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Dealing with going alone.... When you're too shy

#1 User is offline   CrimsonAnime 

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Posted 03 April 2011 - 02:24 PM

Hello everyone!

I'm Crimson the official Forum kitten and I have a question!

I've gone to ACEN since 2008. My first year I really didn't know anyone or anything and the room I had was with someone I met through the forums. It was a nice first time, but I wandered around by myself the whole time and didn't really leave my room often enough. I met up with some HS friends for a bit but they were doing their own thing and I didn't hang with them long.

2009 I went alone again, had a room with my friends but didn't hang out with people as much. Had a little more fun now that I knew what was going on but still basically stayed in the room (didn't help I got sick either)

2010. I consider this the best year. I had a room with all of my friends, because I hosted the room. We had fun in and out of the room and the best part was that my boyfriend had come with me. I had someone to hang out with for almost everything at the con and I realized that even though acen is fun and the people are open and friendly and aren't as judgmental as normies...it was so much better to have someone I knew to tag around with. I could feed off of his energy and see the con through his eyes and be myself because I knew that he wasn't going to wonder or judge me.

This year however, my BF isn't able to go and I don't think I'll have as much fun without someone I can hang around. I'm a generally shy person and it's hard for me to open up. When I do try to talk to new people I'm either very insulting (jokingly but often crossing the line) or really childish to the point where I annoy myself. I don't really act like myself and then I end up being stuck acting like the person I was when I first met someone new if I continue to hang out with them. That drains my energy and literally makes me sick. So I usually shy away from situations like that.

And yes - having gone for three years so far and being active on the forums has given me friends that I love and love to hang out with but I know that they have their own plans and their own friends and what not to enjoy at the con and I don't want to inconvenience them by being the 3rd wheel or dragging them to things I want to go to nor do I want to annoy them by hanging on like lost puppy.

I guess my question is...what can I do to handle wandering around the con alone?
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#2 User is offline   Pikachii 

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Posted 03 April 2011 - 02:40 PM

I hate doing things alone. I mostly make Eva-chan go with me wherever I go if I can. I have never been to a con alone, nor do I think I ever would be able to rouse up the courage to do so, but maybe you can talk to your friends and see what they are planning on doing. If you are both wanting to do the same thing, hook up with them for that and then if you must, part ways and potentially hook up again later on.
I understand the shyness, I get pretty quiet when I first meet someone. Try to open up and just discuss some things you like, find out what sort of things this other person is into-potentially hang out with them for a panel or peruse the vendor hall/ artist alley together and get a couple of photos together. If you had fun maybe you can exchange numbers to meet up again later.
Do your own thing- if something doesn't work out with a friend, brush it off and try to have fun even if someone can't be there, who knows maybe you will make a temporary buddy while there. Temp buddies can be just as fun ^-^
Also- try not to care what other people might think of you, go with the flow, and just smile. Smiling will make you feel better (even when you are sad) it can lighten up the mood in the room, and can put people at ease when you first start talking.
Just try to be yourself.

I hope my rant was at least a tiny bit helpful. good luck!!!

This post has been edited by Pikachii: 03 April 2011 - 02:41 PM

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Posted 03 April 2011 - 03:43 PM

I had this problem my first couple cons too. It goes away after awhile. Just go do what you wanna do. Like if nobody wants to go to panel with you, so what? You wanna go so go ahead and go. It also helps you be your own person and not attached to someone else just to have fun.
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Posted 03 April 2011 - 03:58 PM

Heheh!! Honestly, I do the same thing.. reguarding the meanness.. XD Never when I first meet someone, but the more I enjoy someone and like, the meaner I am to them? Not in a literal way, but joking around and what not.. I dunno why!! xD

And...Honestly, every ACen, although I go with a group or 10 or 12, I always roam off by myself! Is it strange that I prefer ACen that way? xD I'm not anti-social in the least bit (despite that I'm rather quiet.. XD), but.. Its easier to do all the things that you want to do when there's no one trailing behind! Like Pikachii said, do your own thing! I can't tell you how many panels I would've missed out on if I just stuck with my friends, and I feel that choosing everything you want to do on your own really makes ACen your's! It gives you the chance to meet those new people, even if you are shy~ ^^; And why you may not tag along with those people, that just gives a greater opprotunity to meet even more!

