On Monday I celebrated New Year's Eve with a group of people I have never seen before because a good friend of mine invited me to go there with her. Since I'm very shy towards strangers, I was pretty quiet the whole time. Aside from that one friend who invited me, I've never seen anyone before. She and the others, however, all were really good friends (know each other from school etc). Because of that I didn't have a lot of chance to join their conversations, since a lot of them revolved about things they did or people they know and stuff like that.

Although I felt fairly uncomfortable it was a good evening and I had fun. I'm glad I was invited and went there since I'm usually not that excited about parties. Afterwards my friend told me that the others were not really sure whether I had fun at all or enjoyed the party, which sounds reasonable considering the situation.

I feel like I have made a bad impression and would like to communicate to them that me being so silent was because of my shyness (maybe social anxiety) and the fact that I didn't know anyone aside from my one friend. I now wonder how I can communicate that without coming across as even weirder?

2 Answers 2


This sounds very familiar - I have some issues with social anxiety and am very bad at hiding when I feel uncomfortable, so I've been in a number of situations where my shyness / awkwardness has been noted by other people.

My first suggestion is for next time - If you know or suspect that they think that, I've found it's best to address their misconceptions when it happens, i.e., at the party. While it doesn't happen often, I have been told directly that I look uncomfortable by one of the friend-of-friends... as embarrassing as that is, it did give me a chance to explain and say "oh, no, I'm just shy" and assure them that I really was enjoying talking to them. Otherwise, it's pretty common (in my experience with casual / small house parties in the US) to get a chance to address the group as you're saying your goodbyes for the night - thank the host for inviting you, tell everyone you had a great time meeting them and were glad to have attended, accompanied by a genuine smile :)

However now that the party is over, you'll have to make contact some other way. One thing I've done is to add them on social media, possibly with a friendly message (e.g. "Hi, it's Em! Had a great time talking to you about foobar at the party last week"), and make a post about how I had a great New Year's Eve. I wouldn't message everyone directly to say "Hey, I heard you thought I had a bad time, but I actually had a great time!", since they might feel uncomfortable and pressured to respond. Instead, adding them on social media implies "I'd like to stay in touch", which is a positive and fairly low pressure signal, and the post will make it clear you enjoyed the party.

You also can talk to your friend about it! She's your link to the others at the party, and that's how you found out about this situation, so it's clearly not out of line to bring it up with her. Ask your friend to pass it along that while you're a bit shy around new people, you had a lovely time (would be happy to hang out again, etc., whatever is true for you). This is another thing I've both done and been asked to do by others. I'm not sure it's expected, but I do personally feel some responsibility when introducing a new person to a group to make sure things go well, so I don't think it'd be unusual to ask. And it should be a relatively easy thing for her to do, since she understands the dynamics of interacting with both you and her other friends and will know how best to explain to them.


I feel like I have made a bad impression

What you experienced is quite common. I doesn't sound like you made a specifically bad or misleading impression. Just the normal impression of someone who leans toward introversion. A bad impression at a New Year's Eve party would be something different entirely.

If your friend is a good person, it's also highly likely they were expressing a genuine concern for your happiness or, at worst, worried you didn't like them for some reason.

I now wonder how I can communicate that without coming across as even weirder?

Don't feel like you need to. Not everything has to be talked about. Also, you don't know them well enough to gauge how them might react. Talking about it would be at best unnecessary, at worst, yes I agree with your prediction that it may be weird to bring it up.

Just tag along with your friend again. I presume you would now feel more comfortable knowing the group and having the shared experience of the New Year's Eve party. Engaging with the group builds your lasting impression, which is often very different from the first impression.

  • 1
    Hey, do you have any back-up has to why OP shouldn't talk about it? Do you have personal experience where talking about it made things worse?
    – Ael
    Jan 2, 2019 at 20:49

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