Going to the out-laws house for TG day and worked out a way to deal with it with my therapist. The family usually invited other couples and families to join them for dinner and it is always really awkward and uncomfortable for me. I used to deal by going outside for a smoke when I felt stressed, but since I'm not a smoker, I needed a new plan.
1. Get there early. The earlier you arrive, the more acceptable it is for you to leave early. Plus you can
2. Offer to help. If you're helping out in the kitchen, you're already involved when other people arrive -- folks you don't know you will feel more inclined to introduce themselves or vice-versa.
3. Introduce yourself. The sooner you do this, the sooner you will feel more like you belong and less like a stranger to these strangers who are joining you for dinner.
4. Take breaks and go outside and walk. It's fine to do this, and as someone who is an introvert as well as anxiety prone, this is a lifesaver. Take time out whenever you feel the need.
I think that's a good start. I'll probably write more before TG day, but I wanted to remind myself about these things that I an do to make myself more comfortable with family and strangers. Thanks for listening. Now maybe I can do a little writing on a book? We'll see!