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I have had a few occasions in my life where particular people (who have no RPG experience nor intention to play) were offended at the fact that several people in our roleplaying group would be uncomfortable with an audience during their games.

In particular the one that I worry about the most is a brother, who, after me asking if he had any problems with my group playing in the livingroom a saturday night (walking through and all would be fine, just not taking a seat there, or starting to play the guitar, etc.), he got quite upset because we were "grown up" and we shouldn't really feel self-conscious, to which I answered that we have several introverts who just couldn't help it and have their immersion ruined. I have also tried telling him that it's a very private hobby where you act out a character and it tends to get very personal (we do like our roleplaying), where people tend to prefer to stay with people they trust.

For information, I am 26 years old and my brother is 29. He's an extremely extroverted person.

So, having the context laid out, how do I convince my brother that we're not just being jerks, that roleplaying isn't like any other hobby and that there's a reason we try to avoid an audience?

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    \$\begingroup\$ Does your brother understand, at least on an academic level, that extroverts and introverts are a real difference in the population and what it means for people that are one or the other? \$\endgroup\$
    – Ifusaso
    Jun 7 '18 at 19:30
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Ifusaso To be completely honest I'm not sure he's completely aware of its implications, maybe I should try to start from there. \$\endgroup\$
    – Lorenz
    Jun 7 '18 at 20:01
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    \$\begingroup\$ Have you confirmed with your group that they would mind having your brother around? \$\endgroup\$
    – Nacht
    Jun 7 '18 at 23:06
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    \$\begingroup\$ What is the living situation like, as well? I know in my house making the main living area off limits for an extended period would be a Big Deal, so knowing more about that might help frame an answer. \$\endgroup\$
    – Longspeak
    Jun 8 '18 at 14:49
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    \$\begingroup\$ Unspoken (or spoken) resentment about one thing can always be a factor in resolving another problem. I'm trying to make sure that is or is not the case. \$\endgroup\$
    – Longspeak
    Jun 8 '18 at 18:44
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I don't believe this is an introvert/extrovert thing. You are not all alone, you are in fact a group, he's the one that's solo. Just because you're an extrovert doesn't mean you don't get that sometimes groups need to focus on something and not have distractions. Does he show up to all your dates too? Not unless he has personality disorders and not just simple extroversion.

I would come at it more from that perspective. "Hey, when we are gaming we really have to focus to both beat our opponents and concentrate on staying in character. So we prefer not to have an audience, TV or music going, or other distractions when we're doing it. Thanks." You can use whatever analogy might be effective for him - sports practice, a band practicing, etc. might be fine with hangers-on if it's "casual" but not if it's "serious." If he persists, say "Well, I guess we'll have to find somewhere else to game then if that's not OK."

I've had times where someone wanted a GF or whatnot to come "watch the game". At best it is a mild distraction, depending on how much they feel the need to interject themselves, verbally or not, into the situation. People certainly feel more restrained about acting in character, out of concern their horrible monstrous in-character plan may be misunderstood by passersby, for example. Your group prefers to have a serious game and has to focus on it, and if he can't respect that then he's not respecting you, you tell him you're disappointed and will have to find another solution. Further discussion/arguing about it will serve no good purpose.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Just because you're an extrovert doesn't mean you don't get that sometimes groups need to focus on something and not have distractions. I never mentioned to him concentration or focus, I mainly talked to him about self-conscious people who can't immerse themselves when people are around. And I genuinely believe he doesn't understand why someone would feel self-conscious about roleplaying (which at this point I'm not sure he knows what RPing entails), he sees that self-consciousness as being a child and something you should grow out of. At this point I'm gonna show him this whole thread. \$\endgroup\$
    – Lorenz
    Jun 8 '18 at 19:40
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Draw comparisons to things your bother will understand rather than presenting it as something he wouldn't understand as a non-player and non-introvert because "RPGs aren't like other hobbies". Focus on common ground between you rather than each telling the other side they shouldn't do a particular thing or feel a particular way.

You know your brother better than we do and can likely think of better examples, but, consider his guitar hobby. Would he have been uncomfortable if there were a room full of people sitting and watching as he fumbled to learn how to play? Doesn't he enjoy some time alone or among his friends once in a while without your or your friends hanging about in the same room for no apparent reason?

((I also think that plucking away on a guitar immediately adjacent to a game of people trying to talk and hear each other is in a bit rude. But it doesn't seem to be the heart of the issue here.))

Explain that you truly don't mind if he's still in the house and that you're not trying to bar him from walking through to get from his room to the kitchen etc, but that you and your friends want a quiet semi-private place to enjoy your hobby and that you'll afford him the same respect when it comes to him enjoying his.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. \$\endgroup\$
    – mxyzplk
    Jun 8 '18 at 0:37
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Since you mentioned (in a comment moved to chat by moderators) that the only thing your brother relates to is sports, you could try explaining the impact on the game you're playing by relating it to the equivalent in the games he plays.

In RPGs, the play space is the game room, and the play is done with words, acting, attention and imagination. Having that distracted by someone else in the same space, playing unrelated music, making noise or even staring at the players is the sports-equivalent of non-players wandering through a playfield when people are trying to play a physical game, getting in the way of the action.

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I can see where your brother is coming from. It's Saturday night, he's been asked to vacate the living room for the evening. What you're saying about your friends being private or "introverted" is probably taken more as a reflection on him. Has anyone ever said: "It's not you, it's me" to you? Your brother probably just wants to hang out and socialize, and as you're brother he probably feels like a complication worth solving.

You should explain to him that you do is closer to a dress rehearsal or hanging out in the dressing room before and after the game. These are periods where you're not expecting an audience, and appreciate a bit of space.

Personally, I'd lay down the rules, and designate him the bringer of snacks.

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This isn't an extrovert/introvert thing, this is your brother being selfish and inconsiderate. You've already pointed out that you feel self-conscious, and as far as I can tell he understands that and understands that you don't like to feel that way, he's just bullying his way past that. You're just getting further mired in an interaction on his terms where you're not even allowed to feel an unpleasant sensation unless he approves of it, which is not something he gets to decide.

Just ask/tell him to go away because you don't want him around at the time - it is a perfectly reasonable request to make in a shared living space without having to spend this much effort justifying it. And if necessary, brush his badgering off saying that you’re not interested in hearing why he thinks he should be allowed to stay, because what your group is or os not comfortable with is simply not his call to make. Point out that it’s not up for further discussion at the moment, and that he's wasting your time and spoiling your fun. If he gets upset by that he's the one that needs to grow up. It's not that he doesn't understand the concept alone time, it's that he doesn't care that he’s imposing on you.

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