The last time I went to a networking event (over a year ago thanks to COVID-19), I remember sitting in my car and giving myself a pep talk. “This is a party. Go inside and enjoy it. This is a party. Go inside and enjoy it,” I repeated over and over again to myself.
While I’m the life of a party when I’m with my friends, I loathe networking events and dread small talk. Instead, I enjoy substantive conversations and don’t know how to achieve meaty, engaging discussions with people I don’t know very well. Thus, the topics stay in the weather and cute-things-my-dog-did-today categories. I inevitably go home exhausted and dreading the next time I have to discuss the weather with strangers while snacking on a charcuterie board.
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