Tips for Shy People at Burning Man

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Re: Tips for Shy People at Burning Man

Postby Ugly Dougly » Thu Aug 16, 2012 2:24 pm

Let go of expectations.
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Re: Tips for Shy People at Burning Man

Postby skippy3k » Thu Aug 16, 2012 3:24 pm

Here's a new twist on shy and something I struggled with my first burn. I would ride my bike along and this camp would call out to me saying "Hey, have some watermelon!". My first response was "No thank you". Not so much because I was shy (which I am) but because I didn't want to put them out. You know? I didn't want to feel like they were obligated to give me something. I prepared for the playa. I'm ready to go. I don't need help. I was truly "self reliant", right? Thanks to an upbringing that reinforced self sufficiency, I was not used to accepting help, or in this case, gifts, from others. (Thanks a lot, Mom and Dad.)

It took me awhile to really understand that people weren't obligated to give something, they wanted to. That is a powerful thing, if you really think about it. They want to give. And when you have 50,000+ people wanting to give things to others with nothing expected in return....that turns the default world we are so used to upside down.

By the way, that watermelon lady dogged me all day long. Each time I rode by, she was out there calling to me, heckling me almost. I finally broke down one day and sought her out, but when I arrived, the camp was empty. There is a lesson there somewhere I think.
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Re: Tips for Shy People at Burning Man

Postby FIGJAM » Thu Aug 16, 2012 3:31 pm

You fucked up thier whole burn and they packed up and went home crying!!!

You bastard! :twisted:
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Re: Tips for Shy People at Burning Man

Postby Milayna » Fri Aug 17, 2012 9:58 pm

I don't generally think of myself as a shy person, but reading this thread reminds me that I'm heading alone to a city of 60,000 people where I literally don't know a soul. I can't lie, that's a little bit intimidating. Of course, I'm going so that I can push my own boundaries and experience something new, but there's definitely a part of me that is nervous about my ability to approach strangers.
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Re: Tips for Shy People at Burning Man

Postby BoyScoutGirl » Fri Aug 17, 2012 11:46 pm

Try thinking of it this way: they're not strangers - they're friends you haven't met yet.
When he lights his streetlamp, it is as if he brought one more star to life, or one flower.
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Re: Tips for Shy People at Burning Man

Postby Milayna » Sat Aug 18, 2012 1:20 pm

That's a good way to look at it, I like that :)
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Re: Tips for Shy People at Burning Man

Postby Foxfur » Sat Aug 18, 2012 4:15 pm

BoyScoutGirl wrote:Try thinking of it this way: they're not strangers - they're friends you haven't met yet.

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Re: Tips for Shy People at Burning Man

Postby timcat » Wed Aug 22, 2012 9:56 am

Ships for Thai people at Burning Man.
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Re: Tips for Shy People at Burning Man

Postby Mosquitopilate » Wed Aug 22, 2012 8:48 pm

I am not shy but sort of I guess, I am a person who if I was able to I would be friends with everyone there and I will try striking up conversations all week but my problem is and always was,I do not want to start off on the wrong foot and do something uncool...so at first I am cautous,I still look it as there is there place I have been here including this year two times, some of these great people have been here for 20+ years! I respect these folks alot
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Re: Tips for Shy People at Burning Man

Postby FIGJAM » Wed Aug 22, 2012 9:07 pm

Unless we're scurrying to the next shinny, we'll talk to anybody. 8)
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Re: Tips for Shy People at Burning Man

Postby theCryptofishist » Wed Aug 22, 2012 9:29 pm

I'm shy.
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Re: Tips for Shy People at Burning Man

Postby FIGJAM » Wed Aug 22, 2012 9:52 pm

On alternate leap years?
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Re: Tips for Shy People at Burning Man

Postby theCryptofishist » Wed Aug 22, 2012 9:57 pm

No. I'm much better in print/writing. I spent years reading because I don't know how to deal with people. So, I'm an interesting writer. And I don't know how I got to be an opinionated cuss.
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Re: Tips for Shy People at Burning Man

Postby daydreamer » Thu Aug 23, 2012 6:13 pm

I for one feel safer when writing messages. I can look at what I wrote, the delete or add or re-word my statement until my initial blunders are corrected. Then send it.

But when talking in person, my blunders can't be taken back. I can only hope that the listener is tolerant (and smart) enough to expect some mistakes, and tries to understand what I meant to say. Or asks a question, giving me the opportunity to say it in a better way.

My experience at BM (2010) was that the people I met and talked with were not judgemental. They accepted some confusion and wierdness as part of the fun interaction. I did not sense as much automatic mistrust and avoidance by others as I often do in street situations. When I arrived at BM, hearing "Welcome Home!" and being hugged by a uniquely dressed and sexy woman started things well for me. I did feel emotional about this, and feeling accepted did help me to find the courage to reach out more to initiate conversations. When I did so, all were enjoyable to some degree. Then I would float off to see something (or someone) else of interest. My only regrets were the times when I was too shy to start conversations. I still need to overcome my (moderate) social phobia, and Burning Man is a great place to take a chance, set aside some inhibitions, and meet some interesting people.
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Re: Tips for Shy People at Burning Man

Postby BoyScoutGirl » Thu Sep 13, 2012 12:18 pm

Another shy person tip: try wearing some unusual article of clothing. I know it's hard to stand out at Burning Man where there are crazy costumes all around, but I can say that, without a doubt, my $0.25 witch hat from the thrift shop Halloween bargain bucket got me more comments, shout-outs, and general interaction from strangers than pretty much anything else I did on the playa. Except for volunteering with Lamplighters, of course.

