Striking and maintaining conversations with strangers - Social Anxiety Forum
 
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-09-2008, 09:16 PM Thread Starter
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Striking and maintaining conversations with strangers


I really want to gain confidence in talking to strangers again and in order for me to do this I realize there is much to work on and much to realize.

My current state of conversation seems limited to work, and close friends which isn't giving me the confidence and knowledge I desire. My ultimate goal is to desire to talk with people, to be excited about new faces, to realize deep within myself that not only am I a great conversationalist but also able to strike up a conversation at any given point in time and have fun in doing so. I know this is possible because what I've already accomplished.

In order to enjoy striking up one on one conversations with people and maintaining them there are things I should remember:

1) Not everyone is going to be willing to conversate with me.
2) Take responsibilty for shaping the conversation and the additude thereof unless prompted otherwise by the other person to discontinue.
3) Find things we both like to talk about. Depending on the situation or place, find things to talk about.
4) Practice, practice, practice! Why? Because not only will I educate myself but in turn I will gain confidence.
5) Stay positive and focus on the goal not the frusteration. Stay positive and believe I'm making progress because in reality I am. It's just a belief and I need to work on it

and there are probably others...

I must take into account my own strengths and weaknesses. I have realized that one of my greatest conversational strengths is my humor. I tend to always end up cracking on something and making a very creative comment about something which never fails to get a laugh. My weaknesses, of corse, is my own self doubt which tends to crash a lot of my natural personality. There is a solution to this and I realize it's because I lack confidence in my communication skills. Just like practicing going out, meeting new people, keeping in contact with people, working, etc, which all I have done in a very short amount of time, I can gain confidence through experience by one on one conversation. It can't be stressed enough that in order to have a good conversation there is has to be someone else willing to communicate.

I don't want to feel like I can't just talk to people. I really hate that feeling. I really hate the feeling of not being able to enjoy a simple conversation at times. Being able to connect with people is very important in having a more pleasurable life.

I'm excited about this! I'll keep this thread updated!
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-10-2008, 01:21 AM
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Re: Striking and maintaining conversations with strangers


Good luck, bwidger85.

Nice pointers and observations you've made. That's awesome.

I'm very excited for you, too. I wish you the utter best.

Sincerely,
Gerard
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-10-2008, 05:41 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Striking and maintaining conversations with strangers


Thanks Gerard!



Although, not exactly person to person conversation, today I was talking on yahoo to some people and noticed something odd about myself. Whenever I'm conversating I notice I let the additudes of the people or the situation persuade my own additude. I tried to not let it effect me and it didn't and here's why...

You see, from a positive point of veiw there are many ways I can handle each occasion. There are perspectives. First there is my own perspective on how I view myself and the situation. That is perspective one. Perspective two is from their perspective on how they view themselves and the situation. Each perspective is controlled by the indivisual. I am able to control my own perspective as they are able to control their own perspective, and as I have found out perspective is A LOT. In all reality, their perspective may change the outcome of the conversation but that dosen't mean it changes my perspective of myself. Each person controls his or her perspective. Each person control what is said, thought and put out by their own demands subconciously or conciously. In my case, I want be concious of my own power of additude so it dosen't effect my perspective about myself. This is confidence, or the assurance in something and one's abilities. There shouldn't be a reason why I let what they say, act or feel effect me because untimately I cannot control their perspective or action. I can guide it but not control it because that is up to them. It's all really as simple as that.

It's a really powerful thing, perspective. If I am to constantly believe that I'm ACTING confident and not give myself the credit for creating something that people desire(outgoing, loving personality) then what am I giving myself credit for? When I say that I'm putting on a show and that this isn't really me I'll believe that. In the past I've put on personality shows to people and it seemed to work but it was always exhuasting because the whole time I kept telling myself that this wasn't me and if they really knew my personality they wouldn't like me. But honestly now, what is a personality? If you believe you can control your personality, then what is a personality? A personality is a persona one thinks of himself and what others see as you. You can also call this a perspective. Once again, we all have and control our own perspectives. It isn't a trick to decide one day that your personality will become funny, outgoing and kind, it's rather a choice. How important is that choice to you? It's important to me.

