Awkward Silences are terrifying! - Social Anxiety Forum
 
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-15-2010, 02:46 PM Thread Starter
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Awkward Silences are terrifying!


A huge part of my social anxiety revolves around my extreme fear of awkward silences. This is why hanging out with a friend feels like I'm constantly on the edge of a cliff, it's almost a choking feeling. I feel like I have to keep the conversation moving, and I just keep talking. I make people laugh, but it sure takes a lot of effort to act and keep up conversation.
Going out to dinner is very difficult because you have to eat, and keep talking! Haha, this is hard to do!
I am scared to death of a lull in a conversation. Why?
I have some ideas, but I'm not quite sure.
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-15-2010, 02:51 PM
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I think everyone experiences awkward moments sometime in their life, and no one definitely likes them. I think as long as it doesn't happen everytime you are having a conversation wiht someone you shouldn't be worried. The worst thing you can do is acknowledge the awkward moment, that makes it even worse!
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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-15-2010, 03:49 PM
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I feel like I have to keep the conversation moving, and I just keep talking.
I have this same feeling quite regularly. Recently, however, I've come to realise that it's not any more my responsibility to continue the conversation than the other person's. If the conversation comes to a lull, they can try to resume the conversation just as well as I can.

"It is the unknown we fear when we look upon death and darkness, nothing more." -Albus Dumbledore

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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-15-2010, 03:51 PM
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What the person about me said is spot on. You have to be comfortable with awkward silences in fact why call it awkward..it's just a silence and once you get comfortable with it and don't feel like every second has to be filled up with talking it will be a lot better for you.. and remember it's not just YOUR responsibility to fill up the silence..
Now i don't escape during awkward silences and it's not so bad..just takes getting used to..its a big part of my recovery so screw other people and what they think. Once i got used to not being anxious during silences..i found that casual talk came a lot more easy..
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-16-2010, 03:34 AM
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Silences are awkward when the other person is usually a conversationalist and likes talking to people. When you find yourself in situations where that normally chatty person becomes dead quiet with you, it feels as if they don't want to talk to you, or they don't like to talk to you. It means they feel uncomfortable with you and they must wish they were somewhere else.

!!!!!
Hissssssssss
ssssssssssssssss
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-16-2010, 03:45 AM
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Someone on SAS used to have this link in their sig which I thought was excellent:

http://www.purposepowercoaching.com/site/?p=168

life is one big social game
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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-16-2010, 12:22 PM
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I'm still like that, I just have to roll with the punches. I have to change the subject or something.
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-16-2010, 05:50 PM
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Haha I hate those awkward silences. I always worry about them and I am giving up on a relationship because of that.
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-16-2010, 06:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Miss Meggie View Post
If the conversation comes to a lull, they can try to resume the conversation just as well as I can.
Well said.

But yeah, I do indeed hate awkward silences. They just seem to know when to strike to make thing as awkward as they can be.
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-16-2010, 06:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Miss Meggie View Post
I have this same feeling quite regularly. Recently, however, I've come to realise that it's not any more my responsibility to continue the conversation than the other person's. If the conversation comes to a lull, they can try to resume the conversation just as well as I can.
I do feel responsible for keeping the conversation going. But you're right, it is both parties who are responsible.

I get anxious I will "lose" the person as conversation partner, or if they are someone I hope to be friends with, that the will conclude I'm boring or awkward and they will not associate with me.
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post #11 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-16-2010, 06:52 PM
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I have this problem too!
its so stupid!

animals dont care. are we dumber than animals?

Courage is not the absence of fear, it is the decision to act in spite of it.
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post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-16-2010, 06:52 PM
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Remember what Uma Thurman's character tells John Travolta's one in the film 'Pulp Fiction' about awkward silences and why we as humans feel the need to talk about rubbish in order to feel comfortable - why can't we just enjoy the silence. :P
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post #13 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-16-2010, 06:54 PM
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why cant we just poke each other and play around like animals instead of just talking and talking in one long boring unbroken sentence drifting from topic to topic in a way thats really quite hypnotic

Courage is not the absence of fear, it is the decision to act in spite of it.
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post #14 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-16-2010, 06:55 PM
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Someone on SAS used to have this link in their sig which I thought was excellent:

http://www.purposepowercoaching.com/site/?p=168
k, im gona read this

perhaps the answer lies within!!

Courage is not the absence of fear, it is the decision to act in spite of it.
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post #15 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-16-2010, 09:32 PM
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I find awkward silences hilarious.

It all started when I watched The Office...

Ditto on Miss Meggie.
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post #16 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-16-2010, 09:33 PM Thread Starter
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oh haha! yeah, the office is great for those awkward moments
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post #17 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-16-2010, 09:51 PM
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I think you can gauge how close you are to someone by how you both handle silences in a conversation. With my few really good friends it's enough just be hanging out, and we sometimes don't have to say anything at all. but with some people I just feel choked by silence and I have to get out of there as quick as I can or try to revive some part of the conversation.

but silence is natural, I find a bit of comfort in it now...sometimes
YesCanary, you beat me to it, exactly what I was going to say! I still get really uncomfortable with silence sometimes. But I agree with Miss Meggie also. It's not like it's all on my shoulders to make sure the conversation keeps going.

I agree the closer I am to someone, the more I seem to be OK with silence. Sometimes my kids will crawl into my lap and we'll just sit there cuddling with each other, no one has to say anything, we just want to be with each other, and that's enough. I sat with one of my kids watching the rain last weekend, and we ended up going to sleep in the recliner together. I wish I could have friends like that (I have no friends, period). Man, you know you're comfortable with someone if you can be hanging out with them and just nod off and fall asleep next to them...no one saying a word, no one trying to keep up meaningless conversation...
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post #18 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-18-2010, 04:40 PM
 
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Yes! I hate awkward silences. The only way I'm comfortable with them, is around people I'm close to, or my family. I go crazy everytime it happens, especially when it involves a person I like.
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post #19 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-08-2012, 08:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Catty View Post
Silences are awkward when the other person is usually a conversationalist and likes talking to people. When you find yourself in situations where that normally chatty person becomes dead quiet with you, it feels as if they don't want to talk to you, or they don't like to talk to you. It means they feel uncomfortable with you and they must wish they were somewhere else.


Yeeeeeeessssssss God. this is spot on. that's what sucks, is when you know that with ANYBODY else, they would be talking a lot. but with you, they just don't.

I once had a friend visit, who I had never spent time just alone with, it was usually with other people. She stayed for 2 days and we hardly talked at ALL. i tried to bring things up, but got nothing back, and i tried to respond to her thoughts but there was just nothing to say. i can remember going to the city with her to show her around... the whole time we walked we didn't talk. the whole trip home we didn't talk. even though i tried. it was about an hour's drive. it felt like i was being punished for something.

when she left i just cried. and this happens with so many people.. that when they spend time with me they just shut up, and everyone knows I can't keep a conversation going by myself.
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post #20 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-08-2012, 08:33 PM
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I dont understand how its all your fault. Sure if you have not been asking questions etc. But if you have done all the talking and the other person says nothing how is this your fault? Surely the other person feels intimidated by you?

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