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#5 User is offline   Jeff 

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Posted 03 April 2011 - 04:23 PM

Find someone to stalk
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Posted 03 April 2011 - 07:31 PM

I've gone to ACEN alone each time I have gone so far its been 3, once as a normal con goer and twice as IRT. So far I find wondering is fun and going to the different places and panels can be a blast. But I'm a loner to began with so... yeah I don't mind. That or you can always just hang out in the gaming room all day like me cause I'm a gamer nerd! : D
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Posted 03 April 2011 - 07:57 PM

I have the same issue. No matter how many I come to the con with, I always end up wandering the con alone. Then, when we all meet up again, I hear about how many people they met while I walked around like a lost puppy. ;3; It doesn't help that my default face looks like >:| and even when I smile, people say I look like >:|. In recent years though, I've managed to strike up conversations with a few people, mostly in line for things. I suggest, next time you're waiting like 30 minutes for a panel or event, just try talking to the people waiting with you. You might find yourself a con buddy in the same situation as yourself.
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#8 User is offline   Jeff 

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Posted 03 April 2011 - 08:59 PM

Cosplay as someone that fanpeople will go crazy over. That'll get you some followers.
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#9 User is offline   Pikachii 

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Posted 03 April 2011 - 09:03 PM

Or it will get you glomped so hard you get injured... >.> :glomp:
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#10 User is offline   CrimsonAnime 

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Posted 03 April 2011 - 09:16 PM

you guys are why I heart acen and the acen forums so much! Everyone on here is like an extended family truly offering advice to someone they have never met and may possibly never know!

As for dealing with it this year - my bf and i have worked out a way for him to go but this is his last con so afterwards I'll be attending alone so I still very much appreciate all the advice! And I really think I'll try it too!
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#11 User is offline   Kasin 

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Posted 04 April 2011 - 01:42 AM

View PostCrimsonAnime, on 03 April 2011 - 09:16 PM, said:

you guys are why I heart acen and the acen forums so much! Everyone on here is like an extended family truly offering advice to someone they have never met and may possibly never know!

As for dealing with it this year - my bf and i have worked out a way for him to go but this is his last con so afterwards I'll be attending alone so I still very much appreciate all the advice! And I really think I'll try it too!


were friends right? and u know sakura, her group, and my love...sooo...hang out with us why don't ya? all i ever do is walk around alone and take pics...or be forced to pose for others.
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#12 User is offline   Snow_Storm 

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Posted 04 April 2011 - 03:06 AM

I personality believe that sometimes going solo is the best route. You don't have to deal with friends that don't wanna go to a panel you truly want to go but they don't and all that fun jazz. Granted, it will get a bit boring without your friends but hey, just travel around the confloor for a bit and you might find a few folks to talk to and crap.

This post has been edited by Snow_Storm: 04 April 2011 - 03:07 AM

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#13 User is offline   FlyingElf 

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Posted 04 April 2011 - 05:31 AM

Honestly, the best option you have is to figure out a way around it. Being shy is an excuse. I was shy my first year at ACen. I had an okay time hanging out with some people I had met online, but the following year when I went out and made it a mission to make new friends is still my best year of ACen ever. Which is why I suggest you just start talking to people. If you find someone just hanging out, talk to them. Making new friends isn't that hard if you put your mind to it.

And if you're really worried about a place to make new friends at, thats part of why I'm hosting my party. Its a group of just generally good people, hanging out, having a good time.

You're only as shy as you let yourself be. Meeting new people and making new friends is up to you. There are certainly plenty of venues in which to do so if you want to.
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#14 User is offline   LoveLetters 

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Posted 04 April 2011 - 07:41 AM

Well usually the people at cons are tres tres nice and fun so just walking up to ppl to hang with you will work :D Well it will work on me anyways. You can hang with me throughout the con if youd like if you end up being along. :3 Shy? okay I understand but just remember we dont bite....much. Just say the word and im there! :D

I had that problem and I went all byself in my little lonesome,but them ppl ended up coming up to me and I just stuck with them. So! Its either they find you or you find them xD But still you can hang with me if youd like :)
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Posted 04 April 2011 - 07:47 AM

