For each of us, there was a time when RPGs were strange. Weird dice, alien concepts, unfamiliar terms. When we tried to compare RPGs to other games, or improv, or theatre, or storytelling, or writing, or just about anything else we found the comparisons lacking.
Over time we became accustomed to the dice, the terms, and wha we thought RPGs were based upon our experiences. Maybe we were adventurous, but perhaps we limited our activities to what we knew. Maybe we got a really “strange” picture of the hobby by playing just one game, or only playing at conventions, or by watching a professional “actual play” and thinking that that was the “correct” way to play. Whatever the particulars, anything outside of our experiences became “strange”.
I like playing with new people sometimes. They haven’t had time to form opinions or habits. I just have to remind myself that the entire thing is strange to them, and that I suffer from the curse of knowledge. I have to take time to make sure they understand me, and that they understand what’s happening. I have to make sure that I listen.
Likewise, I have to remember to push myself out of my comfort zone from time to time. Play that weird game, experiment with that other trope of character, try an unfamiliar genre, embrace the strange.
Don’t be a stranger.