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Subject: Shy? rss

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James Mckane
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How old are you? It might help myself (or others) give more suitable advice.
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Alberto Moriconi
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I can't give you any great idea on how to overcome shyness; however, my experience regarding game stores is that a vast majority of the guys that like to spend a night or two a week for a boardgame night are going to be very friendly to newcomers and very happy to let them join their game, or to try something new.
I think it's just natural for them to be... MORE than happy to test a new game or a new opponent; otherwise, they would just meet at home with three friends and play the same game over and over!
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It may help if you get to know people here on BGG that are in your area, and then perhaps you can go to a local game night together. You may want to have smaller game nights together, or continue to play at local game nights. I've met local people by selling them games in an auction, by getting to know them on the weekly Thrift List, and by meeting them at local game days.
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J Valnor
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Go back to the local game store, attend boardgames night, and hover, it may take ~an hour, but keep hovering, in the end it will be worth it.
One of two things will happen, 1 when the call goes out if anyone wants to play "X" you will have mentally broken down and will join.
2 someone will invite you to join, JOIN THE GAME!
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Don't feel badly. It is asking a total stranger either to let you into their gaming session or to commit to what might be a new game to them. The good news is that once you're over the hump of asking a handful of times (expecting a couple of "maybe later" responses), then you're in. The game itself will take care of making the social interaction easy and fun. You'll have some new gaming friends in no time.

I do have one suggestion. Your game store almost surely has a bulletin board of some sort. I would suggest putting up an advertisement for gamers to show up on the game night you're attending. The advertisement should offer a chance to get in on a session of a game that you bring. Even people who were planning to go anyway will see that you'll be there and will have had time to consider joining in and know that game is open for play. Next time, with your new friends, you could join their game.
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I'm quite shy myself when it comes to new places and new faces. Especially if everyone in the group knows each other, and I'm the only one new. I've been known to hide in corners or feel really self-conscious.

When I was in high school, I went to a Games Workshop shop being the only female, I was a bit hesitant at first. But I just went over and watched them play and they invited me in.

Then when I came to Japan, I had to doubly work harder to come out of my shell in Japan, especially when I talk to Japanese people - because my Japanese is really really shoddy and in my first year here I only had 2-3 local friends to hang out with robotrobot crycry *cry cry*

I checked out JIGG (Japan International Gamers Guild) on and off for a few years. Then finally last year I was looking for a gaming group stumbled upon them again on the net. I first contacted them online and I brought a bunch of my friends the first time because I was shy I think there were 6-8 of us. I played mainly with my friends, the 2nd time my friends were all busy, so I REALLY had to make an effort to step out of my comfort zone, go there by myself and try to join in a game or 2. But the group was very friendly, and when they were choosing games, they just asked who wants to play this game, and I joined in. I have been going every month since then and now host my own gaming days 2-4 times a month.

From experience maybe the same might work for you.
Is there a way to contact the group/game shop via email/blog/forum/BGG? You can get to know them, and tell them that you're interested in playing games with them ... it might help you ease in.

e.g. mail them and say
"last week...I came to check out your group and it was awesome! I was the guy that brought my friends along. I'm thinking of coming can I join you guys in some games? I can bring.... "
Or "That looked really fun, I was wondering if you might be playing it again next week, and if I could join in."

Try that and see if that works
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Ron Glass
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This may be stating the obvious, but game groups are just like the rest of the population. There are some real jerks, and then there are really nice folks, and everyone else is somewhere in between. If you watch a group, your sixth sense will usually tell you who to avoid. All the rest are possibles.

But, if you don't ask, then you are GUARANTEED to fail. And its the only 100% sure failure option.

Ever see a wet duck? They spend all that time around water and usually look dry because they let the water roll off their back. Be a duck!! If you get a no, no biggie, its water off your back.

If you know the game, ask if they have room for 1 more. If you don't know it, ask if they are teaching it or only playing with experienced players. Notice you haven't actually asked to play yet...just checking out your options. Carry a game or 2 you know so they can see what you have and are interested in.

Remember, you don't have to explain why you are there. Everyone is there to play games so the ice is already broken. Oh, and remember too that these are gamers...most are as shy as you, so they may not be inclined to reach out, no matter how reach-out-able you are.

