outfit thought comes to the front and center of my mind.

If I go into these things wearing an outfit that I’m uncomfortable in or God help me it’s a fat day or I’m feeling EXTRA tall for some reason, those are the types of things highlighted in my mind. When that happens, everything else that has made me uncomfortable is multiplied by 10.

7) The abnormal and out of character friendly interaction.

My company isn’t filled with the nicest ladies and there is quite a lot of power plays and manipulation and unkind relations that go on that makes the place it a difficult place to work. So, to have to act really nice and let it all go as if I’m comfortable, is hard. It stresses me out and I can’t relax.

For now, this is pretty exhaustive of why I am uncomfortable at work social events. Am I the only one out there that cringes or hides or gets suddenly sick whenever these events come around?


  1. Swim Karim says:

    At least it was a lunch affair. It can get even worse if it’s after work ends and people add the terrible element that in ALC a.k.a Alcohol. Things just go down hill at that point.

  2. Nicole P says:

    I literally agree with EVERY single word!! I hate work stuff. Like I avoid it at all costs. Unfortunately my husband has A LOT of social events due to work and 99.9% off the time it is awkward as &#$@ lol I hate it.

  3. Shanice says:

    I love your blog! Even though I am neither employed nor unemployed(I think…) I’ve never had a job in my life. I nominated you for a Very Inspiring Blogger award

  4. zumpie says:

    Ironically, I’m pretty sociable, work in sales, with a past in hospitality (so dining part is a non-issue) and am quite solid at making small talk, I’m also a skilled event planner—-and I hate these things, too. For particularly how you’re now expected to sweetly socialize and pretend to have fun with the exact people who just finished personally insulting you and throwing you under the bus in a meeting so no one would notice their own poor job performance.

    Additionally, I don’t drink very much (like I’m woozy after one glass of wine), so there’s that concern. Also, I truly fail to understand how getting tanked together makes you better at your job. I recently got into trouble for leaving “early” from a team dinner (we were done and I had been up and traveling since 4AM) and for not attending a designated optional event (and not having been told it wasn’t really optional), because apparently getting drunk at a baseball game would’ve magically made the same backstabbers like me.

    • It’s good to know I’m not alone. And I am going to have to inevitably conform to attending an event this August and I’m so anxious. I have my sights on leaving early too and let’s hope no one notices!

      • zumpie says:

        Even weirder? I will generally at least put in an appearance at functions at least partially during work hours, because I think that’s fair. I also generally have a great time when I’m invited to another department’s functions because they’re well planned, genuinely friendly and actually FUN…..and yes, I’m trying to move into that department, now….

        Good luck in August—-just remember, eventually it will end!

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