Being thrown in the deep end

Last week I had a meeting with a new client who was kind enough to invite Stinky along to play with her children.  It was at a dairy farm, and Stinky was excited beyond belief.

We drove up the long meandering drive, marvelling at the different animals and chatting happily.  When we walked inside, there was suddenly a pained expression on Stinky’s face.  She looked at the seven children sitting around then back to me with a look that said “Don’t throw me in the deep end mum!  Stay here with me”.

I remember that feeling so well.  As a child, we moved house a lot.  Not just a few times, but thirteen that I can think of off the top of my head!  This meant new schools, new friends and all of the associated angst that goes with it.

Walking into a new playground or classroom is not dissimilar to walking into a new office, workplace or conference.  You need to scan the crowd and find that one friendly face to start the ball rolling.  There’s usually one.

That day, I left Stinky alone in the room, and as predicted – she didn’t sink!  By the time we’d finished our meeting and I went to find her, Stinky was great mates with the kids and didn’t want to leave.

Whether you’re starting a new job, joining a new club, going to a new school or walking into any room full of strangers for the first time you just need to do one thing: don’t duck your head, hold it high and look around until you make eye contact with at least one person,  then smile.  This simple gesture will break the ice.  It may take you way out of your comfort zone, but you have to start somewhere.

I’m heading off to the Digital Parents Conference in March and I’m scared witless.  I know exactly how Stinky felt that day, but multiply it by one hundred.  I’ve never met anyone who is going to be there, yet I feel like I know them through reading their blogs.

If you’re the person I look at and smile as I walk in, please smile back.  You’ll make my day.



The Organised Housewife

Image credit



  1. Make sure you COME up to me and say hi!

  2. Come and find me. Warning: I’m a hugger.=)

  3. I will be looking for you to say hello to. It will be great to meet you. You are going to have the best time.

  4. You’ll be fine and have a great time. Helps to meet up with a few people before hand if you can – are you flying in?

  5. Yep I am Stinky. I am terrible entering a room of people I don’t know very well. I am terrible at small talk with people I don’t know very well. But if you talk to me first, I will talk to you forever.

    DPCON will be my second blogging conference and hopefully I will be MUCH better at scanning the crowd for a smiler. I was so annoyed at myself at ProBlogger for constantly retreating back to my home base (ie the two people I knew) instead of striking up conversations with people I knew of from their blogs!

    Looking forward to meeting you there Kim 🙂

  6. We will definitely have to stop and have a chat.

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