Being able to have confidence is myself is important to me because I've realized the effects of not believing in myself. It goes a lot deeper than just the term "believing in yourself". To truely believe in yourself and your abilities you must act that way and play a role, if you will. Believe in that role and have a reason for that role. I know that when I am able to be confident in myself then I create a sense of peace within myself and I almost always spread it to others, which makes me happy for some reason. This is important to me and this is my reason. In all though, I'm doing this for myself because that's where it all starts.

When people say you can be or act something untill you believe it they aren't lying! This was something hard for me to grasp because I felt like I never had control of certain things but in reality I am responsible and have control of everything that happens on the inner as well as the outer me. Somethings I obviously can't control but what is really important to me is being able to control my perspective. This ties along with being able to conversate with strangers and making new friends.

So, I think I may of learned a new trick. I took some notes to help me pinpoint that idea. I write notes to myself all the time to keep modivate me and keep my positivity up. It also helps me see things from a different perspective, or the perspective I desire to aquire. I took some quick notes concerning being able to control my perspective while in a the mist of a conversation, and they go like this:

If you feel yourself getting out of line then just keep doing what your doing until someone stops you and you realize their boundries. It's all about finding how they like to communicate.

Becuase I realize I have a tendency to assume things I wrote what you just read. When you first meet someone your not entirely sure what their personality is like or how they are going to respond to you so it's important that you come in with a positive and outgoing additude and keep that additude through. I wrote that in order for me to remember not to be discouraged by their additude or lack their of. Of corse, the additude I give off isn't one of unhealthy arrogant or selfish behaviors. People who give off such behaviors all doing it because they usually are covering up an insecurity and it actually drains the conversation.


My second note goes like this:

If you can at least act like your confident and outgoing and don't let people change your additude you will become that. Who cares if they think your annoying? It only matters what you think. Don't let the additudes of others detour you.

This was kind of like the frist not except it helps remind me that people may actually being thinking the worst of me and not to let that change my additude. the difference between this note and the last note was the fact that in the first note I talked about how I assume things, the second notes goes more into depth and covers the fact that they may actually not like me and give off a bad vibe or comment and hwo to not let that bother me. The second note is more powerful because it assumes that they are reacting the way they desire to and it's not because of me. Therefor, I leave with the sense of control and confident additude I had before I had even met them.

In all, I want to be able to project a confident, kind, supportive, funny personality that is actually entertaining, but if it isn't then that's not my fault because I know I can deliver it at any given time. My projection of the situation and of my own abilities is living and believing in myself, which is confidence, which is something we all can control and is something I'd like to have more of. When you let people's additudes towards you efefct the way you'd like to shine then it simply effects you! It's that simple. I also want to do this because by doing so I change my perspective to think a more healthy more outgoing, and in time I'll believe that more and more.

To take it a step further, which I was able to do when I was younger, was to be able to create entertainment to myself and otehrs simply through conversation. You can make conversation entertaining and in turn make yourself entertained. It's all something to play with and it works! I'll continue to try it out and I'll leave some more feedback later! Till next time
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-11-2008, 01:20 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Striking and maintaining conversations with strangers


Real conversation shouldn't be looked at as an objective. Real conversation consists of more then questions, the answer or techniques. Real conversation isn't possible without some sense of bonding. Conversation looked at from the point of veiw as an objective is the wrong way to go about it. Your emotions and the emotions of the other person is obviously the most important aspect of not just conversation, but sharing. You want to get your mind set away from an objective into being genuine and interested. How? This will explain...

Just to change the word "conversation" into "bonding" changes the whole outlook on what your doing. If I am to focus on conversating with others as an objective it will be a disaster because all I'll feel and see is an obsticle. The best way to look at all this is to actually have an interest and have a real desire to want to talk to others. I think one way to do this is to believe you have something to offer. Lately I've really felt like I have something to offer the people who have nothing else to do with their lives but watch television and listen to the radio. I can have a meanigful and uplifting conversation by sharing both intellectually and emotionally on subject that I REALLY FEEL INTERESTED ABOUT. I feel like I can walk up to someone, talk and give them something they only can get when they are with their closest friends. I offer my humor, my views on things, my genuine interest in them and subjects all by knowing that conversation isn't an objective or obligation but a sharing of experiences that uplifts the mood and stimulates the otherwise wasted time not having fun.