And being that I am also shy and 56 yo, I've had to join new groups or go to new game stores dozens of times. Its hard at first, easy later, but better than not playing.

Good Luck
Ron
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Justin Fitzgerald
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Hover longer. People will eventually ask if you're interested in joining. From the perspective of the people playing, someone wanders in, you can't really tell if they're just seeing what is going on or if they'd like to play.

With being shy, at least for me, I just have to choose to overcome it, almost take on another persona for myself for a little while. But you really only have to do it once or twice because after that you're part of the crowd that plays at the game store.
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Holger Hannemann
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bethsneed wrote:
This is probably a stupid question, but I was wondering if anyone had any advice on how shy people can find a gaming group. I love gaming with my family and friends, but I would like a few new opponents, and more opportunity to play games than sometimes we have at home.

I did go to a local game store one night for open boardgaming. The people were very nice, but I couldn't quite get up the nerve to ask someone if I could play their game, or if they would play mine. I went with my family and we just ended up all playing together, or watching other people.

Any ideas?


Depends on how welcoming the game group is going to be.
I remember the first time I walked in to the Palouse Boardgamers and the organizer saw me standing and looking (pretty lost), left her game and started talking to me and inviting me to a game. You can be shy as hell and you'll still end up playing a game with random strangers.
On the other hand I almost had to beg for the attention of the gaming conglomerate (I'm hesitant to call it a group) I'm in now the first time I met them (welcome to England...), and I'm not the least bit shy to approach strangers.

All I'm trying to say is being shy is not an impediment if the group you're approaching is welcoming and friendly.
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Go with a really extroverted friend. They can get the ball rolling for you.

Also, ask lots of questions about the game(s) they are playing. Particularly: "how many people can play this game?" ninja
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Patrick Hanley
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bethsneed wrote:
This is probably a stupid question, but I was wondering if anyone had any advice on how shy people can find a gaming group. I love gaming with my family and friends, but I would like a few new opponents, and more opportunity to play games than sometimes we have at home.

I did go to a local game store one night for open boardgaming. The people were very nice, but I couldn't quite get up the nerve to ask someone if I could play their game, or if they would play mine. I went with my family and we just ended up all playing together, or watching other people.

Any ideas?


Don't stand around waiting for someone to notice you. Just walk up and say "Hi, do you have room for one more?" It's that simple.

Ask yourself "What's the worst that can happen?". The answer is that they could say "No". That's as bad as it gets.

Compare that to the upside, where you get to play a game, and meet new people.

The other thing to remember is that if they're playing in a store, they're probably looking for people to game with too. You're actually doing them a favour by approaching them. If they wanted privacy, they'd be playing at home.





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Jenna Sunderlin
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We don't have a local game store, so I found a local group through meetup.com. Knowing my habits as a shy person, I forced myself to go alone, because I knew if I brought my husband I would let him do all the talking and interacting. I would suggest maybe trying to strike up a conversation with a gamer or two about the group itself, asking if it's always the same people, how they pick what game they're going to play, etc. That will show your interest, and hopefully give you an idea of whether or not they seem like welcoming players. Bring a game or two that you know, particularly ones that you might be comfortable teaching.

Good luck! I've become really good friends with a lot of my gaming group, but I still battle this problem when I go to conventions.
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Being still pretty shy myself I can sympathize...

In the end it comes down to the lamest possible advice: Just give yourself a push and ask. I know it's cliché.

Some things that should help you ask:
* If you see people play boardgames you already have something big in common. That connects.
* The end of a game is the best opportunity to ask if you can join a game. Directly after a long explanation is the worst but you can still inquire about joining for the next game.
* Some people will say no. Don't take it personally. Most likely it's not because of you. Maybe they arranged the evening months ago to finally play that complicated game or something like that. Ask about some other time and shrug it off.
* Most people will be happy to take on another player if they can make it happen somehow.
* If you have a simple, fun and short game (bonus points if it's also flexible in terms of player numbers), bring it with you. Can help with groups of 4.
* Even if a groups won't play with you now doesn't mean they can't be a good source of information.

