I don't really like inviting people in my home. (I'm afraid they'll judge my mess or break my stuff. (hey, I'm working on it 😅))
Instead, I like being the host of nice conversations. One to one conversations, where you really get to know the other person. I like make people feel comfortable, especially if they are shy or not used to being treated nicely. Lot of people are afraid they won't have anything to say, so I ask questions! (I'm getting good at it)
I remember gaming events 10+ years ago. I would enter the room/bar and imagine myself putting a mask. The mask of someone who's not shy. These folks didn't know me. They didn't know I was shy.
So I pretended that I wasn't. It was an act. But..... it worked. I could practice talking with people in there. (Of course, some beer certainly helped overcome my barriers, but I could do it sober too)
So now that I've been on both sides, the side of the shy people and the side of the approachable-conversation-starter people, I know what it's like. So I try to be that approachable person to help shy people.
It doesn't work all the time. Some times, the vibe isn't there and I become shy myself. But I stopped blaming me for that. Sometime it's just the room who's like that. Not my fault.
Anyway. This rambling is me saying that we need more approachable people. Could you consider becoming one? so that you can help the others around you?
Of course, at first, you won't know what to say. What to ask. I certainly didn't know myself! So I made myself an app!
(It's in French, but it's open source and easy to mod if you want to translate the questions in other languages)
And of course, that include just being polite and nice to others. Being careful, showing that we care. Asking the other person if they are comfortable with a specific topic. Or maybe they would prefer sit in a different place? Or go for a walk? Asking how they feel. Asking for their pronouns.
Recognize your own feelings too. Meeting new people is awkward! Always! Recognize it! Say that you're feeling awkward too and laugh it off! We're both awkward! Yayyyy!! 🙌
Of course, if the other person is making you feel _very_ uncomfortable, that's a no go!
A little bit of discomfort is normal. That's how we learn! The path to learn how to have comfortable conversations will be a little uncomfortable at first.
But too disconfort much will do more harm than good. You don't need to tolerate that. Get away if you can
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