In all, conversation is fun! It's better than standing there thinking about your own day because that just gets boring. Don't be afriad to add spice, humor, real and genuine insights and perspectives into what your talking about and it'll naturally become interesting and you'll naturally want to hear and talk about it and it'll just be fun! Your not adding humor and spice into a conversation to get a reaction or to test something out, your doing it because it's fun for YOU! What do YOU find funny? What do YOU find truely interesting? What are somethings that just irritate YOU to no end? What scares YOU to death? What are YOUR favorite songs and why? Why do YOU like those types of songs? How do YOU feel when you hear that song? Do YOU feel sad, depressed, happy, modivated? Why do YOU feel that when YOU hear that song? What had happened to YOU in your past to naturally just think something like that? ...Do you see? Conversation is about enjoying yourself and expressing and sharing yourself. Conversation isn't something to be taken lightly because wihtout it your limiting yourself the most productive way of eliminating stress and adding true entertainment. If you want to ask them questions make sure it's questions that YOU really want to know about. Like for instance you can say, "How is it that everyday you can come to work, sit infront of all these people and just feel comfortable? How is it you see things like that?" ....That is a genuine question that YOU really want to know about! That is interesting! That is fun! That is what makes bonding with people and expressing yourself one of the easiest and most effect ways of enjoyment and stress reduction! ENJOY! I will try to remember this myself...
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-13-2008, 08:18 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Striking and maintaining conversations with strangers


Last night was pretty cool. I did somethings I plan on doing more often. I ended up calling a buddy I haven't talked to for years to come and hang out. It was cool. He brought beer and we drank and just chatted and talked about highschool times and how we were like the one's who always seemed to be getting into trouble(because we were) and how we seemed like we had no life blah blah blah. It was sweet.

In relation to this thread, though it may of not been a stranger persay, it was still cool just to be able to connect with someone who I haven't seen in years. On top of that, me and him never really had a big connection in the past to where it was automatic when I saw him again. If anything, there was a short warming up session then I did what I had to do to open him up and get him to start talking and feel comfortable. I feel a little bit of pride in the fact I contributed, being the one initiating the whole ordeal and getting him comfortable. I say comfortable because it's obvious he was a little edgy so I just smiled a lot, supported his point of view first and encouraged it and the rest was history. I also found it pretty cool how at the end of the night before I went home him and another buddy of mine were saying how much they were happy that they knew someone like me. I know they are good guys and all but to be able to hear that supports my idea of bonding through conversation.

On top of all this, I also called two girls that I've been wanting to call for a while. I've been texting them just joking around with them and I felt like it wasn't going anywhere and I knew that obviously I had to make a deeper connection so I just called them and it was cool. It actually suprised me because from what I've seen in their pictures(i got there #s off myspace) they gave me the impression of being party animals and for some reason it led me to believe they were stuck up, which obviously wasn't the case. The last two years I've really changed my view about women and I continue to find myself doing that. Well, I don't know if I'll ever stop doing that but, who knows? lol

The interaction with the girls has helped me understand a few more things. It showed me that texting is cool but after a while it just gets boring or meaningless unless you don't want to connect with them further, no pun intended. It also has broke a HUGE barrier in realizing the importance of personal space and comfort. It has shown me that even those who may seem socially active, and some are, that they too are a little gittery about the whole meeting new people too. It's a little bit nieve to think that they don't feel nervous about things like I do, but what really gets me is that they usually feel nervous about the SAME things I do. It's not like i'm some overly-nervous person it's just now I've learned not to let it get out of control. How? That's because I've tried really hard and had gone out of my comfort zone once or twice to enable me to see it differently now. It took me a while but eventually I just started seeing things differently.

