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Mermaid

Social anxiety, how do YOU deal with it?

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So let's start at the beginning. A dozen or so years ago I was a depressed kid struggling to get through high school. I, like many others with mental and physical illness, discovered and began dabbling in forum and chat room RP at this time. Looking back on the sort of stuff I did it was awful and cringey and yet I had no qualms waltzing into a thread or chat room and just going for it.

 

Fast forward to today and the depression seems to have turned into anxiety. The lonely teenager who used to jump into chat rooms and talk to random people is now a woman who struggles to be the first to send a message on Discord. I wrote a shy/socially awkward character to hopefully give myself something easy to work with on that front. I figured RP was something I could still do since I'm hidden behind not only a screen but a character and surrounded by people doing the same thing I am. Well, I can but it's been a struggle.

 

For the first time I'm finally starting to go in game to RP. I panic nearly every time and I can't RP in /say in public areas but I still do it. Once I start it isn't so bad though I notice it gets harder with every person added to the scene. Then I got invited to a small public event and suddenly I couldn't push past it. I stood outside the house the event was at for a solid 10 minutes or more before apologizing profusely to one of the people who'd invited me and fleeing. I felt a sort of jittery feeling for the next hour or so and only shook it by taking a hot shower. There wasn't any denying it, I'd had an anxiety attack.

 

So what's the point of all this? I don't want to just accept that that's that and that I'll never be able to go hang out with people and RP outside of Discord and one and one scenarios. I don't want to roll over and let mental illness rob me of something I used to enjoy simply because I've changed the platform. I want to improve. Unfortunately, this is a new struggle for me and I don't know how. So I'm asking you. All you people with social anxiety struggling alongside me or watching your friends struggle, what are some ways to deal with it? Are there steps that can be taken? A natural progression of easing yourself into more public scenes, perhaps? Or do you just keep ripping the band-aid off over and over? Everyone's different and what works for some many not work for others but I'm afraid I'm at a loss here for how to handle this.

Edited by Mermaid
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Once more people join in a public rp session, the chat scrolling makes it hard for everyone to keep track of conversations. It’s something that can get easier with time. I’ve never found anyone to turn away from a walk up rp for a simple conversation, and that may be a good start. Just focus on the smaller interactions. Even in larger event settings you can try to find the one or two people who aren’t in a group and chat with them and not have to worry about all the other texts flying through your chat box. 

 

As for interactions irl, I can’t say I can give a good advice. Though I have experienced social anxiety from time to time, but I think that may just come from the anxiety of talking to someone I don’t know. But anyway, hope this helps.

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On 2/26/2019 at 6:45 AM, Halstein Mercer said:

As for interactions irl, I can’t say I can give a good advice. Though I have experienced social anxiety from time to time, but I think that may just come from the anxiety of talking to someone I don’t know. But anyway, hope this helps.

I'm more looking for advice regarding RPing with social anxiety as opposed to social anxiety itself. I'm sure there's tons of advice for social anxiety out there or more general websites/forums I could go to for that. I figured the problem was a little more niche and thus required a more niche forum.

 

Thank you for the comment though. :)

Edited by Mermaid

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Hi! I've also been struggling with social anxiety for a couple years, so I know what it feels like to struggle reaching out to people or going to events (still working on that one, actually). My tips/general advice would be:

