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mynah

Socially Awkward, Social Phobia

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i have this rare talent to say the wrong things or in the wrong way. or time. to put my foot in it. so mostly i just keep quiet and say nothing. and afraid to say something wrong. and sometimes to say nothing is the wrong thing, is a social blunder too.

or maybe the whole thing comes from the social phobia and i'm so scared to say something wrong that when i finally say something it comes out awkward? (it is so much easier to listen...)

i'm really not good at conversation, the 'normal everyday nice talking'.

when it is about a certain subject, or scientifical things, it's not so bad. if i know something it is easier to say something. when it is about facts or such, or things you can read about, or technical things. easier to talk _about_ something, and not talk as "social interaction".

i often get feedback that i should not say sorry or excuse me all the time. so okay obviously i do that too much. (and worst is to say sorry to a feedback like that...) so when i feel like saying sorry and think maybe this might be inappropriate i try not to say it. or at least not too much, i try. so i say nothing. and feel terrible. to reply nothing often is awkward too.

really, i have no clue of how to "talk normally". i have to think a lot to decide what i could say. i've tried watching others how they "do the social talk", and have tried to 'copy' from others to know what to say. :bump:

but i still have no clue how this works, i can't figure out, it just does not come to me.

i do have the thoughts in me, i want to convey something, and i often empathize - but i don't have what words to say.

and this is in whatever language. i can learn a foreign language, i can talk in that language, but whatever language when it comes to this "social talk" i'm at a loss. as if there was a gene for "social talk" that i just don't have. :shocked:

i've even tried to ask friends how they do it. i was not able to convey what i meant. i just got really puzzled wondering looks.

it is like in a foreign country, without roads or signposts, and no map or compass. :hearts:

i thought maybe there is folks out here who have encountered something similar? know what i mean? other social phobics? shy people?

maybe even someone who has faced something similar and overcome it, learned how to "do the talk"?

or any input on this, ideas? how do you think could i work on this?

i'd appreciate your thoughts on this.

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I sympathize -- I get really nervous in social situations outside of my work. I can function on my job, but if it is after work or at a party, I become this robot who never knows what to say. I hate small talk and never know how to correctly respond. I come off as stuck up but it's really a situation of not knowing what to say and the fear of looking stupid. I've read numerous articles and other sutff but nothing helps. I am truly at wits end with this.

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i have this rare talent to say the wrong things or in the wrong way. or time. to put my foot in it. so mostly i just keep quiet and say nothing. and afraid to say something wrong. and sometimes to say nothing is the wrong thing, is a social blunder too.

or maybe the whole thing comes from the social phobia and i'm so scared to say something wrong that when i finally say something it comes out awkward? (it is so much easier to listen...)

i'm really not good at conversation, the 'normal everyday nice talking'.

when it is about a certain subject, or scientifical things, it's not so bad. if i know something it is easier to say something. when it is about facts or such, or things you can read about, or technical things. easier to talk _about_ something, and not talk as "social interaction".

i often get feedback that i should not say sorry or excuse me all the time. so okay obviously i do that too much. (and worst is to say sorry to a feedback like that...) so when i feel like saying sorry and think maybe this might be inappropriate i try not to say it. or at least not too much, i try. so i say nothing. and feel terrible. to reply nothing often is awkward too.

really, i have no clue of how to "talk normally". i have to think a lot to decide what i could say. i've tried watching others how they "do the social talk", and have tried to 'copy' from others to know what to say. :bump:

but i still have no clue how this works, i can't figure out, it just does not come to me.

i do have the thoughts in me, i want to convey something, and i often empathize - but i don't have what words to say.

and this is in whatever language. i can learn a foreign language, i can talk in that language, but whatever language when it comes to this "social talk" i'm at a loss. as if there was a gene for "social talk" that i just don't have. :shocked:

i've even tried to ask friends how they do it. i was not able to convey what i meant. i just got really puzzled wondering looks.

it is like in a foreign country, without roads or signposts, and no map or compass. :hearts:

i thought maybe there is folks out here who have encountered something similar? know what i mean? other social phobics? shy people?

maybe even someone who has faced something similar and overcome it, learned how to "do the talk"?

or any input on this, ideas? how do you think could i work on this?

i'd appreciate your thoughts on this.

