Author Topic: So what is it like  (Read 638 times)

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Offline Rocco

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So what is it like
« on: April 12, 2016, 11:50:36 pm »
I doubt I'll be able to go to any convention anytime soon, but I have a few burning questions.

I'm a 19 yo guy. Should be in the time of his life, plenty of friends, etc. I literally have no friends and have been isolated for over a decade, just started being able to secretly reach out online recently. So I obviously would go with only knowing other furs online at best. I also can't keep a conversation going online, and I don't like/am worried/dread/am afraid of talking to people in real life. I tend to just hang in the shadows and say the least words possible. The questions are:

How easy or difficult is it to start talking with a random person you never met before and might never see again whom you know nothing about?

Is there anyone else out there who was like me but was able to open up at a con? Stories hopefully?

How easy is it to find others who are willing to take in a guy like me who essentially doesn't talk, doesn't know meanings of some stuff, and automatically tries to hide?

Offline Kobuk

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Re: So what is it like
« Reply #1 on: April 13, 2016, 08:21:58 am »
The only thing to fear is fear itself. ;)

Why are you afraid to meet/talk to other people? There has to be a reason. Some sort of "focal point" in your life that made you the way you are? Once you find it, understand it, and/or get help for it, then maybe you can have a happier life and start interacting with people more. :)

Conventions don't have to be scary. They may seem like it because they are so big and there's so much to do and see, and there's so many people around whom you do not know. But once you find a furry friend or two to get to know and converse with, I'm sure they'd be more than willing and helpful to show you around the convention site and participate in con events with you.

Making friends isn't easy, but it's not impossible either. Best way I've found to make friends is starting out with "small talk". Perhaps you see someone who is drawing furry art and you like what they are doing. Don't be afraid to go up to them, say Hi, and compliment them on their art. After that, maybe exchange names, discuss art styles and techniques, colors, etc.

Point is, once you "get your foot in the door" so to speak and start making small talk, then more "bigger" conversation will eventually follow.

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Offline greenfox

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Re: So what is it like
« Reply #2 on: April 13, 2016, 07:42:54 pm »
Well, I'm also a bit of an introvert, and I've been to a few cons, so maybe I can answer some of your questions:

How easy or difficult is it to start talking with a random person you never met before and might never see again whom you know nothing about?
This depends on the convention.  At a big con, like MFF or Anthrocon there are a lot more people, but they are usually already socializing in small groups with their own friends.  You'll probably have the best luck by joining in on organized activities (board games, panels, etc), then trying to talk to other people who aren't already in a closed social group.

At smaller cons, I've noticed that people are a lot more willing to strike up random conversations if you just hang out near tables, food, or general points of interest in the convention area.  However, the most difficult part is actually making a connection beyond casual smalltalk.  Either way, try to ask people questions about themselves that let them share something personal.  For example, people *love* to talk in great detail about their fursonas at a furry convention!

When you're done talking, you really need to exchange contact info or plan to meet later, especially at big cons.  I still find this whole process to be much more difficult than making friends online, but once you get each other's contact you can move it into that space.

Is there anyone else out there who was like me but was able to open up at a con? Stories hopefully?
Myself.  I went to MFF last year, and I had a lot of trouble finding out how to talk to people; everyone seemed like they were just hanging out with their friend-groups and I was not sure how to approach.   So, I decided to challenge myself to take photos with as many vulpine fursuiters as I could.  That helped me talk to people in the lobby.  However, the best solution turned out to be the game room.  I enjoy playing Magic the Gathering, so I brought some cards with me.  Pretty soon, I was meeting other furries who wanted to hang out and talk whilst playing MTG.  Honestly, most of the time we didn't even play much, just talked.

How easy is it to find others who are willing to take in a guy like me who essentially doesn't talk, doesn't know meanings of some stuff, and automatically tries to hide?
There are definitely people who are willing; the hardest part is getting through the initial challenges of establishing a friendship.
"Vira pyvež maze lirno kaietello jai."
I am only a lone man with ten-thousand dreams.

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Offline Literate Lycan

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Re: So what is it like
« Reply #3 on: April 14, 2016, 12:38:57 am »
My first furry con experience was Further Confusion 2016 in January. I didn't know anyone. I was just starting to become active in furry fandom. I didn't know anyone there, but I wandered around, went to panels and a photoshoot for the studio which is building my fursuit. I did ask questions and make comments at one panel, and chatted briefly with a few con goers, but mostly I was a spectator. I'm not an outgoing person at first; I like to observe and then begin to participate.

Jump forward about 6 weeks to the first time I met some of the local fur group in person at the monthly furbowl. I'd already connected online with a few members of the group. I set foot into the bowling alley and was quickly greeted by several furs. Conversation quickly developed, and within fifteen minutes I knew I was among friends. In less than two months I've become a dedicated member of the fur group and am reaching out to say "Hi! Welcome!" to newcomers--just as the fandom has done for me.

Establishing connections at a huge con can be daunting. It was hard for me--a 55+ greymuzzle dipping a paw into active fandom for the first time. Instead, I made my initial connections among the 25 furs or so at the local furbowl. Those connections have led to more contacts outside of my immediate area. It's happened amazingly fast.

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