Let’s explore the freedom in interacting with others that we tend to feel more in games than in our lives. Although we are ultimately free beings, sometimes in our lives we feel held back…
Game vs Reality
My characters in-game are almost always sassy, witty, and smart. My current reality self on the other hand has a slight panic attack just at the thought of talking to people. I wish to express myself differently than I do, I wish to speak eloquently and clearly, the way I generally talk to myself.
But, there are things that block my ability to do so. Like being overly self-conscious, and wondering what would people think of me. That is how I censor my inner speech. We all do that, I’m sure. Sometimes, I don’t want to sound stupid, others too smart and full of myself.
There is a big tug of war in my head during social events. And that’s what makes them hard. I wish there would be a possibility to pause the conversation, alike in the game, and think of what to say before continuing.
Hit Save Before Talking to Anyone
The main issue with interacting is that we hold back out of a fear of being rejected, laughed at, not accepted, sounding stupid, etc. In other words, we care too much about what others think about us.
To be honest, I even care about what my in-game companions (the made-up, non-existent characters, yes) will think of my game self. When my character’s approaching NPC or a companion to talk to, I have to save the game before talking to them and I take waaay too long choosing an answer. Why? Because I don’t wanna mess it up.
Alas, in life, we cannot ‘save’ before asking someone out or entering a conversation but maybe it’s for the best. If we could, I’d be spending a lot of time reloading to get to a level where I’d feel accomplished and not like a stuttering lunatic.[distance1]
How To Make Interacting More Fun
1. YOUR ATTITUDE IS EVERYTHING
The frustration from interacting only comes from not feeling you can say what you want and be who you are. So I say, be who you are and say what you want, who cares?!
The main cause of my depressions during high school and some time after was the feeling of not being able to be myself, not feeling free. And even though it is just a matter of perception, it does not make it any less real.
The more I realised I create my own reality with my thoughts, beliefs and perceptions, the more I could feel free and good. My social interactions have been incrementally improving to a more care-free, open state.
So really, you can say what you want and be who you are, the only thing stopping you is your own mind which you can retrain! The only thing that changes is our attitude and from there, our lives change.[distance2]
2. YOU CANNOT HAVE EVERYONE’S APPROVAL
If you ever played any game with companions it may have had an approval system – visual cue for you to see how you’re standing with your friends (or more precisely, how your character is standing with the NPCs).
In those games too, like in life, you could never be liked by everyone (well, apart from Dragon Age Origins where you could buy your friends with gifts :D).
People come in many varieties, so it only makes sense that they like different types of people, too. So if you hang out with people that don’t like you it doesn’t neccesarily mean you’re not a loveable person or that something’s wrong with you (though, you probably don’t have the best sense for self-respect). You just have to find the right people which brings me to:[distance2]
3. YOUR VIBE ATTRACTS YOUR TRIBE
The thoughts you are thinking are vibrating out to the universe and attracting to you the alike. The law of attraction states, in the words of Abraham, ‘That which is like unto itself is drawn.’
It’s actually a wonderful thing as we are more likely to notice what others are doing ‘wrong’ rather than what we’re doing. I often notice some negative behavior in somebody else, only to realise I’m doing the same thing! Relationships are great teachers, indeed.
How do you think of other people matters, too. If you only look for the bad stuff and criticise, chances are you attract that kind of people to yourself. Whatever you put out, you receive.
4. BE YOURSELF
By default, we seek understanding and acceptance from others (also known as ‘likes’ in this time and space). Rather than chasing for likes by any means possible I’d like to suggest something better, though. Be yourself. Because ultimately, do you want to be liked for who you’re not or not liked for who you really are?
It’s up to you to make yourself feel good, it’s not anybody else’s job. Same way, you’re not here to please others. I’m not saying, be mean, all I’m saying is to be yourself and not worry to say occasionally ‘no’. Do not lose your authentic self in fear of losing approval. Being yourself sometimes does mean disappointing someone else and that has to be okay.
Our only obligation to others, our only purpose, is to express our uniqueness and allow others to do the same.
— Anita Moorjani: Dying to Be Me
5. LIFE IS NOT ALWAYS EPIC… BUT SOMETIMES IT IS
Because of my nature, I seek something superior in the interactions with other humans. Often, the interacting is clumsy, awkward and not at all like in the movies or games. There is no great soundtrack in the background for one thing.
But there are moments that are movie-like and they usually happen when you don’t think about it and when you are not trying so hard (i.e., when you’re drunk… kidding… sort of).
I’ve had the best times and the worst times while being drunk/ high and here’s why – I didn’t censor myself so much. I suddenly stopped overthinking every sentence and let the conversation flow. I don’t get drunk/ high anymore but I will always remember the lesson it taught me when it comes to socialising. When you relax and be yourself, it just falls into place and you can have wonderful conversations that are just flowing easily. And if not, it’s probably not the right person to talk to in the first place.[distance1]
What to Take Away From This
Interactions are essential part of our lives but as each of us is slightly different, we don’t have to all have the same experience. You may not be the most outgoing person but still forge meaningful connections with others. Don’t take what others say personally and try to stay true to yourself at all times possible.
- You can change the way you interact with people, start with your beliefs.
- You won’t ever be liked by everybody so just accept that and move on.
- Be yourself and don’t try so hard to be liked and/ or please others at any cost. The right people will be attracted to you and the ones who wouldn’t appreciate you in the first place won’t even appear in your life.
How are you doing in human interactions? Chat to me in the comments below. Also, if you haven’t read it yet, here’s the first post in this series – Character Creation.