Over the last year or so, I've been noticing an increased amount of awkwardness or hurt feelings or even drama in regards to me as a person. Despite my openness with topics that most find private, I AM ACTUALLY a very private person. I'm making a (scary) public journal to hopefully stop these awkward situations from happening, or at least prepare people with a bit of who I am.
Most of you know me as Sigil. Sigil is a persona. Sigil is my furry-centric business name. Sigil is not -me-. It seems more and more now that people want to get to know me, but they really want to get to know Sigil, and once they start to get close to learning about the real me, or my actual self starts to become apparent, they feel betrayed and disappointed. This is most certainly not my goal at all. My goal is not to lie or deceive anyone.
Please understand that through the internet I conduct my business, make a living, have a social life, talk to people and live the majority of my day. However, due to the nature of the internet, I have to maintain a public and professional face that's DIFFERENT from my real one. It's not conducive to business to talk about myself. It's not good for sales if I post about how sad I get, how lonely I feel, my struggles with my mental health, my dislikes. I have to stay positive publicly at all times, and that's incredibly draining.
"Friend" is not a word I throw around lightly. I do not have many friends. I have a large number of acquaintances and colleagues that I love, care about and talk to, but FRIEND is something that very few people fit in to. I don't understand the negative connotations that 'acquaintance' has to many people. To me, an acquaintance is someone that I chat with, talk to, maybe even draw for. We can have fun and pal around, but there's no emotional responsibility there. I don't go to my acquaintances with my woes and fears or when I'm feeling particularly unstable. I also enjoy my working relationships with my colleagues; other artists who I can commiserate with, ask questions to, get critique and artistic advice. We usually also end up sharing parts of our lives, but for the most part, it's a business based relationship. I have many customers that I enjoy chatting with and we're also able to share, but in the end, it's a working relationship as well and I expect no more out of them than I do another customer.
When someone comes to me saying they'd like to get to know me better, it sets me on edge. Is this person after free art? Is this person trying to get in my pants? Is this person trying to get lulz fodder? Is this person going to become an emotional leech or try to pry into my life too quickly? This is what runs through my head when I'm approached this way.
I don't want to dissuade people from being friendly with me, or wishing to become closer to me, but I do want people to be prepared for what they're in for. If we don't click quickly, it doesn't mean I think someone is uninteresting or unlikable, it just means we don't click! It happens all the time in the world, and I don't take it personally.
If you want to be sensitive to these facts, here's the best way to get to know me:
-Add me on my public AIM or twitter and send a few messages. I'm usually busy working, but if I'm free, I'll answer.
-If I'm engaging you, ask me something interesting, or tell me about yourself. Please don't ask "So tell me about yourself." If you don't already know something about me OTHER THAN MY ART that makes me seem like someone you'd like to get to know, there might not be anything.
-Be patient. If I wake up to seven "Hey, you there???" messages on my computer, I'm already on edge.
-Don't treat me like a therapist or a hugbox. I do my best to keep my emotional stuff out of other people's business, and I appreciate when others do the same.
-This should be common sense, but don't talk sexy to me. Do I occasionally RP? Yes. Is it with people who have made it abundantly clear that's the only reason they talk to me? No.
Anyways, this article is also a good read, in regards to niche/geek/nerd/fandom social interactions - http://www.plausiblydeniable.com/opinion/gsf.html
Thanks for reading, feel free to comment here or on FA if you have any questions or whatever.