Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Day 102 - I kinda suck at the social thing

The Mardi Gras party last night was fantastic! There were anywhere from 25-30 people there at the peak. I couldn't take pics until some had left, but here's one I managed.

Mardi Gras party!

So I was up late last night, as is my norm these days, and I had a chance to hang out with some friends. Now if this doesn't sound odd to you, let me explain why this is kind of important to me.

I have lost the ability to just hang out with people.

No, hear me out. You see, a couple of years ago, Cen and I used to hang out ALL the time at the Viper Pit. She and I were together, alone or with others, pretty much every single day. She understood that sometimes we didn't need to talk, or she was happy to drive the conversation forward, or we'd go off and do something fun or silly. After a while, after guys and land owning entered our SLives, things started to change. Then later, I retreated into a shell [most people know that story, I won't get into it again] and she left SL and now...I don't know how to hang out. I see the photos of people running around with friends, doing this or that, and I am envious. I have gotten so used to being alone in SL that I do not know how to just simply BE, unless I'm very close to the person.

For example: Last night after the party, I went to hang out with Ford, Chloe and Sarra over at Ford's new place. I was quiet. I was vaguely uncomfortable. Not because of who they are, not one bit. I think they're great people. But I always get the sense of "Should I be entertaining?" when I am around others. The worst thing for me is when someone says "Oh we should hang out, you are so funny/interesting/awesome in your blog/plurk!"

Oh god. No, honey. No.

I freeze when people say we should hang out. I immediately start thinking "Why do they want to hang out with me? What will we do? Do I need to be funny? Philosophical? Entertaining? Do I need to think of something for us to do? What do I need to talk about? Are they going to think I'm stupid? They are, they're going to think I'm stupidly boring! This cannot end well!"

What it comes down to is that I guess I don't feel like people want to hang out with me for me. They want to hang out because at some point, I made them laugh when I was writing, and that's what they expect.

Truthfully? I'm shy. I'm a little quiet. Unless I'm working a party, I'd almost prefer not to go unless someone goes with me. I can fake it sometimes. I can fake being outgoing. But when it comes down to it...I'm not.

So what do I do? I don't know. I've always thought of myself as a social person, but lately...I just can't do it.

Luckily, there are a few people that I am completely comfortable with, who have kind of pushed to get to know me past the blog or past plurk. I'll admit that I was probably very reserved and quiet with them as well at first, but eventually they managed to slip inside the shell I never quite realized was around me. My friend Marnix is a good example of someone who I feel comfortable hanging out with. He is most definitely good at keeping a conversation going, even if sometimes it looks like he's talking to himself. :-p


I don't know. I guess I'll just keep trying to push past this. I just feel bad that sometimes when someone asks if I want to go do something, I say no because I just don't think I can do it. I have to get over this.


Sarra Foggarty said...

You did just fine last night. I am the opposite, I run off at the mouth and don't know when to shut up when I am nervous around new people. I had a great time :)

Veronica Kanya said...

I totally can feel you with that. Like I'm a self proclaimed social butterfly irl...yet when it comes to sl...i have no idea how to act when "hanging" out. I meet people and friend them with the intentions of hanging out but then i'm like...well what do i do...how am i supposed to act....blah blah blah. Idk but i do know...i love parties like last night and being able to meet new people :)

Joonie said...

Ali....hugs you. Ditto to what you said.

Mally said...

think about it this way: if people think you're funny & interesting....then they must have a good reason for that :)

it's totally normal to be paranoid-ish around people, especially new ones. i even do that, and i'm very outgoing most of the time. but when i start to let myself get paranoid and ask all these questions and worry so much, i think that i only have one second life to live, so i'd better get a freakin grip on myself! haha.

and, remember that you're not the only one who's not good at socializing...most likely the people you're with are scared, too.

ive never met you, but you seem really, really awesome. i love reading your blog, so just talk to people like you are in your blog. be your amazing self :)

Casandra Shilova said...

The next time someone asks if you want to hang out, and you do, but you have doubts - you might try saying okay, but I'm quiet, so I probably won't say much. In a sense that lets you off the hook, then you can just pop out with whatever enters your head from time to time.

Or say, let's work on our inventories (it doesn't have to be an inventory sorting party, it can be just two people hanging around). That gives you both something to focus on besides what to say next.

Or try hanging out with someone while you are both working on your blogs, that frees you up to share a picture and comment on it or say something from time to time.

Waves at Joonie

Andria Meredith said...

Hi Alicia, remember me? <3 I know it's been a while. ;P

I just had to comment because I really feel you on this one...

Socializing is a trained art, it really is. When you're rusty it doesn't come easily. But I know you have a lot of wit and charm... not just when you're writing or working a party, but from little impromptu gatherings at the Pit and conversations in Ch'Know and other "downtime" occasions. And I have a feeling if you get yourself back out and into things, with no expectations (like having to entertain) it'll become more natural again.

Cheers sweetie!! <3

Summer Wardhani said...

I very much related to this. Sometimes, life offers a couple of lessons that simply make us change to a different path. With time, we simply accept that we have changed... and those who really are worth our trust and friendship will deal with those changes as well. Those who are not able to do that, well, they loss ;). Most important of things, anytime? That you feel comfy with yourself - and the rest will follow :)