  1. Don't play shy/socially anxious characters. I know, I know, you might think it's easy, since hey, you have social anxiety, you know how it works, right? But personally, what I've found is that it actually compounds all the anxiety I'm already feeling. For example, if I'm in a room with a couple RPers I don't know well, then I might already be on edge from that. Then if my character doesn't know them either, then I also have to think about how they're going to be feeling, which is likely even worse than I am, and basically the two just feed on each other. On the other hand, if I'm playing a character that's okay around people, then that gives me something to focus on, cause while I might be anxious, my character isn't, and I want to stay in character.
  2. Remember that people really do want to RP, and that many are actually really shy too. Yes, that initial message is really hard, but most of the time the person getting it is going to be happy that you're interested in their character. Also, there's nothing wrong with writing something up, then walking away for a bit to calm down before sending it. What I'll often do when I'm struggling with anxiety is write a message and have it ready to send, go play another game for a bit, send it, then go back to that game. It sounds weird, but I've found having the distraction actually helps.
  3. Public events are hard. Like, really hard. My best advice for them is to go with a friend if you can, maybe even a couple friends. That way, at least you know you'll have someone to talk to, and you can sort of ease into meeting up with other people if you feel like it. Also, if you're comfortable with those friends I would suggest being honest with them about what you're feeling. Most people are pretty understanding if you tell them "hey, I'm feeling anxious and might need to take a break/leave early".
  4. That said, practice does help. Anxiety is about focusing on what "could" happen, and I've found having positive experiences to point to is a good counter to that. Though, pick the events you're going to do with this with carefully, since some are both bigger and require more interaction than others. My personal recommendation would be going to a few performances to start, cause that way you can be out around people but without being required to interact too much if you start getting overwhelmed, and they tend to be smaller and less fast-paced than tournaments.
  5. Find a good FC and maybe join a few LSs if you haven't already. Having that constant group of people and the spontaneous RP and FC/LS events that goes along with them is also good practice, and you're more likely to be more comfortable around people you at least somewhat know. Even if it's just in a "oh hey, I've seen your name on tumblr/discord/wherever" sense.
  6. And finally, be kind to yourself. Like I said, I've been dealing with this for a few years now, and while it has gotten better, there are times where I still struggle to attend that event or send that first discord message. There are going to be days when the anxiety wins, and that's okay. The worst thing you can do is to start to beat yourself up over it, cause that's only going to make it harder to try again next time.

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Ack, saw this response a little late in the week. When I did I wanted a chance to gather my thoughts before responding because I felt like what I had to offer on one point might be relevant to anyone in the future who might find this thread looking for advice themselves.

 

On 2/27/2019 at 10:46 PM, Idristan Agache said:
  1. Don't play shy/socially anxious characters. I know, I know, you might think it's easy, since hey, you have social anxiety, you know how it works, right? But personally, what I've found is that it actually compounds all the anxiety I'm already feeling. For example, if I'm in a room with a couple RPers I don't know well, then I might already be on edge from that. Then if my character doesn't know them either, then I also have to think about how they're going to be feeling, which is likely even worse than I am, and basically the two just feed on each other. On the other hand, if I'm playing a character that's okay around people, then that gives me something to focus on, cause while I might be anxious, my character isn't, and I want to stay in character.

 

First, I want to clarify and say I didn't make a socially anxious character I made one that was shy and not exactly great at talking to people. She can spout sayings and wisdom read from books or force herself to be happy and cheerful when it seems like someone's down but outside of that she's reserved and afraid of what people will think when they talk to her. Bailing from a social event last week was really not to her character and I wrote an IC excuse for her not showing up. Subtle differences I'm sure but I wanted to make it known it's not as severe as giving my character social anxiety.

 

I play a lot of D&D/Pathfinder and I really struggle with the improv of verbal roleplay. Playing a more reserved character was also 100% a crutch for my improv failure. I wanted something easy to practice with. Again, probably still a problem but I wanted it clarified for any future commenters.

 

Now onto the more important part of me playing D&D/Pathfinder. I'll do the same thing there where I play the quiet characters about half the time but the other half I go out of that comfort zone. In fact, I'm set to play one in a few days. This has mixed results. Sometimes I can get really into the new persona and other times I flub it so hard other people don't know what my character is supposed to be. Practice, practice, practice, I know, but I've been practicing for several years now and don't feel like I've gotten much better.

