Tips for Shy People at Burning Man

Questions, answers, tips & tricks for newbies and veterans alike

Re: Tips for Shy People at Burning Man

Postby lothos 1162 » Thu Mar 15, 2012 3:52 pm

For all the shy people, come see me at Deathguild and spend 1 day with me, and you won't be shy any more. Lothos ( I arrive on playa 8/24)
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Re: Tips for Shy People at Burning Man

Postby stinkyfoot » Thu Mar 15, 2012 4:57 pm

Being a huge introvert, I've had my struggle with shyness, and I think shyness is largely dependent on context, and the relative level of trauma you experience when people don't really get what your saying and react badly. When you're introverted and coming into a conversation you're not just representing yourself, you're being an ambassador for yourself and that whole inner world that you cultivate when no one else is around and unless you're a really good communicator, the chance of people reacting badly to new things that you share with them is really high, early on. And a bad reaction from others doesn't have to be particularly severe either, although we've all had a few encounters with people who really freak out about what we have to say, it could be something as minor as becoming uninterested because you haven't presented your idea in a short enough time frame.

With all that, and very little educational effort being put towards helping introverts learn good communication skills early in life, it's easy to see why a logical introvert may decide that it's much less emotionally damaging to just not share anything with anyone at all. It's especially difficult if you haven't met that person before and you're not sure whether they're somewhere on that introverted scale or not. If you give an introvert a good audience or plop him in a room with a bunch of other introverts which he can recognize as such, he'll talk even more than your average extrovert.

That's why it's good to back to the no expectations rule when you start worrying about whether going to Burning Man will suck because you're shy and have a hard time talking to people. Just because you're shy in the default world, does not necessarily mean you're going to be shy at Burning Man. It's always good to plan some conversation starters out if you're a little worried about just not having the energy to engage, and maybe you do need make some allowances for just not feeling the social buzz right away, just like you'd plan out some way to carry water around because you know that going into a very dry climate is hard on a body that is composed of 90% water.

But don't expect to feel shy. Remember that Burning Man couldn't be what it is if it wasn't filled with free thinkers and introverts and other strange people who think that going into the desert to participate in a huge, beautiful, nonsensical, week-long arts festival is a worthwhile thing to do. And remember that our introverted powers of perception mean we're all pretty good at telling a fellow traveler from a party bro from a mile away, so all you need to do is decide to engage with what's around you, maybe in the most awkward way imaginable, at first, but as the week goes on, you may find your feelings of shyness melting away. Because you are not shy, you just live in a context that tells you to be shy all the time.
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Re: Tips for Shy People at Burning Man

Postby Comrade Bunny » Wed Mar 28, 2012 3:53 pm

knowmad wrote:
Savannah wrote:Bunny ears (or other animal ears, deely-bobbers, etc) are adorable on everyone. I approve. :D I think they make even a serious or otherwise plainly dressed person look approachable, and like they have a sense of humor . . .

knowmad wrote:Whaaaaaaa? That whole "Dont pass out at Knowmad's camp" thing at the top of the page is sooooooo. not true.


It's a TRAP. :shock:

Nahhh It's ok...
I'm one of yooooouuu!
bunny_monster.JPG


This is so adorable. Those poor little bunnies.
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Re: Tips for Shy People at Burning Man

Postby Nipple » Mon May 21, 2012 2:51 pm

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Re: Tips for Shy People at Burning Man

Postby Savannah » Mon May 21, 2012 2:57 pm

:lol:
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Re: Tips for Shy People at Burning Man

Postby davink » Mon May 21, 2012 3:12 pm

I thought I had shunned my shy side, but I realize it still comes out on occasion, and only at clubs/parties/festivals rather than the default world. At a bar, restaurant, salon, etc etc I am comfortable with chatting up strangers, flirting, making friends, etc.. but when I'm dancing or when I'm alone in places where most others seem to be in groups of friends, I have a harder time approaching. Sometimes there's a cute girl, we make eye contact while dancing, I smile at her, yadda yadda.. but then she's with a group of cute girls and I get intimidated to impress her friends to talk to her. LOL it sounds silly now that I say it outloud on my keyboard.. I'm not a teenager anymore haha.