Just make sure it's something you're comfortable wearing, in the sense that you can own it, show it off and in the practical temperature/wind/chafing sense. Bonus points if you made/repurposed the article of clothing yourself, because that can get the conversation going!
When he lights his streetlamp, it is as if he brought one more star to life, or one flower.
When he puts out his lamp, he sends the flower, or the star, to sleep.
That is a beautiful occupation.

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Re: Tips for Shy People at Burning Man

Postby graidawg » Mon Sep 17, 2012 5:58 pm

it seems the more i have invested in Burning Man the shyer I become, last year when it didnt matter if i came back again or not i was not at all shy. This year I have a commitment to going so I didnt want to ruin it and not be able to come back.
I imagine next year I will spend my whole time in the monkey hut refusing to interact in case i ruin it all and the dream ends with blood and tears
completely unconcerned.
"Savannah" I like it . . . it makes us sound forward-thinking, and not at all like trailblazing, professional-level procrastinors.
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Re: Tips for Shy People at Burning Man

Postby Jax Dee » Mon Sep 17, 2012 7:08 pm

theCryptofishist wrote:No. I'm much better in print/writing. I spent years reading because I don't know how to deal with people. So, I'm an interesting writer. And I don't know how I got to be an opinionated cuss.


I too feel more comfortable writing than talking. My bipolar disorder makes me paranoid that I am talking too much, going overboard, and I often am. I appreciate the friends who get this and feel comfy telling me to shut my yap. Alternately I spend a lot if time just being quiet to avoid being annoying.

At the MnG this year Fishy I loved getting to see you, give you a hug, and sit quietly near you for a time. I did not feel pressure to talk or be quiet, I just had the pleasure of being in someone' s company who I respect and admire. You are always a revelation and entertaining even when you are just sitting quietly and perhaps throwing a pointed look someone' s way occasionally.

So even the shy and quiet have their moments when they shine and we all must remember that and be vigilant to notice them.
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Re: Tips for Shy People at Burning Man

Postby Jax Dee » Mon Sep 17, 2012 7:14 pm

graidawg wrote:it seems the more i have invested in Burning Man the shyer I become, last year when it didnt matter if i came back again or not i was not at all shy. This year I have a commitment to going so I didnt want to ruin it and not be able to come back.
I imagine next year I will spend my whole time in the monkey hut refusing to interact in case i ruin it all and the dream ends with blood and tears


I call bullshit! You were a wonderful and fun presence this year. You hit on me the last night in a very non-shy and adorable fashion. If I wasn' t in a committed relationship I might just have taken you up on it ( wink). You are clever and witty and humorous and self- deprecating in the best way. Keep up the good work :)
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Re: Tips for Shy People at Burning Man

Postby graidawg » Mon Sep 17, 2012 7:41 pm

Jax Dee wrote:
graidawg wrote:it seems the more i have invested in Burning Man the shyer I become, last year when it didnt matter if i came back again or not i was not at all shy. This year I have a commitment to going so I didnt want to ruin it and not be able to come back.
I imagine next year I will spend my whole time in the monkey hut refusing to interact in case i ruin it all and the dream ends with blood and tears


I call bullshit! You were a wonderful and fun presence this year. You hit on me the last night in a very non-shy and adorable fashion. If I wasn' t in a committed relationship I might just have taken you up on it ( wink). You are clever and witty and humorous and self- deprecating in the best way. Keep up the good work :)


I typed a long response to this and my internet connection cut out.

it was long and mostly sad explanation of why i said i will get more shy the more often i come to BM, the esence being the longer i know people the less they like me, so cut down on contact the longer we stay friends.

i guess being back in defaultia weighs just as heavily on me as last year. i miss you all so much
completely unconcerned.
"Savannah" I like it . . . it makes us sound forward-thinking, and not at all like trailblazing, professional-level procrastinors.
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Re: Tips for Shy People at Burning Man

Postby daydreamer » Mon Sep 17, 2012 7:49 pm

I call bullshit too! You are willfully wallowing in self-pity. Look up to the light. It is there. You just got some fantastic praise, from someone who was there with you, spent time with you. Someone who found you interesting, the way you are. She smiled at you, so smile back. You are more likeable than you realize. You have been accepted as part of the BM family. So do your part and spread the blessings to others. You are valuable that way.
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Re: Tips for Shy People at Burning Man

Postby graidawg » Mon Sep 17, 2012 7:55 pm

yea bit of wallowing going on there
completely unconcerned.
"Savannah" I like it . . . it makes us sound forward-thinking, and not at all like trailblazing, professional-level procrastinors.
the rest of us are in the School of Fukkit. "Eric"
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Re: Tips for Shy People at Burning Man

Postby daydreamer » Mon Sep 17, 2012 8:06 pm

You're forgiven. We all are self-defeating to some extent. I, for example, have often held back due to fear of looking stupid. But I do that less now. We are all stupid. That's my motto. We are all creative geniuses. That's my motto. Maybe a bit of both, and we don't develop unless we give our ideas a try. If we present them as a gift, to please someone else, it is so much fun that it is worth the risk of reaching out of our shells.
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Re: Tips for Shy People at Burning Man

Postby Savannah » Mon Sep 17, 2012 10:41 pm

Please don't force me to argue with you, Grai. :) It cuts into my precious daily allotment of thread drifting time.

