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 Strata » Wed Aug 21, 2013 1:39 pm

Maybe we can wear a ribbon or something at the eplaya meet n greet saying "I'm shy" and look for each other to talk with.

Speaking of which, I'm nervous about being able to FIND the eplaya meet n greet in the vastness of Barbie Death Camp. Ideas? Buddy system? More info?
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Re: Tips for Shy People at Burning Man

Postby C.f.M. » Wed Aug 21, 2013 2:07 pm

Strata wrote:Maybe we can wear a ribbon or something at the eplaya meet n greet saying "I'm shy" and look for each other to talk with.

Speaking of which, I'm nervous about being able to FIND the eplaya meet n greet in the vastness of Barbie Death Camp. Ideas? Buddy system? More info?


It's easy, don't worry! It's right in the front lounge area, along E, the front of the camp. There'll be a bunch of people, tables and food and all sorts of stuff. Really, you can't miss it!!

Have you popped into the MnG thread, said hi?
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Re: Tips for Shy People at Burning Man

Postby theCryptofishist » Wed Aug 21, 2013 2:46 pm

C.f.M. wrote:"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?"

Fuck the videos. They are kind of a spectator/ad man take on the event. The real burners (in so far as that's actually a real category) are the shop kids, the av kids, the cutting class to smoke kids, the obsessively drawing in class kids, not the prom queens. (Unless your prom queen is a guy. That's pretty burner.)
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Re: Tips for Shy People at Burning Man

Postby Kitty Dingo » Wed Aug 21, 2013 8:42 pm

Thanks for all the good advice, e-playans. I will follow it! Look for me with the "I'm a good listener" sign.

See you at the eplaya party (which I've been telling myself I haven't posted enough to legitmately attend, but that's just another layer of insecurity). I'll bring a bottle of bubbly and a smile.

I'm feeling better already. Gosh, I love Burners.
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Re: Tips for Shy People at Burning Man

Postby Strata » Fri Aug 23, 2013 9:24 pm

C.f.M. with regard to costumes most all I have is a billowy off white petticoat that I can wear over shorts, and a whole raft of knotwork heart tank tops. So I hear ya on the whole costume thing. I have one elegant blue leopard print outfit that makes me really happy, so I'm hoping to wear that to the meet n greet. When I feel like I look good, I also feel less shy.
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Re: Tips for Shy People at Burning Man

Postby Stray Dog » Sat Aug 24, 2013 9:36 am

theCryptofishist wrote:
C.f.M. wrote:"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?"

Fuck the videos. They are kind of a spectator/ad man take on the event. The real burners (in so far as that's actually a real category) are the shop kids, the av kids, the cutting class to smoke kids, the obsessively drawing in class kids, not the prom queens. (Unless your prom queen is a guy. That's pretty burner.)


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Re: Tips for Shy People at Burning Man

Postby Rice » Sat Aug 24, 2013 10:40 am

I am a less shy person than I used to be. Age and experience has helped me to peek over my shell and experience life in a different way than I used to.

I do not naturally strike up conversations. If I don't have something in common with a person, I do not really have anything to say. Talking, for the sake of talking is not interesting, productive or worth my time.

So, being me -- How exactly did I meet people in BRC, and not only start talking but become I'll help you bury that body, no questions asked friends?? I guess it started more so on my second burn. When I started volunteering with the amazingly insane folks that take our tickets and keep the perimeter of BRC from being overrun by ticketless fools and lost souls heading towards the sunrise. I just got involved, worked a few shifts - met some folks. Spending 6 hours on an exciting perimeter shift, catching people sneaking in - helping the clearly confused and lost get back into the city and staring at an un-changing desert for hours at a time... talking to my partner. Talking about anything and everything, no boundaries, no judgement. Realizing that it was perfectly fine for me to just be myself, that I was accepted as I am. (no expectations, no judgements, no games, drama, nothing - just the realization that I was Ok as a human being.)