Good Luck! Hope this helps.
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Joseph DiMuro
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I'm extremely shy myself, so I speak from experience.

If possible, give yourself an extra incentive to speak up. Try to find a game that:

1. you don't own
2. the other people at the FLGS do own
3. you REALLY want to play

Your desire to play the game will outweigh your desire not to speak up. At least, that's how it worked for me when I sought out a FLGS for the first time. (In my case, the "I SO want to play this game" game was Race for the Galaxy.)

In the end, though, it does come down to what everyone else has said: you need to just FORCE yourself to speak up, and ask to join a game. It's a simple as that.
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PJ Killian
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Boardgaming, at the risk of leaning on lazy stereotypes, is not a hobby especially favored by the conventionally gregarious. That is to say, there's a lot of shy people out there pushing cubes on maps. Best, then, to not feel bad about your own shyness. Rather, assume that everyone around you is equally, if not more, shy. It's entirely possible that the people who you are trying (and not quite succeeding) to ask if they will let you play are trying (and not quite succeeding) to ask if you want to sit down and join the game.

Most gamers are like you, always looking to play new stuff and meet new people who share our somewhat oddball interest. The minority of people who are territorial or cliquish -- well, why would you want to hang out with those people, anyway?

And +1 to the suggestion of looking for a Meetup group. They're explicitly designed to gather in strange people, so you have even less reason to feel like you're crashing someone else's party.
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bethsneed wrote:
This is probably a stupid question, but I was wondering if anyone had any advice on how shy people can find a gaming group. I love gaming with my family and friends, but I would like a few new opponents, and more opportunity to play games than sometimes we have at home.

I did go to a local game store one night for open boardgaming. The people were very nice, but I couldn't quite get up the nerve to ask someone if I could play their game, or if they would play mine. I went with my family and we just ended up all playing together, or watching other people.

Any ideas?

Here are a couple of lines you could try:

"Hi, I'm , do you know if people here are open to having newcomers join their games?"

This question takes the form of a request for information rather than a self-invitation to another group's game. The difference is subtle, but it might make you feel more comfortable, especially if your shyness is rooted in a fear of rejection. Additionally, this phrasing allows the other person to point you in the direction of newbie-friendly people while still giving them the freedom to invite you to join his or her group. If they have a legitimate reason to not invite you to join them, this also gives them a graceful way to mention why without having to turn you down explicitly (since you didn't, in the first place, ask to join them).

"Hi, I'm . I saw this event posted on . Whom should I talk to to figure out how things work here?

This one's useful if you've found a gaming group online or some physical bulletin board or whatever. Again, on the surface, you're just asking for information here, and you've given the person some context to work with in terms of what information they should be giving you, over and above what you've asked for. In the average case, you get pointed to someone who's "job" it is to welcome newbies, but the person you're speaking with also has the opportunity to invite you to join them. Or you find out that they're new, too, and all of a sudden you've got someone who's likely feeling as awkward as you are, and you can pool your efforts in trying to figure out how to establish yourselves.

A few additional thoughts:

Waiting for people to invite you to join is dubious at best. Some people simply don't have the social graces to know how to welcome a new person. Others, as hinted at above, might be just as new as you, and won't invite you, being too preoccupied with hoping that someone else will invite them. Or they might already have a full table for the game that's about to be played, and no offence is intended.

The kicker we shy folk have is that sometimes we make too many assumptions when we enter unfamiliar social situations, such as that everyone already knows everyone else. I've learned to try to just be friendly and unassuming. If I encounter a negative reaction, I realize that, unpleasant as it might be to receive that sort of reaction, it reflects much more on the reacting person than it does on me, and that they'd probably be acting that same way to any other new person. With that in mind, it's easier to take the advice of one of the above posters and let that sort of thing roll off your back.

Now that I'm an established attendee at a local gaming group, I realize that the social questions still arise. For example, someone was recently peering over at a game that was already in progress, and of which I was a part. I found myself asking myself if this was a new person to the group and trying to figure out if they were looking to join a game or whether they were an attendee for one of the other groups meeting at that store on the same night. Did he want more info on the game? Or was he just taking a brief look after making a purchase, without any real interest in participating? He soon walked off, and I had no idea as to the answers to these questions.