However, the past year has changed my life as far as overcoming my self consciousness. I had a skin condition for 15 years that kept me from taking my shirt or wearing shorts in public.. I made a ton of life changes lately that has helped improved my problem 90%, and I've forced myself to get over it and run amuck regardless of what people think. This last weekend during a festival, I took a small hike to the top of a hill overlooking the entire grounds. I did it wearing boots and boxers. I did it for myself and it felt amazing. Now I wish I could waltz around in public like that everywhere.
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Re: Tips for Shy People at Burning Man

Postby Jax Dee » Mon May 21, 2012 11:56 pm

davink wrote:I thought I had shunned my shy side, but I realize it still comes out on occasion, and only at clubs/parties/festivals rather than the default world. At a bar, restaurant, salon, etc etc I am comfortable with chatting up strangers, flirting, making friends, etc.. but when I'm dancing or when I'm alone in places where most others seem to be in groups of friends, I have a harder time approaching. Sometimes there's a cute girl, we make eye contact while dancing, I smile at her, yadda yadda.. but then she's with a group of cute girls and I get intimidated to impress her friends to talk to her. LOL it sounds silly now that I say it outloud on my keyboard.. I'm not a teenager anymore haha.

However, the past year has changed my life as far as overcoming my self consciousness. I had a skin condition for 15 years that kept me from taking my shirt or wearing shorts in public.. I made a ton of life changes lately that has helped improved my problem 90%, and I've forced myself to get over it and run amuck regardless of what people think. This last weekend during a festival, I took a small hike to the top of a hill overlooking the entire grounds. I did it wearing boots and boxers. I did it for myself and it felt amazing. Now I wish I could waltz around in public like that everywhere.


That is great Davink. I am so happy you were able to have that experience and feel more confident in yourself. I had horrible scars on my shoulders and one day I said fuck it, and went and put peacock feather tattoos on them. Now my shoulders are one of my fave things to show off. There is always a way to work through an issue and make it a strength. I really believe that.
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Re: Tips for Shy People at Burning Man

Postby xhoosier » Tue May 22, 2012 4:00 pm

I find that I go from being very out going to very timid when meeting people. Usually corresponds to how tired I am but I find that just saying Hi, how are you and anything special going on usually gets the conversations going and then there is no stopping me. Usually about 2 AM I know or want to know everyone. So, just be yourself and make eye contact and be friendly. Lots of camps with bars and couches that need your butt sitting in them and then let things happen.

This is getting me anxious for this year!!!!!
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Re: Tips for Shy People at Burning Man

Postby Kire » Sat Jun 16, 2012 10:48 pm

I find myself being frustrated with my shyness. If you talk to any of my friends they don't think I'm shy at all and I typically don't think I am either but very often at parties, events, and lots of places I just sit the on the sidelines and can't bring myself to go talk to people. It usually works out that I end up having to go to things alone so I typically don't have the support or the backup of a friend to go talk to people or fall back on if things go to awkward silence mode. If someone starts the conversation or if there is a group conversation I'm near and can jump in then I'm good to go but I'm usually worried about getting stuck after the introduction. I do fine talking to strangers or groups if I am fundraising, advertising, or promoting something because I have something to drive the conversation. I'm going to try to do my best to find things that I can use to drive a conversation or at least fall back on. At the burn I'm going to try and make things or have something creative that can draw people in so I don't have to worry as much about starting things off. I also plan on doing a lot of volunteering and helping this year so at least I'll have that common goal as something to talk about.
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Re: Tips for Shy People at Burning Man

Postby N'JoY » Sun Jun 24, 2012 5:32 pm

Having travelled a little bit I find it getting a bit boring to always ask the same questions when meeting new people like:

Where you from?
What do you do?
What is your name?
Where did you travel?

Even for yourself you are always telling the same stories over and over again..boring!

So go with the odd and ask questions like:

What was your most embarressing moment?
When did you feel on top of the world?
What would you say to the Dalai Lama if you ever meet him? Superman? Bugs Bunny?
How would you get a monkey to dance the funky chicken?

I'm sure you guys have some great ideas to fill up my list..

