Reverb13 Day Five: Risk

What was the greatest risk you took in 2013? What was the outcome?

Even as an introvert I need and want friends and a certain level of social contact. I’ve felt for a while it was time to inject new personalities into my life. But the general ways of doing so were not applicable to me. I don’t do bars, clubs, “night life” groups, or other such things. Any social connections I’ve made in the past have generally been made in settings and during activities where I felt most comfortable, and I needed to find something like that.

It came as no surprise that there were no groups online that were both local and catered to people who, like myself, prefer casual, quiet, conversational social activities. Things that don’t require yelling or stepping outside of one’s comfort zone just to meet people. (I believe stepping outside of one’s comfort zone is, in most daily activities, overrated anyway.) It’s an extroverted world, and MeetUp.com and other such places reflect that.

So, I took what I consider to be my biggest risk of 2013; I started an introverts social group. I have talked about it many times here on the blog. It was and is a risk because as I have also mentioned several times before, my endeavors do not have a great track record.

Projects, groups, activities, events that I spearhead almost never succeed. Like I said in yesterday’s post, I have pretty close to no social support for what I try to do in my own home area. Each time I begin something with excitement, and go through the steps of talking it up, sharing about it, spreading the word about it, and showing how committed I am, it goes nowhere, due to very few people showing any interest in me or my project. Each time this happens, the anger, pain, and humiliation of yet something else not catching fire makes it even less likely that I will attempt something else. If I do, it will be at longer and longer intervals.

I suppose this summer the circle came around again, and I decided to launch my own group. The need for appropriate local social connection for people like me outweighed the history of failure to launch projects, and I went for it. (Though not without some apprehension.)

The outcome? In truth, it is probably still too early to assess. I admit that I am frustrated that the membership keeps climbing, while engagement does not. But in the broad picture, I don’t think enough time has gone by to declare an outcome. Maybe in a few months I can truly determine the success of the endeavor.

But whatever the ultimate outcome, I’ve met a few interesting people through what is probably the biggest risk I took in 2013.

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3 Comments

  1. Mehnaz

    Good on you for doing this.

    I suppose I’ve learned that you have to get comfortable with stepping out of your comfort zone, and pretty well getting used to ambiguity for anything good to happen in your life. Like someone I know used to say, nobody’s going to knock down your door to become your friend. You need to step out of the house to do that.

    I guess I agree. And you just throw up all the cards. Not all of them will come up face up. But that’s just life, isn’t it?

    • That is sometimes life, yes. I can’t deny that. I don’t know if I have ever been able to accept that that is life as a whole, though. That life as a concept is designed to work only for people with a specific risk profile and not others. If you’re on Wall Street or some risk/reward kind of job/life, I can see that being an important position to take. But for life in general to simply be livable, I don’t know if I am ready to conclude we have to be taking risks all of the time. Some people, (myself usually included) simply do not often receive much benefit from taking frequent risks.

      I do agree, of course, nobody will come knocking on your door and ask to be your friend. You have to leave your house if you wish to see the world. But I don’t conflate that with “leaving my comfort zone” per se. I leave the house all of the time, so doing so is not in and of itself a risk to me.

      But attending functions I hate, with the type of people I do not like, having to engage in behaviors that are not my own, all in the name of “stepping outside of my comfort zone” is, to me, fruitless.

  2. Kat McNally

    Good on you for trying, Ty. Sometimes keeping the quantity small helps ensure a higher quality. Perhaps, once you’ve evaluated the success of this group, setting some limits might help? Just a thought.

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