You should go. Your friend obviously trusts you enough, and it's a good opportunity to work on your social anxiety.
Good luck sushi!
One way to look at it:
While your anxiety will not allow you to enjoy the celebration 100%, the experience will allow you to enjoy the next occasion a little bit more and so on.
I used to think that I had the worst social issue in the world, untill the day a started at my first job.
You must to go, you'll see that it's not that bad, and even if it is, it's going to get better with time and practice.
The only thing you have to do is to think to yourself: "Do I have a condition? Yes! Do I like it? Not at all! How could I get rid of it?"
The only answer is to face it. I know I may be sounding a """self helping bulshitter""" but it is true. The only to become more normal, in this case, is creating a must to do things you don't like to do.
Back in the days, I dindn't need to get a job, I have a rich family, I did it just because I needed a necessity to face it. And I nailed it.
I always have non-family members at thanksgiving. It's cool, breaks up the heaps of phony conversation I have to endure through the day.
I want to encourage you too. It might turn out to be less stressful than expected, depending on the people and activities. Maybe you could help with the cooking or so. During family festivities I keep myself busy until I have adjusted to the company. In worst case you can always excuse yourself to the bathroom or even a short stroll outside to catch your breath.>>4588
Lucky you! For me it was the other way around. I always thought, my social anxiety wouldn't be that bad, until I had to work 8h/d at a shared office.
I've been in a similar situation when a friend invited me for Christmas dinner with her family. I was scared shitless beforehand, but once I was there, I just went with the flow so I wouldn't have time to overanalyze or ruminate. I'm glad I went. It was a good bonding experience, and it has lower my barrier for that kind of social stuff a little bit.
If nothing else, your friend will be happy to have you around. They invited you for a reason!
I have taken people up on offers like this. I then realized that other people will take what you say at these types of events and talk about you behind your back. You most likely won't have a stronger bond with anybody you encounter than they already have with each other. Because of that, it's best to keep conversations extremely light and not divulge any information that you don't want to be spread around.
For somebody with social anxiety, it's terrible to hear that other people are going to say these things about you. You want to hear that you can say what you think or feel and that other people will be authentic and sincere. What you really get are other people who are very guarded toward you. If you have trouble coming up with topics of conversation, somebody usually fills the air with talk about their children, occupation, or education.
I both love and loathe these events. First I love them because it feels good to be part of a "family." Then, I loathe them because I realize that I'm not actually part of the "family."
>>4599> other people will talk about you behind your back
I had to learn, that this is really common and I still hate it.
> keep conversations extremely light
This is a good advice for such an event. Even when I spent holidays with my family, I dare not to touch sensitive topics to avoid ruining the atmosphere, be it hypocritical as it is. On the other side it's really tough to come up with answers that are shallow enough yet not too avoidant, if you spent your days with rather special interests (like lurking, watching Anime, studying the economy of the ottoman empire, you name it). Being too uncommunicative will be misunderstood as disgust or despise towards them.
To stop people from prying, OP could admit to be a bit shy, if the conversation becomes uncomfortably touchy. Not everyone is aware of the pressure one might be under in these situations.
OP did you go?
I didn't show you my dick but still, answer me
I went. Ate food and played cards with his family. They are very loud and poked fun at me for being quiet. It was okay, I guess.
Could've gone better, but at least I went.
They asked me some random questions and kind of put me on the spot, which made me feel awkward. They like to shout indoors, not in an aggressive way, but they were very energetic and loud among one another. But I don't like shouting because of my abusive family that never got along with one another.
They asked if I don't swear for religious reasons even though I've literally never heard of that idea before, I just don't swear or talk much around people I don't know. Then they asked if I'm Catholic, and I said no. Didn't feel like explaining that my entire family is atheist and I'm thinking of joining a church but I don't know which one to join. Then they said maybe I'm buddhist, which was weird. I said nothing to indicate that I'm buddhist. Religion doesn't seem like a good topic to bring up as soon as you meet someone.
I could tell they were trying to get to know me because they asked me questions about myself, but I didn't really feel like opening up that quickly. I tried to engage people in conversation about themselves and their interests and stuff too, though I wasn't really good at it. They asked about movies and sports and other boring stuff which I can't relate to. I didn't feel like explaining how I spend my time programming and learning about reverse engineering, malware analysis, and information security.
They also just talked about a bunch of other random things.
They had two friendly dogs that I had fun petting. At least the dogs didn't ask me weird questions.
I wasn't used to this kind of family dynamic, where people were getting along and being talkative and stuff.
I also got the impression that they were used to everyone being really outgoing, and maybe I made people feel awkward by being quiet and not really knowing what to say. They said I'm introverted and quiet and my friend joked about me being a "silent killer" or something.
Overall, I felt put on the spot and it was pretty awkward at times, but they didn't seem to dislike me, they just were okay with banter and poking fun at people in a lighthearted way.
But anyway, how was YOUR thanksgiving?
I've been in that situation before. It sounds like you are younger than me and haven't gotten out of that aloof, quiet-because-too-smart attitude. The "silent killer" and "reverse engineering, malware analysis, and information security" gives it away. Or maybe I'm projecting.
Since then, I've changed to be less awkward, but I occasionally drop immoral or taboo subjects on accident. If you take the time to pay attention, you can see everybody tense up when you say something bad. I'm still trying to figure out how to come back from those.
For example, I went to Thanksgiving dinner and talked about how a waiter charged me less money for something on the menu a few days ago. I thought I was lucky. Everybody around me thought it was immoral to accept a lower fee when obviously the waiter made a mistake.
As for the religion thing, I never answer those. I plainly refuse to answer them with "I don't really want to talk about my religious beliefs." and switch the topic immediately.
Another killer trick that I've had used on me is "Why do you think that?" Whenever somebody hits you with a "Are you X?" or "You're such a Y," just ask "Why do you think that?" Act like you care what they're saying and repeat their answers back to them.
>>4612>Another killer trick that I've had used on me is "Why do you think that?" Whenever somebody hits you with a "Are you X?" or "You're such a Y," just ask "Why do you think that?" Act like you care what they're saying and repeat their answers back to them.
Sounds good. Something simple I do is say "what about you?" after answering a question about myself because I don't want the conversation to be all about me, but when you meet a new person they might ask a lot of questions about you.
actually, it was alright, better than a normal day. feels good man
>>4611>They asked if I don't swear for religious reasons even though I've literally never heard of that idea before
I've met people that do that, it's funny when they really want to curse but feel they can't.
>I said nothing to indicate that I'm buddhist.
They probably didn't think you were buddhist either, just said something awkward trying to keep the conversation going.
>how I spend my time programming and learning about reverse engineering, malware analysis, and information security.
Would reverse engeneering be a good topic for conversations?
A lot of different professions, hobbies, activities deal with it so i expect it to be more paupable than the other 3 options as they need a lot more specific explanation and myth deconstruction.
>But anyway, how was YOUR thanksgiving?
We don't have thanks giving here so i spent it studying.
I spent Thanksgiving alone drinking beer and playing video games. It was much better than usual.>>4611
I also grew up nonreligious and the extent to which religious people think and talk about religion always boggles my mind, just since I hardly ever think about religion at all, and only in an anthropological sense if I do. Discussing theology and religious spirituality seems as normal as talking about yesterday's football game to them.
It's good you have stuff like programming to talk about. My main hobby is also my profession, and it's a landmine of a field that everybody has a political opinion on so all I can fall back on is stuff like video games and anime which doesn't do well with every crowd.
Also, what draws you to a church? I thought about trying one out just to see what it's like for a while but never went through with it.