Ohhh honey, I know just what you mean. I work in a homeless shelter, where I meet new people on an sometimes daily basis. While talking to them about work stuff is great (cause I know what to say), but often times I hid in my office so that I don't have to talk about "social things" with anyone. I thought working with people would help, but it doesn't. I don't think I am overly shy, in fact I love to be around people. I just have the same problem that you have. I avoid all chances I have of those wierd social moments. I don't go to holiday parties or family events. I even go shopping in a town about 45 minutes away, so I don't happen to bump into anyone I know. Please if you find out a way to make this go away let me know.

somelostsoul

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thank you scott and somelostsoul.

and welcome to DF! :hearts:

i will tell you if i come across ideas how to come out of it. or maybe others have some ideas and write them here. i hope.

for some time i had thought it would get better with "training". maybe some of it does... (maybe it just takes some more time?). at least usually it's a little bit better when i've already know the people or the place for a while. (or maybe then they're more used to me being 'weird' so it gets less important? or both.)

the "training" should help with the social anxiety i think. and i'm sure part of it is due to social anxiety, or at least it gets worse when anxiety is worse. there is another part to it, atleast it seems to me. something i find difficult to explain. like how do i explain something that i don't know? but i think it is there. to me it seems as if there is something that everyone somehow "just knows" or "automatically does", like instinctively, while i don't have much of a clue. things like when to say what, when to be quiet; where to look, or for how long; ... i don't know well how to describe it, i just feel it is something that most often does not 'automatically' come to me. i've come to understand however that it does play an important role, and makes people decide what they think about me ("how i am"). one example is the looking, i've understood so far that it is not good to look at someone for too long or to not look at them for too long (which it seems i do too much especially when i'm scared, either of the two, but never in the right balance). but i think "normally" a person doesn't have to think about where to look and for how long, they just do it the way it should be done, like "instinctively" or whatever, i have no idea how they know what they have to do.

Edited by mynah

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i know exactly what you mean about the awkwardness -- and not knowing what to say -- and when you say something in imitation of what you hear other people say, you feel like a big fake.

so, unless i have something worthwhile to say, i just don't say anything. most people are OK with it -- it makes some people uncomfortable, but that's their problem.

i'm fine with hello, how are you's -- so I'm not rude and just ignore people -- but I usually leave it at that unless it's just answering questions or asking about something i want to know about.

the looking thing -- if i'm talking to someone, i just try to maintain eye contact while i'm talking or listening -- i still blink & stuff, but i try to look at them because it shows i'm listening & interested. if i'm doing something else while i'm talking to them, then i don't worry about them.

my big problem is that i need something to occupy my hands while i talk -- and i hate the hand-shake and hugging thing.

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i know exactly what you mean about the awkwardness -- and not knowing what to say -- and when you say something in imitation of what you hear other people say, you feel like a big fake.

so, unless i have something worthwhile to say, i just don't say anything. most people are OK with it -- it makes some people uncomfortable, but that's their problem.

i'm fine with hello, how are you's -- so I'm not rude and just ignore people -- but I usually leave it at that unless it's just answering questions or asking about something i want to know about.

the looking thing -- if i'm talking to someone, i just try to maintain eye contact while i'm talking or listening -- i still blink & stuff, but i try to look at them because it shows i'm listening & interested. if i'm doing something else while i'm talking to them, then i don't worry about them.

my big problem is that i need something to occupy my hands while i talk -- and i hate the hand-shake and hugging thing.

:tear2: yes, exactly, like a big fake. even when it's really what i want to say, what i want to convey, and not know how or with what words, and then using words that others have used. so either i remain silent or i feel like a fake.

i'm rather comfortable too with silence when there's nothing to say. but there's few people with whom i could have good comfortable silences.

i need something for my hands too. often i wear long sleeves, so i can hide my hands when they're so busy with this seams at the edge of the sleeve... or to hide the tiny scraps i've made of that tissue. :blush21:

the 'hello how are you' often is what my awkward social situations start with. i remember to just say "fine", i know that it's not the time or place to say anything about how i am. sometimes gets difficult though when they can see from my face that i'm not fine.

i really have to work on this looking thing some more. i've been trying to keep eye contact enough so they know i'm listening and interested. but very often i'm like one of these, either :bump: (scared/anxiety...maybe also from hypervigilance?) or :hearts: (very busy looking at the floor...ashamed, afraid, depressed...) - so i can understand why i make a weird impression. but i haven't really figured out yet how to be different.

