why do I always say the wrong thing? - Social Anxiety Forum
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-20-2011, 12:42 AM Thread Starter
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why do I always say the wrong thing?

People always bother me for being "too quiet," but the problem is when I do speak up, I always end up embarressing myself by blurting out the most awkward things, and wishing that i had kept quiet. If I'm around people that I'm comfortable with I can have descent conforsations, but the second I'm around people I dont know very well, I always just psych myself out and cant come up with a single normal thing to say.

During a history class for example, my professor had been harrassing me for weeks about "not participating." she was calling me up to her desk before every class to "come up with a creative solution for my poor participation grade." and I kept saying that I honestly didn't have any solutions. Eventually she just started singling me out every day and picking on me for one thing or another, but every topic we talked about, I just had nothing to contribute.

One day she asked, "has anyone here ever been to a catacomb? Can you share yourexperience?" I actually did go to one in Paris, because we happened to wander by the entrance and that was what the group wanted to do. No one raised their hand of course, so I knew it was now or never, and if I thought about it too much, I would end up just freaking myself out and not "participating." I ended just raising my hand and blurting it out, describing everything that I saw in there. It wasn't until later that I realized that my catacomb experience was the first time that most people in that class had ever heard me speak. It dawned on me how weirdly morbid it sounded that my first words were blurting out some incoherent rant about skulls and bones. In stead of being relieved that my professor might leave me alone, i was despereately wishing that I had just kept my mouth shut.

This is just an example and its similar to what usually happens when I speak up. I know that if I think too much about what I say I will only chicken out, and my brain just comes up with the worst possible things to say. Its hard to view the times when I speak up as a victory over SA, when I usually just embarrass myself, and I cant really be proud of myself, when I regret everything that comes out of my mouth.

I know I shouldn't think this way, but I can't stop myself from over analyzing everything and blowing the awkwardness out of porportion. I tend to remember the past as worse than it really was, and letting it destroy my confidence. I still, cant stop myself from scrutinizing and regretting every word out of my mouth. It just seems like mentally I'm fighting a losing battle.
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-20-2011, 12:54 AM
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It dawned on me how weirdly morbid it sounded that my first words were blurting out some incoherent rant about skulls and bones. In stead of being relieved that my professor might leave me alone, i was despereately wishing that I had just kept my mouth shut.
This suggests to me that you believe much of what you say would be "the wrong thing," regardless of content.

Even if others interpreted this as "incoherent," does it matter? This is a victory in itself, that you are stepping out of your comfort zone by speaking in front of those you don't even know. Of course it will initially be uncomfortable, and of course you will second guess yourself at times. But it would be in your best interest, if you could at least mildly entertain the idea of, "Hey, I did something I normally wouldn't, and got through it."

"The jump is so frightening between where I am and where I want to be. Because of all I may become, I will close my eyes and leap."
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-20-2011, 01:16 AM
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You don't know what everyone thought about what you said. If I heard someone talking about visiting a catacomb, even in a "morbid, incoherent" way, I'd think it was interesting. If that was the first thing I ever heard someone say in a class, I'd probably laugh and instantly want to get to know them better.

I'm sure you're the only one who judges the things you say so harshly.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-20-2011, 01:32 AM
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I had the same problem! I had a huge ****head history prof. He gave me an F for a participation grade, just for not talking and not going to his iffice hours. When i did gp
To his office, he literally insulted me toy face and called me lazy for not talking in class. I had my first actual physical panic attack thanks to him.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-20-2011, 03:31 AM
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Yeah, I do this too. I think what some others said about you taking things harshly could be said about both of us. I second-guess myself all the time, and feel my free-flowing words are often inappropriate.

If I'd heard you in class talk about catacombs, even if in a "morbid" way, I'd probably be fascinated with what you had to say. There might have been a few, or even many, students in there who found what you said intriguing.

And, while with passion she repeats her call,
The vi'lets from her lap, and lillies fall:
She misses 'em, poor heart! and makes new moan;
Her lillies, ah! are lost, her vi'lets gone.

- Ovid, Metamorphoses
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-20-2011, 03:34 PM
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Wow. You are just like me!

I blurt things out all the time and then regret it later.

The other day, I was driving in the car with my driving instructor and another student (we were all females), and we see some construction workers being lifted up to fix the power lines. They go on and on about how they would never want to be up there and do what they are doing, and so I awkwardly blurt out "women are usually never in construction jobs, so there is no need to worry."

They got quiet and acted weird around me after that.

Even in school, like in one of my science classes, I was quiet because I never knew anything and the teacher ALWAYS called on me anyway. One time I actually got brave and thought I knew the answer and raised my hand - only to have the wrong answer. She blinked at me and gave me a look and some of the kids giggled. I was mentally kicking myself thinking, "YOU SHOULD HAVE KEPT YOUR MOUTH SHUT!!!"
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