One thing that has really helped me lately is to take some time before doing whatever it is I want to do and think possitivly about it and things usually are more effective that way. When I can take a step back and picture just enjoying myself and being positive my mood tends to lighten up and it helps me to connect with other people. The courage to do things is one thing, but when you arrive there and there is no connection with the people who are with you then the whole ordeal almost seems fruitless. Connection and bonding is what truely makes situations with people enjoyable. I want to be able to do this in more places more frequently.

I want to further reach out to more people. I want to start keeping friends instead of seeing someone and doing nothing with it. I also want to be the one who maintains that friendship be it through just random phone calls or invitations. I mean, friends are everywhere. I can't believe how many times I see someone, think they are going to be a certain way, and they end up being someone I'd never expect. They usually end up to be very giving people, even those who come out with aggressive personalities. Beyond conversation, it comes to that point where it's like that's not a problem when you desire to know about these people, and I think the desire comes from some of the understanding I see now about people.
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-15-2008, 05:12 PM
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Re: Striking and maintaining conversations with strangers


Nice realizations and observations, bwidger85.

Gerard
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-26-2008, 10:10 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Striking and maintaining conversations with strangers


I've learned some things about myself lately that maybe I couldn't see before. Here are a few:

1) Whenever I start to feel anxious or scared or worried or lonely somehow I've managed to link it with socialization. For me, it really is linked to that. Like at work, if people are conversating I'll start to feel left out and will automaticlly desire to join the group, and not because I am naturally excited to have a conversation, but rather because I've built up a complex that basically induces a certain sense of loneliness if I don't and reward if I do. Now, whether this is healthy or not I regonize it's still major progress from not doing nothing and being too afriad to. It's different now, almost as if being social as become an outlet to release a lot of negativity, which leads me to believe how negative I can be without some sense of progression or acceptance. I've also learned by trying more things, things just come easily. It's a simple ultimatum because what you put in is what you get back. I'm always suprised how much easier it is to just go and do it than what I think it's going to be. It's always easier and it always makes me feel better when I do it. I never feel bad for trying to make something happen or applying myself. I used to think making friends would be hard for me but that's simply because I never tried or took small opportunities throughout my day to make it happen. Friends are easy to make and so are girlfriends. You just have to change your perspective or at least experiement to see how your pysching yourself out. It can also be that you simply just don't understand something clearly because you don't have enough experience to see some differences. Therefor, it's important to me to keep trying things to enable me a more clearer and healthier perspective of myself and others.

2) I've also began to see how much my mind distorts things. I heard something the other day off the internet about how as human beings we tend to assume things because our minds are conditioned to want to have an answer whether it's right or wrong. Your mind, if limited to, will believe in whatever source available just to give an answer to something. So basically, I've been training my mind to see things differently without even knowing it, and with enough experience and trials I've been able to pick apart some of my old thoughts and replace them with more refreshed versions of something, and usually if it dosen't feel right I'll know and will want to pick it apart more through trial and error untill I feel right about it. I've been doing this for years now and I've come to see things much differently to the point where I am beggining to think that I'm not shy at all just looking at things differently, and the amazing thing is when I think like that I'm not shy! I remember about a year or so ago I stopped believing I have SA and I still don't think I do. Instead, I've replaced it with being super shy, to shy to a point where it's simply just a perspective and that perspectives are options given by the indivisual. From there, I've learned that my perspectives are generally wrong whenever fear with people is involved and I know this because I've done things that have proved that theory correctly, and sometimes the truth is more damaging than the anxiety and frusteration itself!

