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Friday, October 12, 2018

SuperListenMode: Small catch ups at #MelbourneGamesWeek


SuperListenMode: Small catch ups at #MelbourneGamesWeek
I know the whole idea is to connect with someone.
Not to meet every single person.

Last year I accepted the struggle to make meaningful conversations and defaulted to what I've seen & did recently. Too tired being there all day, all week around lots of people. Drawing a blank. Sensory overload from everything.


So that's all I've got to say during crowded industry social things. Sometimes I tell people to keep mingling with other people instead, fade out of the conversation or wave goodbye once I feel that things have run dry or if there's just no mutual chemistry. 

I'm sorry if I seem cold, distant, bored, disinterested, antisocial, inconsiderate, snobby and lacking in empathy...maybe I am all/some of these things. It's usually not personal...I'm just overwhelmed, shutting down from absorbing what's happening around me and burning out on social stamina/energy. Undoubtedly that makes it hard to get bond with others, let alone make friends in groups and crowded social events. I push myself to try anyway and fail at it...because what can you do. Sometimes the rare connection happens <3

Not worth being sad, useless, helpless and lonely about it too much. Not worth crying about feeling terrible at conferences and not being good at bonding with people like I did in the past. I'm done with that! 
It's going to be 6 years of GCAP this year too!

Ah well. Maybe I'll fare better this year.
I don't expect it but I won't worry about it. :')


Rambling as I reflect on the past now:
Most people just want to meet as many new people as possible in groups and that just leaves me as a quiet, drained, isolated, deadpan-faced follower with shallow conversations to offer. So I just avoid sticking to a person or group for too long, especially when I don't even feel close to anybody and take more responsibility with my time, mental health and emotional energy. 

I don't want to feel stuck and pressured with resentment. And I don't want to be clingy or bringing people down with my low energy or lack of social awareness either! I'll just do my own thing instead. Even though that leaves me unsatisfied when it comes to meaningful, mutual connections. :(


"I'm tired like everybody here...Can I just listen to people like a ghost? The usual when I'm in groups? Chat with people a bit? And then I zone out when I'm tired and need to?" Haha I don't have much emotional energy and attention to give...I still don't know how to pace my recovery breaks better :')

As long as I'm not talking with someone who disrespects me and makes me feel uncomfortable and invisible! Sometimes people want to catch up with the people they rarely see too! I usually keep out of the way when peeps talk with their charismatic, energetic industry friends. 

There's a vibe of "hustling" and networking as well and I respect that, especially when you're working to get better, find jobs and meet new people as a professional. I've been there before and it was super intense and stressful for me. I get it. I might do it when needed too! It's hard and disheartening when you're faced with disinterest when you're reaching for connection. 

I still face disinterest, apathy and outright disrespect even now so you're not alone! It's a mixed bag. I'll keep learning to handle rejection better. Still I'm not good at asking for what I want - I just assume I need to go the hard, slow, long way to earn it...if it's mutual. Consequently I just learn, make mistakes and don't waste time on rude people who don't value my time or existence [as I type passive aggressively like a petty, silly butt] ;P


Personally I just want to get out of the way of the eager, assertive hustlers. Because it's overwhelming and I feel that people want something from me that I don't have to give from a genuine, interested place. Selfish and self preserving as it is, I want to relax and hang with people without expectations instead. I'm fine with conversation but when it gets too pushy and too focused on one-sided self interest and desperation, I move on. I've been on both sides and both parties feel weird, icky and awkward afterwards, even if it is unspoken. 

Note that I don't blame anyone though!
It's hard and I'm not good at this whole thing myself. I get it. (:

It's not a huge deal - just keep learning and remember to treat each other with respect. You're doing your best! I'm learning to do the same. (: 

Also if I don't have much to say, if I'm not interested or it's not mutual, then I won't waste everyone's time and move on too. 

As usual, I give them space, look around elsewhere for signals to engage [eye contact, waving, body language, etc] and wander around aimlessly. I did that plenty last year. I'm learning :0!! There were some lovely people who called for me and waved to come over to talk a bit last year which I appreciated ^o^

Or I get some helpings of solo quiet recovery time...the Speaker room was wonderful for me last year! Sad I won't have that this year :(

I've accepted that the discomfort, social overload and energy drain is how socialising's going to be. The rare moments of connection are worth it <3 Not that I'm good at it and I'm doing it at my own pace but hey I'm trying my best!

I'll survive! Please understand that people are more experienced than homebody me out there! I don't talk to much people! I'm grateful to talk to people who are keen as it is! (:
So thanks to those who said hello last year! ^.^

Maybe I'll see you briefly during or quietly around Games Week!
Then again, probably not as there's so much people! 
And no more night parties/gatherings for me!! I'm going home and fleeing! I need recovery time & to avoid replacement buses at night. I got to put my foot down and look after myself :')

You'd get an overwhelmed zombie Leonie anyway...! Perhaps we'll do something in the daytime and low-key instead? To be fair, you won't miss me anyhoo ;D

Regardless, do take care & enjoy yourself during this intense period! <3

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