Talking to strangers

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Talking to strangers

Postby atleonar » Tue Nov 02, 2010 13:31

Some of us can be busy talking to old and new friends from this board or elsewhere the entire festival. Others know few people in the crowd, and I wonder what they think about how good we are at including them in the metal family.

When I was introduced to metal half a generation ago, I had a very high threshold for talking to strangers. If there had been a Nordic Fest then, I would probably just have been lurking in the corners. It’s not that easy to start talking to some random guys or break into a group of people standing in a circle or sitting around a table. Being an introvert, I have had the feeling that I cannot contribute much to an enjoyable conversation, because my brain works slowly so the funny replies always come to mind when the conversation has moved on to another topic. I assume many metal fans can relate to that.

During parts of NF I was accompanied by my sister and another woman who both work with youth ministry in a church. They thought more “social workers” in the crew could have been a good idea for a festival like this. I am not sure that “lone spotters” circling around like birds of prey would make the lone wolves more comfortable. It would have been interesting to hear some other thoughts about this.
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Re: Talking to strangers

Postby Fiona » Tue Nov 02, 2010 13:41

I think you mention something here that I have been thinking of as well. I'm not really having a hard time socializing, even with people I don't know, but it's just that I don't always know what to talk about, especially a shy Swede or Finn..
But I wanted to socialize with people at Nordic Fest who I didn't meet before. And that's hard somehow I guess... I would love to be one of those 'social workers' in the crew. But I also get your point, I think what you're trying to say with the 'lone spotters' and the 'lone wolves' that it can be seen as a 'forced into' issue.

I do get your point and I think it's wise of you to mention this. Something to be thought about.

I have seen a couple of people at Nordic Fest that had a look on their face like: "I really want to socialize with others, but I don't know how". And I wondered what could be done about that. Sometimes I start talks with those, but it can be hard when you don't get a big response and just a few words as an answer, if you know what I mean....
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Re: Talking to strangers

Postby XeNoMoRpH » Tue Nov 02, 2010 13:56

Being an introvert myself, I can very much relate to the conversational and social side to things. A decade ago, when I was introduced to the metal scene and started to attend festivals I had a really hard time not feeling alone. After all these years I've gotten to know more and more people, and even friends. I think that is especially why I feel so much at home and at ease at Nordic Fest.
However, when I've been to concerts alone at Sub for instance (it's so weird being there without lots of metalheads I know) I really tap into the feeling of being insecure and lonesome. And I don't wish it for anyone. Not at all.

I think "Social workers" per se could be of good use, it would in my point of view depend on how the 'socializing' would be done. The thing that at least would matter to me was to be included (if only for a while) in a group, not just with one person that sees it as his or hers chore or job.

More importantly IMO, it should be a common responsibility for all attendees to include/socialize with others in any way they can. For some this is easy, and for some hard (me being in the latter group since I'm quite shy). But the bottomline is that we should have it in mind and try. Maybe we can have more focus on this matter next Nordic Fest (God willing it will be another ;) )

Well, those were my 2cents. If they were of any use.
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Re: Talking to strangers

Postby Fiona » Tue Nov 02, 2010 14:00

I think they are. And what you describe is what I also experience now and then: feeling insecure and lonesome when not being in a group.
Is it something that we could pick up in the festivals that we will attend in the future, not just Nordic Fest? As brothers and sisters we have a responsibility to look after each other. I think it's a great mission to pick this up. At least I want to.

This really makes me think and I want to do something with it. It will start next weekend at Brainstorm Festival.
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Re: Talking to strangers

Postby moonchild » Tue Nov 02, 2010 16:24

i think this is a very good point, and it's a good thing you're bringing it up, atle! i hate the feeling you get when you're all by yourself and don't know anyone, and it seems like everyone around you have their friends.. actually saturday was like that for me, when i went to the cave and i didn't know anyone who would be there (i hadn't talked to anyone from here yet).. but then there was this other guy on my bus who also was by himself, that i started talking to. it turned out we had a lot in common and the whole time at the cave i was just hanging out with him and his friends. i'm so glad that they just let me into their little group so easily, otherwise i would have felt very lonely.. but this is what we should be like, willing to let people into our groups when we hang out.. and what a testimony about god's love it would be if someone came to nordic fest and felt like everyone was genuinely friendly and wanted to get to know them!

XeNoMoRpH wrote:I think "Social workers" per se could be of good use, it would in my point of view depend on how the 'socializing' would be done. The thing that at least would matter to me was to be included (if only for a while) in a group, not just with one person that sees it as his or hers chore or job.


i've learned something about this from my church. they really want new people to feel welcome in our church so they say that we should always try to say hi to new people. and one thing that they say that in my opinion is really clever is that sometimes you say hi to people, but like several here has mentioned, sometimes it's just really hard to keep a conversation with a person. there might be many reasons for that, but one can be for instance different age or that you're from different places. so what do you do? instead of thinking "well, that didn't work out too well" and walk away, you connect the person with someone else that might be the same age or from the same place, or who likes the same bands.. then it might be easier for them to talk.. try to connect them with other people so that they get to know more than one person! if the "social workers" at nf were people who knew quite a lot of people (like i guess many of us who are on these boards do because we know each other), then it would probably be pretty easy for them to find someone that they might get along with easier..

XeNoMoRpH wrote:More importantly IMO, it should be a common responsibility for all attendees to include/socialize with others in any way they can.