I am not saying that everyone needs to work PG&E to stop being shy, frankly - the shifts are long, hard, challenging and sometimes outright dangerous! What I mean is just get involved. Help out. Try something different (with the expectation of failure), knowing that it might not work but having the satisfaction of saying "I tried that, and man - did I fail...". Who knows, you might make a life-long friend schlepping bags of ice, setting up a geo-dome, taking tickets, giving bad advice, whatever. Get out there, say "Hi, it looks like you could use a hand...." - at worst, just keep walking and try again.

Years have passed since I first stepped onto the playa with awe and excitement. I still am amazed at how much I have changed since that first step. As with everything else in life, not every second is fun (that f'n desert is actively trying to kill us), but how can we really appreciate good if we do not experience bad??

Not trying is NOT an option... Whatever you do, just do something, anything! You are not alone, there are lots of people like you. it all starts with that complicated sentence "Hi". :shock:
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Re: Tips for Shy People at Burning Man

Postby BBadger » Sat Aug 24, 2013 11:46 am

C.f.M. wrote:"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.


Those videos are made for the benefit of people who couldn't or wouldn't go. They're generally douchebag material meant to show off how "cool" the filming person is because he/she was at some place. I personally don't even like watching them unless there's something particular I'm trying to remember.

Your costumes at BM should reflect your creative, open side -- not your insecurities. They're not masks to hide yourself. Don't bring the type of costumes you wear the remaining 51 weeks to BM.

Regardless, none of what you said contradicts what I said: even if people are concerned with costumes and glitz, they're not going to be concerned with how you look. It's actually like that in defaultia too, despite what people may think. If that inattention bothers you, it's time to bust out that personality. Ever notice those fun and cool people who aren't particularly "beautiful"? No? Because you're noticing their personality. It smooths over physical faults, or amplifies them.

No amount of costumes or make-up will make you likeable. In fact, sometimes when people are made up too much they become unapproachable. Yeah that's right, concentrate too much on your outside looks and people will fear being rejected and avoid you.

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.


Who are you trying to impress, and for what reasons? Isn't it more important to be doing something interesting -- to you -- than to be showing others you're interesting? Having a passion for what you do is what makes people think you're cool or interesting.

And how will you even verify that someone else thinks you're cool or interesting? Do you ask? Do you gauge it by the number of people who interact with you?

Maybe it's not for reasons you perceive. Maybe you're endearing without trying. You'll never know if you're being someone else.
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Re: Tips for Shy People at Burning Man

Postby Gonzo Frothwood » Wed Oct 09, 2013 5:44 pm

If you are shy look around you...notice a lack of shyness..no one cares what you are doing because they are busy..relax..try the new experience of not being shy....start small..work your way up..I have problems remembering to be shy in Default.
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Re: Tips for Shy People at Burning Man

Postby Kairielise » Sun Nov 24, 2013 8:20 pm

I'm one of those shyness sufferers. One of the many reasons I want to go to BM is to participate and force myself to be more extroverted.

I did have one idea. I'll set up a dedicated email address, and ask people both on my FB and here to send it some random, outrageous, exciting instructions of things for me to do on the playa that involve other burners. Without reading any of them, I'll have a friend pick seven at random, print them out and seal them in envelopes so I can't see them. Then every day of the event I'll pick one, open it, and promise myself I'll do whatever it is (assuming its legal). What could go wrong?
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Re: Tips for Shy People at Burning Man

Postby Elliot » Sun Nov 24, 2013 8:40 pm

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I love your idea! I have always been petrified afraid of new people and new things, but I'm learning. That idea of yours sounds fabulous.

(A friend had those bumper stickers made a few years ago, for a different purpose.)
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Re: Tips for Shy People at Burning Man

Postby Captain Goddammit » Sun Nov 24, 2013 9:05 pm

It's an adventurous and fun sounding idea, but the suggestions could get pretty... adventurous!

Elliot WTF do you know about being shy?!!
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Re: Tips for Shy People at Burning Man

Postby Elliot » Sun Nov 24, 2013 10:20 pm

Captain Goddammit wrote:It's an adventurous and fun sounding idea, but the suggestions could get pretty... adventurous!

Elliot WTF do you know about being shy?!!

:lol: Quite a lot, actually. But there are different types of shyness, and only some of those apply to me.

Let’s see….

