Peer Fear

Deborah Sweet dssweet at
Mon Dec 23 00:07:45 PST 1996

>Countess Berengaria de Montfort de Carcassonne, OP wrote:

>Could be.  I wonder at the number of shy people in the SCA.  I'm not
>really shy myself, so it's always a difficult phenomenon to 
>understand why people come to a group activity when people make
>them...what? Nervous?  Scared?  Suspicious?  Uncomfortable?

Well, I'm right up there in the shy category of people in the SCA so I 
can speak with some experience of the phenomenon (I'm not certain if 
this applies to all shy people, I've never asked anyone else, so maybe 
it's just specific to me). Mostly it's insecurity in *yourself*, not in 
other people. You want to be accepted and part of the group, it's just 
almost impossible to convenience yourself that you really can belong.

The shy person hesitates to bring themselves to the notice of other 
people, so going up to introduce yourself to someone is just not doable, 
especially if they've got brass around their head. It's a component of 
the "we're not worthy!" (Wayne's World), but really believing this 

The shy person is uncomfortable talking to those people s/he doesn't 
know. Making small talk is almost impossible. (Personally, I feel it 
takes about a year to know someone well enough to decide whether or not 
I'd want to be friends with them (& I'm talking here about people 
locally that are seen about once/twice a week). For people seen only at 
events, it would simply take eons! Other people seem to decide much more 
quickly on friendships (meet once, friends for life).

The shy person does not want the spotlight on them, so they stay in the 
background, not drawing attention to themselves. This means 
*consistently* walking behind the crown's pavilion at the list field, 
because you don't want to have to reverance the crowns or the thrones. 
(Been there, done that, still do it)

However, shy people can still be attracted to the SCA even as the more 
outgoing people are. The same things draw us in, it's just we're much 
more likely to hide in our tent if we see brass walking our way (never 
done it myself, but 3 teenage boys from my shire did. Repeatedly. At one 

I'm much more verbose on the list than you would ever encounter me in 
person, unless I'm teaching dance. Just ask anyone from my shire. Just 
writing this message has caused my stomach to twist and tie itself into 


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