3) I've made a personal goal to try and enjoy my life more whenever possible. I have backed it with the fact that how fast my life is starting to zoom by. Also, I realize all this **** that I thought was basically wrong, I feel as though I have deprived myself of love and enjoyment. I've been feeling more regret than ever. It's inspired and modivated me not to take life for granted. Friends have become very important to me, as such my desire to express myself and feel certain levels of acceptance, which has given me a personal desire to be more social. Friends have become a MAJOR player in my desire to have a more enjoyable life, and honestly, I myself am shocked because I never thought I'd get to this point. It's refreshing because I've shown myself that life can change if your willing to try and believe in it hard enough. When I get bored now I don't get on the computer all day anymore, but instead I'll text or call a friend and it's become a source of enjoyment because it rids myself of any sort of negativity, which I believe is my definition of being lonely. The more I'm away from people the more I get depressed and the more I become confused and the more I get inside my own head to the point where I negativly distort my image of the world. This is proof to myself that we are social creatures and we NEED social interaction or we become, in a sense, ill. This leads me to believe that people with SA are simply so far out of sync with being human and socializing that they have distorted themselves to the point where it seems improbable to be connected with others. This is sad, and it hurts me to say because I was there myself and I can relate, yet the only way out is to become more social, which is something people with SA are TERRIFIED to do.

4) I may be wrong in this assumption but experience has shown me that people seem to see me better than myself, which really says something about how I view myself. People are often shocked when they find out about some of my doubts and fears becasue they assume by appearance I am a different person. Maybe in the past I was really hard on myself, but anymore I really to honor myself because I realize that it is where it typically begins. My respect for myself has grown probably because I have put myself through enough things to somehow, somewhere discover that I'm am the most important thing in my universe, which may seem concieted but unless you desire to love and please yourself you'll never be truely happy I don't care what anyone says. All of my effort in whatever I've done in my life has been an attempt to make myself happier. Some of my attempts were unsuccessful and some weren't. It's not a concieted or selfish thing to honor yourself above others. What tends to be wrong is whenever you disrespect others improperly without having reasonable evidence to do so. Love yourself and be kind to others because more than often you'll find that those people you assume to be a certain way usually aren't, or at least from my experiences. Knowing all this, it have encouraged me to be more loving to myself because I'm seeing that in many ways I'm simply to hard on myself and still blame things that are out of my control on myself.




I'm sure there are other things but these things ring out the most in my head at the moment. My conversational goal has been amped to be more happy with or without certain things in my life, which is something I really want to uphold.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-29-2008, 03:00 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Striking and maintaining conversations with strangers


Now, I'm not sur because it's really, really nice out or what but I feel very passionate about a few things and inspired to make some new lifelong goals. I may say some things that are like kind of obvious here but they really are fantastic things...

Apreciate things more. That's it. Really, really just try and aprpeciate thigns more. Appreciate thigns because they are limited for seasons, years, days, minutes. Appreciate things because they are naturally beautiful. What's beautiful? The sky is beautiful. The trees are beautiful. The site of kids and their estatic states are beautiful things. Your not here forever. Your life is like a desicion. Every desicion is something you decide on making whether your sure of this or not. Belive in yourself. Say great things about yourself. Appreciate people. People are probably one of the best resources in your life in many, mnay, mnay ways.

The fact is, social anxiety is a practiced response. It's just your head filled with negative thoughts. That's really all it is. Most of those thoughts aren't even real. As a matter of fact, there are more beautiful things in this world then there are ugly. You may say that the War is ugly, and it is. You may say that people are scumbug, selfish, unconsiderate people, and some are. You may thing that politics, the Bible, etc are all just lies and more lies. Yet when you step back and focus on what is truely amazing and beautiful in this world it outweighs all the negative. Everything is beautiful. You, me, trees, grass, water, birds, old people, young people, pennies, dimes, w/e! Everything is beautiful. I say this because everything has a story behind it. Even change like pennies or dimes have stories behind them. You may recall some of our presidents and what some of them had did. You may recall some of the negative things that happened during that time. You may also imagine the time when you were ins chool and your history teacher lectures and told you stories of such events. For me, remembering those times are beautiful. They are beautiful because I remembered how I felt back then. Everything back then seemed to be new. I remember summer, school girls with pony tails and, gym class and sweating it out, i remember my first locker, i remember how shy i was with girls and how some girls thought i was cute, i remember losing a tooth in the bathroom in sixth grade, etc. Look at me now, I'm 22 and those yesterdays are gone. It's not a sad thing, but rather a remembered me when I was just a boy. Sounds corny I know. Sounds like Sandlot type stuff, but why not? Why not be a softy and go with the whole "baseball and buble gum" type stuff? It's positive and it's beautiful. Why instead replace that thought with things such as, "oh, that stuff is stupid. life isn't like that". Why replace it with that?

