Second, determine a time limit for your stay at the party/gathering. Who says you have to be at something like this from the very first moment the door is thrown open ‘til the last person is walking out? If two hours is your limit, then two hours it is. Or if you can only last an hour, then make it an hour that matters: as in, be sure to greet your host/hostess and say “thank you” for his/her hospitality (if you can swing it, a host/hostess gift is always nice to offer as well); try to make a sweep of the room and greet those people you do know; see if you can introduce yourself to at least one new person you don’t know (and make a new friend!); and then, by all means, do partake of the food and beverage that’s been provided for your nourishment and enjoyment. It could help distract you for a few moments, calm your social nerves and fortify you somewhat for the rest of your time there.

Third, pray before, during and after. Pray beforehand that the Lord would bring peace to your anxious heart and that he would help you to be others-focused during the party/gathering. By switching your perspective, you may feel less self-conscious and actually find yourself having a good time as your attention is directed toward others. Then, pray during the party/gathering that the Lord would point out to you someone who needs an encouraging word (Romans 12:10) or just someone who looks lonely and needs someone to approach and befriend them (you can be that someone for someone else!). And finally, pray afterward. What does God want to teach you/show you through this experience that is usually difficult for you as a single adult?

I think if you see a party/work function/gathering as a growing experience (James 1:2-4) as well as an outreach opportunity (1 Peter 4:10), you might find yourself enjoying holiday events a little bit more.
 

HE is … Cliff Young, a Crosswalk.com contributing writer and a veteran single of many decades. He has traveled the world in search of fresh experiences, serving opportunities, and the perfect woman (for him) and has found that his investments in God, career and youth ministry have paid off in priceless dividends.

Laura MacCorkleSHE is … 
Laura MacCorkle, Senior Editor at Crosswalk.com. She loves God, her family and her friends. Singleness has taught her patience, deepened her walk with the Lord and afforded her countless (who's counting anyway?) opportunities to whip up an amazing three-course meal for one. 

DISCLAIMER: We are not trained psychologists or licensed professionals. We're just average folk who understand what it's like to live the solo life in the twenty-first century. We believe that the Bible is our go-to guide for answers to all of life's questions, and it's where we'll go for guidance when responding to your questions. Also, it's important to note that we write our answers separately (we think they sound eerily similar sometimes, too!). 

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