Perhaps if you see someone in a line who also seems to be there by themselves, try to strike up conversation. They might be in the same situation as you. Even though I go in a group, I go to a lot of panels, etc. by myself and I've always met people in line who were there by themselves too. I'm pretty quiet too, but its always interesting to have small talk with the people around you. ^_^
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Posted 04 April 2011 - 09:19 AM

I agree with Felf, being shy is only an excuse. I'm certain that if you make a conscious effort to branch out and talk to new people, you'll be pleasantly surprised by the results of your efforts. I'm certain about this because I used to be the most shy person you could ever meet. But eventually, after years of feeling nervous and awkward and being shy around people, I realized that the only way to make my situation better was by changing my own behavior. I know that it's really hard to go up to a stranger (or a group of strangers) and try to talk to them, especially when you're nervous and you don't know what to say. But I find that the best icebreaker is often a compliment. If you are standing alone in line for a panel, and the person ahead of you has an awesome cosplay, tell them so. Maybe they're not cosplaying, but you really like their purse or sneakers or haircut or whatever. Honestly, you can always find something to compliment a person on, and that usually initiates a conversation. Once a conversation has started, it's just a matter of finding common likes and dislikes, making lighthearted jokes, and expressing interest in what the other person has to say. Believe me, the awkwardness you might feel when talking to strangers will eventually go away with time and repetition. After a little while, you'll be a social butterfly, able to make friends with almost anyone!
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Posted 04 April 2011 - 10:06 AM

The reason I've been attending ACen for so long is not the hobby itself but the people.
Everyone is so nice and easy to start a conversation with.
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Posted 04 April 2011 - 11:22 AM

First year i was with a group, but was shy, i meet this guy that i will never see agein, in the 2nd year i was alone but i was getting warmed to people, on the 3rd year look out.
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#19 User is offline   The Fujoshi 

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Posted 04 April 2011 - 12:08 PM

I don't agree 100% with elf or mr. Nash but you can't be like me ne? Not all shy people are alike.

I'm shy to the point that I am totally anti-social, I rather be alone with computers and manga than my family kinda way. I am getting nervous on meeting people at Acen and it's only April. Like omg breathing hard hyperventilating nervous. When I first met my now ex bf I didn't talk to him for the whole day, period (long story on how I talked.) and my son's dad I never spoke more than two words for about four years. Yeah four years. I was in college when we really talked.

Coming from a shy person all I can say is attempt to be extroverted. People are going to push you about this in the future so it's good to set your mind on the plunge. When I mean push is that you might have to work with other people in your career as well as hang around other people in settings you don't like and you have to strike conversations with them or mingle, even if you don't want to and can't use being shy or introverted because extroverted people and a lot of people in general don't consider that an excuse or a reason at all. Even though they might have their own reasons to be how they are.

So my best advice is to start slow. Since your boyfriend is with you that's a start. Go with someone you are comfortable in your personal bubble. Then if you see someone interested in you or something that you are interested in talk to them slowly. Say hi and be friendly. Don't talk a lot if it feels uncomfortable to you. If they are doing the talking listen to them and show that you are interested; respond every once in a while with your opinion. If you act like you are tuning them out or ignoring them they will get offended. Tell them that you don't talk much and they should understand if you are making at least this effort.

Then by the time the other convention comes around you should be set in your mind to do this again. Actually if you are lucky you could have a friend with your boyfriend or the first attempt alone.

Just try your best and don't rush on it and work hard ^_^
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#20 User is offline   magicalgamer 

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Posted 04 April 2011 - 12:53 PM

I bring a few people to ACEN including my best friend who is extremely shy and nervous around people. Any activity with more than 100 people is difficult for her.

Over the years of going to a variety of events including ACEN, she has opened up some, but is still shy. I don't think she will ever not be shy, but at least she is getting used to being around people.


"I know that they have their own plans and their own friends and what not to enjoy at the con and I don't want to inconvenience them by being the 3rd wheel or dragging them to things I want to go to nor do I want to annoy them by hanging on like lost puppy."


This is something my friend thought when I first bought her to ACEN. What we do now is go out to dinner Thursday night and go through events. By just talking we realized that at least one other person in our group would enjoy the same events, or an event in the room next door. Instead of thinking you are dragging them to things, say it like "hey I really like this and I think you might enjoy it." It turns the thought from dragging them to inviting them.

