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This Is A Stupid Question,but What Excatly Are Social Skills


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This is a really dumb question but I don,t know if I have awful social skills or not,when i hang around people I get along with everyone most of the time,but I feel indifferent towards other people alot its like I don,t have that little piece of you that enjoys being around others,I have been around alot of people and most of them end up not liking me.to be honest I don,t like them either,I want to like people and have healthy relationships but I just can,t seem to do and always end up losing my friends or distancing myself from them.When im hanging out around people it feels like toture getting to know them I have trouble forcing myself to care,I know I want people around because im very very lonely,but once they like me I push them away,I guess im good at forming relationships but not keeping them.i don,t understand what its like to not push people away how do I do the opposite to what I do im going to be 25 soon and I feel socially inept for my age and being around people and talking to them hanging out with them doesn,t seem to fulfill me but I want it to,is there something im doing wrong that I don,t even know.I am almost 25 by the way.

 

one thing I would like to add,people seem intimidated when I talk like everyone else in my therapy group are friendly with each other and offer advice and seem to give advice but if I say something people look terrified or look away when im giving them advice and I can see them getting nervous like they don,t know what to say and I don,t think im saying anything oofof the ordinary just giving advice I don,t know if its because I don,t speak much until I have something important to say or what but I get that look from people alot and it really irratates me.

Edited by scienceguy
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well it's hard to say anything about your social skills without having interacted with you in person or having watched you interacting with people. 

if you think you are pushing people away, it's possible you might be, consciously or subconsciously without realizing it.

"what are social skills"... well it's a good but complex question about which a book could be written, and probably have been.

there are a lot of aspects to social skills. some of them are:

 

-choosing the right type of person to interact with, i.e. someone who has things in common with you or who is a good match for you in some way, or matches your vibe. if you keep trying to interact with people who are not a good match, then it won't stick.

-listening skills. some people don't listen enough and are just waiting to talk while the other person is talking. listening with genuine interest is important. (or if you can't listen with genuine interest and this goes on a lot, you probably picked someone who is not a good match. or, it may be that just this one topic is not interesting, and at that point politeness skills come into play.)

 

-talking skills. talking skills could be various things... communicating clearly so that the other person will understand what you're saying, and knowing what subjects to talk about with different people in different situations at different levels of closeness. some topics will be less likely to lead to a successful interaction, depending on who you are interacting with. 

 

-what you say and how you say it.... there is a large number of variables involved in this. the words you choose to say something and the way you come across when you say it, could have great success or could come off as being abrasive or in some other unintended way. 

 

-general etiquette: not being 2 hrs late for a meeting with someone, not promising to go somewhere then canceling at the last minute (over and over again), respecting other people's boundaries, etc.

 

-give and take... this could be in talking or in pretty much everything in an ongoing interaction with someone. are you the one doing all the talking? are you the one who is listening all the time? do they always do nice things for you but you don't reciprocate? if they always suggest fun places to go, then it is good to reciprocate on that too, being the generator of ideas for interaction. 

 

-overall consideration... being considerate of the other person/people in a broad manner is essential to a good interaction. and it should be mutual.

 

well that's all i can think of atm but it's a start

 

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My guess is that you likely have good "social skills," at least in the small-talk "skill" kind of way. I mean, you mention being good at forming relationships but not at keeping them, and that people look intimidated or nervous when you talk. You've mentioned before that you can hold conversations and things like that too.

 

It's possible that your genuine dislike and disinterest in people and what they're saying shows through a whole lot more than you'd expect. I mean, if you're trying to force yourself to be interested in what someone's saying, I would think they'd be able to tell. Same thing goes for if you don't like them - I would think they'd be able to tell. I tend to think people don't like me until I have a reason to think that they do - and I don't think that's terribly unusual. Most people have some kind of self-confidence troubles. So if they think you don't like them, they're automatically going to assume they said something wrong or that there's something wrong with them. That might be why they seem intimidated by you too. They may be assuming that you just don't like them - I can see that making someone nervous.