I'll repeat myself here when I say that people are probably THE best resource for happiness you can achieve. I mean, seriously. For people with SA, happiness and people seem to be so separate from eachother they can't even imagine that. But really, most people should be celebrated the same way you'd celebrate bueatiful colored trees or quite sunrays in a whistling wind. Why? Because first of all, they are just like you. You are human, they are human. They aren't somthing different. Your both from the same species. You both feel the same, love, the same, hate the same, cry the same, want the same. Blah blah blah. I'm going into detail ehre let me just get to my goals...

My goals are to try more. My goals are to appreciate more. My goals are to become more passionate in my everyday living no matter my circumstance. To appreciate myself more. To take advantage of my fears and use my fears to modivate me to overcome them or at the very least understand them better. I want to walk into a place, not know anyone and automatically have great feelings and be excited about speaking with them. I want my conversations to be meaningful and not just a goal. I want to smile because I really want to smile and not because of how it makes me look. I want to trya nd take advantage of everyday by having something positive come out of it no matter the circumstance. I want to dwell on more positive rather than negative. I want to make caring friendships, one's that heal, inspire, and support. I know these friendships are out there. I desire to be more of a friend because I know how important it is I keep my friends. I want to celebrate the people in my daily life whether it be someone I know or don't know. I want to enjoy people. I want to be enjoy life more. I don't want to worry about what I don't have but ther appreciate what is already here and not overlook them because everything and everyone is already here.

Everything for you is right outside your doorstep and my doorstep. People are like a confidence source. Relationships develope thigns inside you that you simply cannot do by yourself. People give you energy. You walk away with a sense of inspiration and appreciation for life more than before you decided to see them. People are like an adventure. They all have stories to tell, things to show you about yourself and others, etc. But unless your able to appreciate yourself first none of this will be possible. Whatever it takes learnt o appreciate yourself. Why? Because if you can achieve this I really believe you'll feel the same passion I feel today for the rest of your life if your able to keep at it. I started this thread off talking about conversation and just talking to people wihtout being scared, etc. Now, I feel I can talk to anyone. I am beggining to believe people really like ym personality because I've made a desicion to be more than just a face but give love, show love, just be more uplifted. When your modivated it spreads. When you feel passionate it spreads. When you want to love someone it spreads. When you feel happy and positive about life in general your emotions just change, your thoughts change, your body language changes, your voice changes, your eyes change, your smile changes, your passion begins to sprout, your modivation picks up speed, you start to believe and try more and more, you become what you try and what you think and try. You become something you didn't think was possible. You see that things aren't as what you saw them before. Just start somewhere, anywhere. If your afriad of people, do whatever it takes and start by building positive experiences with being around people. After that push yourself to try and mainttain conversations with people and link positives to that, etc. Just build up and up and up. The other day I saw somethign on TV that made me kind of saddned so I wrote it down and wrote things about it until I made it more realistic and positive and I felt great! I literally changed my mood! I believe now I can mange my moods. I can decide to be sad, I can decide to be happy. Just do anything. Sometimes you have to link what you want with what you don't want for it to work. Sometimes you have to be terrified of something and do it anyway so you can see it's really not that bad. Sometimes you DEFINITLY should say what's on your mind and be shocked and respectful when you find out that people are more compassionate about your feelings than you think! People are great people. Some are not. It's your job as being a healthy indivisual to find out what makes you happy. I really believe people are one of the biggest sources! Believe in what I just said because I swear to you that I once believed I had SA. I was suicidal many times. I couldn't walk out of my house. I couldn't be in a car. I couldn't go to school. It crippled me. Well think of it this way, the only reason why you have SA is because your reinforcing it. You decide to stay in all day. You decide not to talk to people. You decide to fill your head with unessecary beliefs and images of things that just AREN'T TRUE. I'm not bull****ting. Most of the things you think about yourself and others AREN'T ****ING TRUE. They are not true. They aren't. When you TRY without critisizing or giving up, when you really really really put everything you have into being more possitive you will absolutely become more possitive. You will become more confident because you'll see that people are great and something you really need in your life. You'll be more modivated to face your fears. You'll be inspired to try new things. You'll keep pushing yourself and everything will come with it. You happiness is a desicion. What are you doing right now that can change it? Do soemthing and don't give up. Learn that some of your fears are illogical because they relate to things that aren't harmful to you all all. Picuter your instense fear as a feeling you get that is telling you whaetever it is that your illogically fearing is something you need to learnf rom because if you knew more about it you wouldn't fear it as much. I feel fear all the time. I feel loneliness a lot. I've learned most of the things I fear are things I haven't come to appreciate yet or things I simply don't have enough knowledge on. When you face your fears you open up everything that you've been hiding from and that opens up new routes for you to take. The more you push yourself into your illogical fears, and if you try and maintain and grasp a positive from it, overtime you'll see that most of those fears weren't true at all. I have got a lot of regret for because I remembered not being able to see thisa nd not being able to enjoy life more.

