….first of all, the most important question is…Are there any shy Vampires? Do those creatures even exist?
Some people have this perception that there is a standard Vampire Personality; and that this personality comes with an aggressive, assertive or otherwise strong attitude. In short, there can be no such thing as a “shy Vampire”. Vampires are not quiet, unsure of themselves, shy, insecure or soft-spoken.
Even if someone were to argue that aggressiveness is a standard part of the Vampire Personality, in my time in the GVC, I’ve met the variety of personality types. I’ve met Sangs, Psys and Dual Feeders who run the range of emotional variety. I’ve met well-spoken and well-established members who deal with anxiety, panic attacks and various disorders of the mind and personality. These are members who are definitely Sangs and Psys, who benefit from feeding on blood or energy. Just as in Nature, there are the variety of personality types, within the same species.
When one is born a human with the physical need to ingest blood or the energetic need to take in external energy, there is still whatever genetic and environmental factors that are specific to that modern vampire’s birth-family and social unit…which will shape his/her personality, including the social, mental and emotional disorders.
Blood and Energy Feeders can still have the same variety of personality that all other types of humans can have. We are born with anxiety. Some of us are more introverted than others. Hunger and lack thereof might affect our levels of assertiveness. So, my working conclusion is that….
There are Shy Vampires.
Keeping that in mind, I’ve heard a common theme repeat itself again, recently. In some of my groups, there are people who actively try to engage others in conversation by posting new topics in the attempt to make new threads. This is wonderful, in and of itself. What becomes problematic is when there is a complaint that there is little to no conversation going on, in an attempt to prod others to engage. (I, myself, have been guilty of this in the past.)
However, I do remember even further back, when I was very reluctant to speak up. I was unsure of myself, my level of intelligence and my communication skills. I have had varying intensities of social anxiety (and “shyness”…?). At my most delicate, someone trying to prod, goad, incite, shame or encourage me would cause me to shut down even further….or simply leave the group. As far as I can tell, I’ve been an energy feeder since I was born….that made me a Shy Vampire.
So, here’s my question–is it worth it to try a different approach with Shy Vampires? If the answer is no….which is completely fine, based on what kind of group someone wishes to have….then, what will remain in a group will be the more vocal, the more assertive, the more extroverted and the more chatty of the members. This is completely fine, but just because someone is more vocal, there is no guarantee on what else the particular vampire has to offer.
It’s a lottery. Within any group of the GVC, we have our mix of personalities and intelligence levels. Is the point of a group to cultivate the best thinkers and speakers to create the most interesting conversations and interactions? Are we generating pools and databases of information and inspiration?
Or is there an element of service? Is the group there to help members blossom, grow, heal and expand beyond their current boundaries? Would the ideal environment contain elements of all factors or be geared towards one side or the other?
It might be more honest to say that we have our mix of personages. We have our leaders AND our nut cases in our more vocal members. With them, we know what we get because they express themselves. There is little to no guesswork. With each Shy Vampire, we do not know what we are getting until the flower breaks ground and eventually blossoms.
It is completely true that some of the quieter members might not be true Modern Living Vampires. Some of them might very well be delusional–or could be true MLV, BUT with abrasive or unpleasant personalities. On the other hand, there might be very intelligent, kind or wonderful Vampires….that simply need a bit of help overcoming whatever personality issue that keeps them from communicating openly and easily. There might also be other Vampires, who might not be able to contribute in any way or to any great extent….in this case, it is a matter of service to reach out to them, in spite of their shyness, to make sure that they have what they need to function as a Modern Vampire in today’s world which does not make resources easily accessible to their special needs.
How do we reach out to those Shy Vampires in our Community? How do we make sure that those who are too timid to ask for help, get what they need? Or do we let Nature weed them out? Is it worth it to get that involved with the meek and timid?
Depending on specific scenario, not attending to uninformed Blood Feeders leaves physically ill Vampires. They might get to a place where they are so irrational with hunger that they act out in dangerous or embarrassing ways that damage themselves, their victims and the community at large. Not attending to uninformed Energy Feeders leads to physically ill or emotionally unstable Vampires. These will get to a place where they are creating chaos–which could result in problems between friends and family, and extend into the physical from there.
Shy Vampires are lost in their anonymity. General calls to “speak up” do not work. At first thought, the only solution I can come up with is to create a more intimate sort of outreach. In special groups, we can offer outreach officers who communicate directly almost like informal social workers–not just a quick announcement to “let me know if you need anything”, but something way more direct and explicit.
“Do you know how to feed for your type?” Good. “Do you have trouble speaking up in groups or communicating your thoughts and needs?” Okay….go to this resource. Feel free to speak to me about something that you cannot say in group. Until you can speak up, I will help speak for you.