i've come across something about the time how much / how long to look at people, like between one-third and two-third of the time seems to be good, less makes you seem uninterested or not honest, more makes you seem agressive. so i come to understand how i could maybe come across as agressive when i have these huge staring eyes :shocked: or even as if i was not truth when i'm looking at the feet most of the time.

eek, this is difficult. studying anthropology seems nothing to me compared to understanding this.

thank you for listening and for your input :shocked:

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i know exactly what you mean about the awkwardness -- and not knowing what to say -- and when you say something in imitation of what you hear other people say, you feel like a big fake.

so, unless i have something worthwhile to say, i just don't say anything. most people are OK with it -- it makes some people uncomfortable, but that's their problem.

i'm fine with hello, how are you's -- so I'm not rude and just ignore people -- but I usually leave it at that unless it's just answering questions or asking about something i want to know about.

the looking thing -- if i'm talking to someone, i just try to maintain eye contact while i'm talking or listening -- i still blink & stuff, but i try to look at them because it shows i'm listening & interested. if i'm doing something else while i'm talking to them, then i don't worry about them.

my big problem is that i need something to occupy my hands while i talk -- and i hate the hand-shake and hugging thing.

:tear2: yes, exactly, like a big fake. even when it's really what i want to say, what i want to convey, and not know how or with what words, and then using words that others have used. so either i remain silent or i feel like a fake.

i'm rather comfortable too with silence when there's nothing to say. but there's few people with whom i could have good comfortable silences.

i need something for my hands too. often i wear long sleeves, so i can hide my hands when they're so busy with this seams at the edge of the sleeve... or to hide the tiny scraps i've made of that tissue. :blush21:

the 'hello how are you' often is what my awkward social situations start with. i remember to just say "fine", i know that it's not the time or place to say anything about how i am. sometimes gets difficult though when they can see from my face that i'm not fine.

i really have to work on this looking thing some more. i've been trying to keep eye contact enough so they know i'm listening and interested. but very often i'm like one of these, either :bump: (scared/anxiety...maybe also from hypervigilance?) or :hearts: (very busy looking at the floor...ashamed, afraid, depressed...) - so i can understand why i make a weird impression. but i haven't really figured out yet how to be different.

i've come across something about the time how much / how long to look at people, like between one-third and two-third of the time seems to be good, less makes you seem uninterested or not honest, more makes you seem agressive. so i come to understand how i could maybe come across as agressive when i have these huge staring eyes :shocked: or even as if i was not truth when i'm looking at the feet most of the time.

eek, this is difficult. studying anthropology seems nothing to me compared to understanding this.

thank you for listening and for your input :shocked:

well -- I'm not really socially anxious -- I'm just socially ******** -- other than feelings of awkwardness, I have no anxious feelings associated with any of this.

mostly because i don't really care what anyone thinks.

on the other hand, my son has social anxiety among all his other stuff -- he recently started seeing a psychologist and this was the first thing that they were going to work on. i'm not sure what they're doing because i'm trying to let this be his private thing, but my son says that it helps a little -- i think he's still just getting used to the doctor.

anyway, they are specifically working on tools & methods to help with it. maybe something like that would help you too.

if he has some miracle technique that i find out about -- i'll let you know.

my issue with my son was not that i wanted to change him into some kind of social butterfly or a person that had to make sure everyone was his friend, but that he's at the point it would interfere in everyday functioning for him if i wasn't around to do some stuff for him. oh, he would get the basics done -- but he would avoid everything that wasn't absolutely necessary.

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thank you again slw!

your input is very valuable to me.

interesting, this socially awkward without the anxiety part. i'm trying to sort through my thoughts.

thanks for telling me about you and about your son.

btw i think it is great that you trying to let this be his private thing. probably isn't easy for a parent. but important i think.

