Hello, Chaz Marler from Pair of Dice Paradise here, as we near the conclusion to this Meeples For Sheepish Peoples series -- discussing the social activity of board games in the lives of people who aren’t necessarily socially outgoing. This episode, I reveal a secret!
Now, I spend a lot of time in front of this camera doing and saying silly things about board games. So, when I have the privilege to meet a viewer in person, sometimes they’ll tell me, “based on your videos, I find it hard to believe that you’re an introvert.”
I usually laugh it off and respond with something witty because -- come on, it’s me -- but here’s a secret. What this person doesn’t know is that, during our conversation, there’s a little voice in my head which is also having a conversation with me, which goes like this:
“The person is talking to me. Oh, man, what if I can’t think of anything to say back? What if I misunderstand what they say and my reply doesn’t make sense? Or offends them? I could just nod politely. Yeah. No, that’s rude. Oh man, where should I look? Their mouth? Between their eyes? Now I’m looking in just one eye. Do they notice that? I’ll look in the other eye to balance it out. Do I have something on my face? What if all the hair on my body spontaneously out right now? Would that be weird? Oh man! I lost track of what they were saying! Quick, nod politely!”
Now, in these videos, I will often amplify my personality in order to entertain or make a point. But, in this case, I have to admit that’s actually pretty close to what’s going on in my head… every single time.
Now, while hearing people say that I don’t seem socially awkward is a compliment, it can also be discouraging. Because, as I’ve mentioned before, one of the reasons I started attending conventions and seeking out other board gamers where I live was to battle my own social anxiety. It can be difficult, and I don’t want my online persona to minimize the struggle that many other gamers deal with, a struggle that can prevent them from engaging in this activity that they enjoy.
See, that’s one of the nice things about playing board games, it gives you and your fellow players an activity to share your attention, giving the anxious voice in your head something to be distracted by, potentially allowing conversations to ebb and flow more easily. And as your relationships with your acquaintances grow, the games may become secondary, or not present at all.But that anxious little voice doesn’t have to be a detriment. Next time, I conclude this series by sharing how this little voice can be put to work for you, and how it was instrumental in getting me to what this series has been leading up to: GenCon.