 

On that note, I have made a character that's more outgoing. She's bold and boisterous even. I've brought her into the QS and just gone people watching but let's be real half those times I also think "What if I just walk up to people and RP?". The character has certainly gotten a lot of attention for looks/glamour even more than than my main RP character that's at least a year older. Once when I was leveling her I got asked to join an FC that would've fit her but at the time I didn't think I could give an FC the time/attention it deserved. Another time I watched a bar fight and really, really, REALLY wanted to throw her into the fray because it seemed like a lot of fun but no matter how hard I tried to convince myself I couldn't bring myself to do it. Last week I brought her in there purely to compare the Balmung scene to the Mateus scene and was whispered by someone asking about my character as, despite having nothing about RP in my search info, he assumed from my glamour, the fact I didn't have a nonsense name, and the fact I was in the QS that I RPed. I REALLY wanted to RP with this guy but instead I apologized and said I hadn't really RPed that character before. He still invited me to check out his FC and, damn, if I can remember what it was maybe I should hit them up. For whatever reason though, I just have not been able to force myself to play this character.

 

I have been toying with the idea of making another character. Maybe something a little less out there but also less shy. I struggle to convince myself to do this for two reasons. The first is it feels like giving up on my main and just making new characters when you hit a few bumps with one leads to a vicious cycle. The second is that I just hate the QS as a setting and I feel like that would be the go to place for practicing more public things. Who knows, maybe I should just go for it.

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Hi!! So, social anxiety is something I struggle with a lot. I don't know how helpful you'll find this, but there are a few tools I employ as a REAL LIFE behavior therapist to help get me through situations that normally set me off! I'll put them here:

1) I deliberately contrive scenarios where I have to RP, but in--contained, limited capacities. I'll say, "I'm gonna RP 1x1 today," and I'll do it. For a time, that was all I was capable of doing. once my nerves started to ease, just a bit, I took the next step. "I'm going to invite a friend, to the 1x1 RPs, make a small group." I hated it. Even if they were close friends of mine, it sent me into a heckin' tizzy. But I pushed through, and used coping mechanisms I'll talk about in a moment. I kept doing this, until finally, I was comfortable with that. Then I did my first small group RP with some strangers mixed in, did that until I was comfortable, etc, and I kept progressively building it up until I was in large settings. 

 

I'm still anxious in groups, it never fully went away, and in large places I tend to temporarily blist a lot of people because the chatscroll gets me riled up, but I'm certainly a lot better than I used to be. When I do get upset, or anxious (which happens, and that's okay), I have a few tricks I use:

2) Trigger your Diving Reflex. If you're anxious, and that anxiety is on the cusp of turning into panic, take a cold, wet washcloth or an icepack and press it to your lips and under your nose. This triggers something called the dive reflex, something all mammals have. It redirects oxygen to your brain, slows down your breathing, and expands your lung capacity as it prepares you for having to hold your breath for an extended period of time. This comes with a nice side effect-- it supercedes other physiological responses, and slows and prevents the rapid heartbeat, rapid breath, and other physiological responses that go hand-in-hand with anxiety! Will it make you feel fine and dandy? No, but it absolutely prevents the panic button from being slammed.

3) Practice mindfulness. So your thoughts are racing, a million miles an hour, and you can't keep up--that's fine. That's okay. Sometimes, simply accepting, "I'm anxious right now, and that's okay," takes a lot of the punch out of it. The frustration, the anger, the why can't you just be better fizzles out, if you can manage to convince yourself that anxiety happens, and anxiety is okay. What's more, you can imagine it as--a feeling. It's not you. You're not the anxiety. The anxiety is just an emotion, and emotions come, and crest, and crash down like a wave--and then they retreat again, and you will still be here, and you will be okay.

3) Practice Self-as-Context. This is a trick that takes a lot of time to build up to, but I find it really useful once you get it down. When you have anxious emotions, I say them out loud, like I was watching a movie, or describing a scene. "I'm feeling anxious because there's so many people. There's a lot going on right now. My typing is slow, I'm not doing as well as I could be," etc, etc, and the longer I do it, eventually, it's less like a feeling, and more just words spilling out my mouth. I use it as a technique to separate myself from the emotion, to conceptualize me not as the feelings, but as separate from them and existing in the moment.

