• Ashish

That Time I Felt Anxious When Going to a Family Wedding


Family weddings are the most joyous of occasions but they are also the most hectic, especially when it comes to Indian weddings! They are even more chaotic, with endless celebrations falling over several days. Although I look forward to celebrating weddings as much as the next person, there are some aspects of it I don’t look forward to so much.

In my case, lining up to get to the hall to celebrate the engagement and listening to the music at an excessively high volume (who needs music that loud, really?!). With the appearance of limited personal space due to the crowds and the overall duration of the day, approximately 7 hours in fact.

Through each of these situations my anxiety is always at an all time high. Whether that be due to so many people crowding around you to get to different areas of the hall or many putting on praise or acknowledgement (in terms of your own achievements). For example one of those distant relatives hits you with the classic "Oh my, haven't you grown!", of course I have, it's been 15 bloody years.

Or you might get something about your future ‘looking bright’. Now I am all for well wishing but realistically my growth spurt was a while ago, secondly how can one really establish how ‘bright’ ones future will be unless their mind readers (which I am not really an avid believer of, though am always intrigued in chance happenings, destiny and encounters as a matter of fact).

Overall large crowds of people can be quite challenging to maneuver yourself around, specially if you only know a small amount of people (in this case the grooms side). However with great food, an abundance of joy and ceremonious cheer the day itself certainly can start to improve. It is until you pass the dreaded moment of meet and greets that your mind begins to calm down and enjoy all that is around it (in this case pleeeeenty of cheering and dancing, what's not to love right?)

What I learnt from this particular experience:

  • Find your safe spot when you are in an unfamiliar location. This may be outside, in your car or anywhere else for you to regain your breath.

  • Approach a big crowd one step at a time. Preferably stick with a family member you feel most comfortable with, in order for you to make your way around the room at your own pace.

  • Think about the bigger picture in how you are tackling your anxiety one step at a time by exposing yourself to stressful situations that you would rather not expose yourself too (i.e improving your own resilience bit by bit).

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#weddings #socialsituations #socialanxiety #crowds