"socially ********" seems to have a rather negative sound to it? (but then i am usually not very sure about my interpretations of meanings or implications conveyed with the words. that's why i ask a lot, and sometimes 'weird' questions...) is this more of a way of putting yourself down, or a meant in a way of 'matter of fact description'?

are there other terms for it?

i've tried to do some reading on it, what i found was topics related to social skills, or rather lack of... and something about adaptive behaviour (which rather makes me think of Pawlow's dog and Skinner's rats and such)

my pdoc recently mentioned social skills training. but in the context of my anxiety (of phone calls, of asking for something, ...) - there i am again with the phobia topic. i'm trying to sort one from the other. obviously they can exist one without the other.

if your son comes across some miracle technique i'd love to know it too :hearts:

for me too the goal is not to become a social butterfly. but i need some getting better in everyday functioning. i hardly function anymore in any way. and i'm a grown up (in years at least) and living on my own and need a bit more than the very basics of everyday surviving-from-dawn-to-dusk-and-through-the-night or barely-functioning. i have to come to stop avoiding each and every scary thing. but slowly, step by step, otherwise i get overwhelmed again. it's not easy.

the anxiety issues are some of my issues for therapy. that is, if i go to therapy. i hope to be able to go again next year. i also try to work through my issues in other ways, books, reading, working on myself, as good as i can. to do what i can do on my own. apply tools and methods... to read what i can find on it.

i hope your son will be able to work through his issues with the help of the psychologist, and get less afraid with time and more able to do things. probably there's also things he would like to do if he could (but anxiety preventing it). i really hope he'll find his way out of this.

did you do working on the social awkwardness for yourself? maybe did you do things like social skills training for awkwardness or something (if such exists)? well that is in case you felt you wanted to work on that, it to be too much of a problem for you?

often i find the tools and methods i've come across so far do work on the social phobia part of it for me. but still don't give me much of a clue as to how to be less awkward. and i feel the need to find out of that too. and it often fuels my anxiety even more.

i'm coming to think more and more that for me somehow it might be two (obviosly different?) parts of the problem... (but also feeding each other) ... so maybe i have to adress them separately? and i do remember that i had my share of awkwardness even before i was this 'case of anxiety' that i'm now. even in primary school. iirc it was some social thing that made them decide against skipping grades.

well i'm still trying to figure it all out and how to tell one from the other.

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thank you again slw!

your input is very valuable to me.

interesting, this socially awkward without the anxiety part. i'm trying to sort through my thoughts.

thanks for telling me about you and about your son.

btw i think it is great that you trying to let this be his private thing. probably isn't easy for a parent. but important i think.

"socially ********" seems to have a rather negative sound to it? (but then i am usually not very sure about my interpretations of meanings or implications conveyed with the words. that's why i ask a lot, and sometimes 'weird' questions...) is this more of a way of putting yourself down, or a meant in a way of 'matter of fact description'?

are there other terms for it?

i've tried to do some reading on it, what i found was topics related to social skills, or rather lack of... and something about adaptive behaviour (which rather makes me think of Pawlow's dog and Skinner's rats and such)

my pdoc recently mentioned social skills training. but in the context of my anxiety (of phone calls, of asking for something, ...) - there i am again with the phobia topic. i'm trying to sort one from the other. obviously they can exist one without the other.

if your son comes across some miracle technique i'd love to know it too :hearts:

for me too the goal is not to become a social butterfly. but i need some getting better in everyday functioning. i hardly function anymore in any way. and i'm a grown up (in years at least) and living on my own and need a bit more than the very basics of everyday surviving-from-dawn-to-dusk-and-through-the-night or barely-functioning. i have to come to stop avoiding each and every scary thing. but slowly, step by step, otherwise i get overwhelmed again. it's not easy.

the anxiety issues are some of my issues for therapy. that is, if i go to therapy. i hope to be able to go again next year. i also try to work through my issues in other ways, books, reading, working on myself, as good as i can. to do what i can do on my own. apply tools and methods... to read what i can find on it.

i hope your son will be able to work through his issues with the help of the psychologist, and get less afraid with time and more able to do things. probably there's also things he would like to do if he could (but anxiety preventing it). i really hope he'll find his way out of this.

did you do working on the social awkwardness for yourself? maybe did you do things like social skills training for awkwardness or something (if such exists)? well that is in case you felt you wanted to work on that, it to be too much of a problem for you?

often i find the tools and methods i've come across so far do work on the social phobia part of it for me. but still don't give me much of a clue as to how to be less awkward. and i feel the need to find out of that too. and it often fuels my anxiety even more.

i'm coming to think more and more that for me somehow it might be two (obviosly different?) parts of the problem... (but also feeding each other) ... so maybe i have to adress them separately? and i do remember that i had my share of awkwardness even before i was this 'case of anxiety' that i'm now. even in primary school. iirc it was some social thing that made them decide against skipping grades.

