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Shy/anxious about talking to other furries?

18 Jun 2018, 12:44 pm
hi i almost didn't post this because i got too anxious about it
this is why i need help.

Okay so obviously I'm talking to RL friends/family about this too, but I figured it wouldn't hurt to reach out to others as well.
I've always been a pretty shy person. I'm not very loud or excitable, with some exceptions.
But through my teen years I developed (or realized I had) anxiety. I won't self-diagnose or anything (I'd hate to belittle what other people go through, which I'm sure is INFINITELY worse) but I've had several anxiety/panic attacks that have left a big impact on me. I can get so anxious about meeting new furries, talking to them, or otherwise interacting at events that I don't want to attend. I always attend anyway - but sometimes my anxiety kicks in while I'm there and I end up not having as much fun as I know I could have.

I haven't had any anxiety attacks lately, which is good. But I get really anxious about meeting and talking to furries in particular. I went to my first furmeet this past weekend - and I had a great time, sure, but I almost didn't go because I was so anxious beforehand, and I know my anxiety kept me from doing more (like I'd wanted to). I also have issues with posting online, even here on FurVilla. The online anxiety has been slowly growing over the past year, and before it gets too big, I need to face it head on.. Somehow.

Now Anthrocon is coming up, and I want to go and make friends and actually get "roots" in the fandom. I only have one furry friend (she's excellent; don't get me wrong) but I think I should meet more people. Maybe go a little outside of my comfort zone and prove to myself that people care about me, my art/what I do, and that I can talk to them and have fun. Because I tend to assume people don't care about me, my art, etc. at all, and I think that's unhealthy. That needs to change.
I just have to change that.. and i'm not entirely sure how because i'm almost scared of people to start :'D

TL;DR - I'm a nervous horse who wants to be less nervous. Help?

Has anyone else had anxiety about meeting furries/other people in person or posting online? I obviously have issues with both. If anyone has tips or stories or whatever, please post them.

Thanks for any help. Hopefully this is in the right forum...!

Let us not grow weary of doing good.

30 Jun 2018, 4:45 pm

I find it hard connecting and making furries friends because there is a certain sterotype or way furries are expected to be like and I don't fit in. I don't know, sounds weird but it's how I feel. I'm really low key, I don't like hugs, I don't like a lot of stimulation, I don't like attention or going to furmeets, I have a non furry common law partner. I have a fursuit but I don't know how to act "in character". I feel.... out of place a lot around other furries. So I get why you may have anxiety, I'm always worried about not fitting in.

I'd like to say that you don't have to feel like you need to go to furmeets or Cons to be a furry. BUT! I always found them extremely helpful. Yes I was really nervous my first con. But after getting there everything just melted away.

It's an amazing feeling to spend the weekend at a hotel that is entirely furries. You don't have to act a certain way or worry that people will find you odd. No matter what you are into to identify as everyone supports you. I always experience Post-Con-Depression after getting home and the realization hits you that you have to go back to normal life.
16 Jul 2018, 8:22 pm
NoveltyAct - Hey, thanks for the response. I went to Anthrocon this year and the first night I had an anxiety spike - but I talked to a fur at the help desk and he explained how he deals with his anxiety. He was super kind and helpful.
And all the days after, especially Sunday, were quite honestly the best con experience I have ever had. It was overwhelmingly amazing.. Probably one of the high points of my entire life. I am SO glad I went and your words really motivated me to keep going, so thank you! I seriously appreciate it! <3
Let us not grow weary of doing good.
16 Jul 2018, 9:58 pm
Hancets I'm so glad to hear that! Anthrocon would be an amazing first Con! Pittsburgh really loves having the furry community there. AnthroCon would be a dream for me to attend, but I'm Canadian and it's a little far and costly for me.

I'd say "baby steps" but you attended AnthroCon! So that's a huge leap!
I find mantras very helpful when dealing with anxiety or having a panic attack. Finding something that really resonates with you and repeating it to yourself in your head over and over. For me it's a Dr. Seus quote "Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is you-er then YOU!" and telling myself "F it!".

My problem for the longest time was thinking I had to make everyone happy and get everyone to like me. Took me a long time to figure out that I didn't have to. It doesn't matter what people think of you. Your first priority in life should be yourself and your happiness. If you love yourself and love what you do, everything else will follow in due time.

Keep on Keeping on!