Dining Outs, Military Balls, Christmas Dinners… as military spouses we have more opportunities than most to dress up and go out to fancy events without paying thousands for a ticket.
However, the good deal on a glamorous date with your husband in his dress uniform can be surprisingly stressful. Several times a year we find ourselves in a room full of people we barely know, but are expected to be friendly with. When you add to that the expectations of a few hundred years of military traditions and protocols, you’ve got a recipe for a lot of stress.
It’s a shame to spend so much time picking out our gown, heels, jewelry and hairdo, only to have the glamorous evening tarnished by awkward, anxious social interactions. But it doesn’t have to be that way according to Jane Bresko, Program Manager of Army Family Team Building at Fort Benning, Georgia. “Anxiety is a mind blocker,” she warns.
“So do yourself a favor…have a plan,” advises Jane, military wife of twenty-four years and veteran of too many military events to count. Whatever your social anxiety…meeting new people, making small talk, talking to “important” people…you can take control by having a game plan.
Here’s the plan:
1. Learn the ABC’s of military life
Take advantage of educational classes. They’re free to spouses and every branch of the military offers them. Once you learn some of the military language, social events will automatically go smoother.
These classes not only empower you with employment opportunities, financial assistance, relocation guides, and much more, but they also expand your circle of friends. Military events won’t seem so stuffy when you recognize a few familiar faces.