Bottom line is.. these are great conversation starters, you WILL get good laughs and it is something different for once!

ps. most embaressing is 99% something sexual.. good stories everytime :D

Greetz Robin
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Re: Tips for Shy People at Burning Man

Postby BBadger » Wed Jun 27, 2012 11:56 am

N'JoY wrote:ps. most embaressing is 99% something sexual.. good stories everytime :D


I thought it usually had to do with sharting.... then again...
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Re: Tips for Shy People at Burning Man

Postby ranger magnum » Sun Jul 08, 2012 10:53 am

Fortunately, I am not shy. As a matter of fact, quite the opposite. However, I have a few shy friends. One thing I have noticed about them, is that when they talk about something they are passionate about, they seem to forget about themselves, and get really into it. One of my buddies is really into guns. For the most part, he is quiet, and doesnt talk much. But at a party we had last weekend, he was talking about his collection to my dad. I have never seen my friend so animated.

So if your passion is bicycles, and bike repair, come to our camp (Chop Shop), and hang out. We are going to have guest mechanic slots available, so come on out and surround yourself with like minded guys and gals.
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Re: Tips for Shy People at Burning Man

Postby brody » Thu Jul 19, 2012 2:24 pm

Kire wrote:I do fine talking to strangers or groups if I am fundraising, advertising, or promoting something because I have something to drive the conversation. I'm going to try to do my best to find things that I can use to drive a conversation or at least fall back on. At the burn I'm going to try and make things or have something creative that can draw people in so I don't have to worry as much about starting things off. I also plan on doing a lot of volunteering and helping this year so at least I'll have that common goal as something to talk about.


Volunteering helps a lot. Greeting is how I learned to fix my shyness... that, and just having some stuff to talk to people about. The whole thing of "what's the best thing you've seen today" or "where are you heading to later today, any good events you know of?" always works. There's so much to see and do, and people are always happy to talk about the neat stuff they've seen. Also, it means you get good tips about stuff to see and do!

I know it's the standard advice, but I really have just faked it until I've made it. It's still hard, but like wearing a groove into a record, it's easier to put on the 'game face' and pretend I'm not shy, now that I've done it time and time again.
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Re: Tips for Shy People at Burning Man

Postby MegsLegs » Thu Jul 19, 2012 2:34 pm

Has anyone suggested wearing a watch yet?

Last year I wore a watch for the first time and has so many more long and interesting conversations- people rarely are in a rush to go away after you tell them. Added Bonus- I knew what the time was, AND anyone I asked about the time knew it was an icebreaker :)
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Re: Tips for Shy People at Burning Man

Postby Savannah » Thu Jul 19, 2012 3:21 pm

MegsLegs wrote:Has anyone suggested wearing a watch yet?

Last year I wore a watch for the first time and has so many more long and interesting conversations- people rarely are in a rush to go away after you tell them. Added Bonus- I knew what the time was, AND anyone I asked about the time knew it was an icebreaker :)


Absolutely true! One hears from a lot of watchless folks eager to know if they've missed the (approximate) start time of some thing or other. And yeah--if you ask them what they want to be on time for, it's often an instant conversation.

A timepiece is also invaluable if you have volunteer shifts, or the inability to nap (that would be me). :shock:
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Re: Tips for Shy People at Burning Man

Postby BBadger » Thu Jul 19, 2012 4:31 pm

ranger magnum wrote:Fortunately, I am not shy. As a matter of fact, quite the opposite. However, I have a few shy friends. One thing I have noticed about them, is that when they talk about something they are passionate about, they seem to forget about themselves, and get really into it. One of my buddies is really into guns. For the most part, he is quiet, and doesnt talk much. But at a party we had last weekend, he was talking about his collection to my dad. I have never seen my friend so animated.


Yeah, it's like that when you get a bunch of geeks together too. They--or we?--seem to just open up about all kinds of things.

It also helps if you're near such a person to bring up their favorite topic to get them involved in the conversation, especially ongoing projects you know they're involved in.