I am not shy about things I am good at. For example, I am very good at my work, so I am not shy about speaking my mind there – because I know my advice is sound. Innumerable examples have shown this to be so. (“It ain’t braggin’ if’n it’s the truth.”)

But I am very shy about meeting new people in social settings. I never had any social skills, and I believe that’s because my stupid elitist parents raised me to be the strong silent type, better than the other kids, and too good to mix with them. So I never learned social graces, and I knew it – hence shy about it.

How’s that for a confession!
Well, it is still Sunday. Some Sundays I lecture – this Sunday I confessed.

Now, Captain… If you were referring to my habit of repairing bicycles and such in my birthday suit, that is a different type of shyness, and I am blessedly free of that type. I guess I can thank my parents for that – or at least my upbringing in Norway, where kids regularly went naked at beaches and swimming pools and such.
In fact, my father used to take me to the public indoor pool in Oslo (where I learned to swim), and they had nude swim sessions on the regular schedule. So I have always been perfectly comfortable nekkid. Mother Nature made me the way I am, and I see no reason to be ashamed of her handiwork.

Two utterly unrelated types of shyness. :D
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Re: Tips for Shy People at Burning Man

Postby Dr. Pyro » Mon Nov 25, 2013 8:07 am

Kairielise wrote: I'll pick one, open it, and promise myself I'll do whatever it is (assuming its legal). What could go wrong?


Glad you feel that way. Uh, have you ever seen the back of an RV?
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Re: Tips for Shy People at Burning Man

Postby Captain Goddammit » Mon Nov 25, 2013 5:49 pm

Dr. Pyro wrote:
Kairielise wrote: I'll pick one, open it, and promise myself I'll do whatever it is (assuming its legal). What could go wrong?


Glad you feel that way. Uh, have you ever seen the back of an RV?


See, that's what I was getting at… but it's certainly legal and Doc Pyro's got a really nice RV.

Elliot, I'm not sure "social skills" as not taught by your folks were worth learning, because generally everyone thinks you're a super swell guy.
If you had so-called social skills you'd probably just be an arrogant prick. :)
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Re: Tips for Shy People at Burning Man

Postby Elliot » Mon Nov 25, 2013 6:49 pm

Captain Goddammit wrote:...
Elliot, I'm not sure "social skills" as not taught by your folks were worth learning, because generally everyone thinks you're a super swell guy. ...

I did learn something from my mother.... She was an actress. :twisted:

Captain Goddammit wrote:..
If you had so-called social skills you'd probably just be an arrogant prick. :)

Kidding aside (and there is lots of potential here :lol: ) , you make a good point. I wouldn't want to be a "car salesman".

(I once had a neighbor who was The Sales Manager at a big Chevrolet dealership. If you asked him the time of day, he would lie to you out of habit. But maaaaaaan, he was pleasant to be around -- he had social skills.)
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Re: Tips for Shy People at Burning Man

Postby Elliot » Mon Nov 25, 2013 7:12 pm

Now.... (Sincere hat on) This thread has been going for over two years, and I don't remember what all has been posted. But to get back to the core issue... I think shyness in a social setting like Burning Man is about self-esteem and resulting self-confidence.

And at this point I have one thought to offer: "The power of suggestion". There is a better term for it, or even a full analysis, but I don't remember it. In a nut shell, If you act like you have high self-confidence, you will develop self-confidence by... (all right, I'm definitely inventing a term here :lol: ) self-osmosis.

Do not look up "osmosis" in Wikipedia -- far too technical. For our simple purpose, osmosis means that if you are wading in something, it will seep in and travel all the way up to your brain in spite of gravity.
It's the old "The clothes make the man". Meaning, you dress like a million bucks, you will feel and behave as if you have a million bucks. The power of self-suggestion.

I'm pretty sure I use that -- I may indeed have inherited a touch of acting talent. And, as can be observed in BRC, I may be helping me break out of the old shell. :D
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Re: Tips for Shy People at Burning Man

Postby FIGJAM » Mon Nov 25, 2013 8:08 pm

You'll see it when you believe it and "Practice makes passable!" 8)
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Re: Tips for Shy People at Burning Man

Postby Captain Goddammit » Mon Nov 25, 2013 9:08 pm

Elliot wrote:It's the old "The clothes make the man". Meaning, you dress like a million bucks, you will feel and behave as if you have a million bucks. The power of self-suggestion.