well i'm still trying to figure it all out and how to tell one from the other.

socially ******** (no offense meant to anyone who is mentally ******** -- those people are very special and spiritually beautiful in their unique way -- most are very happy & loving -- at least the ones that I've met) is just my odd way of putting it. i don't feel negative when i say it -- it's just amusing to me in some odd way.

i'll try to explain what i mean by no anxiety and why it's different. i'm often kind of self-absorbed and will walk by people i know and not even see them to speak to them if they don't stop me. i'm caught up in my own thoughts a lot of the time. if i have a choice of reading a good book or going to a social event, i'll pick the book every time. when i do talk to people, i need a topic & i'm OK. if it's the "hi, how are you? how are the kids?" kind of small talk, i soon run out of things to say & i never, ever initiate that kind of thing. i just feel stupid & fake repeating the same wore-out cliche's that don't really say anything.

i work in a senior tech position in a fortune 50 company. i interact with people on all levels of my company and with vendors & customers. i have absolutely no problem doing it and can argue my point without problems. i don't have a problem showing people how to do something or explain new ways of doing things.

on the other hand, my husband is mr social. he never goes anywhere without talking to people & making new friends. almost everywhere we go, someone will come up & talk to him because he's met them somewhere else -- most of the time he's not sure who they are, but he'll talk to them anyway like he's known them his whole life.

so, it's kind of hard for me to explain -- but even when i don't know what to say and i'm pretty sure i said something odd, i don't get that funny nervous feeling in the pit of my stomach. i just don't really care what other people think that much. in fact, most of the time i don't even consider what they think. i've always been that way and people either get used to my oddness or they don't -- we're all weird in some way anyway so it doesn't matter.

i think it comes from where you get your approval from -- do you look for it from external sources, from pleasing other people -- or do you look for it from internal sources, from pleasing yourself. for me, i have to please myself. if the whole world thought i did a great job at something, but i thought it sucked -- the rest of the world's opinion wouldn't matter to me one bit. on the other hand, as long as i'm happy with something i did, i don't really care what anyone else thinks.

i think that's a big difference between myself & my son -- but i can't change who he is.

after saying all of that -- i do think that social anxiety is a very real medical condition and that many people need meds to control it. i don't know if you've ever tried any, but they do take the edge off for my son and allow him to function a lot better. and, i think you mentioned something about it showing up in elementary school. my son is 18 and getting ready to finish up high school. i think that i started to see signs of this around 4th grade, but it was obvious enough for the school to notice by middle school and they recommended that he start therapy then. he didn't want to and argued his case very well. he still would not be in therapy if it was his choice. he developed a psychosis in 9th grade that made treatment no longer optional.

my son decribed his anxiety like this to me one day. i had taken some cold medicine that works on the cold symptoms but kind of puts me on edge & makes me jumpy. he said to take that feeling, multiply it by 1000, and have it never, ever go away -- and that's how he feels everyday.

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i have this rare talent to say the wrong things or in the wrong way. or time. to put my foot in it. so mostly i just keep quiet and say nothing. and afraid to say something wrong. and sometimes to say nothing is the wrong thing, is a social blunder too.

or maybe the whole thing comes from the social phobia and i'm so scared to say something wrong that when i finally say something it comes out awkward? (it is so much easier to listen...)

i'm really not good at conversation, the 'normal everyday nice talking'.

when it is about a certain subject, or scientifical things, it's not so bad. if i know something it is easier to say something. when it is about facts or such, or things you can read about, or technical things. easier to talk _about_ something, and not talk as "social interaction".

i often get feedback that i should not say sorry or excuse me all the time. so okay obviously i do that too much. (and worst is to say sorry to a feedback like that...) so when i feel like saying sorry and think maybe this might be inappropriate i try not to say it. or at least not too much, i try. so i say nothing. and feel terrible. to reply nothing often is awkward too.

really, i have no clue of how to "talk normally". i have to think a lot to decide what i could say. i've tried watching others how they "do the social talk", and have tried to 'copy' from others to know what to say. :bump:

but i still have no clue how this works, i can't figure out, it just does not come to me.

i do have the thoughts in me, i want to convey something, and i often empathize - but i don't have what words to say.

and this is in whatever language. i can learn a foreign language, i can talk in that language, but whatever language when it comes to this "social talk" i'm at a loss. as if there was a gene for "social talk" that i just don't have. :shocked:

i've even tried to ask friends how they do it. i was not able to convey what i meant. i just got really puzzled wondering looks.

it is like in a foreign country, without roads or signposts, and no map or compass. :hearts:

i thought maybe there is folks out here who have encountered something similar? know what i mean? other social phobics? shy people?

maybe even someone who has faced something similar and overcome it, learned how to "do the talk"?

or any input on this, ideas? how do you think could i work on this?

i'd appreciate your thoughts on this.

