While Trying To Figure Out What To Write About

It happens on occasion to most of us bloggers. You sit there in front of a blank page and say to yourself, “I’ve got nothing to say.” To me this usually means I don’t have a topic that I want to discuss — at least not one that has a beginning, middle and end. So while I’m trying to think of something to say, I’m going to just talk a bit.

One of the things that I find curious about the scene is how conscious some people are about “bothering” people. I can’t tell you how many times I get e-mails or messages that are prefaced with “Sorry to bother you…” or “Am I interrupting?” If it’s an IM and I’m in the middle of doing something (like my party is in the middle of some dungeon crawl and I need to reach a good save point), I’ll ask them if I can get back to them in a few. If it’s an e-mail, it’s safe to assume that I’m answering when I’ve found the time to do so. There are also times when people just don’t contact me at all until when I see them in person, they inform me that they meant to contact me.

I can’t say that I’m not guilty of doing the same thing because, in the past, I have been. I’ve always had an irrational fear of bothering or annoying people — thinking I’m being a friend when all I am is a pest. I’m assuming something happened when I was a kid when some person I thought was my friend really wanted to have nothing to do with me. I’ve been trying to get better at just not giving a shit about that. If I’m annoying you, just let me know that and I’ll tone it down. I’m not going to kill myself over the fact that reaching out in a friendly manner is going to be seen by some person as a horrible tragedy. Honestly, their tolerance level is never my problem.

The thing is that I’m wondering what sort of vibe I’m giving off. Do I make people feel that they are bothering me when that’s not the case at all? I like talking to people, maybe a little too much on occasion, so it’s not as if communication isn’t welcome. Am I standoffish? Hmm, I have to think about that. Great! Now I can obsess over the fact that I’m perceived by people as offputting.

Anyway, just a thought to throw out there when I really have nothing to say.

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10 Responses to “While Trying To Figure Out What To Write About”

  1. I’m guilty of the “bothering” issue. I’ll tend to ask people “do I IM you too much?” or something in that vein. Part of it is just knowing that I’m a chatterbox and once I get going have trouble shutting up so I can imagine I wear people out on occasion.

    I think the other part is being unsure how welcome my convo is in the first place. Though I may like a person a lot as a friend, I often don’t know how much they like *me* in return. I don’t want to assume that my feelings are returned if they aren’t and end up just annoying someone who is trying to be polite. Especially if I’m the one who initiates contact most of the time. I guess it’s akin to your friend vs pest concerns.

    With Tops though, I sometimes get the feeling that some get bombarded with “brats” constantly chattering and bratting and maybe I’m just adding one more voice to the fray, so maybe they want a break.
    Maybe people just think you are really important and are worried they are interrupting something because of that 😀

  2. Maybe the “hate to bother you” impulse gets boosted in some scene folks because they get so used to watching out for others’ limits and boundaries. But I’ve dealt with the same thing often in the vanilla world – especially the workplace: people who will let a problem keep growing because they don’t want to “bother” me (or whoever) with it. I also used to do the same thing – and I attribute it to being raised “too humble”: i.e. don’t make a fuss, don’t bother people, don’t toot your own horn, etc.
    Some folks don’t learn that there is an acceptable level of assertiveness and communication.

    • I agree with the notion that there is a way to be proactive without stepping on any toes — you just have to find the level you’re comfortable with.

  3. I’m guilty too —
    Most times I see people clustered around someone who is popular and assume that this person might be bothered by yet another wannabee friend. In the scene some people get swarmed regularly and I think to myself, so-and-so has so many friends, why would they want more?

    It has always been difficult for me to approach people — and actually this was a real problem at work because I had to approach people who were busy, preoccupied with something else, yet I had important information to communicate, so I’d stand right next to them and politely wait for a break in the conversation (of course they acted like I didn’t exist or reacted with a certain degree of impatience, asking, “What do you need?” Which would make me very nervous, a vicious cycle.

    • I don’t think I’ve ever thought of anyone as a wannabe friend as if they are on some sort of networking frenzy. Someone wants to be my friend, then they can be my friend.

      • Anonymous Says:

        I’ll bet if you took an anonymous random survey, you’d find that a lot of people see themselves as some kind of “wannabe” in and out of the scene.

        I could be off-base about this, but as a New Yorker born and raised, I find that the West Coast is very different in terms of making friends. I’ve heard this from a lot of people. It seems that more people here are interested in what you can do for them than in true friendship. Most think in terms of social networking. It’s just my opinion, I know, but I think that New Yorkers tend to be a bit more “real” and a bit less “wannabe,” and you’re one of the people I see as more real. 🙂

  4. Marie (Kate James) Says:

    I’m guilty of this too. One of my biggest fears is that I am nothing more than an annoyance and that people are just being polite out of good manners. In, and out of the scene.

    • What you said at the end is the reason I try to be as inclusive as I can be. I hate the fact that people feel this way in the scene — although there are some that deserve it, the vast majority don’t.

  5. For me, it has to do with observation more than experience. By observing the oblivious, and the way others respond to them, I make a point in my mind to NOT be like that. Therefore, I take the smallest clue of being a possible pest and will lay low, convinced the person really doesn’t like me and is just being polite when, in fact, they may just be busy.

    Also not everyone is blunt enough to tell someone to go away if they’re being a pest. I’ve observed this as well in many who are being bothered by someone they really just do not care for (who has NO clue) and yet some of these same people will plaster on the fake smile and pretend, for the sake of the oblivious-others’ feelings, that they like them.

    But most of all, people just want to have their fears quelled when they say something like “I hope I’m not bothering you”. To be re-affirmed that they’re not “one of those”.

    g.

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