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 lucky420 » Thu Apr 25, 2013 1:21 pm

you know what? if you can swing it with your health and finances are ok, get yo butt out to the desert. Conming alone can give you a whole new appreciation of yourself. It can be a little intimidating but just go for it.

If anyone is aloof or rude to you, shrug it off or tell them to fuck off if you feel it. No one knows you and you probably will never see that person again...

Strike up random conversations, people are usually more than happy to engage.

And come see us at Dye with Dignity located within the Barbie Death Village. Even if we are not dying scarves that day, there will more than likely be a few of us hanging out at just about anytime of day. Stop by and say hello we'll talk to you. :)

Hope you make it...
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Re: Tips for Shy People at Burning Man

Postby theCryptofishist » Thu Apr 25, 2013 6:54 pm

Bryan wrote:
Earthwalker wrote:And if you're having a tough time fitting in, especially if you came alone, please feel free to stop by my camp. I don't discriminate or playa hate (haha, that's a good one. I meant "playa" as in short form of "player", but it also works as Playa....gosh I'm creative). All are welcome. At least all happy fun open-minded loving people (others will be flogged). We will be having an Ewok Village this year. There will be dancing and other revelry. And if someone gives you a hard time at BM, let me know and I'll pee on their tent.


:lol:
That was awesome.

I have a ticket for this year but I kind of lost enthusiasm. I have been dealing with some personal health related issues, my friends dropped out, and I am shy. Reading this thread made me happy and excited for this years burn though! I'll be damned if I don't get down there, even if I do go alone.

It's actually kind of a cliche--for people to arrange to go with friends, and have those friends drop out. What we see on the board is people joining to find out how to come on their own, and then finding friends on the board. It's so heart-warming that I have to go roll around in an ant's nest to get the sweetness taste out of my mouth...
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Re: Tips for Shy People at Burning Man

Postby Bryan » Thu Apr 25, 2013 6:58 pm

Yeah, I was fully expecting them to drop out and they did. Not a surprise, it's something that a lot of people want to do and far fewer actually do it. That's why I decided to get my ticket anyway. Thank you both of you! For the words of advice. I will definitely go check out Dye with Dignity WHEN I am out on the playa. Thanks for the invite, sounds like fun!
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Re: Tips for Shy People at Burning Man

Postby Milayna » Thu Apr 25, 2013 11:19 pm

Stop in at Hushville too! There will be cotton candy and a library at Camp Althing, and we love for people to stop in and chat!! :)
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Re: Tips for Shy People at Burning Man

Postby lucky420 » Fri Apr 26, 2013 6:59 am

YAYyyyy, Sincerely hope we meet
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Re: Tips for Shy People at Burning Man

Postby Strata » Wed Jun 19, 2013 9:09 pm

As a majorly shy person myself, this thread rocked my world. Thanks to Brody and all the peeps for pages and pages of great stuff.

My two cents for other shy folks: don't rush to close the conversation in your nervousness. Do some back and forth talking, stand still a moment and make eye contact. It's tough but often you get a real conversation instead of just trading compliments with someone and moving on. Physician, heal thyself, I'll need to remember this out on the playa.
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Re: Tips for Shy People at Burning Man

Postby Milayna » Mon Jun 24, 2013 1:42 pm

Very good point Strata!! I find that sometimes I do that, where I rush the conversation and it ends too quickly.
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Re: Tips for Shy People at Burning Man

Postby Malcolm » Sat Jul 27, 2013 9:59 am

I like to think of myself as being pretty out going and friendly, but being from a big city where eye contact is pretty much a social taboo, I'm afraid that although I may want to roll up on someone and start a conversation, or compliment them, my conformist norm behavior might hold me back a bit.
I know, "Don't be shy! Just do it!", but I may need a day (or drink) or two open up.
I never have a problem meeting people, so I'm sure I'll be fine.
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Re: Tips for Shy People at Burning Man

Postby mikgus » Wed Jul 31, 2013 9:55 pm

Have read this thread a couple of times now.
I'm not that shy but introvert with low self esteem
one of my fears going to burning man is that i will end up as a spectator.

So i made these.
DSCN0015.JPG

The plan is whenever i feel that I'm going into spectator mode i will flip to a new card and be forced to do what it says
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Re: Tips for Shy People at Burning Man

Postby theCryptofishist » Thu Aug 01, 2013 9:50 am

If you feel like making extra, they'd be a good gift item.
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Re: Tips for Shy People at Burning Man

Postby VultureChow » Thu Aug 01, 2013 10:07 am

mikgus wrote:Have read this thread a couple of times now.
I'm not that shy but introvert with low self esteem
one of my fears going to burning man is that i will end up as a spectator.

So i made these.
DSCN0015.JPG

The plan is whenever i feel that I'm going into spectator mode i will flip to a new card and be forced to do what it says


Great idea.