Anyways, those are my goals. I will try and remember them and live them everyday. I have gave myself so much over this last year or so to my wellbeing without evern knowing it and I am starting to see the effects of it all. It's just great.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-29-2008, 03:32 PM
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Re: Striking and maintaining conversations with strangers


I wish you the best of luck
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-31-2008, 09:59 PM
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Re: Striking and maintaining conversations with strangers


I have not read any of your posts, their really long :P haha

But that is an awesome idea, I love going out and having a good time with friends in public... but I would LOVE to be able to do that on my own at any time of the day, to enjoy that freedom of being able to be comfortable in conversation and be able to approach strangers with ease.

Time to Plow through some fears!

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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-05-2008, 04:22 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Striking and maintaining conversations with strangers


Thanks guys for the responses





So what now if you try to meet new people, get numbers, become friends, become more social, blah blah blah? You may have to keep on asking yourself why your doing all this. For me, not only did I have to have a very personal reason to do so, after I started to obtain friendships I had to rethink what I really thought a friend was. I had to basically ask the odds and ends of everything related to MY idea of friendships, then I started looking around and getting ideas of how others, particularly very "social" people, spend their social times with friends, family, etc. Let me share with you some of the things I've found that may suprise you...

First of all, people with SA are just hard on themselves. They think that something is terribly wrong with them. Once again, it's not that there is anything wrong with you it's the fact that your not seeing things from a certain point of view. This is why, at least for me, it's important that I can prove to myself I am capable. Why prove? I proved to myself I was capable of making friends because I needed that reasurrance. It was obvious I had a very negative view of myself and others and in making more friends has cured me of that perception and has given me a much healthier outlook. Now it seems almost like the more people I meet the better because they all give me so much to reflect upon and in turn it modivates me to be more outgoing, which in turn creates a positive self image, which in turn breaks down barriers and limiting beliefs, which in turn just life more enjoyable. So basically, this paragraph is about having your own reason. Have your own reason and in time things just start happening once you apply yourself. This is something I'm beggining to realize. I've noticed that the work I put into friendships is the same thing as the work I put towards work or school or w/e. The idea is that what you give is generally what you get. In real life, it's rare that anyone goes out of their way to help you unless you can offer them something or be the one who does the action. An example of being the one who does action first would be if you wanted to do something on the weekend, you invite them instead of them inviting you. The more you see that what you put in is what you get out the more you'll apply this to people. This is the way the world turns so get over it and find your own personal reason to become more social. For me, I can list trillions of reasons now, especially since this is something that I think about all the time. Being social, to me, is something every human on this planet NEEDS. Without human interaction we become desensitized and depressed.