I'm pretty sure I use that


Lol this from a guy who doesn't dress at all…
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Re: Tips for Shy People at Burning Man

Postby Elliot » Mon Nov 25, 2013 9:30 pm

Captain Goddammit wrote:
Elliot wrote:It's the old "The clothes make the man". Meaning, you dress like a million bucks, you will feel and behave as if you have a million bucks. The power of self-suggestion.

I'm pretty sure I use that


Lol this from a guy who doesn't dress at all…

I'll have you know my birthday suit is a Million Bucks Sort Of Thing! :mrgreen:
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Re: Tips for Shy People at Burning Man

Postby Savannah » Mon Nov 25, 2013 11:02 pm

Elliot wrote:But I am very shy about meeting new people in social settings. I never had any social skills, and I believe that’s because my stupid elitist parents raised me to be the strong silent type, better than the other kids, and too good to mix with them. So I never learned social graces, and I knew it – hence shy about it.


I actually see what you're talking about--because I've noticed that whenever you ever Get Into It with other ePlayans, this is often part of the issue. Fortunately, you obviously have so many other cool qualities.

You have my great respect for your self-awareness. We all have . . . stuff that we do, even when we know we're doing it. I certainly do. :oops:

Elliot wrote:
Captain Goddammit wrote:
Elliot wrote:It's the old "The clothes make the man". Meaning, you dress like a million bucks, you will feel and behave as if you have a million bucks. The power of self-suggestion.

I'm pretty sure I use that


Lol this from a guy who doesn't dress at all…

I'll have you know my birthday suit is a Million Bucks Sort Of Thing! :mrgreen:


Hee. :mrgreen:
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Re: Tips for Shy People at Burning Man

Postby Elliot » Mon Nov 25, 2013 11:32 pm

Savannah wrote:
Elliot wrote:But I am very shy about meeting new people in social settings. I never had any social skills, and I believe that’s because my stupid elitist parents raised me to be the strong silent type, better than the other kids, and too good to mix with them. So I never learned social graces, and I knew it – hence shy about it.


I actually see what you're talking about--because I've noticed that whenever you ever Get Into It with other ePlayans, this is often part of the issue.

You are observant and insightful. There may be a reason I had a dream where I fought my father to the death. As a kid I naturally admired and copied my father, and damn! was he wrong. Well, I killed him in that dream, and I'm daily aware of my flaw -- and my progress.

Whoa! How did this thread become Elliot's shrink session?! Back to tips for shy people! :lol:

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Of course, sometimes I really AM better than the other kids. :mrgreen:
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Re: Tips for Shy People at Burning Man

Postby Savannah » Tue Nov 26, 2013 1:41 am

Elliot wrote:
Savannah wrote:
Elliot wrote:But I am very shy about meeting new people in social settings. I never had any social skills, and I believe that’s because my stupid elitist parents raised me to be the strong silent type, better than the other kids, and too good to mix with them. So I never learned social graces, and I knew it – hence shy about it.


I actually see what you're talking about--because I've noticed that whenever you ever Get Into It with other ePlayans, this is often part of the issue.

You are observant and insightful. There may be a reason I had a dream where I fought my father to the death. As a kid I naturally admired and copied my father, and damn! was he wrong. Well, I killed him in that dream, and I'm daily aware of my flaw -- and my progress.


Whoa--I think I remember you recounting that dream here. Totally apt.

Whoa! How did this thread become Elliot's shrink session?! Back to tips for shy people! :lol:


:lol:

But Elliot! You know I love thread drift! [ /conduct unbecoming a mod ]

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Of course, sometimes I really AM better than the other kids. :mrgreen:


Well, that's why I think it's been tricky. :D
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Re: Tips for Shy People at Burning Man

Postby Captain Goddammit » Tue Nov 26, 2013 6:09 am

Well Elliot you did drive cooler cars than most of the other kids!
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Re: Tips for Shy People at Burning Man

Postby BBadger » Tue Nov 26, 2013 11:12 pm

It's also important to remember that you don't need to be gregarious or outgoing, or that it will necessarily make your burn better. I tend to stick with the people I know and not interact with most of the people I encounter at the burn -- except maybe to help them out if the situation presents itself. It doesn't mean I'm necessarily shy, but rather just my preference.

