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Meeting people on Second Life makes me nervous


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And I wish that title was a joke.

I know that plenty comes in here and say/think that it's ridiculous, and maybe it is, but it doesn't stop the way I feel.

I've always been an extreme introvert, naturally shy and very self-conscious. I joined Second Life because it let me try to create. I've been in Second Life for 7 months and honestly, I barely leave my home, instead opting my time to test out models and mess around on stuff in the background. On the off chance, I do leave my sanctuary ( like going Friday shopping ) I get very nervous, and just honestly don't know how to approach people. Or maybe better put: I don't have the guts to approach people. And maybe even paranoid ( I swear I'm only mildly crazy ) that people wouldn't want to talk to me anyway because I don't conform to pretty much any group. I'm not a rebel at all, it's just when you rip and import models from other sources you are bound to stand out even in your nearest proximity community which I think would be the kemono anime like avatar community, but not really that either.

And honestly, I tried the typical bento mesh face and Maitreya Lara body once. I could blend it but it didn't feel like me and didn't alleviate any of the anxiety I feel when meeting people. I guess my typical appearances just compounds onto the fact that I already feel a bit different and not in a good way.

I know have some hangups that I need to work through but it's a slow process so I'm trying to think as my first baby step despite how long I mulled over post things. I'm looking for people who might like to talk through IM on occasion. Not a therapist or a helper or anything...just a chatbud. I don't expect to find a BFF ( though that would be nice ) I would just like to find someone who I can chat friendly and can take my brand of awkwardness in stride.  I don't even care if we don't like the same things. Just because I'm a technology geek with a ginormous love for video games and manga doesn't mean I expect the world to be. 

I know these posts are sort of like a "sell yourself" type deal and try to explain why someone should contact you. I feel like I did a bad job at and probably sound super boring. So I'll just close by saying something one of my friends I have in real life I've been told as my selling point. She said that I'm like a jittery old cat; self-reliant, easily startled, but a good companion nonetheless. Actually, that probably doesn't "sell" me well either...

TL;DR: I joined a social game and have had a lot of fun soloing but am sincerely trying to be more social, little steps at a time. 

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You do sound like my jittery old cat! 😃

Yes I do think you're worried over nothing really, but I know it's easier for some more than others and we're all very different (I'm sure you're not alone in how you feel).

I'd be very happy to chat with you in-world and learn more about your interests.You sound like an interesting person with a lot to offer!

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4 minutes ago, MayaSmit said:

You do sound like my jittery old cat! 😃

Yes I do think you're worried over nothing really, but I know it's easier for some more than others and we're all very different (I'm sure you're not alone in how you feel).

I'd be very happy to chat with you in-world and learn more about your interests.You sound like an interesting person with a lot to offer!

I'd like to talk in-world. I should log on later. You can send me a message if you want and I'll reply when I get on. Thanks for being a nice first reply.

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Sounds like we're both very similar in regards to anxiety in social situations. I wish I had a magic solution for you, but unfortunately I don't. The best thing to do is to actively put yourself in social situations that make you feel like crawling under a rock. Go to various clubs and live events. Just dance at first, maybe occasionally saying a word or two into local chat. If you keep this up, just being there, then HOPEFULLY you'll get more comfortable being around others. Once you feel yourself feeling less awkward and anxious, you can start chatting more. Complimenting the song choice, asking everyone how their days are going and so on. What also might help is joining a community on SL that revolves around your interests. There are plenty of groups who have sims in-world for like-minded people to gather and chat.

No idea if any of this helps, I know how it feels when people suggest things you've heard a million times before, but just wanted to throw my ideas out there.

Wishing you all the best!

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23 minutes ago, Hunkledink said:

Sounds like we're both very similar in regards to anxiety in social situations. I wish I had a magic solution for you, but unfortunately I don't. The best thing to do is to actively put yourself in social situations that make you feel like crawling under a rock. Go to various clubs and live events. Just dance at first, maybe occasionally saying a word or two into local chat. If you keep this up, just being there, then HOPEFULLY you'll get more comfortable being around others. Once you feel yourself feeling less awkward and anxious, you can start chatting more. Complimenting the song choice, asking everyone how their days are going and so on. What also might help is joining a community on SL that revolves around your interests. There are plenty of groups who have sims in-world for like-minded people to gather and chat.

No idea if any of this helps, I know how it feels when people suggest things you've heard a million times before, but just wanted to throw my ideas out there.

Wishing you all the best!

Thanks. This actually made me feel good to know that I don't sound absolutely insane, that some people out there relate. I'm sure there are more than I realize, but of course they keep quiet. I'm slowly trying to put myself in situations but it's hard starting and, as you said it leaves me wanting to run and hide. Thank you for your response. 

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No worries. I suffer from severe anxiety so I’m constantly struggling with things like this. Feel free to add me in-world if you ever need any help. Just search Hunkledink Resident.

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I've been where you are more than once.  (Honestly when I first joined SL I would "freeze" during a conversation and not be able to answer anyone, just watch as they tried to talk to me but couldn't make myself respond.  I've gotten better about that, but it's still difficult sometimes.  I'd be happy to meet in world sometime if you would like.

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6 minutes ago, KaioshinEa said:

I've been where you are more than once.  (Honestly when I first joined SL I would "freeze" during a conversation and not be able to answer anyone, just watch as they tried to talk to me but couldn't make myself respond.  I've gotten better about that, but it's still difficult sometimes.  I'd be happy to meet in world sometime if you would like.

I will send you message. I'd like to talk. 

