Do You Suffer From L.E.E.?
You know? Low “Elf” Esteem? :)
That feeling of shyness/fear/anxiety sometimes when playing online with others? Perhaps LARPing or even at the table with others? It’s very similar to what you may feel in everyday life. Shyness is what it is, regardless.
All joking aside, this does effect role-players and in real life. Some adapt, role-play and go with the flow ICly. Some folks tend to be wallflowers, others pretty much recluses. To those that like to role-play but still feel awkward or downright uncomfortable in some social situations – it’s a pain and can be frustrating.
You would think having an avatar in a mmorpg would give people a better “shield” towards this, but it is still is a problem for some just like in real life. Trying to stay IC (in-character) dealing with shyness can conflict.
Let’s say you want to play an outgoing character or personality but you still struggle with pulling it off? Or you really don’t want to “lock up” ICly in a scene or conversation? What do you do? Maybe you don’t have a problem with it – but maybe someone else you game with has L.E.E.?
We all potentially have some issues with L.E.E. at times, just that some folks have it harder than others. Some of it is simple fear that causes it. The fear of saying/doing something “wrong” or screwing up a good interaction. In some RP areas, as in everyday life, you can be in that situation. Perhaps it’s a struggle on what to say or how, whether it’s in real life or with your avatar in game.
Sadly, some role-playing groups and servers and forums can very well “breed” that sort of feeling, intentionally or not. Some folks put a value or weight on how “good” one’s RP is and generalizes/judges thereafter. Cliques form and sometimes it becomes elitist.
Not only does that hurt newcomers to RP that would like to try – it also stagnates and damages the Role-Playing Community as a whole. It also feeds into the RPer vs Non-RPer conflict, being a no win for either group.
Criticism is cool, being a jerk isn’t. Help, but don’t harm is a good rule of thumb.
Some people get that, others sadly don’t. We are all part of our RP Community in our gaming groups, rp forums, LARP troupes, and RP servers – whether we think about it not. We are in a general sense in this thing together.
For those that deal with times of shyness, I understand completely – I get like that too at times along with some of my friends I RP with. It happens. :) Sometimes everything is going good, then wham!
Here’s some ideas to help combat L.E.E. :
- Realize that you (and your role-playing) have value. Self worth is an important key, as it does in “Everyday Life” – and it’s also true. Everyone has something to offer! Just stay IC and understand you do not have to “prove” anything. However, that should not compromise being respectful to others and role-playing responsibly.
- Try to separate your avatar from “You”. You are not your character, but you are role-playing his/her interactions.
- Understand that no one is perfect. We all have good and bad points, hopefully most lean toward the good ones. Do your best and roll with the punches. No one hits a home run every time at bat.
- Do your best, and don’t beat yourself up if things don’t go as planned. Even if it didn’t go well – you tried! Apply that also when others make mistakes. Give them a little grace and be supportive if that door opens.
- Help those along that may have the same problem. Support with friends can be very helpful. Remember where you were when you started, especially with new role-players. Thank people OOCly for their time or if they did a great job.
- Don’t be afraid to start up a conversation or enter an existing one. Look for an “in” and add to the moment. Keep some ideas written down or in your head on how your character would say and do things and expand from there. Starting sooner is easier than later but gauge the group and conversation. Hovering around can work, but folks may think you’re a stalker. Just kiddin’!
- Take small steps towards being more “outgoing” with your character and his/her mindset and backstory.
- Stay calm and don’t try to do too much too soon. Ease into your RP and have fun… that’s why you are playing.
Some people see shyness as being “stuck up” or “cold”. Be aware of that and don’t be afraid to tell folks if you think maybe it’s an issue.
- Location is a key element. Around the mailboxes, vendors and auction houses may or may not be the best placed to start a conversation as some folks are AFK or focusing on mail or items. Just keep that in mind but keep your eyes open.
- The mob scene: This is a gathering of several folks in one area role-playing. Even with experienced RPers, it’s a mad house of trying to keep conversations going, keeping track of them and making sure no one gets lost. (No RP’ers left Behind! :) Understand it’s easy to lose a conversation or accidentally get ignored. Have patience and don’t get discouraged.
- Remember that Shyness takes time to work through. Also, finding friends, guildmates and other support can help make the process smoother and less daunting over time.
That’s some good ideas to work with role-playing or in real life. We all suffer from one form or another of “L.E.E.”, so hopefully this may help. And remember – Don’t give up!
Take care and keep RPing!