This post has been edited by magicalgamer: 04 April 2011 - 12:53 PM


#21 User is offline   Gabichox 

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Posted 04 April 2011 - 01:12 PM

@Fujoshi - I agree. Some people aren't merely shy because it's an excuse. [I will openly admit that I use it as an excuse...] Some people really have deep anxieties about it. I have a few friends who are like that and they will literally shut down when meeting new people.

I'm going to be taking that plunge this year as well lol. I usually am the quiet one when it comes to cons. I hang out with my friends and that's it. But after having to deal with a friend and her "I don't want to do this. Let's just sit and watch people walking" attitude, I feel like it'd be more fun to walk around by myself, explore and meet new people.
It's scary to talk to new people. I hate meeting new people because I often come off as pissed off lol. Some people say I'm really boring too...

Hopefully it works out for all of us meeting new people. Is there a 'shy people' meetup? There should be XDDD
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#22 User is offline   FlyingElf 

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Posted 04 April 2011 - 01:18 PM

View PostThe Fujoshi, on 04 April 2011 - 12:08 PM, said:

I don't agree 100% with elf or mr. Nash but you can't be like me ne? Not all shy people are alike.

I'm shy to the point that I am totally anti-social, I rather be alone with computers and manga than my family kinda way. I am getting nervous on meeting people at Acen and it's only April. Like omg breathing hard hyperventilating nervous. When I first met my now ex bf I didn't talk to him for the whole day, period (long story on how I talked.) and my son's dad I never spoke more than two words for about four years. Yeah four years. I was in college when we really talked.

Coming from a shy person all I can say is attempt to be extroverted. People are going to push you about this in the future so it's good to set your mind on the plunge. When I mean push is that you might have to work with other people in your career as well as hang around other people in settings you don't like and you have to strike conversations with them or mingle, even if you don't want to and can't use being shy or introverted because extroverted people and a lot of people in general don't consider that an excuse or a reason at all. Even though they might have their own reasons to be how they are.

So my best advice is to start slow. Since your boyfriend is with you that's a start. Go with someone you are comfortable in your personal bubble. Then if you see someone interested in you or something that you are interested in talk to them slowly. Say hi and be friendly. Don't talk a lot if it feels uncomfortable to you. If they are doing the talking listen to them and show that you are interested; respond every once in a while with your opinion. If you act like you are tuning them out or ignoring them they will get offended. Tell them that you don't talk much and they should understand if you are making at least this effort.

Then by the time the other convention comes around you should be set in your mind to do this again. Actually if you are lucky you could have a friend with your boyfriend or the first attempt alone.

Just try your best and don't rush on it and work hard ^_^


My point isn't that everyone is shy in the same way, its that if you want to work at something and fix it, you will. If its important enough for you to work through this problem, you will do it. You won't let your hangups about talking to others get to you and you will do it. We as humans are capable of doing great and fantastic things. The only thing that will limit what you can and can not do is yourself. So if you choose to be shy and let that cripple you, that is a choice you are making.

Obviously, coming out of your shell is going to be easier for some people than it will be for others, but everyone is capable of doing it.
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#23 User is offline   The Fujoshi 

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Posted 04 April 2011 - 01:58 PM

View PostFlyingElf, on 04 April 2011 - 01:18 PM, said:

My point isn't that everyone is shy in the same way, its that if you want to work at something and fix it, you will. If its important enough for you to work through this problem, you will do it. You won't let your hangups about talking to others get to you and you will do it. We as humans are capable of doing great and fantastic things. The only thing that will limit what you can and can not do is yourself. So if you choose to be shy and let that cripple you, that is a choice you are making.

Obviously, coming out of your shell is going to be easier for some people than it will be for others, but everyone is capable of doing it.


Hm I understand your point; guess it was just the way you said it in the previous posts :lol: Actually we said the same thing if you think about it just in different ways.

Work hard and you'll get results kind of thing.

Well most things if you work hard on.
ACen 2013 Cosplay:
Hero from SMT: DS2, Emmet/Kudari from Pokemon Black and White, Roppi Izaya from Durarara, Hitoshura human form from SMT.

