Overcome The Nerves

I still feel the butterflies inside me when I’m about to play, especially when I’m playing with someone for the first time. It’s a lot better than it used to be.

I was never frozen with fear or anything like that but nervousness and the need for familiarity made playing with new people very hard for me. I wouldn’t ask anyone whether at a party or the club and only play with someone other than Sandy because I was literally hijacked into doing a scene. My wife is a good facilitator in that regard.

Like most things social, I had to get over these feelings and not let a case of nerves stop me from just going ahead. Slowly but surely I got comfortable asking people to play and noticed that most of the time they would say “yes” and the few times someone would decline were not really as soul-crushing as I thought. Most of all, I learned to be confident that I could provide the kind of experience that the other person wanted (or close enough to be in the same ballpark). When the nerves melted away, I finally could begin enjoying the experience rather than be worried that I might be doing something wrong. The more I overcame the nerves, the more I realized that I really liked playing and was having the kind of fun I’d always fantasized was out there somewhere.

From the standpoint of someone who has gone through a couple of bad cases of the nerves (including one panic attack at a party where I needed to go off by myself for a half hour), I can say that for the new person just entering the scene, any reticent feelings you might have can be overcome. Frankly, you’re not going to have the kind of fun you might have if you don’t force yourself to just go ahead with it even if your gut is telling you to run. As far as I know, there have been zero cases of people expiring when crossing the border from inaction to action.


9 Responses to “Overcome The Nerves”

  1. Good advice, not that I’ll ever find myself at a party.

  2. As SL approaches, I find myself imagining tons of different scenarios and getting more and more nervous.

    I consider myself a pretty strong and confident person. But I have to admit, I am a bit intimidated by all of this. I’ve be going through a lot of “what ifs.” What if no one wants to play with me?”, “What if I do play with someone and I don’t meet their expectations?” etc… I find myself thinking… “Maybe I’ll just observe this time around.” I know sitting in the corner and watching is never any fun. I wasted too many years doing just that. (God… it’s like high school all over again… a time in my life I care NEVER to go back to.)

    Sometimes, you just have to say… WTF

    Thanks for encouragement and sharing your experiences when you were a newbie. As you stated – “no one ever expired when crossing the border from inaction to action” – indeed!

  3. Brian: Never is a long time. No one can predict the future with that much certainty.

    D: High school is sometimes what it feels like but a bit less vicious. Your hypotheticals are what EVERYONE thinks before entering that particular world. Often, they are completely unfounded.

  4. I know… but irrational thought is one of the things I’m best at! 🙂

  5. D: All kidding aside, even those folks I consider “The Beautiful People” within the scene have their own set of insecurities. Anyone new to parties, especially one of this size, have to not let a momentary feeling get in the way of a good time.

    Everyone goes through the same nerves.

  6. This will be my fist party. I feel like I have some nerves now….but I am not a shy person and have made a lot of online contacts so I will rely on them to show me the ropes. I am excited and expect to have a lot of fun!

  7. Barb: People are often in control of their own fun. I don’t think you will have trouble in that regard.

  8. Very good post. “Working up the nerve” was always something I had trouble with – and my gut still asks me what the hell I’m thinking when I put myself forward socially. As you say, though, the worst thing that happens when you ask the girl to the dance is that she says no – which doesn’t lead to major bodily injury – unless she’s Klingon, of course.

  9. Shiny: If she’s a Klingon, then asking her to “dance” is not the issue, it’s grasp of reality that’s the problem.

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