MegsLegs wrote:Last year I wore a watch for the first time and has so many more long and interesting conversations- people rarely are in a rush to go away after you tell them. Added Bonus- I knew what the time was, AND anyone I asked about the time knew it was an icebreaker :)


Huh... I always wear a watch. Yeah, now that I think about it, it does help strike up some conversations. Good idea!
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Re: Tips for Shy People at Burning Man

Postby dragonpilot » Mon Jul 23, 2012 7:46 pm

If I meet an interesting lady I'll ask her to hold my drink while I check on the kids. If she's still there with my drink when I get back, I'm in like Flynn! :D
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Re: Tips for Shy People at Burning Man

Postby scarabin » Wed Jul 25, 2012 1:39 pm

this is the creepiest thread i've ever seen on a forum
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Re: Tips for Shy People at Burning Man

Postby FIGJAM » Wed Jul 25, 2012 2:31 pm

Fun, ain't it! :lol:
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Re: Tips for Shy People at Burning Man

Postby theCryptofishist » Wed Jul 25, 2012 2:32 pm

scarabin wrote:this is the creepiest thread i've ever seen on a forum

Ah. First time on the internet?
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Re: Tips for Shy People at Burning Man

Postby Oldguy » Wed Jul 25, 2012 10:02 pm

Sometimes a good joke helps to break the ice.

One day out on the high seas. a great white shark swims up next to another great white shark and asks: " Why are you just watching those people swimming over there ? "

The shark answers:" Stay here and watch me ", turning he swims off and circles the people twice and comes back. " Come join me in a meal, they are much tastier when scared shit-less..." :)
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Re: Tips for Shy People at Burning Man

Postby Ljarmin » Mon Jul 30, 2012 12:04 am

I'm extremely shy and am planning my first bm...lol... For 2013, I want to start connecting with people now on here so I'm ready! Hi!!! Can't wait to meet you!
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Re: Tips for Shy People at Burning Man

Postby AzJames » Mon Jul 30, 2012 8:32 pm

Welcome Ljarmin! Pull up a chair and sit in the dust! I too am not going to Burning Man until 2013 as well :cry:
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Re: Tips for Shy People at Burning Man

Postby CrispyDave » Mon Jul 30, 2012 8:36 pm

Ba-da-da-da-dum-dum, Ba-da-dum-da-dum.

LOL.... Freaking great...
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Re: Tips for Shy People at Burning Man

Postby tattoogoddess » Tue Jul 31, 2012 1:13 am

you prob would not guessed it but i am hella shy in person. this is one of the things i am going to try to toss to the side when i am on the playa. i want to just not give a fuck and try. we will see how this goes. i am not the type to go up and talk to unknown people. i feel like i will be laughed at or judged or what not. have to love having social avoidance disorder.
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Re: Tips for Shy People at Burning Man

Postby ygmir » Tue Jul 31, 2012 7:43 am

that's the beauty there, TTG: Everyone loves you, until you give them really good reason, not to.
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Re: Tips for Shy People at Burning Man

Postby daydreamer » Tue Jul 31, 2012 11:59 am

I am a bit shy too, but found it easy to talk to others when helping or gifting. In 2010 I gave away pairs of industrial strength magnets. Not everyone had a use for them and declined, but they did smile at me. Others (okay, nerds like me) were fascinated by the amount of force trapped in the magnets, and were grateful to receive these play (playa?) gifts. Talking about possible uses was interesting and gave me more ideas. They were nice icebreakers that will be useful for years, and I will bring magnets with me this year. (A warning: small powerful magnets are dangerous if two are swallowed - keep away from small children.) My point is that giving to others, and helping others, are good ways to start conversations and to feel of value.
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Re: Tips for Shy People at Burning Man

Postby lucky420 » Tue Jul 31, 2012 12:08 pm

omg I love magnets. I really do!
Oh my god, it's HUGE!
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Re: Tips for Shy People at Burning Man

Postby Savannah » Wed Aug 01, 2012 12:07 am

Inspired by this thread . . .
viewtopic.php?f=282&t=56803

. . . Wanna have a good conversation starter? Ask someone if they've found any camps that play something other than techno, dubstep, house, electronica, etc. They might've found something really charming. Like the camp here. :D

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Re: Tips for Shy People at Burning Man

Postby develdevil » Sat Aug 04, 2012 1:25 pm

I'm super shy, so I am psyching myself up to jump out of my shell out there.
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