When I was a girl I was shy, soft-spoken, and very much a pushover. When gaming, I would fall in line behind whoever took a leader role, and when asked what I wanted to do, I would ponder for what felt like years. I always felt like I’d mess up or do something wrong, and was sometimes scared to the point of tears that I’d get made fun of for my decisions. This went on for a very long time, as self-confidence was scarce.
However, when I hit my teenage years, I decided no more shall I hide in the shadows, no more shall I be walked upon, and no more shall I fall in line. Not just as a character but as a person as well. I usually played meek characters, or characters who talked seldom, so this time I rolled up a character that refused to get the spotlight taken from him. His name was Bu’ruuk Vanderyill, a rogue half-orc. Now, of course, rogues are usually in the background, right? Well after some thinking, rogues aren’t just ninja thieves who live in shadows. They’re also thugs, bullies, and take what they want, depending on the race. Bu’ruuk was my thug. He was vile. Goodhearted, but greedy and mean. He was always looking for a fight.
Bu’ruuk was a stark contrast to myself; dark-skinned, ugly, mean, thinking only of himself and always wanting more than what he had. He always wanted to be the leader and if someone stepped out of line he threatened a fight. At one point in time, acting as Bu’ruuk hurt my own feelings, and I was afraid my brother and friends, who were playing with me, would think ill of me. However, this wasn’t the case. They understood my roleplaying and knew Bu’ruuk was a jerk, while I was not.
This was empowering. I started speaking up, cutting people off, taking what wasn’t mine, and starting unnecessary fights (as my character of course). This caused me as a person to start speaking up, speaking my mind. After a few times of playing, I was a completely different person. Not mean or angry, but assertive and outspoken. Bu’ruuk had changed me. While I was still shy and soft-spoken, I was no longer reserved or a pushover. I as a person got what I wanted, though I tried to be nice.
I’ve used Bu’ruuk as an example for other gamers to learn by. He changed me to be a better person, though he himself was a jerk. He made me a leader, someone whom others could follow. He actually made my other characters that I rolled up later more outgoing and leader-like, taking charge when necessary. I’m very proud of my characters now and I know I have him to thank. Not to mention I am a more likeable person as well, who hides behind no one and speaks up without needing to be asked first.
If you are having confidence problems, my advice to you would be to roll up a character like Bu’ruuk. He/she doesn’t have to be mean or rude, but a leader who takes charge and holds nothing back. You’d be surprised what changes you’ll find in yourself after playing that character a few times, and they might just be the changes you’re looking for.