No matter what group you are a part of, how many friends you have, how established you are in the group, and how much everyone loves your character, you will get left out of RP.
Other people will write stories in which you will not participate, and they will be awesome and amazing, and you will want to play too, but you won’t be invited, even if you ask. People will leave RP gatherings to do things “in private” and you will get left behind at the bar with nothing to do.
This sounds doomy and gloomy, but it is not at all either of those things, because it is realistic and true to actual people – a sign of characters who have depth and who are tangible and relatable. It happens to everyone – even the so-called “popular” people, and it bugs everyone sometimes.
Don’t let it get you down. Left-out-ness is normal, and not necessarily bad.
RP groups are like groups of people. They’re like real friendships.
You have a best friend or two who are very close, and possibly a spouse or significant other that’s as close or closer. And then you have an ever widening net of friends and acquaintances and random people you saw at the park one time. Each of these relationships has a defined role with your character – and every other character has those relationships as well.
In real life you’d not become instant best friends with someone after a two minute bar conversation or spill out your most intimate and personal secrets to someone you hardly know, so your character probably doesn’t want to do those things either.
So what do you do when left-out-ness happens? (Because it WILL happen)
Let it help your character.
Does it make them angry or sad or lonely? Are they jealous of the close relationship between two very good friends or within a couple? Do they resent being left at the bar when someone leaves with a close business contact for a delicate conversation? Do they get warm fuzzies from knowing that the cute elf couple who just left are head over heels in love? Do they try to figure out how to get involved anyway, or what they need to do to find that kind of closeness with another character?
I actually regard left-out-ness as being a hidden, silver-lining kind of benefit to RP groups. It does a couple of things, even beyond character development.
Left-out-ness gives you something to talk about.
If your character is involved in everything, he or she never gets to ask someone else what’s going on, and becomes something of a meta-dictionary. Nobody ever knows everything, and your character won’t suffer from having to ask occasionally, “So what’s up with Jimbob?” Occasionally, gossip can be a really fun part of RP.
Left-out-ness helps you control what your character is or isn’t part of.
Nobody can do everything, and your character will eventually break if you throw too much stuff on his or her plate. Too much drama will result in reclusive behavior – which is great, if it’s a character trait, but not so great if it means a mental breakdown. The natural self-selection of relationships keeps things balanced within a group, and keeps any one person from being too involved in too many other stories.
Left-out-ness lets your character connect to other characters.
When two people leave the bar for a private chat, everyone else there is “left out” of their private conversation (as you’d expect, given the “private” part of the description). This is an RP opportunity, NOT an RP snubbing. Have a conversation with someone else there; chances are, they’re feeling a little left out too, and that’s an instant connection.
Being left out is part of RP because being left out is part of life.
Embrace it, use it to your advantage, and keep it all in perspective.
Yes, I know left-out-ness isn’t really a word. I like it anyway. I didn’t want to use “being avoided” or “being excluded” because of the negative connotation, and because I think a lot of this happens in the mind of the left-out person instead of in the mind of the person(s) looking to have a private conversation.
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- On Privacy, Real ID’s and Roleplay (49)
- XX and XY in RP (47)
- Population Disparity (34)
- Tanking Perceptions (33)