All the random avatars this time are from LJ and I don't own any of them. Some of the avatars are credit to aristocracy, Taku ♫ arthursandwich, noxjustxnoin, imperial-code, dojicons, narrante, dino-cookie, shiroyuki_kun, takerzmuse, and ushitora_icons at LJ. I DON'T OWN ANY OF THE ICONS.


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#24 User is offline   Pikachii 

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Posted 04 April 2011 - 02:12 PM

I think this year I am going to talk more ^-^ Last year was my first ACen and even though I was with my BF I get uncomfortable around a lot of people... sooooooo I kept pretty quiet. That and we didn't have a lot of food. SO! STOCK UP ON FOOD!! You need ENERGY to have fun and talkative!
^-^

#25 User is offline   Jeff 

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Posted 04 April 2011 - 03:25 PM

Go hang out in the basement with the game playing people. Play some games. You'll HAVE to talk to people.
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#26 User is offline   CrimsonAnime 

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Posted 04 April 2011 - 04:43 PM

View PostKasin, on 04 April 2011 - 01:42 AM, said:

were friends right? and u know sakura, her group, and my love...sooo...hang out with us why don't ya? all i ever do is walk around alone and take pics...or be forced to pose for others.

Hai Kasin we're friends..but you guys are also older than me and in previous years I couldn't hang out with you much because I was under 21...guess i Just got used to that. Lol. Ill definitely look for you though!

View PostFlyingElf, on 04 April 2011 - 05:31 AM, said:

Honestly, the best option you have is to figure out a way around it. Being shy is an excuse. I was shy my first year at ACen. I had an okay time hanging out with some people I had met online, but the following year when I went out and made it a mission to make new friends is still my best year of ACen ever. Which is why I suggest you just start talking to people. If you find someone just hanging out, talk to them. Making new friends isn't that hard if you put your mind to it.

And if you're really worried about a place to make new friends at, thats part of why I'm hosting my party. Its a group of just generally good people, hanging out, having a good time.

You're only as shy as you let yourself be. Meeting new people and making new friends is up to you. There are certainly plenty of venues in which to do so if you want to.

Party? What kinda of party? When where...I've been looking for an at-con party where it's not uber crazy like the raves

View PostSirArthurKirkland, on 04 April 2011 - 07:41 AM, said:

Well usually the people at cons are tres tres nice and fun so just walking up to ppl to hang with you will work :D Well it will work on me anyways. You can hang with me throughout the con if youd like if you end up being along. :3 Shy? okay I understand but just remember we dont bite....much. Just say the word and im there! :D

I had that problem and I went all byself in my little lonesome,but them ppl ended up coming up to me and I just stuck with them. So! Its either they find you or you find them xD But still you can hang with me if youd like :)

I agree, people at acen and in general most anime cons, seem to be really nice and open and caring and I love that about my otaku family. but I am still so used to the judgmental normal world that it's hard to break out of that for a weekend. When I first walk into the Hyatt on Friday I usually try to just inhale it all, inhale the community atmosphere and smile.


View PostYoungBirdcall, on 04 April 2011 - 09:19 AM, said:

I agree with Felf, being shy is only an excuse. I'm certain that if you make a conscious effort to branch out and talk to new people, you'll be pleasantly surprised by the results of your efforts. I'm certain about this because I used to be the most shy person you could ever meet. But eventually, after years of feeling nervous and awkward and being shy around people, I realized that the only way to make my situation better was by changing my own behavior. I know that it's really hard to go up to a stranger (or a group of strangers) and try to talk to them, especially when you're nervous and you don't know what to say. But I find that the best icebreaker is often a compliment. If you are standing alone in line for a panel, and the person ahead of you has an awesome cosplay, tell them so. Maybe they're not cosplaying, but you really like their purse or sneakers or haircut or whatever. Honestly, you can always find something to compliment a person on, and that usually initiates a conversation. Once a conversation has started, it's just a matter of finding common likes and dislikes, making lighthearted jokes, and expressing interest in what the other person has to say. Believe me, the awkwardness you might feel when talking to strangers will eventually go away with time and repetition. After a little while, you'll be a social butterfly, able to make friends with almost anyone!