Sorry if this wasn't helpful, but I thought I'd at least weigh in!

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On 3/4/2019 at 5:18 PM, WhoahIt'sRha said:

Sorry if this wasn't helpful, but I thought I'd at least weigh in!

Not at all! A lot of that is really interesting and is probably stuff I should try! :o

 

Unfortunately, as much as I'd like to put the advice in this thread to use I very likely won't be in the near future. When I made this thread I had found a group of people to hang out with but was only RPing with one maybe two of them. As I'm trying to work on getting better at this for them a bunch of drama happens behind the scenes and the group splits in half. The main person I was RPing with is naturally on the side I'm scared shitless of and no longer seems interested in RPing with me so now I've gone from trying to get over my problems to...not even RPing.

 

I really do appreciate all the advice and would love to see more on the off chance that one day I do get a chance to work on this problem again.

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Hey there! I struggle with social anxiety as well--though, mine seems to be a lot different than most people's seems to affect them, as I'm a lot more nervous about more personal, one-on-one interactions with others than large groups, but hopefully it's a similar enough struggle that I can offer some advice!

- My first bit of advice is not to play a character who is shy, disagreeable, or unsocial. This can actually make it more difficult to spark RP with other people, which is just another hurdle to deal with on top of your anxiety and may actually worsen it. Making a super outgoing character may be too difficult to keep up with if you're shy OOC, so I think it's most comfortable to play fairly average, friendly characters somewhere in the middelground. I find it can also help you be more brazen in your RP to remind yourself "I'm just having my character do what my character would do."

- I know it means little in the face of anxiety, but please remember most of the people around you in this game are socially awkward nerds who are probably struggling similarly to you! Most people aren't going to judge you harshly, and anyone who does is probably a jerk you'd be better off avoiding anyhow. We're just here to have fun pretendy-times!

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I might be a bit later for the subject of the thread but I'm here to even get some advice. I'm like you, I used to RP 'normally' without having some anxiety attack or anything like that when I was younger, now that I'm older I can't do the same.

When I was (with my former main-rp character, now main-content character) on Balmung I used to be part a FC that a former friend created, they were the first people that I rp'd in ages, some stuffs happened and I had to step back, my husband decided to try the game and I moved the said main to the same server that he was. There I felt a bit more comfortable with RP, probably cause I was RPing with my irl husband and that made me feel more comfortable and secure with my abilities, more due to English not being our first language, and even tho we only rp'd in English to train mine. While we were playing we used to attend some events but I usually focused only on him and not anyone else, except the staff from the place we attended.

Now he decided to stop to play for good, the game isn't that appeal for him and I decided to retire my main character from RP at all and give light to the alt I left behind on Balmung when I moved.

 

I'd love to attend some events, and even walk-up towards a character that I found interesting but I stall, I have a shock and only stay afar watching what's going on. Events are practically a "nope" not only due my social anxiety, but due to my odd timezone too. As some people gave the advice to not create a character that might have the same personality traits like yours is easier (my, now, main-rp isn't shy but she can get around some people) even having this to 'force' yourself to get out of your shell sometimes it don't work.

 

I hope you feel better, that your will to RP come back, like mine is coming back but I'm focusing on writing her story first.

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In my experience, the only way to beat anxiety (of all kinds) is to face that which makes you anxious. The condition is a monster that will only grow the more you cower from it, because it's based on an irrational fear that cannot survive being exposed to the truth. A therapist will talk to you about what triggers your anxiety and give you tools to deal with that fear so you can stop hiding from things that may trigger you. Beating anxiety means not letting it control you.

You can get yourself halfway there by internalizing a few truths about roleplay:

 

1) The stakes are low.

