A Reminder: You’re Being Nice By Saying “Hi” To Me At Conventions

(NOTE: Based on time elapsed since the posting of this entry, the BS-o-meter calculates this is 3.618% likely to be something that Ferrett now regrets.)

I’ll be attending three conventions over the next three weekends, so this seems as good a time as any to say it:

When I’m at a convention, I am convinced that nobody attending actually wants me to be there. So I stand around in silence, feeling like an awkward imposition – occasionally I’ll find someone I sorta-know through the Internets and work up the bravery to say “hello,” but just as often I’ll take too long to work up that bravery and they’ll leave twenty minutes later without me having said a thing.

And I hear people afterwards saying, “I saw you at the convention, but I didn’t want to bother you!”

Bother me?

Saying hello would be the nicest favor you could do for me.

As a socially anxious person, even a merry “Hey, I just like your work” followed by a quick exit can calm me down like you wouldn’t believe. Making a new friend at the convention, or transforming an online-only relationship into a “Hey I know that person” relationship, or catching up again with someone I had met before was too shy but didn’t think we were “Let’s say hello to each other without a reintroduction”?

Oh, it’s glorious. I’m good if you introduce me. My horror is “not being wanted,” and alas, thanks to years of terrible high school I’ve never recovered from, that’s how I feel all the time.

Saying “hello” to me is actually telling me “You’re not a bother, you’re welcome here, at least somebody wants to talk to you.” And even if I happen to have people I’m with, I always love talking to new folks, or old acquaintances. It’s not an imposition, even though I may sometimes be rushing to a presentation.

So if you see me: say howdy. And if you’re at Sensuosity, or The Geeky Kink Event, or Beyond the Love in the next three weeks, definitely say hi.

You’d be doing me a favor like you wouldn’t believe.

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