The real problem with shyness is when you want to get involved with something, but can't muster up the courage to go out and do it. That's when you need to find those chinks in the armor to allow yourself past that shyness barrier. Most of the tips above are about that: what can you do to convince yourself to exit your comfort zone.

As for just activities or actions to throw yourself into the mix: it may help getting you used to being center stage, or create an obligation you have to fulfill -- but I'm not sure if that's going to fix the shyness problem when you really need it. It's like an actor being able to perform on stage, but has problems interacting face-to-face.
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Re: Tips for Shy People at Burning Man

Postby Elliot » Tue Nov 26, 2013 11:19 pm

BBadger wrote:It's also important to remember that you don't need to be gregarious or outgoing, or that it will necessarily make your burn better. I tend to stick with the people I know and not interact with most of the people I encounter at the burn -- except maybe to help them out if the situation presents itself. It doesn't mean I'm necessarily shy, but rather just my preference.

The real problem with shyness is when you want to get involved with something, but can't muster up the courage to go out and do it. That's when you need to find those chinks in the armor to allow yourself past that shyness barrier. Most of the tips above are about that: what can you do to convince yourself to exit your comfort zone.

As for just activities or actions to throw yourself into the mix: it may help getting you used to being center stage, or create an obligation you have to fulfill -- but I'm not sure if that's going to fix the shyness problem when you really need it. It's like an actor being able to perform on stage, but has problems interacting face-to-face.

How did you get to know me so well?
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Millicent The Bus; pedal-vehicles on Playa and in Kinetic Sculpture Races.
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Elliot
 
Posts: 5274
Joined: Sun Dec 18, 2005 9:41 pm
Location: Clearlake, Northern California
Burning Since: 2006
Camp Name: Elliot’s Bicycle & Beverage Emporium

Re: Tips for Shy People at Burning Man

Postby Ratty » Wed Nov 27, 2013 9:08 am

Kairielise, On 'Spark' you have a most beautiful avatar. (She's in the shower wearing nothing but jig-saw puzzle pieces). You are gorgeous. Please add an avatar here.

That's all. carry on...
Pictures or it didn't happen. Greycoyote
"I a recovering swagaholic. I have to resist my grabby nature" VultureChow
"Those aren't buttermilk biscuits I'm lying on" Savannah
"I'm a motherfucking skeptic tank" SimonofthePlaya
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Ratty
 
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Re: Tips for Shy People at Burning Man

Postby peyote2004 » Wed Nov 27, 2013 10:28 am

I'm painfully shy. It took me being on eplaya, reading threads for a couple of years before I was even comfortable posting.

I'm going solo to Burning Man this year, and I've thought about joining a camp. On one hand, it would be nice to be part of a group. And taking part in camp activities would force me to talk to people, and possibly help to make friends. However, I find it exhausting to be in social situations, and being solo would give me time to collect myself when needed, but I might be less inclined to participate in events.

It's a damned if you do... damned if you don't situation.
--
Today is the Tomorrow you worried about Yesterday... now you know why.
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peyote2004
 
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Re: Tips for Shy People at Burning Man

Postby Kairielise » Wed Nov 27, 2013 11:16 am

Ratty wrote:Kairielise, On 'Spark' you have a most beautiful avatar. (She's in the shower wearing nothing but jig-saw puzzle pieces). You are gorgeous. Please add an avatar here.

That's all. carry on...

Lol thanks. That was my Halloween costume from 2008. Been meaning to put it up but I haven't gotten around to resizing it.
Kairielise
 
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Re: Tips for Shy People at Burning Man

Postby theCryptofishist » Wed Nov 27, 2013 11:18 am

You're not damned. A reasonable camp would allow you the quiet time. But whichever you choose, if it doesn't work, then you have some valuable self-knowledge.
Simon's real sig line?

Embrace the Sock

Winners never quilt, quilters never win...
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theCryptofishist
 
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