 

The RP community is huge, so unless you're actively going around harming other people intentionally and maliciously you won't be remembered for your mistakes a week from now. Even some people who spread harm manage to get away with it. You -- a normal, well meaning person -- are gonna be fine even if you mess up. Imagine the worst way you can screw up and the worst thing that can possibly happen as a result. That's not that bad, is it? And it isn't even going to happen. Anxiety is based on irrational fear.

 

2) No one group of people really matters: there are always others.


Because again, the community is big. You don't have just one chance, you have thousands of them. The community is more disparate and unconnected than you can possibly imagine.

 

3) Roleplay is hard and everyone fails sometimes.

 

So you didn't make any connections tonight. That's okay. That happens to everyone. People are looking for such different things, and there are hidden demographic trends happening behind the scenes you can't see. Different sorts of people come to different events. That's just the way things are.

 

4) There's someone for everyone out there, but not everyone for someone.

 

Someone is going to dislike what you're doing no matter what it is. We all have tastes. Sexual orientation, age, gender, and even political ideas inform what we enjoy. If someone doesn't like what you're doing, that's not a reflection on you.

 

I very much dislike conditional tense RP, but there are a ton of people who do it. There's someone for everyone.

 

TLDR: the worst that can happen isn't that bad. You're playing up your fears in your head, and you're catastrophizing what is at best an inconvenience. You have to actively push back against your fears and use reasoning and willpower to overcome them.

 

Start by helping yourself by making it easier for you to succeed. When going to events with chat scroll do the following: rework your UI to make your chatbox larger, turn off standard emotes in your chat channel (so that you only see /em stuff), don't be afraid to blacklist people you're sure you aren't going to interact with temporarily, and be ready to pay attention. Eat beforehand, drink plenty of water, be you at your best.

 

You can do this. It only seems hard because of the anxiety, which again, is not rational. You are the only one who can overcome your anxiety. If it was easy, you wouldn't ever be anxious.

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I'd also like to echo the idea expressed here that you should probably not gravitate toward a character that is shy or otherwise antisocial. It may not be what you want to hear or be inconvenient to things you may have already built up, but I think it can be added unnecessary difficulty, as well as an unwitting crutch. That doesn't mean you have to throw away everything you've built up, but you do have to prime yourself for success and minimize easy escape routes so there's less temptation to recede when things inevitably get tough.

 

Set yourself small, frequent, attainable goals. "Approach a stranger," "roleplay for a half an hour straight," etc. Small steps that you can succeed at are key. Some effort is better than 0 effort. If you can't roleplay for 30 minutes straight, start with 10. If you can't do 10, start with 5. Just make sure you can realistically succeed and build on it. Make a prominent note of your successes so you don't just stack your mental deck with perceived failures. The brain is predisposed to confirmation bias, so you have to consciously work to counter it.

 

More than anything, you're definitely not alone in this. RPers with anxiety seem to be the rule rather than the exception (at least in my encounters), so what you're feeling is not some freak occurrence or a massive personal defect. You can get a handle on this.

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5 hours ago, Ezenzakhialga said:

No one group of people really matters: there are always others

 

True, but even so, I would caution against treating players as disposable, in spite of how streamlined the entire game is. While looking for matching timezones, themes, and storytelling styles that mesh is certainly a thing, that doesn't excuse anyone from basic decency principles. Same as real life with any acquaintances: be cordial, no interjecting political bullshit or rumormongering drama and gossip, keep IC and OOC completely divorced, and so on.

A lot of newer roleplayers invest themselves and pour themselves heavily into their characters for escapism, which is understandable, but there has to be more to your life than just FFXIV and online socialization. Otherwise it merely compounds with any anxiety issues and doesn't help you get any of the real life experiences that you need to deal. I'd also disagree with the notion that anxiety is a majority issue, when there are plenty of players who can log in, get content done, optionally have some fun IC scenes, and log out again with minimal drama.

