Online communities and socialising in person

Online communities and socialising in person can be a challenge for people. Either they are shy, lacking the courage to meet with strangers and start a conversation or they are introverts, interested in being in a group but not necessarily to participate in the conversations. The question was “how to go to a glocals meeting when you are really shy ?”. This applies to couchsurfing hangouts, Google+ events, Pokemon Go meetups, slow ups, critical mass and more.

Everyone is shy, that’s why they participate with a friend or more.

Both of these present a challenge. As a shy person you want to go but you do not want to go alone. We see that almost everyone is in that situation. We see it by the number of people who do activities with a friend rather than alone. We see this when socialising in cities, on hikes, during climbing events, canyoning and doing other sports. You see it in the pre-event comments, “my friend and I”, “my girlfriend and I”, “my spouse and I” and more. You see that the difference between a shy person at an event and a courageous one is whether they have a friend to go with them. If they were alone they would not participate. ;-). That notion that people overcome their shyness is a moderate farce.

Passion makes you outgoing

As it fits neither in to shyness nor introversion I feel that passion is very important when you are looking for people to do things with. If you are shy then meeting people for the sake of meeting people will not work. It is hard to overcome shyness without passion. Introversion benefits from passion too. The better you know a topic the more outgoing you will be, the easier it will be to block out shyness. An introvert following his passion hides his introversion very well.

Socialising as an introvert

When I was new to a community like Glocals I tried going to city based social events where there could be drinking and within two or three events I found the experience so dull and uninteresting that I haven’t been again. As an introvert I found that the best events were those to do with sports. Canyoning was one but so where white river rafting, rock climbing both indoors and outdoors, via ferrata, hiking and other activities. I found that I love participating in extreme sports rather than sedentary ones. Throughout the activity you can walk at the same speed as someone else and socialise or you can walk at your own speed and day dream, take pictures or just enjoy the experience.

The active introvert

 

I would encourage all shy people to participate in fun and active events. I want to see more shy single people come to try rock climbing, via ferrata and other sports. The advantage of these activities is that as a shy individual or an introvert you are pushed to interact with people for the purpose of the activity. At the beginning of the day you knew no one but by the end of it you have met a few new people and so friendships can progress as you participate at future events. In effect you were shy the first time but six weeks later you may be a core member. Don’t waste time “overcoming” your shyness at events with alcohol. Overcome your shyness overcoming your fear of jumping from 11m in to a small rock pool.