These good people said it better already . . .
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Re: Tips for Shy People at Burning Man

Postby graidawg » Tue Sep 18, 2012 1:38 am

Savannah wrote:Please don't force me to argue with you, Grai. :) It cuts into my precious daily allotment of thread drifting time.

These good people said it better already . . .



see? now i feel BAD :oops:
completely unconcerned.
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Re: Tips for Shy People at Burning Man

Postby moonrise » Tue Sep 18, 2012 3:08 am

<snip>
By the way, that watermelon lady dogged me all day long. Each time I rode by, she was out there calling to me, heckling me almost. I finally broke down one day and sought her out, but when I arrived, the camp was empty. There is a lesson there somewhere I think.[/quote]

Maybe this lesson? Immediacy
Immediate experience is, in many ways, the most important touchstone of value in our culture. We seek to overcome barriers that stand between us and a recognition of our inner selves, the reality of those around us, participation in society, and contact with a natural world exceeding human powers. No idea can substitute for this experience.
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Re: Tips for Shy People at Burning Man

Postby BBadger » Tue Sep 18, 2012 7:06 am

When life gives you watermelons, eat watermelon.

If your first instinct is to refuse it, that is a sign you need to do the opposite of your instinct. It reminds me of George on that show Seinfeld and George doing everything opposite of his instinct and it working out:

"If every instinct you have is wrong, then the opposite would have to be right."



"I used to sit here and do nothing, and regret it for the rest of the day."

So don't regret it. Better to regret what you did than what you did not.

Or not. But at least it's something to try. Hey, you're at Burning Man, climb out of your shell no matter how much it hurts. I try to be my own "conscience" where I try and give myself that shove in the direction to do something outside that shell. It doesn't always work, unfortunately.
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Re: Tips for Shy People at Burning Man

Postby wh..sh » Tue Sep 18, 2012 8:12 am

BBadger wrote:If your first instinct is to refuse it, that is a sign you need to do the opposite of your instinct. It reminds me of George on that show Seinfeld and George doing everything opposite of his instinct and it working out:

"If every instinct you have is wrong, then the opposite would have to be right."

:lol:
I was questioning my instincts the whole of last year because it seemed like I wasn't having fun like others. Cultural differences were staring at my face and it seemed like it would be wise thing to adapt. This year's burn was simply great because it helped me understand the basic fact that I am where I need to be, even if I can't seem to belong.
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Re: Tips for Shy People at Burning Man

Postby ygmir » Tue Sep 18, 2012 9:30 am

wh..sh wrote:
BBadger wrote:If your first instinct is to refuse it, that is a sign you need to do the opposite of your instinct. It reminds me of George on that show Seinfeld and George doing everything opposite of his instinct and it working out:

"If every instinct you have is wrong, then the opposite would have to be right."

:lol:
I was questioning my instincts the whole of last year because it seemed like I wasn't having fun like others. Cultural differences were staring at my face and it seemed like it would be wise thing to adapt. This year's burn was simply great because it helped me understand the basic fact that I am where I need to be, even if I can't seem to belong.


I can't imagine, you not "belonging"........people love you here. You fit nicely.
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Re: Tips for Shy People at Burning Man

Postby Ugly Dougly » Tue Sep 18, 2012 9:53 am

wh..sh wrote:
BBadger wrote:If your first instinct is to refuse it, that is a sign you need to do the opposite of your instinct. It reminds me of George on that show Seinfeld and George doing everything opposite of his instinct and it working out:

"If every instinct you have is wrong, then the opposite would have to be right."

:lol:
I was questioning my instincts the whole of last year because it seemed like I wasn't having fun like others. Cultural differences were staring at my face and it seemed like it would be wise thing to adapt. This year's burn was simply great because it helped me understand the basic fact that I am where I need to be, even if I can't seem to belong.


Imagine one of us wandering around a festival in India, delightfully confused. ;) Sometimes that culture shock can be delicious.
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Re: Tips for Shy People at Burning Man

Postby BBadger » Tue Sep 18, 2012 9:54 am

wh..sh wrote: :lol:
I was questioning my instincts the whole of last year because it seemed like I wasn't having fun like others. Cultural differences were staring at my face and it seemed like it would be wise thing to adapt. This year's burn was simply great because it helped me understand the basic fact that I am where I need to be, even if I can't seem to belong.


You? Can't seem to belong? That's crazy talk. You must've completed the transformation before I ran into you this year.
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