I usually just smile and gigle and plan my words careful, I hate getting those looks, which I ususally get when Im trying to be funny and say something awkward

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i know exactly what you mean about the awkwardness -- and not knowing what to say -- and when you say something in imitation of what you hear other people say, you feel like a big fake.

so, unless i have something worthwhile to say, i just don't say anything. most people are OK with it -- it makes some people uncomfortable, but that's their problem.

i'm fine with hello, how are you's -- so I'm not rude and just ignore people -- but I usually leave it at that unless it's just answering questions or asking about something i want to know about.

the looking thing -- if i'm talking to someone, i just try to maintain eye contact while i'm talking or listening -- i still blink & stuff, but i try to look at them because it shows i'm listening & interested. if i'm doing something else while i'm talking to them, then i don't worry about them.

my big problem is that i need something to occupy my hands while i talk -- and i hate the hand-shake and hugging thing.

let me know if you have any ideas, Im usualluy picking at my nails or fidgeting!

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i know exactly what you mean about the awkwardness -- and not knowing what to say -- and when you say something in imitation of what you hear other people say, you feel like a big fake.

so, unless i have something worthwhile to say, i just don't say anything. most people are OK with it -- it makes some people uncomfortable, but that's their problem.

i'm fine with hello, how are you's -- so I'm not rude and just ignore people -- but I usually leave it at that unless it's just answering questions or asking about something i want to know about.

the looking thing -- if i'm talking to someone, i just try to maintain eye contact while i'm talking or listening -- i still blink & stuff, but i try to look at them because it shows i'm listening & interested. if i'm doing something else while i'm talking to them, then i don't worry about them.

my big problem is that i need something to occupy my hands while i talk -- and i hate the hand-shake and hugging thing.

let me know if you have any ideas, Im usualluy picking at my nails or fidgeting!

pockets are wonderful for taking care of your hands

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Hi,

I think i may also fit into this category of "socially awkward"...

I wouldnt call myself shy or scared, i just feel really uncomfortable in some social situations.

I dont know what brings it on, it could be that i am constantly thinking of the "right" thing to say and therefore i "over"concentrate and it comes out all wrong..Or it may be that i am worrying too much of what the other person thinks of me.. I hate the fact that these social skills dont come naturally to me, like they do with most people..

I have read alot about social phobias and anxiety however i dont match the symptoms. A big issue with someone that has social phobia is that they fear being the centre of attention, resent public speaking, hate meeting new people etc.. Ironically i am the opposite to all these.. I have no problem with public speaking (as long as i have rehearsed what to say!), I love acting and have been in several plays, i am fine with asking a stranger for the time, i have no problem of introducing myself to someone.. however i DO feel uncomfortable in normal day-to-day social situations..

The strange thing is that i am more than confident and comfortable to walk up to a group of strangers and introduce myself, however, the problem i find is continuing the conversation.. I am fine with "hello, how are you.." but what comes next? I often struggle to find the right words to say, and when i do it often comes out sounding wrong! I have a great ability of making situations awkward.

I think my problem could be that i am too self conscious.. not physically, but emotionally.. If that makes sense.. I worry too much of what others think of my personality.

A big issue for me is meeting someone who seems very self assured and confident with themselves. I cannot interact properly with such people as i feel extremely inferior and intimidated. Because of these feelings, i always tend to come across as boring and quiet and even more so because it contrasts with the other person's confidence.

I think the way to overcome my problem is to figure out who i am.. That sounds pretty stupid and somewhat cliche, however in order to feel confident within myself i have to learn to like who i am. I dont think it involves changing, its more about accepting yourself as you are and being happy. And then maybe once i am happy with myself it will be easier to make changes (if nessescery).