YES. another thing they say in my church is "don't be sad that no one invites you over for dinner, instead you should be the one who invites someone else for dinner!" that's such a good point..
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Re: Talking to strangers

Postby dimmick » Tue Nov 02, 2010 16:49

That's a great idea, having people who notice loners and try to help them feel more welcome. The first time I went to Nordic Fest I didn't really know anyone except my friend who came along, and when he wasn't nearby, I basically lurked in the corners. Luckily I've had the chance to meet so many people by now that I don't usually have that problem, at least not at fests with all you board weirdos around. ;) Still kind of an issue at local shows though, since none of my friends around here are into metal or hardcore and I generally am at shows alone. I know how nice it feels when someone goes out of their way to say hi, introduce themselves and say a word or two.

The point about people feeling like the "social workers" were only doing their job has some merit, but I also think that some contact is better than none. At least, that's how I would feel from my experience. Perhaps if the social workers made an effort to introduce them to other people it would be better? Then if the worker needs to move on to another loner, the first one isn't left by himself again...
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Re: Talking to strangers

Postby Fiona » Tue Nov 02, 2010 17:04

Really, I think sharing this in this topic already makes some feel that they're not alone in this. Seriously, I thought I was one of the few having these feelings sometimes (feeling alone and insecure at a festival). It encourages me to read there are more who are somehow struggling with this.

Also, I think it would be wise, as far as I'm concerned, to do something about it myself. Like Xeno and Moonchild said: not waiting for someone to come up to you, but just approaching someone yourself....if you have the guts, of course....
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Re: Talking to strangers

Postby inhabit » Tue Nov 02, 2010 17:26

Good thoughts and I agree. Being a Finn myself, I guess I have some tendencies to stay away from strangers in case they want to be alone. I just easily feel like I'm unwanted or too nosey. So yes, I'm all for doing something about having people make new contacts. And of course it gives myself a pretext to be more aggressive in saying hello. :)
So far I've tried to be as forthcoming as I can, as long as there's some kind of a connection between myself and the other person (this forum being of much use).
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Re: Talking to strangers

Postby davo » Tue Nov 02, 2010 19:18

this is something i struggle with too, so, like Daphne, I feel encouraged by this.
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Re: Talking to strangers

Postby Ghâshûl » Tue Nov 02, 2010 23:28

Sounds like a good idea!
I'm (despite appearances I suppose) quite shy myself, so I have a hard time initiating contact with people I don't know. Unless they're already talking to someone I know, then I have no problem.
For me NF gets better every time, cause the first time I knew no one but my brother, but met a few people (Pøl, Oddmund and Ravn in particular) and so I've added some new friends every year since then! Now I know a ton of people at NF, and add a few more new friends every year. I just wish it were easier to make the initial contact.

For instance, I think I saw Moonchild, but I wasn't sure it was her, so I didn't say hi, because of shyness... And that sucks. I wish it wasn't like that, but what can you do?

Also I think NF is way too short, I often meet new people after a couple of days, when starting to get more the feel of the fest, and then it's over.
We should seriously do some sort of festival that was more about the 'cave atmosphere', than about bands.
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Re: Talking to strangers

Postby moonchild » Tue Nov 02, 2010 23:44

Ghâshûl wrote:
For instance, I think I saw Moonchild, but I wasn't sure it was her, so I didn't say hi, because of shyness... And that sucks. I wish it wasn't like that, but what can you do?

Also I think NF is way too short, I often meet new people after a couple of days, when starting to get more the feel of the fest, and then it's over.


awww, you should have said hi! i'm not scary (i think.. :o )

and i agree with that second part, although i'm not sure it would help if it was longer :P

and i think it's funny that everyone's always so scared to be the one who walks over and says hi. everyone feels that way, but still we make such a big deal out of it. i don't think it matters if you're introvert or extrovert, when it comes down to it everyone's equally scared to walk over to someone and say hi.

my biggest fear is that i'll walk over to someone and go "HI, SO NICE TO SEE YOU" and then they don't know who i am -_-
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Re: Talking to strangers

Postby Ghâshûl » Tue Nov 02, 2010 23:58

If I had been sure it was you, I think I would have. But I wasn't sure sadly :(
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Re: Talking to strangers

Postby thym » Wed Nov 03, 2010 0:12

This is a great topic!
I'm very shy if I'm not absolutely sure I'm welcome to a group. I feel that I'm clumsy and annoying and it's better if I just stay away.
On the other hand it's quite easy for me to talk to a person who seems lonely or "lost" and I feel very comfortable including people to my group. I could be the kind person to whom the "social workers" guide people to.
I consider myself very lucky since a beautiful Swedish group adopted me and have taken care of me for several years at Nordic Fest. I would very much like to offer the same joy to someone else.
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Re: Talking to strangers

Postby Molly » Wed Nov 03, 2010 2:24

i'm too tired to form a good reply, but i think it's good thinking about such things discussed in this thread. and not stop at only thinking, but try to make yourself take a step out of your "comfort zone" as well.
i usually don't fear saying hi to people very much, but having more than just a brief conversation can often be a bit hard for me.
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Re: Talking to strangers

Postby Veneror » Wed Nov 03, 2010 5:29

I somehow feel two sides of this- having still an extremely introverted side of myself that relates and recognizes the feeling of isolation and also an exploratory and desire-to-engage side that I think Christ has nutured in me that makes me not feel so tied down to ideas of security from others. I enjoy meeting new people each year and it's totally crucial to several people that they're engaged with personally and not in a brief obligatory way - many people identifying with the depth inherent to these cultural outlets of music are possibly on the razor's edge about what options they even have in such a confusing life. I know i've been utterly lost and passionately desperate before to just have some kind of connection with someone that wasn't just saying something to me to settle their conscience for seeing that i was isolated. And i love the huge family we have. Most of my closest friends i've met on airplanes, forums, in passing and unexpected. And i think it's those situations the Holy Spirits prompts us within to meet those needs - the spontaneous and compassionate acts of communication
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