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Old 02-21-2005, 02:50 PM   #1
Monique
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When I first found the world of MUDs, I rejoiced. Finally, a chance to be someone else than me! Finally I can interact with someone without them already knowing of my obsession with collecting paper dolls! Last but not least, a chance to break free of the cage of shyness!

In short, it seemed like paradise.

Au contraire, mon ami!

Somehow, my RL shyness has found its way into my roleplaying. I stand around looking awkward while other people are happily roleplaying. I operate on the you-say-something, I-say-something system when talking, thus provoking long silences. I have to wait for someone to ask me to group with them. When I do make a futile attempt at roleplaying, it sounds extremely forced.

Does anyone have any suggestions to rid me of this problem?
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Old 02-21-2005, 04:06 PM   #2
Brody
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First, you're not alone: Many people feel this way.

Second, it's going to take time and practice. You *might* be better off finding a small RP-focused game in an established theme that you're familiar with. Get your comfort zone playing with a small group of RPers in a mythos that's well-known. As you gain confidence, you can graduate to larger games - maybe even some with original themes that require a little more footwork on your part.

With time and the repetition that comes from practice, you'll find your shyness ebbing away.
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Old 02-21-2005, 08:21 PM   #3
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I think Brody has the best advice for you here, find a good, small RP Mud, something that reads on mudconnect with less than 10 players. Those types of environments are very playerfriendly, because they want more people to play with. So they'll be more likely to nurture your need for social interaction and to help bring it out more.

You'll be more likely to be asked to "group" or at least to join into the roleplay, and you'll also be more likely to learn to speak up because of your close relationship with the people of the MUD. I once wrote a paper on how virtual worlds can modify someone's psychological state in the *real* world, and help to counsel certain pyschological problems, especially if used in conjunction with other psychotherapy.

Another thing you'll want to keep in mind is that in the end you are anonymous. If you embarass yourself, you're not going to have to look these people in the eye, so go ahead and be social. Don't worry about embarassment or emotional failure, and I think in time you'll be able to overcome your social anxiety. Both in the games, and outside of them.
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Old 02-21-2005, 10:07 PM   #4
Kallekins
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I've been in a similar position to you. I hardly talked for quite some time after I started mudding, but by now I bet a lot of people would be surprised to learn how shy I really am.
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Originally Posted by
I stand around looking awkward while other people are happily roleplaying. I operate on the you-say-something, I-say-something system when talking, thus provoking long silences. I have to wait for someone to ask me to group with them. When I do make a futile attempt at roleplaying, it sounds extremely forced.
What I suggest is that you make your character very different from you--not an ideal, just an opposite on several key traits. Then always keep in mind that what is happening is not happening to you, but to your character. People may ignore your character, they may be rude, but it doesn't hurt you any, because it is happening to the character. In fact, it can be fun to have play easily angered characters that many people don't like. You can even add reasons why people wouldn't like your character (she is ugly and has b.o.) and then you'll be even less likely to take it personally if people aren't that friendly.
Another route to go is to change your focus so that you don't feel so self-conscious about how you are roleplaying. You can build a story around yourself and draw people in instead of waiting for them to talk to you.    Have a goal for your character, and engage everyone you meet about it. Or focus on others and try to learn as much as you can about them. Just as long as you have something to think about instead of how awkward or forced you seem. I doubt that the people who play with you find your roleplaying as futile as you think.

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You *might* be better off finding a small RP-focused game in an established theme that you're familiar with.
I disagree with Brody here. I think you'll be better off in a larger MUD. I've found that people are less friendly in more intensive RP environments. Also, with more players, the stakes are less per character. If you don't impress somebody, you can just move on. Somebody else will be around the corner. Once you get a clique that you like, or a close-knit guild/clan, then you'll be happy.
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Old 02-22-2005, 12:59 PM   #5
dragon master
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Kallekins @ Feb. 21 2005,22:07)
I've found that people are less friendly in more intensive RP environments.
I find much the opposite. Although they may play a mean character, most players on heavily enforced RP muds tend to be a lot nicer and willing to help newbies than on a H&S mud for example. Notice I did say MOST players, not all. All muds have their grumps.
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Old 02-22-2005, 02:38 PM   #6
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You surely aren't alone!

That said, there's a difference between roleplaying a shy character and being shy at roleplaying. Because MUDs are text only, if you stand around and do nothing, you aren't giving any feedback to those around you one way or the other. Thus, you may think that you "stand around looking awkward" but the truth is everyone else is seeing you just standing around.

However, if you stood around and shuffled your feet, glanced shyly at those around you (i.e., glance at John and quickly look away), blushed whenever anyone spoke to you, awkwardly bow when a city leader walked in, etc., then you are roleplaying a shy character. Many (certainly not all) players are attracted to the role of the mentor, protector or guide who would just love to RP drawing you out of your shell and 'taking you under their wing'. You certainly aren't stuck in this role, of course, and your character can evolve, perhaps now with the assistance of others. Then, your friends will fondly look back and say, "I remember when he was just a shy lad. Look at him now!"

Whether you want to roleplay a shy character to take advantage of your natural shyness or roleplay any other character, I believe the best advice is to always make sure you constantly give feedback to those around you. Keep a list of emotes always at hand so you can immediately use them. Even if no one else is doing anything in the room, a blush or a shuffling of the feet could provoke some roleplay interaction.
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