For the sake of this discussion, let's assume he was a newbie to the group. He actually could have made it easier for the rest of us if he'd approached and asked one of my suggested questions above. It would have answered my own unspoken questions and allowed me to help him without the awkwardness of my eventually having to ask if he was new.

Sorry if most of this ends up as pointless rambling that's not applicable to you. I do hope you find some help herein, though. Best of luck in finding a group where you fit in!

Edit: a number of things I've said have now been said by others above. That's what happens when I try to write a comprehensive response. There's no way I'm deleting what I've written after all this effort, though—I'll wear the "redundant" hat if I must.
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Go back to that game store for their next open gaming night...and the next...and the next.
Even if the first few times you only play with people you know, your face will become known & people will talk to you.
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Make a T-shirt that says, "I'M SHY! PLEASE ASK ME TO PLAY A GAME!"
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It's difficult to walk up to a random group of strangers and ask them to include you. By far the easiest way to tackle this is to make yourself known in advance to the group. Call up the store owner or pop into the store and obtain (if it exists) the meetup, web page, or facebook info for the group in his store. Then contact the group through those means and ask if you can join. Then when you show up, you're already expected and will be included.

Instead of "Can I join you?", it is "Hi, I'm X from FB/MU/the site, what are we playing?" Much easier.
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You are not going to be magically invited, go for it and ask. It's like dating, only you get something better if it works =P

TL;DR: Stop being shy. Problem solved.
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A lot of great advice here!

Also a lot of great advice for a shy person that can 'stop being shy' whenever they want. Alas, most shy people don't have that option
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As someone who's inherently introverted I empathize.

Some ideas...

If your local gaming place has sign up sheets, you can sign up (or post) that you'd like to play a certain game. Then you just show up and you're already part of that game (and the rest will come naturally).

Something that works at BGG.Con (and probably elsewhere, but that's where I've seen it) is to pick a game off the library shelf and hold it up with an expectant look - that will usually attract people who want to play that specific game. You'll of course have better luck with what's popular than picking something like Die Macher or EuroFront, but you never know...
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Chad Burnett
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There's a lot of good advice above. As a shy person myself, I know firsthand how difficult it can be to find a new group to game with. I was fortunate in my most recent move to find a group of friendly folks who have been very inclusive. Still, it is difficult to push myself out of my comfort zone and attend game nights with people that are already familiar with each other. I don't like being "the new guy" at all. One thing that I've found that helps is to reward myself when I successfully push myself. It may not seem like a big deal to someone that isn't shy, to just attend a game night and play games with strangers. But if you're shy, you know it's a huge accomplishment. Treat it as such, and at the very least give yourself a mental high five whenever you succeed in getting past that "I'm too shy" hurdle.
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leroy43 wrote:
As someone who's inherently introverted I empathize.

thumbsup

Quote:
Something that works at BGG.Con (and probably elsewhere, but that's where I've seen it) is to pick a game off the library shelf and hold it up with an expectant look - that will usually attract people who want to play that specific game. You'll of course have better luck with what's popular than picking something like Die Macher or EuroFront, but you never know...

Just a caveat: I think this only works at cons where there are a ton (okay, tonne, since we're both Canadian) of people and it's therefore understood that it would be impractical to try to talk to people one by one to ascertain if they want to play. In a smaller gathering, such as those at most FLGSes, I think this practice would garner strange looks and end up being counterproductive for overcoming one's shyness.
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A lot of good advice already. I am also fairly awkward about new situations. I think going with someone else you know does make it easier to meet other people, as does finding the right group of people. I still feel awkward with certain groups of people who play at my FLGS (some not all), but I regularly go to two other gaming groups which meet at a local pub or sports bar to game. The environment is more relaxed and the people seem more welcoming to new gamers. And now somehow, I'm actually helping organizing events for one of the groups.

One place to look is on the subforums for the area that you live in. I post listings in the Northeast forum on a monthly basis. It's a good place to start. Or start a thread there. Believe me, most game groups are thrilled to get new members.
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