I'm the same way. Not shy, but definitely an introvert. You don't have to force yourself into interactions unless you really want to. Part of your "participation" your first year is the simple joy and astonishment that you display being out there for the first time. It's like grandparents watching young children run around in a sprinkler. You remember being that young and carefree and it make you happy to see the next generation enjoying what was once new and novel to you.

Spectator is such a dirty word. For an artist simply having someone there to see and appreciate your work is a huge thing. A pair of rangers made my week last year as I was taking down my fence. They said they passed it every day and smiled. Their appreciation was worth more to me than their conflict resolution skills.

I suppose it's possible to show up and take pictures and speak to no one and offer literally nothing to the community. But it's pretty hard to do, imho.
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Re: Tips for Shy People at Burning Man

Postby theCryptofishist » Thu Aug 01, 2013 10:17 am

(I;m pretty damn unhappy I never saw the fence. For a first-timer, you sure hit that nail on the head.)
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Re: Tips for Shy People at Burning Man

Postby mikgus » Thu Aug 01, 2013 1:56 pm

theCryptofishist wrote:If you feel like making extra, they'd be a good gift item.


Made those three and will make more when i get a new hole punch.
My biggest problem is making first contact so gifting them to other shy/introvert people could be difficult :)

VultureChow wrote:
Great idea.

I'm the same way. Not shy, but definitely an introvert. You don't have to force yourself into interactions unless you really want to. Part of your "participation" your first year is the simple joy and astonishment that you display being out there for the first time. It's like grandparents watching young children run around in a sprinkler. You remember being that young and carefree and it make you happy to see the next generation enjoying what was once new and novel to you.


Its the one boundary i want to push. I will probably be the kid in the sprinkler if know myself, but i want to do a bit more. I could always give a away Swedish lessons for words you didn't know you needed to learn.
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Re: Tips for Shy People at Burning Man

Postby VultureChow » Fri Aug 02, 2013 8:31 am

mikgus wrote:Its the one boundary i want to push. I will probably be the kid in the sprinkler if know myself, but i want to do a bit more. I could always give a away Swedish lessons for words you didn't know you needed to learn.


Then by all means push it. The good thing is, there are ton of the carnival barker type extroverts out there. Eventually someone will come up, grab your hand and say something like, "You look like to could use a hammock for a while" and will lead you to a hammock camp (located in the hammock district of course) Or a truck will pull up and looking for volunteers to do whatever. If it's something you are comfortable with then just go along for the ride.
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Re: Tips for Shy People at Burning Man

Postby Malcolm » Sun Aug 04, 2013 7:29 pm

mikgus wrote:Have read this thread a couple of times now.
I'm not that shy but introvert with low self esteem
one of my fears going to burning man is that i will end up as a spectator.

So i made these.
DSCN0015.JPG

The plan is whenever i feel that I'm going into spectator mode i will flip to a new card and be forced to do what it says


I really hope I bump into you on the playa!
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Re: Tips for Shy People at Burning Man

Postby tatonka » Mon Aug 05, 2013 3:45 pm

im real shy , except on the PC I can type my thoughts no problem. Mostly as a teenager I just used my looks to get by , now that Im older I have to think up more conversation than Ralphs ( of the Simpsons show ) "so you like stuff ? "
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Re: Tips for Shy People at Burning Man

Postby kiss-o-matic » Thu Aug 08, 2013 10:28 pm

tatonka wrote:now that Im older I have to think up more conversation than Ralphs ( of the Simpsons show ) "so you like stuff ? "


You could challenge someone to a game of Wiggle Puppy.
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Re: Tips for Shy People at Burning Man

Postby Stray Dog » Tue Aug 13, 2013 11:42 am

I'm a burning man virgin. And I'm shy. And short. And fat.



But I can walk around naked if that helps break the ice.


I'm a pilot to. Airplane ride anyone?
¯\_(ツ)_/¯
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Re: Tips for Shy People at Burning Man

Postby theCryptofishist » Tue Aug 13, 2013 11:53 am

Short. Fat. Shy. Not a bm first timer, however.
A flight sounds interesting...

I mean, yes please. (If things work out. The playa fucks with plans.)
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Re: Tips for Shy People at Burning Man

Postby lemur » Tue Aug 13, 2013 12:00 pm

crypto and i will fly together.

we can hold hands during the scary parts
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Re: Tips for Shy People at Burning Man

Postby theCryptofishist » Tue Aug 13, 2013 12:22 pm

Yeah!

That's the leathery winged avians.
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Re: Tips for Shy People at Burning Man

Postby Stray Dog » Tue Aug 13, 2013 2:42 pm

I've only got a two-seater. So if y'all wants to hold hands with each other, which one of you is going to fly the plane?

It's okay. I'm insured. :lol:
¯\_(ツ)_/¯
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Re: Tips for Shy People at Burning Man

Postby delle » Tue Aug 13, 2013 3:13 pm

I'd watch that.