 

Just a thought!!

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Im pretty good with everything you listed accept hanging out with the right people,I have a habit of faking my personality I was very outgoing in college and work I would get people interested i me that I had no geniune interest in so i was close with everyone and would get them to open up eventually i get bored once I figure the person out,then move on and start the pattern my relationships with other people last about 3 months then I just move on sometimes they last 6 months,I fake interest alot,it makes my life very difficult because I don,t know how to get be geniune interested I feel very apathetic about most things in life.i don,t know how to reciprocate I feel like I just want to take,and not put any effort because I don,t feel like its worth the effort.i never want to leave my house but to go to work and college i feel like I have to invent fake interests to want to leave my house,I have to pretend i want to go out to eat,want to go to the store,pretend i like the movies that are playing.i would rather the other person decieded because i can,t think of anything,ever because I normally don,t want to do anything.im sorry if what I wrote offended you im just trying to be honest and clear as possible,so I can get help with the proper therapy.

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pen4alex your probaly right and I usualy don,t like people because of how they respond to me or I just find them boring I don,t wwant to ind them boring I just do,i don,t know what to tell myself to take an interest.I tend to get along with other forceful personalities people who speak up and aren,t scared to speak there mind,don,t care about what others think of them.Most of my friends tend to be very self centered into drugs and partying alot.i really only like a few of them but I end up disliking there personalities eventually and they end up disliking me,and things eventually get hostile.i don,t know how to function around normal people who aren,t like that if I want to talk to someone I just go up to them and talk to them,,most of the time people come up to me and want to talk to me so I fake my friendliness not to be rude.i am usually alone in all my free time so i try to keep my self occupied by doing things bymyself.just to be clear im not into drugs and partying I would rather do drugs and drink alone then have to deal with how annoying people are,i don,t do any drugs but if I did I would want to do it bymyself.I drink alone when im upset or bored but I had to stop doing that because of the medications I take.I know im a bad person and I really don,t like myself anymore

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Well, first off, you're not a bad person. *Hugs* A "bad person" doesn't fake friendliness so they're not rude. They more likely wouldn't care if they were rude or not.

 

Is there ways that you can generate interest in a person? You mention that you get bored with them - is it that you get bored of them because of the type of people they are, or do you get bored of everyone? Because if you get bored of everyone, no matter who they are, and end up disliking them no matter what, then it could possibly be a fear of intimacy or a defence mechanism to avoid getting hurt. In which case, your problems may be rooted in trust issues.

 

But if not, if it's the type of people, then you may need to try and generate your own interest in someone. No one's going to tell you everything about themselves in the first three months - or even in the first few years. What interests you about people? Can you tell yourself that they're hiding the interesting stuff? If you tend to get along with the forceful type, perhaps you could pretend that someone who's boring you is really the forceful type but only about specific things that you just haven't found yet. Or something like that ...

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Which would likely make sense, given your family history and everything. Trust and emotional intimacy issues can be hard to "get over" ... heck, it can be hard to even know where to start! But you can learn how to deal with it and get past it - your therapist (read about from one of your other threads) sounds like they can definitely help you work through that.

 

*Nods* well, if you're disinterested even in yourself, it would be hard to fake an interest in someone else. Does anything spark interest in you? Even if it's fleeting? Because it may be a matter of catching that spark and learning how to fan it. If not, it may be a matter of figuring out how to find that spark - or even how that spark feels!

 

*Hugs* plus, you'll likely need to learn how to connect with people that way. When someone's got a lot of problems trusting other people (or even themselves sometimes) it takes a bit to learn that you can trust other people, and beyond that, which people you can trust.

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Well, even being barely interested is something that you can build on! Maybe it would help if you focus on the things that you are interested in, and maybe try to find some commonalities between them? Or something consistent? At least then you'd have things that you're interested in to load your conversations with. Maybe if you're talking to people about things that interest you, eventually you'll be interested in the people too?