When I started to really focus on how other's spend their social time with friends and family I really started to reflect on that as the "norm". I started to see that these people spent lots and lots of their time dedicated to their friends. Ok, why then? Why do all these people spend so much of their time with friends? At first, it just didn't make sense to me because I still feared people. At that time I had no reason to be around people. I didn't become interested in people untill I broke my fears. Me becoming social first started as trying to prove to myself that I can do certain things. I started doing things even though I was terrified of them. The hardest part was just doing it. Then I started to realize that people really aren't that bad. I still had insecurities with myself and still do but got to that point where I realize it's all in my head and it's more important to me to enjoy myself than to worry what others think. My point is you develope a sense of courage and trust in yourself if your able to do these thigns consistently. What is even more amazing is that, even if you don't realize it happening, and if you continue moving forward, you unknowingly begin to desire to want to be around people. It's all fairly simple stuff you just have to apply yourself and stick in there no matter how you feel. If your fearful it's obvious you need to change your mindset. If your doubtful for w/e reason you should ask yourself if you can view it any differently. Try to find something that being around people gives YOU. Anyways, I drifted off topic here so let me begin a new paragraph(lol)...

So what's the "norm" in having a healthy social life? It's not about going out everynight to prove to yourself you can do it. The whole idea of it might of stemmed for a way to break your fears but eventually, at least for me, it will develope into fun. When you desire to be around people you desire to have fun with them. When you have developed a sense to want to be around people and it does not happen, you tend to get a stronger sense of lonelyness as well. However, this lonelyness is a huge modivational factor. Honestly, there is no "norm" in how to live a social life. Work, family and other events defy the role of having a set time for a "normal" social life. So just throw having a "normal" social life out the window and focus on why your doing all this in the first place. I see that being more social, fearful or not, has made me more confident, modivated and joyace in life because I'm willing to try new things.

Finally, which is something I've just learned about myself, is the idea of matching your friendhsips with your own personality. This may seem like a no brainer but for me it was hard to understand because the people I used to hang around with and my own self image I held abotu myself. I see now that some of my old friends are still doing nothing in life and staying at home smoking pot. Ok, so what? Well, being that I'm on this personal mission of mine to develope friends and more confidence in myself, they aren't helping me. In other words, instead of doing things that will make me happier I found myself going back to them and hanging out with them in order to fullfill the idea of being more "social". Well, in essence, I was being more social but it was frusteratin because I still was modivated only on the condition of proving myself. It wasn't untill I opened the idea of making friends with anyone did I start to develope a sense of enjoyment being around others. It showed me that I can hang out with strangers and still enjoy myself. I didn't have to hang out wiith the same old friends to enjoy myself. I also found out that being able to make NEW friends is just as exciting as hanging out with old friend, or those you may feel comfortable with. The idea of making new friends has showed me that sometimes learning about people can be more entertaining than cracking joke with your old pals. As far as this paragraph is concerned, a question arises that has bothered me for a while. The qestion once again consists of matching my personality with others. Recently I've been really trying to focus on my own personality and how I get excitement from my own personality. So, I'd ask myself things that pertain to expressing myself and enjoying myself. What I've found is I like funny, intelligent, kind, open people. What is amazing is I think I know why I like those people. I probably like those people because that's what I enjoy in myself. These are personaity triats that I would like myself to portry and I like others who have them as well. We will call this morals. You want to develope friendships with people who maintain the same morals as you, or at least close to. You do this because if you match yourself up with someone who violate your personality(morals), then you'll find yourself not enjoying yourself and may even have remorse for them. Personally, I have grown intolerant of people who tend to do more harm emotionally than good. I refuse to put myself around people who do not respect my personality, what I do or think. Those who respect my personality(morals) are in turn respected by me. I've found that having a match in morals means having a match in mutual enjoyment together. It seems as if, at least for me, if I am able to match myself up with people who share my same morals it gives me a chance to be "me" more. It gives me a chance to express myself more, to encourage more, to be modivated, to in general, express myself in full, which is important to my own wellbeing. This paragrpah explains the importance of choosing to have friends with the same personality(morals) as you do. This is all a perspective of corse but it feels good and it give me something to build upon and understand more in depth.

-So i should ask myself why I don't desire to be around certain people. Why? It is beggining to be more and more clear to me it's their personalities. I should maintain an open outlook however.

-On the flipside, what is it about the people I want to be around? This in turn, I believe, will help me develope more true friendships and have a more entertaining CLOSE group of trusted friends with whom I truely desire being around.
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