Woman in a light blue dress sits on the floor, resting her head on her arm, looking thoughtful again...
Phil Provencio


How to Party When Parties Give You Anxiety

Author and comedia Chelsea Devantez shares her tips.

by Chelsea Devantez

I have two modes — pajamas and Met Gala, and I never miss an opportunity to turn the volume up on either. I love going out and seeing my friends, but in this climate, aren’t we all introverts? This has made parties especially anxiety inducing lately, as I battle the part of me that wants to be on my couch, with the part of me that wants to take a shot of tequila — and that’s really best as a group activity. I never know which side of me will show up until I’m out, but when it’s the anxious side of me, I’ve found some tips to help a gal out:

1. Take little crying breaks in the bathroom. It’s kinda nice to cry in a public space and you might even meet a new friend crying in the stall beside you.

2. Offer to be the girl who watches everyone’s bags. Ugh, there’s no place to put our stuff, You know what, I’ll sit with everyone’s bags, you go dance. No, no it’s fine, I have to answer some work emails anyway. Now you’re safe — cozy even — padded by the purses and coats from your friends who checked the weather. If someone gives you a look like “Why are you sitting alone” gesture to the bags like, “Can’t, I’m watching the bags!”

3. Make up a fake boss who just won’t leave you alone. I’ve gotta answer this, Michael is so stressed lately. Your fake boss Michael can become a huge dick if the party is terrible. I have to go home to send Michael the pdfs tonight or I’ll get fired, so sad to leave. Or if the party is pretty good Michael can disappear. You know what? Screw Michael, your ex-girlfriend's birthday karaoke night is more important.

4. Become a DJ. I know, who wants to be a DJ? But think about it. The DJ gets to be comfortably hidden behind a table blocking them from all socializing, tucked into a corner, and yet they are not only at the party, they are the captain of it.

5. If you’re in the mood to make friends, find the most anxious looking person in the room and say “I have so much anxiety at parties, do you?” If they say “no,” smile and say “Wow, teach me your ways!” If they say “yes” — a new anxiety party friend!

6. Carry a book. Especially if it’s a dark club or house party where it would be impossible to read, because who would have the audacity to do that? Someone cool, with confidence, and that’s you now! Bring Britney Spears’ memoir, it’s a great conversation starter. Or carry my book with you! It has a fun title, “I Shouldn’t Be Telling You This.” Each chapter title is a different woman’s name in my life — some are heroes and some are villains, but hey, what are both of those things? A leading role! It covers everything from when I found out my dad was not my real dad to when I dated a magician. Are those last two related? Hm, feels like yes, right? When someone is like, “What book is that?” you can say “It’s the memoir of this girl who hates parties but still goes to them for some reason”