how can I get shy people to turn up for meetings of my shyness group?
January 2, 2009 10:20 PM Subscribe
A question for the shy/ introverted - what sort of meetup group would you really want to be a part of? As someone who helps organise such a group, how can I get people excited about it?
posted by AuroraSky to human relations (17 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
I started a Meetup group for shy people in my home city (Glasgow, Scotland) back in February 2007. I have benefitted from meetings of a similar group in the past but that fizzled away. Our group has been really good in some ways (have had 33 meets, and the ones I have been too I have enjoyed a lot) but we can only get a tiny proportion of our 143 members to turn up to meetings - maybe 2, 3, or 4 at times. If we could only get to the point of having 6 regular attendees that would be great, and anything more a bonus. Our group is not a self-help or therapy-type group, it's purely about practicing social skills through meeting up and chatting at coffee shops, or doing a shared activity like going to a local museum then chatting in the cafe after. We have tried meeting in the pub sometimes too but many shy people seem to have really negative views of pubs and the people who go there.
I feel fortunate to live in a big city where there's room for a group such as ours, and think our group has a lot of potential. At the same time I feel a bit down that our attendance is so much smaller than the other group I occasionally go to (just a coffee and conversation group for regular folks). I know some people are * really * shy and despite their good intentions will never bring themselves to meet up with strangers, but how can I persuade more of the persuadable ones to give our meets a try? If you are a shy person, what would persuade you to go along to such a group (and alternatively, what would put you off?)
I have enough free time that I can spend a couple of hours writing a little e-newsletter to coincide with each upcoming meeting, for example with tips on overcoming shyness in particular situation that I've found in books, but I'm not sure if people ever actually implement such advice (in fact I am not the best at implementing such advice myself, it's going to meets that has been the most helpful thing for me). Apart from these little newsletters, does anyone else have suggestions for creating a group that shy people will want to be actively, as opposed to passively, a part of?