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I get the anxious talking to people too. Which is pretty funny because I do customer support for my little store all the time, but for some reason I shy away from casually messaging people.

You can message me if you'd like to talk.

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I relate this pretty well myself, although it's mostly insecurities that limit me on a very large scale. I don't think that you made a terrible mess of introducing yourself though. You're certainly someone that I would like to meet and talk to anyways...

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I understand about the social anxiety, fortunately for me I do not suffer so much with it within SL. Perhaps because I really do not identify with my avatar as being "me". My avatar is a character I create, that can do things I can't, like walk up to a stranger and say "hi". You mentioned that the Maitreya didn't feel like you, but maybe you can use that to your advantage. Make your avatar someone else who can approach people. If you are fearful that people will judge you, and you want to avoid that, then don't put you out there. Hide behind a character you create. It isn't a flawless plan of course because. You can never remove yourself totally from your creations. But at the same time it becomes very reaffirming when you see that creation accepted.

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Oh man I feel this whole post in my soul, lol, except I've been on SL for years.

I know what you mean about feeling out of place; all of my avatars are furries and I'm well aware of the weird stigma around them both in-world and irl. Nothing more awkward than trying to go somewhere and finding out it's a "no furries allowed" type area or just an area full of realistic looking humans  where I stick out like a sore thumb and feel unwelcome because nobody says anything.

Not to mention more often than not, a lot of residents try to drive a hard wedge between SL and RL which makes it so hard to make friends that are more than just SL-deep. There are only so many things to talk about in an rp sense and I like to discuss irl interests, video games, etc.

If anything in my profile looks interesting to you feel free to message! I'm on kind of infrequently right now but I'd like to get more invested in SL again. I only really hop on nowadays to make a new avi and do texture work.

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Sounds alot like social anxiety to me. Yay, one of us. One of us. lol

I'm kidding, that isn't a yay situation. It's a rough, and harsh one. I've been around longer than some, and not nearly as long as others, and I have to say, it does get easier. Slowly. With the right people. Sure, there are those in this virtual world that only want to destabalize things, but, there are alot of positive, upbeat people as well. While I admittedly don't understand how people can be so radiantly positive, it's a welcome sight. Even if it does confuse the living pixels out of me. lol 

Just be yourself. You don't have to "fit in" with any crowd. Least of all do you [or should you] conform to any crowd. If you do, you could eventually lose sight of yourself. Besides, standing out is way more fun. Take it from me. Someone that looks like an elf most of the time, wears random [often at least slightly inappropriate] clothes, creates, is learning Blender, and takes great pride in standing out from the crowd. You have to take everything in stride, and remember that you are your own worst enemy and biggest critic in alot of cases.

As for staying to yourself, same is same. I've been here for going on 5 years and I rarely ever go anywhere when I'm not working. My house is my empire, and my room is my castle (I live with another friend) and in my castle, if I don't desire it, nobody else gets in. To clarify, my room is inside another room, behind a bookshelf. It's a Red Queen house, so, go figure. Anyway, getting off topic. 

My honest advice is this.
1. Take it slow. Most of the SL community at large is pretty nice and understanding. At least, from my experience.
2. Don't just jump into things. You have to ease into things. Find a friend or two, go to a quiet cozy little club, listen to some music, rather it be Jazz, Country (a personal favorite), Rock, Metal, or whatever else (though try to keep it to calming music at first) and just breath.
3. Remember that you can return to your bubble to decompress and/or escape at any given time. Nobody's going to force you (or at least, most won't) to be outside your comfort zone.
4. Most won't judge you. I'm willing to say that at least a fair percentage of us on SL have at least one disability of some form or another, rather it be mental, or physical. Despite that, despite whatever ailments we may or may not suffer from, while there are certainly those few toxic individuals, MOST of us won't judge. Rather it be because we ourselves know how it feels, or because of something else. 
5. You won't be the best looking, and that's okay. Rather you have a Maitreya, Belleza, SLink, Legacy (though, personally, I do have a soft spot for Legacy), or whatever else, you won't be the best looking. Again, not something most will judge by. 
6. SecondLife is what you make of it. SecondLife isn't really so much a game, as it is a virtual world, but even more than that, it's a digitized version of the world we all inhabit. Except that the cookies aren't ever burned, and the cake isn't a lie. Though, it is inedible.

I usually like helping out and stuff, so, feel free to message me inworld if you want. I'm not going to bite your head off because of it. ^_^

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8 hours ago, LilithServil said:

full of realistic looking humans  where I stick out like a sore thumb and feel unwelcome because nobody says anything.

I empathize with original poster but really have no social anxieties so I don't get it exactly but I'm offering my inbox open to the original poster all the same. I do get what you mean however Lilith. I haven't been on SL for years like you but I've been to more than one place in which I've been ignored or have been asked to leave because of my uwu anime avatars. It doesn't make me sad. First it makes me angry and then I just go WELL ***** THEM, their *****ing loss. You're on infrequently I get that but I hope it is okay to send you a message too. I'll be truthful, you won my over with your icon pic. 

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I can understand where you come from, as I am in your same shoes. I've struggled with making new friends as I have done so easily in the past just to be betrayed in the end. It's taken me a very long time to trust people, and I am more open, and willing to put myself out there to make friends again, and i just think that is exactly what you need to do! Like others in the topic have mentioned, travel to destinations, even of your personal preferences (anime, etc) and you will find a community that you will be able to eventually even call home. <3

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You dont have to share much if any info about yourself.  My sl partner is a female over 21 and I can guess her age by the type of music she likes maybe but thats all I know.  She wants to stay private so i am ok with that.  

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