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You're definitely not alone in this! I still beat myself up for the stupid things I've said throughout my life, even back when I was a child. I also have a great fear of being laughed at, which in my mind happens all the time. I wish I had an answer for you, but I'm still struggling with this feeling myself. Just know that you're not alone! :hearts:

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I have this problem as well... I live in a society where small talk is the norm, and i just don't know how to manage... I hang out with friends and observe how they interact with each other, but I still can't get a hang of it..... I've tried about talking about weather, but it gets boring every time we meet.... i mean, who gives a sh-t about eh weather..? I think that people interact and talk about what other people want to hear, but that doesn't work cause I have opions.... aren't social interaction meant to change ideas between that people in a conversation? oh well, i guess i just have endure more small chit chat in the future...

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I hope this doesn't come off as preachy and if this offends you in anyway please report me to admin.

Conversation topics for small groups, I have no idea on how to dominate a conversation and or talk to large groups.

Cooking: What you have cooked lately what worked, what didn't and what you wished you did differently. Then ask them if they cooked anything recently. Easily carried on to favorite foods.

Weather: yes very boring but it breaks the silence and will give the person the opportunity to dominate the conversation. Definitely a no no for large groups unless there had been a major event, flood, 3' of snow, ect...

Political: Our new president for people living in the US. I usually say something like "I'm extremely hopeful but he has yet to prove himself to me" Most people tend to roll with this one

Family: Ask about their family it shows your interest in them as a person. Be very careful with this one and don't push the subject, there might be something wrong and they might not want to talk about it.

Events: Have they been to any recently and what did they like/dislike about it.

Look outside when thinking about conversation, it's easier to get someone to talk about what they like then to come up with your own if your like me and have trouble finding anything positive in your life.

Another idea is if you know the people your hanging out with then try to find a good joke or two online that you think they might like.

Hope some of you find some of this useful or at least gives you some ideas.

lag

My history, I got made fun of a lot in HS for saying dumb things. I corrected this by not talking or attending social events, bad idea. I tend go all weekend without saying one word unless its thank you at the checkout stand at the supermarket unless my parents give me a call.

Edited by lagmonster

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OMG mynah & the rest of you, every single sentence in your posts rings true with me.

This thread confirms I'm not a lone alien in this world!

I've trouble making friendships that last. Often, I "do not know what to say" and find it excruciatingly difficult to prolong conversations. Like mynah said, it's kinda like my DNA is missing a gene.

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I've been stuggling with social phobia for the last 5 years. Its been really frustrating to me always worrying about whats going to happen in social situations or panicing and not having anything to say. Over the last year i've saught out professional help. It wasn't like an overnight cure to everything, but its really helped me make a lot of progress. I'm in therapy for learing social skills and learning ways to manage anxiety, and I'm currently on prozac for generalized anxiety and I have ativan for those situations when i get really uncomfortable or i'm dreading going somewhere so much that I worry about it days before or call to cancel. The ativan is really helpful for lessening the anxiety in the moment, and the more times this happens the more confident I feel in my ability to handle situations that were once anxiety provoking. I'm never going to be super outgoing or feel comfortable speaking in public, but most of the time I feel like I can socialize in a healthy way without freaking out about it.

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Hey there I totally understand what you mean I find social interaction, casual talk, so difficult! I have to try so hard to think up things to say. I often say the wrong things at the wrong time or say things that people find strange or innapropriate. I'm very nervous about speaking because I feel that people will judge me if I say something wrong so I try so hard to think up normal, socially acceptable, things to say. Theres nothing natural or easy about they way I interact with people, its always anxious and awkward. Even when I manage to think up something to say I have to then pluck up the courage to blurt it out! I feel like i'm totatlly exposed when i'm talking, I feel so vulnerable, like my every word is being judged! I speak really fast as well because I want to blurt out what i'm saying as quickly as possible so I can be quiet again. I've been accused of lacking empathy because I'm over thinking everything I come across quite robotic, theres not much natural emotion involved, when i'm speaking it's not natural & free flowing, it's forced, mechanical & over-analyed! I'm the same as you, if the topic of conversation is about a certain specific topic that i happen to know alot about then i'm able to talk about it, i'm able to debate facts & discuss ideas on specific topics that i'm interested in but if its just random conversation or banter then i have absolutely nothing to say! Talking to people & thinking up things to say is so difficult for me I can only do it for a short time then I have to iscolate myself again. Social Interaction is like a chore for me! cant do it :shocked:

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