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meetup disaster


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So my husband and I don't really have any friends outside immediate family, which gets tiresome after a while. We are really shy and socially awkward but we decided to join a new group that was forming on link removed for "board games" and "making friends". The guy organizing it sounded kinda cool. I decided to go to the first meeting, which was supposed to be just for the purpose of discussing future meetings. At the last minute my husband agreed to go too - his OCD prevents him doing things sometimes so he couldn't decide until the last minute and hadn't actually officially signed up for the group. Now I knew there likely wouldn't be anyone else there besides the organizer - a couple other people had said they "might" go.


We met the guy in a coffee shop. He seemed cool enough. Nobody else showed up. We talked to him and he seemed to have a lot of common interests with us but whenever we would bring up a common interest he would just say "mm hmm" really quick, indicating that he liked whatever it was, so we weren't really engaging him in conversation... I tried to ask a couple questions... though I do have a tendency sometimes to just talk about myself and expect the other person to offer similar info about themselves, I did make a point to ask actual questions at least a couple times. I knew I was being awkward, giggling nervously, not making much eye contact, etc, but I didn't think it went *that* badly. We left with him telling us that we should keep in touch on the website in the future.


So then we went home, and we were thinking my husband should officially sign up for the group in case it was rude just bringing him at the last minute. (My profile did say I was married, so that wouldn't have been a surprise to the guy). So when we went online to do this, it turned out the guy had changed the status of the group to "closing down". I checked my email and there was just an automated message saying I am no longer a member of the group. The message was dated probably an hour after we left the guy.


Erm... was this kinda rude on this guy's part? I understand that it costs money to organize a group and he may not have wanted to go through with it but it wouldn't have been a month yet and I feel it would have been nice if he had sent a generic message saying he didn't want to continue the group. The way he left things I have the feeling that he found us/me VERY VERY creepy and disturbing and felt it would be dangerous to even say anything to us.


I sent him a message on the site, nicely saying I thought his group was a good idea and would attract more people in time and was sorry to see him shutting it down. I "jokingly" asked if we had bored him to death and forced him into this decision. It's been more than a day and I highly doubt he will reply, so we will never know what is up.


Reasons I think this is due to our creepiness and not this guy's creepiness: we did mention to him that we don't really socialize with anyone but each other. I tried to mention this in a light-hearted way but I am sure that is still a creepy thing to say. Also he seemed really calm, attractive and well-dressed. I think he was just very obviously too good to hang out with us.


If I am too creepy to make new friends, what exactly am I supposed to do about it? How am I supposed to become less creepy when I get nothing but negative reinforcement for my efforts to talk to people? Sigh. I had pretty much resolved to stop trying to make any friends in life (due to numerous prior bad experiences) before making this crazy decision to try out this meetup. As it turns out I should have stuck to my original resolve


Sorry for writing a novel, and many thanks to anyone who made it through and has any insight to offer.

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First of all, I would join an established meetup group that is bursting with members as your first group rather than someone starting to form one. I would also suggest a group that revolves around a specific interest besides "hanging out" - i.e, if you have a dog, one where people get together and hike with their dogs, a book group, a group where people like to go to restaurants and practice their foreign language skills or whatever floats your boat. You will feel less under pressure. And the more people that are there, the more ease you will have because more folks will be jumping in.


I wouldn't take it personal. He might have decided to delete the entire group and that is why you are no longer a member. That COULD be the case. I mean, if only one couple showed up to my group I would wonder if it would even be a go.


I think the problem is that you keep repeating that you are creepy. If you THINK that, it will show. Again, I think it is better to join groups where there is an activity going on. And just focus on the activity and not trying to 'sell' yourself to people

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You're making this all about you and I'm not sure it is.


The guy may have felt bad about himself because he couldn't get many people to show up to the meetup.


Stop worrying about how you come accross. You'll find people who like you for who you are. In the mean time, stop mentioning that you don't socialize with anyone but each other.

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I doubt it had much to do with you - he was hoping that several people would be interested and there was hardly any turnout. Most games need at least 4 to be fun. He was probably sitting there mulling over the lack of interest in the group and that's why he was giving you such short terse answers.

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Good on you for trying it out. Don't keep calling yourself creepy, or even thinking it about yourself. The fact is that you don't have great social skills. It's not a fact that you're 'creepy'. That's a judgment you put on yourself. Everybody should try to grow and change, not just people who don't have good social skills. And that's what you are doing, trying to change and grow. People who already have good social skills should be trying to grow and change in other ways. We're all in the same boat, in that way. Anyway it's not helpful to you to label yourself as 'creepy'. You could label yourself 'brave' for stepping out, instead. Actually, that guy's social skills don't seem the best, either, because he left you feeling bad. Someone with good social skills would leave the other person feeling better, not worse!


The others have said wisely that it'd be best to join an established group, which involves an activity. I think you should definitely try some other groups. There will be a nche for you, definitely. At an activity group, the conversation won't be the main focus. It will be natural to converse about something you're all interested in. There might not be much need to converse at all. I used to go to a group where I would sometimes hardly say a word in the 2 hours, and nobody noticed or cared. These days I sometimes have a few words with most of the people there.


I have some suggestions, from my years of experience as a socially challenged person.

Don't try too hard to be friendly. Better to be too quiet than to say too much till you know where you stand. On the other hand, don't be too cold and aloof. Try to look pleasant and relaxed, which involves trying to actually BE relaxed. Strike a balance between trying too hard and staying aloof.


Don't give away personal info about yourself. Keep it general. Notice what 'normal average people' talk about. Although I must admit, that some people do blab a lot of personal stuff, but I would not suggest imitating them. Don't mention anything about any kind of mental condition. Or anything that 'puts yourself down' or draws attention to your being 'different'. There's no need, you're just there to play board games, or whatever. You're probably good at them, and will probably be able to enjoy playing the games without needing to worry about how youre coming accross as a person.


Google the 'Desiderata'

Good luck with it.

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I think it was very rude of the organizer to not send you a personal email explaining what happened. Most likely it was due to the group's low interest. In any case, good for you for trying. (I signed up for a meetup group a couple years ago and never found the nerve to attend any meetings.) Don't let this bad experience hold you back from meeting new people.

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He closed the group because he didn't get anyone interested in it, except you, and you admitted yourself you were awkward, giggly, told him you have no friends except each other, and weren't making eye contact. I don't think you can blame him for being disappointed that his club didn't launch and you guys didn't connect, but this wasn't personally directed at you.

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