A horribly drunk and evil gatecrasher of the party that is your life.
It bitches in the kitchen behind your back about how dreadful the food is, how much your colleagues are bored by your work and how you’re boyfriend is flirting with that girl from marketing in the next room.
It steals the cash from your wallet and pinches the fat that peeks over the top of your jeans.
Fear is basically a bastard.
But it’s also kind of sexy.
Fear is kind of like those people you know you shouldn’t fancy because they screw everyone and make you feel awful, used, insecure and ugly. But somehow you just can’t help going back for more.
Because it’s addictive, this obsession with fear. And when all the vodka is drunk, the place is trashed and you wake up feeling like death, its pretty damn useful to have nasty old fear to pin the blame on.
But it still ruins your party. You spend weeks trying to get the stains out of the fabric of your life.
So how do you deal with fear crashing your party?
You could try not inviting the bastard to come at all. In which case you’ll probably spend all night anxiously waiting for the doorbell, being fearful of fear not showing up because you’re not cool enough. Or hot enough.
You can try feeling the fear. Which is probably a really bad idea in this scenario, as we have already agreed that fear is rather sexy and addictive, and any unrestrained cavorting with fear will only make you feel worse when you are caught in a compromising position amongst a pile of coats.
Perhaps ignoring the fear could work. Especially that kind of “I’m ignoring you but really I fancy the hell out of you so I’ll ignore you but occasionally catch your eye and then suddenly look away but then straight back again” kind of ignoring. Which we all know is a big fat lie. The bastard is in the room and you are clocking every move.
So how to get the fear out of your party – or at least out of the center of the room – for good? Here are three ways that might work for you;
- Try humanising it. For example, we would all probably concur that Robert Pattinson is hot. And that Beyonce is a bit of alright, too. But they burp. And probably pick their noses. This is your opportunity to notice what is unattractively human about the fear. Is there a pimple somewhere you can zone in on, an overly flourishing nose hair maybe? Or a just a really unattractive voice? (David Beckham springs to mind.) Strip away the celebrity perfection of the fear and you may feel the shakes disappear.
- Allow the fear. This isn’t the same as feeling the fear. This is where you just let it get on with making a mess everywhere else, while you focus on enjoying yourself in another part of the room. You’re not running into another room, you’re not talking about it with anyone, and you’re not hovering nearby it to make sure it doesn’t throw up all over the carpet. Eventually even the most hardened life-crashing fear will bore of being starved of attention and will slink away in search of a more attentive audience. Fear lives off resistence. So humour it. When you stop resisting, it zaps away the power of the fear leaving it all floppy and impotent. And in this case, that really is a good thing.
- Make it a dress up party. If you can’t change the fear, change the theme of the party instead. Make it wear a stupid clown costume, a bunny suit, nothing but a pair of fluffy pink handcuffs (whatever floats your boat.) I used to do that old trick of trying to imagine the panel of an opera audition all naked in their chairs as I stood shaking before them. (Which is far, far more frightening than the fear of singing a wrong note.) So get your fear and dress it up in something that is non-threatening and welcoming.
I get loads of crappy fear gatecrashers at my party all the time. In fact, I have a really slippy bastard of a visitor hanging around this very moment. This is a fear that is not just a gatecrasher but a stalker.
But… I’m working on stripping away the mask. Turning on the lights and shooing all the ugly out through the front door.
You don’t want fear at your party. You want a jaunty, funky little soiree where the music just gets better, the punch bowl overflows and everybody fancies you.
What other ways can you think of to get over your crush on fear? What have you done to boot fear out the front door in your life?