Ultimately it's really something that has to be dealt with at an individual real life level, with actual medical professionals and probably therapy, rather than a forum. But finding the right group of people like an FC or linkshell can help, especially if they're patient enough OOC and willingly help you practice your writing and improv IC. When DMing for newer roleplayers, I always offer them the option of AU explorations of their characters/motivations/consequences so they don't have to keep everything writ in stone. People tend to be less anxious and enjoy themselves way more when they're allowed to put the short-term play first, until they're ready to try committing to the long-term role.

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Judge yourself by your intentions: If you are acting in good faith, and you know that you are, the outcomes of your actions are secondary. The RP community is always looking for creative individuals with a lot of imagination. If you have that to offer, anyone worth associating with would be glad to have you. Don't pursue approval of your peers--it's one thing to use the reactions of others to keep yourself grounded in reality, but something else entirely to either freeze up for fear of reprisal, or worse, compromise on your creative vision.

In other words, you have nothing to be afraid of, and anyone who rejects you in spite of creative energy and good intentions isn't worth associating with anyways.

Also, the bulk of RPers know no more about their craft than you, the standards are very low. You just gotta have a lust for adventure & a creative vision for a character that is fun to interact with, and even if you're short on that, you're probably fine anyways.

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Oh yeah, just because the community is so large that there's very little accountability doesn't mean you shouldn't treat others well, but people who have anxiety aren't generally the sorts who are abusing others, they're the people who are deathly afraid of making a mistake and having people jump down their throats. But the point is -- no one is going to jump down your throat. In RPing communities you are accountable to you, and no one else. The fact that the community is so large and it's so easy to make a new character, etc. means you shouldn't be deathly afraid of making a mistake. Even people who deserve to be ostracized and punished for their behavior aren't.
Keep your expectations reasonable, be ready to be bored and bore others, and realize that RPing is low stakes.

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I have started working on a second character that I hope to have leveled in time for the server changes. Still feeling the same anxiety trying to initiate any sort of walk-up. I just....can't bring myself to RP with people I haven't chatted with a little beforehand.

 

On 3/16/2019 at 5:54 AM, Kieron Lohengrin said:

I'd also disagree with the notion that anxiety is a majority issue, when there are plenty of players who can log in, get content done, optionally have some fun IC scenes, and log out again with minimal drama.


Ultimately it's really something that has to be dealt with at an individual real life level, with actual medical professionals and probably therapy, rather than a forum.

I don't think anxiety is a majority issue in the game overall but it certainly seems like a prevalent one in the RP community. Also, porque no los dos? I log in and get content done at a savage level and the only drama there is your typical static drama. I feel the social anxiety when it comes to messaging a prospective static and get your typical tryout imposter syndrome, of course. Once I'm in a Discord call with a potential group, I've dealt with this stuff enough to know how to socialize with the other people and I've never been turned down due to anything like personality, attitude, or being too quiet. It is to the point I've had one group say they'd turn down a duo because they liked my personality and another that turned me down due to skill/main class come back several weeks later, after I hung out with one of the members and subbed for them, asking if I was still interested. The point being social anxiety is only having this much of an impact on my ability to roleplay. I don't really think I need to seek therapy just so I can roleplay in a video game.

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Which is far more reflective of the current trendy groupthink of self-diagnosis, as opposed to getting proper treatment from licensed medical examiners with daily clinical practice. Quite frankly, strangers on a forum won't be able to help you or give a shit as much as a fundamental lifestyle change and paid in-depth therapist might, if it really is that much of an issue.

 

Real anxiety and depression are most certainly a thing, with tried and tested treatments that don't always have to resort to drugging yourself. But then there's the whole spectrum of various other personal issues before those: shyness, lack of self-confidence, miserable home life or family relations, and just general social ineptitude and inability to read cues when dealing with people IRL. Those definitely can bleed into online interactions as well over time, inevitable over any medium. The only real solution for those is way more practice, better emotional self-control, more dispassionate analysis and less ignorance of opposing worldviews - even in something as trivial as RP and writing.