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i do have things im interested in but there all geeky and nerdy I hide all my interests from people because most people don,t want to talk about them,I was reading edgar allan poe stories yesterday for hours and when I bring up stuff like that atleast around my old coworkers they instantly tune me out,people try to put me down if I don,t live up to there expectations of how I should live ,my life,im not going to talk to people who are so rude they can,t deal with the fact i spend my weekending reading or in the libary or I was studying all weekend for my organic chemistry class,everytime I do something I enjoy I feel guilty for it and can,t enjoy it anymore because I feel im defective as a human being,I feel like I never pick out interests that are accpetable to other people and if I don,t pick the right ones I will always be alone.

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Interesting question, scienceguy.

 

As an offhand thought, how about the willingness to interact with others and the ability to make the most of that interaction.

 

* Don't be a wallflower.  If you lock eyes with someone for a half-second across a crowded room, walk over, extend a hand, and introduce yourself.  If you're sitting at a bus stop or waiting to get your oil changed and someone sits beside you, introduce yourself.

 

* Ask them about themselves.  Volunteer your interests.  Why are you there?  How do you know the hosts at the party?  Offer to pass the potatoes without being asked.  What's the home team done recently?  "Say, this is a great room, isn't it?  This LED lighting really sets the mood... "

 

* See if there's a reason for the two of you to meet again - lunch, a concert, baseball game, another party, whatever.  Are there common likes or hobbies?  Does one of you have something to offer?  ("Say, I'd buy you lunch if you'd tell me about your experience with XXX... ")

 

*  Maybe know when enough's enough?  Mebbe it just wasn't ordained.  No harm in this.  Nothing in common, they're too snooty, you're a vegan and they work at a slaughterhouse.  Whatever.  "Hey, thanks for talking with me - take care!"

 

I dunno...

 

Hope this maybe helps, or leads someone else to a better answer?

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Jumping in anywhere;

People don't like the truth. They want to be told how nice they are to be around. Most people do, unless they to are indifferent. 

 

I wouldn't want to hear about Poe, but i'd listen nontheless, because I like interesting subjects. The average person wants to talk about stuff they are interested in today. Football, who got lucky last night, and whatever else. 

 

Ratboy has some good points.

Edited by DustyRoad
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i don,t know anything at all about sports and im not crazy about them maybe thats my problem I feel like I have to fake my personilty to appease everyone.

 

Rat boy i do that stuff all the time im always talking to people in the grocery store people in my group therapy people in my labs I always introduce myself too.All those things cost money i live on 20 dollars a month for food I can,t afford going out to eat that much or going to all these different events,that I don,t like just to get a shot at having someone liking me I probably need more money to have people want to be around me.i don,t get invited to parties anymore im to old,I go to them and talk but it all feels empty and pointless.

 

i feel like i am not part of society and all of society is rejecting me,for how I want to be,im not aloud to have any personalty unless i read off a script of what people want me to be, then act it out,i know part of the problem is I despise myself,or thats how I have been feeling after going to alot of therapy.

 

I like playing the piano writing and reading but people hate classical music,hate reading I like playing tennis and have considered doing that once I start working,im living off all my savings now,so I want to be very careful with my money,I feel like I should move to new york city maybe I would find people who have simlar interests to me there.

Edited by scienceguy
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i do have things im interested in but there all geeky and nerdy I hide all my interests from people because most people don,t want to talk about them,I was reading edgar allan poe stories yesterday for hours and when I bring up stuff like that atleast around my old coworkers they instantly tune me out,people try to put me down if I don,t live up to there expectations of how I should live ,my life,im not going to talk to people who are so rude they can,t deal with the fact i spend my weekending reading or in the libary or I was studying all weekend for my organic chemistry class,everytime I do something I enjoy I feel guilty for it and can,t enjoy it anymore because I feel im defective as a human being,I feel like I never pick out interests that are accpetable to other people and if I don,t pick the right ones I will always be alone.

there are lots of people who are into "geeky" interests. you just aren't being around the right people, that's all. and there are lots of people who like poe, too. and "picking out interests that are acceptable to other people" is not a thing. your interests are your own... you just need to find people who are into that kind of thing. if you like tennis, maybe go find a place where people are partners for tennis. or join a board gaming group, or there are lots of things you can do. if you always hide your real interests, then other people won't know what they are and you won't find other people who like the same things. maybe consider making an online profile that lists your interests. or if you join a meetup group related to your interests, put some of them on your profile. 