I've used the compliment thing before....I wonder I have stopped. That used to be a huge way I started talking to people. Even if I didn't really like something they had I know most people appreciate a compliment so I'd find something to say "hey i love that" and try to keep the conversation going. I thnik back in 2008 or 2009 I saw this Orihime wandering around that I thought looked great. I finally caught up to her in mcdonalds and told her that. It was really awkward for me because she was in the middle of a conversation and was eating and I was as well so it was like super random

View Postmagicalgamer, on 04 April 2011 - 12:53 PM, said:

I bring a few people to ACEN including my best friend who is extremely shy and nervous around people. Any activity with more than 100 people is difficult for her.

Over the years of going to a variety of events including ACEN, she has opened up some, but is still shy. I don't think she will ever not be shy, but at least she is getting used to being around people.


"I know that they have their own plans and their own friends and what not to enjoy at the con and I don't want to inconvenience them by being the 3rd wheel or dragging them to things I want to go to nor do I want to annoy them by hanging on like lost puppy."


This is something my friend thought when I first bought her to ACEN. What we do now is go out to dinner Thursday night and go through events. By just talking we realized that at least one other person in our group would enjoy the same events, or an event in the room next door. Instead of thinking you are dragging them to things, say it like "hey I really like this and I think you might enjoy it." It turns the thought from dragging them to inviting them.

I'll so try this! I hate conflict so that is a great way to avoid it!
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#27 User is offline   GoodEnoughForMe 

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Posted 04 April 2011 - 06:12 PM

I try to make it a goal to say fewer than like, 10 words at a con.

Only half joking. I honestly can't name someone I've ever met at a con. I just go to people watch and attend some panels and screenings. And get my butt kicked in video games. lol.

I will say this. Anime cons are, quite possibly, the most "open" place you can be in. Really. We're (mostly) nerds sharing an interest, one that is often put down by people on the outside. Not saying "woah is us" but anime has a similar reputation to video games in the 80s and 90s. So when you go to a con, all these people are accepting and loose. You can cosplay/dress however you want, glomp people, hug people, etc., and nobody bats an eye. So try being yourself! It's a much more welcoming atmosphere than, say, the workplace or school. It's like we're all family. Mostly. I make no promises. ;P
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#28 User is offline   dorkatlarge 

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Posted 04 April 2011 - 06:23 PM

I've been attending ACen for the last five years, and I've always gone on my own. It's because my friends either left anime/manga fandom years ago, or they were never interested. Though I started attending an anime club in Skokie a few months ago, none of the other club attendees have expressed interest in ACen.

Oddly enough, I met up with two casual acquaintances during ACen 2009. The meetings were completely unexpected and unplanned... I had no idea that those two people had even heard of the convention.

#29 User is offline   Scott 

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Posted 04 April 2011 - 09:23 PM

I'll read this in detail later :highfive: , but to the OP I would suggest:
If you feel like you are not enjoying the convention as much as possible being alone, find a purpose.

With conventions I've found a purpose in photography. So I can make it as fun or "productive" as I want depending on how much effort I put into being social and asking for photos. I've been going to conventions alone since I finished with college, although my personality is naturally independent and laid back (As Japanese say "my pace" マイペース type), so it works for me.

For example, if you are really into cosplay, make some amazing constructed well fitting costumes, and then apply for the related contests. :thumbup: Really great cosplays naturally get a lot of attention too.

#30 User is offline   Kasin 

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Posted 04 April 2011 - 11:12 PM

Fe always has a party in his room.Then me, keyna...I mean carmeleyes, and sakura have a party, which tends to be kinda rave like...with glow sticks and stuff.Come by...we even got a tread, and so does fe for his party.
Anime: hell girl, & trigun. Manga: Soul eater. / Games: Dragon Age, DCUO, batman, & soulsilver.i'm a rini fan boypokemon friend code: 2836 0346 5412 battle anytime, need to get my gold/silver code. wii code: 0061 4530 7677 7629. XBL: hitherkasin & PSN ID: kasin13in 2011 i will be cosplaying as gene starwind & kouga, also w/ my daughter we will do pokemon trainer red/ash & eevee/pikachu. in 2012 we will do hit girl & big daddy, also mini moon & tuxedo mask. in 2013 we will do wizardmon & kari with a gatomon plushie (ty teko!) also mystic gohan & pan. I will also do green ranger some day.

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