It's something that most normies are scared to admit, but not having your shit together and being a fundamentally unhappy or gullible person IRL can also color your success or failure with online escapism. The world isn't out to get you, other people aren't Nazis for disagreeing with you, it's far better to keep your own house in order than go on a social crusade, et cetera. The more you curb such behaviors, the less anxious you're likely to feel in your other hobbies, like roleplay.

 

As for savage content and above, there's something to be said for JP's clear rates, as opposed to NA clear rates, where one culture upholds social harmony and discipline for slower but safer guaranteed clears, versus the culture that keeps chasing personal parses and sniping at each other. Where all tiers of content are on lockdown and puggable with the One True Strat versus where statics or Discords still need to keep forming and disbanding. It'll be a fascinating case study someday for some uni grad.

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3 hours ago, Ezenzakhialga said:

Snip

Except I have been diagnosed with the mental disorders I have. I have gone through therapy in the past. They do impact my life. In several cases, I have learned how to cope.

 

I noped out of responding to the post above yours as soon as I saw the words "self-diagnosis". Medical insurance sucks and there is some stuff I'm not medicated for that I could be if I so desired (ADHD being a big one though plenty of people dislike medicating for that) but this is all stuff I've been diagnosed with and sought medical help for before. Specifically talking about the social anxiety and using a relevant example, I spend a good 5 minutes talking myself into pushing the "Join Call" button before joining a big group of new people and then forcing myself to be talkative all while my mind is screaming at me. It took time for me to build that up which is why I figured something like this would be a similar hurdle. Perhaps I didn't stress this point enough previously but I try not to over explain things and didn't expect people to come into the thread accusing me of self-diagnosis.

 

Regardless, me having to defend the fact I have been diagnosed by actual doctors completely gets off the point of this thread. I understand it's all well-meaning but if it continues I will ask moderation to lock this. Please keep further commentary relevant to the topic.

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I completely misunderstood with you said; I'm sorry about that. I'll go ahead and edit out my post, because I understand how that might be upsetting for you to read.

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Something that always helped me was remembering that this community is a lot bigger than you think it might be. No one really cares in the long run if you make that typo or cast a spell while waiting for a post or commit some other sort of faux pas. People are usually so wrapped up in what they are doing they can't pay attention anyway, especially at large events. Scroll and avatar congestion can get so bad in some areas you'd be lucky to get a post seen when you want it to be seen let alone have someone remember "Oh, that's the character that did X." Big events are always 10x more fun with friends anyway, poke someone you know or an FC member and get their character to join yours or use the events as platforms to meet other new people if you respond to LF RPs. If you're on Balmung I will totally wing(wo)man with your character sometime if you want. o/

Messaging people out of the blue gets easier the more you do it. You even start to develop a bit of a habit of it. I was nervous as hell the first time I did it and now years down the road it's just part of the game. Create a easily referenceable profile and link it:

"Hey, I saw your post! I think you character might get along with/be a good enemy of/insert hook here for mine! Here is their profile and my Discord. Talk soon hopefully!"

Ya there ya go :D I just blind messaged you. The worst that can happen is someone just doesn't reply or you two don't click and if you don't that's fine. Once you do this over and over and watch other people you begin to realize...Hey. Everyone has this anxiety to some degree. No one wants to be rejected, people get squeamish about putting themselves and their character concepts out there. But by the time I realized that I was already a veteran at the blind response to LF-RPs and starting off posts and DMing events etc.  In the end, the people who actually DO end up being the ones who are doing it right. No one will ever say "Wow, you responded to my LF RP weird." or "Gee, that was a nerdy way to start a post." Going on 5 years RPing in FF now and in all my time being proactive I've never seen it and that is the very thing I think people get nervous about.

Something something have to fear is fear itself etc. You can do it! 😁

 
 

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