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  • Writer's picture15-Minute Friendships

Nervous about Attending a 15-Minute Friendships Event? Read This!

Updated: Aug 8, 2023

Putting yourself in an unfamiliar situation can be pretty nerve wracking, and a social activity such as this can take many people out of their comfort zone. If you're interested in the idea of attending a 15-Minute Friendships event but are feeling at all anxious about the reality of it, then this blog post is for you. We want to address some of the more common concerns we hear from people when they're thinking about taking part in a 15-Minute Friendships Session.

I’m worried I won’t have anything to talk about…

That’s understandable, but 15-Minute Friendships is designed to work around this. Your 15-Minute Friendships host will do their best tailor the session to your conversational needs. So, if you’re not comfortable leading the conversation or can’t think of anything to talk about, your host will get things going by asking you a couple of gentle questions.

What if I freeze up / can’t speak?

It can be scary putting yourself out there in a social situation when you’re worried you might freeze up. This is a natural response to feelings of fear and anxiety, and it is not a problem for the host at all. Your host will reassure you that you can take your time and let you know there’s no pressure to say anything at all. You can sit there in total silence for the full 15 minutes if you need to.

We encourage people to take the session however they’d like to, so if you’d prefer to sit quietly and craft together or do some other activity in the company of the host without talking, that’s totally fine. There’s also no obligation to stay for the entire session if you don’t want to, which brings us onto our next point…

What if I want to leave?

You are free to leave a 15-Minute Friendships session at any time. The host will not find this rude at all. You can simply get up and walk away if you feel comfortable doing so. Alternatively, we have a Tap-Out Policy that’s designed to make it as easy as possible for you to end a session. All you have to do is say some variation of the phrase “I’d like to tap out” or tap the Tap-Out card on the table, and the host will bring the session to an immediate and polite end with no questions asked.

I don’t feel very interesting…

It’s not uncommon to feel pressure to say or do something interesting in a social setting, and it’s easy for us to get inside our own heads and worry that we’re being boring. We want to make it very clear that your 15-Minute Friendships host will not find anything you have to say boring or uninteresting. The host is a volunteer who has purposefully attended the session to meet and engage with people and is aware that everyone will have different communication styles. You are welcome to talk about anything you want without fear of the host seeming bored or disinterested.

I am neurodivergent / have a disability that impacts the way I communicate…

We do our very best to make sure that anyone hosting a 15-Minute Friendships session is prepared to meet people with different communication needs. Engaging with people as individuals and with sensitivity and the willingness to adapt to their needs is our number one priority.

No two people are going to communicate perfectly right from the start, and we’re committed to getting to know each attendee and collaborating with them on a communication style that works best for them. If you have any additional needs or requirements that you’re not sure if we can facilitate, we encourage you to send us a message ahead of your session, and we’ll get back to you ASAP.

We do not currently have any hosts proficient in British Sign Language, but this is something we are hoping to expand upon in the future.

What if I do or say something the host doesn't like?

Our aim is for attendees to feel comfortable talking about pretty much anything in a 15-Minute Friendships session. If you're worried you've said something awkward, embarrassing, or maybe a little tactless, it might assure you to know that your host will often give you the benefit of the doubt. If the conversation is making the host feel at all uncomfortable, they will likely just try to change the topic or they may politely let you know with no hard feelings.

That being said, 15-Minute Friendships operates a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to aggression, oppression, or harassment of the host, attendees, or venue staff. If we have reason to believe an attendee is intentionally or repeatedly attempting to make the host/venue staff uncomfortable, the session will come to an abrupt end and you will be asked to leave.

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