Social isolation can make social skills rusty, even for normally adept socializers.
My sister is adept, but now complains of being rusty due to the isolation of being a stay-at-home mom.
I feel rusty all the time and fear making gaffs. I seem to often make gaffs. I am paralyzed with fear of this, then embarrassed when I step out of my shell. Eh, so how to make gains within a cycle of retreat?
Practice makes perfect, move it or loose it, no pain no gain?
What do you guys think: What if you missed a great deal of formative/childhood socializing and were never "good" at it? Can one build to reasonable skill or even become adept?
I have a mentor at school who seems quite socially adept, yet swears she had crippling SA in grad school. If I weren't so shy, I'd pick her brain.
I think that one has to, quite frankly, learn how to not give a ****. If you treat every moment like an experiment, and always focus on the future, screw-ups aren't quite so immobilizing. And I can now say this from recent experience. Today was the first time, ever, that I've instigated conversation with someone in my age bracket that I didn't know, and even though the result was admittedly an awkward 2 minute conversation out of class, I now know it's possible to talk to someone again.
So, wear a white hoodie and start thinking of yourself as a scientist.
"Practice makes perfect, move it or loose it, no pain no gain?"
Agreed, by the way. The times where I've made progress and then felt immobilized and reacted to this feeling by hightailing it back to my shell, afterwards it was far more difficult to even get back to even getting outside once a day, on the days I didn't have the purpose of work or school.
Also, along with my earlier point, keeping a journal could be handy, as long as you're 100% honest with what you're writing down. I'm going to try this. Writing down the 'results', along with the negatives, but also the positives. This basically supports any progress you've made by forcing yourself to thinking critically about the day's events.