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i have used meetup.com but everything is so far away from me,all the things I like are in nj it would take me a hour and 45 mintues to get there,i,ll  look on there again to see if anything changed most of the stuff is filled with people 20 to 30 years older then me that deterred me to.For tennis I want to take lessons first,i  still reaally want to change my interests because they remind of how im in constant isolation if that makes any sense.

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i don,t know anything at all about sports and im not crazy about them maybe thats my problem I feel like I have to fake my personilty to appease everyone.

 

Rat boy i do that stuff all the time im always talking to people in the grocery store people in my group therapy people in my labs I always introduce myself too.All those things cost money i live on 20 dollars a month for food I can,t afford going out to eat that much or going to all these different events,that I don,t like just to get a shot at having someone liking me I probably need more money to have people want to be around me.i don,t get invited to parties anymore im to old,I go to them and talk but it all feels empty and pointless.

 

i feel like i am not part of society and all of society is rejecting me,for how I want to be,im not aloud to have any personalty unless i read off a script of what people want me to be, then act it out,i know part of the problem is I despise myself,or thats how I have been feeling after going to alot of therapy.

 

I like playing the piano writing and reading but people hate classical music,hate reading I like playing tennis and have considered doing that once I start working,im living off all my savings now,so I want to be very careful with my money,I feel like I should move to new york city maybe I would find people who have simlar interests to me there.

 

Scienceguy, you and I seem to be in much the same place - perhaps for different reasons.

 

I too feel like I'm not a part of society.  It seems like there is this buzz of activity all around me, this interconnectedness of people interacting, doing things, being productive, having fun, while I sit on the sidelines.

 

Playing the piano, writing, reading, classical music, and tennis are all VERY acceptable pastimes.  I hope you indulge in them frequently and enjoy them.  I'm sorry that you aren't finding people around you to share yourself with.  I don't know if a change in venue will help or not, but it's a shame that you can't share your hobbies - people LOVE to either mentor or be mentored.

 

Best wishes, my friend.

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Wow ... other than tennis scienceguy, your interests actually don't sound that much different than mine. Which really leads me to believe that like people are saying above, you may not be meeting the right people! I mean, yeah, there's not as many people that are into Poe or Classical music as say football and pop ... but we're certainly out there. I've got one of those huge Poe anthologies on my bookcase and took classical piano for years.

 

I think it was DustyRoad that mentioned that the average person wants to talk about stuff they're interested in today, which is totally true. Especially for small talk. I'm the same way too. I don't usually break out heavy discussions about classical literature until I've known the person for a while and I know they're into it. Doesn't mean I can't - most people will listen politely with that distant little look on their face that says they're mentally writing a grocery list. Just means they probably wouldn't be in a hurry to ask me how I'm doing again! *Laughs*

 

But, at the same time, it's kind of surprising how many people will have at least a minor passing interest in those things. They might not know Poe, but they might know Hemingway. Maybe they read Oscar Wilde in high school, or maybe they really like Robert Frost. Maybe they don't like classical music, but they might have heard some of the remix or mashup versions of it. You're probably not as out there as you're concerned about being.

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My friend finally replied to my facebook messages and invited me to a bon fire,I don,t know if I want to go I am prettty miesarble now I feel like I would breakdown and start sobbing there and make a fool of myself.its hard to communicate when im this depressed,I have to go because I rarley get invited out and im mad that my friend ignored me for months and quit the job I helped him get with my mother.i am sure they will have alcohol or p ot there to i have trouble resisting drinks and feel like I will end up over drinking,when I really shouldn,t since im taking meds thst both say on the bottle to not take alchohol 

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