....from a safe distance... :shock:
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Re: Tips for Shy People at Burning Man

Postby lemur » Tue Aug 13, 2013 3:27 pm

2 seater?!

i guess that means i will be flying the plane!
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Re: Tips for Shy People at Burning Man

Postby C.f.M. » Tue Aug 13, 2013 3:50 pm

SandC wrote:I'm a pilot to. Airplane ride anyone?



I fell for this last year, one of the camps in the village I was in had a plane. They invited me long super last-minute, right after I woke up. My friend had decided to give me his ticket for the ride, and wait to fly with the other airplane people.

"Do I need pants??"

"No!" So I grabbed my water and jumped on the departing art car. In a wifebeater and bare feet.

Several hours later, I finally got back to camp, after making it all the way onto the tarmac to the locked plane, locked because the pilot wasn't allowed to fly (and had been told so, I was told). Then waiting and waiting, hoping for a ride, then getting a ride to 9 & L (or something right on the edge) and walking back to 7:30 & A.

Moral of the story is: no matter who it is, or how awesome it sounds (aka plane ride with a campmate), don't ever leave camp without a snack and some SUNSCREEN.

Back on topic: I have yet to figure out how to stop being shy. Every year I swear I will ask for a massage from Camp Contact, and finally go to JubJub, and not be scared of people, in general, but it has yet to happen.

Those action cards are awesome, and will help even more if you get people to play with you.
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Re: Tips for Shy People at Burning Man

Postby Kitty Dingo » Wed Aug 21, 2013 7:15 am

I'm shy, introverted, with fluctuating low self-esteem.
I worry that being a middle-aged woman, I will be seen as not "interesting" due to my age. It's a thought that's really hard to get out of my head and it stops me from having fun interactions with folks.
Volunteering with greeters has helped a lot. But when I'm not greeting, the shyness, etc. returns with a vengence.
I like to listen to people, so I'm thinking of some kind of interactive listening booth kind of thing. Or, a sign that says, "I'm a good listener. Talk to me." Is that beyond lame?
This will be my 9th burn--you'd think I would've gotten over some of this neurotic stuff by now!
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Re: Tips for Shy People at Burning Man

Postby C.f.M. » Wed Aug 21, 2013 7:43 am

Kitty Dingo wrote:I'm shy, introverted, with fluctuating low self-esteem.
I worry that being a middle-aged woman, I will be seen as not "interesting" due to my age. It's a thought that's really hard to get out of my head and it stops me from having fun interactions with folks.
Volunteering with greeters has helped a lot. But when I'm not greeting, the shyness, etc. returns with a vengence.
I like to listen to people, so I'm thinking of some kind of interactive listening booth kind of thing. Or, a sign that says, "I'm a good listener. Talk to me." Is that beyond lame?
This will be my 9th burn--you'd think I would've gotten over some of this neurotic stuff by now!


I've seen booths like that around - you could just just sharpie a t-shirt "I like to listen" or "talk to me!" Or wear a sign around your neck.

I'm going on five years, no sign of the insecure-laden anxiety abating, here.
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Re: Tips for Shy People at Burning Man

Postby BBadger » Wed Aug 21, 2013 11:21 am

Simple things in general (not just at BM):

  • Maintain eye-contact for longer than you're used to when the other person notices. (I am terrible at this.) No, that extra 1.5 seconds won't make you look like a creepy stalker.
  • Remember to smile -- not forced, but if you're legitimately content or happy. Sometimes we don't express such things outwardly. A smiling face is far more approachable, and there are probably other people who are just as shy as you and need that opening.
  • Think of, and ask questions. In your mind, it may give you a "legitimate" reason to strike up a conversation, and shyness is all about convincing yourself to be comfortable with others.
  • Don't be concerned with how you look, your costume, or your age. People really don't care -- especially at Burning Man. Your shyness is related to your communications with other people, not your appearance. Anyway, confidence (don't confuse with arrogance) is generally the most attractive quality in a person.
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Re: Tips for Shy People at Burning Man

Postby DrewDubious » Wed Aug 21, 2013 11:31 am

Kitty Dingo wrote:
I like to listen to people, so I'm thinking of some kind of interactive listening booth kind of thing. Or, a sign that says, "I'm a good listener. Talk to me." Is that beyond lame?


Not lame in the least. I got a friend who could talk the ears off a cardboard box if he thought it was listening. Mebee you can borrow em? :D :D
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Re: Tips for Shy People at Burning Man

Postby C.f.M. » Wed Aug 21, 2013 1:29 pm

"Don't be concerned with how you look, your costume, or your age. People really don't care -- especially at Burning Man."

Yeah, right! COSTUMES ARE ALL THAT MATTER. Panties and glitter, cutesie crap. At least, that's what makes all those videos people love so much.

That's a huge part of my anxiety. If I don't look "cool" or interesting, then people won't see that I'm there or think I am cool or interesting.


My favorite way to strike up a conversation: compliment. Ask a question, "That ___ is rad, how did you make it?"
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