Choosing Social Events Wisely To Avoid Burnout
f you’re fortunate enough to have plenty of friends and be rather popular, then that also means you receive a lot of invitations. This friend is having a baby shower, that friend is having a birthday party, this other friend is throwing a fundraising event for a charity, that friend is having a reading of her short stories at a local bookstore…If you attended all of these events, you’d never have a moment to yourself. But, the truth is that you love how big your community is. You love that you’ve made yourself such a presence in the lives of so many people that they think of you when creating these guest lists. If it were up to you, there would just be 40 hours in a day and you could do it all. But, that’s simply not the case. You have a job, maybe you have a relationship, and you may even have kids. You also have your relationship with yourself, which is quite important. You can’t tend to all of that and go to all of these events. Some just won’t make the cut. Here is how to choose social events wisely to avoid burnout.
How long since you’ve seen this person?
If you just saw these friends within the last two weeks, then you’re safe to skip this one. However, if you haven’t seen them in months—or half a year—and have had to consistently turn down their invitations, it may be time to suck it up and go. Going more than half a year without seeing a friend can mean the friendship is nearly over.
How important is the friendship?
It’s okay to ask yourself this question—it’s not like your friends know you’re asking it. As you get older, you won’t have time for every acquaintance and fun pseudo-friend. Start trimming the fat. Get down to your core crew—the ones you know you’ll be friends with forever. Maybe don’t go to the book signing of the woman you met once at a mixer three months ago and sometimes text.
Will you see them soon anyways?
Do you have another event coming up with these friends in the next two weeks? If so, and you feel that this current event will cause you burnout, skip it. You can just say, “I’ll see you soon anyways!”
How reliable are they?
Before you bend over backwards to make it, ask yourself how reliant these friends are. Would they move mountains to make it to your thing? Or, have they actually been flaky in the past? You want to be a reliable person, of course, but don’t burn yourself out for people who certainly wouldn’t do the same for you.
Will several friends be there?
Getting a little burnt out now could buy you time to relax in the future. If there will be several people you’ve been meaning to see at this event, then maybe you should go—you can check a few friends off your list at one event.
Is it right by your place?
This one should be a no-brainer. If you can walk there, or drive there in less than 10 minutes, just stop by. You can show face for 30 minutes and dedicate less than an hour to this event, while still earning social points.
If it’s far, look at your week
If this event would require you to drive nearly two hours in total, take a look at the week ahead. If you have a lot of big drives in the coming days, just know that going to this event tonight could leave you exhausted and irritated for that work event in a few days. Save your driving capital.
What do your days before and after look like?
You’re invited to something on the 20th. You’re free so you think you should go. Not so fast. Look at the days around the 20th. If the 17th, 18th, 19th, 21st, and 22nd are all jam-packed, then the 20th is your only day to relax and re-fuel. You need that time.
Will there be a lot of strangers?
You want to show support at your friend’s fundraiser, but the truth is that she will be incredibly busy and she may have all of two minutes to say hi to you. Meanwhile, you’ll spend the rest of the evening making chit chat with total strangers and that’s exhausting.
Or, is it all good friends?
On the other hand, if you look at the guest list and it’s all good friends whom you know very well, you might actually find the event relaxing. Being around plenty of old friends is like being around family, which doesn’t require much mental energy.
Can you make time for self-care?
Look at your calendar and make sure there are pockets of time open for self-care. Whether that’s getting a massage or having an in-home spa night, just leave time slots for this.
How is your good will standing?
How much good will do you have with these friends right now? If you recently helped them move and went to their birthday party, you have the freedom to skip this event. If you know you’ve been neglecting that friendship, and you’ve let them down a few times recently, you may just have to go to this event.
Is it your partner’s friends?
Is it not your friends inviting you to something but your partner’s friends? Look—your man has to understand that you only have so much time to relax and you may not want to blow it on his best friend’s girlfriend’s birthday party. There are just too many degrees of separation for you to make that event a priority.
Do you see your partner’s friends?
On the other hand, if your partner has been getting on your case about spending more time with his friends, and his friends think you don’t exist because you’re never around, then you may need to show face at this one. Hey, be grateful he has friends for you to meet–it’d be worse if he didn’t.
Will this friendship survive?
Be realistic: does this friendship have staying power? Or is this a friend you were just getting to know, who is moving next month anyways? Or, is it a new friend whose husband your husband really doesn’t like? Those are hard friendships to foster.