Can't Talk to Family or Friends...Mute - Social Anxiety Forum
 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-10-2009, 09:26 AM Thread Starter
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Can't Talk to Family or Friends...Mute


For some reason I cannot have a full-on conversation with my own family members. When they ask me something, I'll answer, but in one or two words. Sometimes I don't say anything when they talk to me, I'll nod or do some kind of physical gesture to let them know I heard them. I never start conversation of my own and keep everything locked up inside of me. I get criticism and I take it without standing up for myself. I feel like I can't speak. I don't know if it's because I'm tired all the time or if I just don't care. I just can't do it.

I've heard of selective mutism, and this may be just what it is. Speaking is the most difficult thing for me to do. I'm so introverted and alone all the time, that when someone finally talks to me, my mind goes blank and I can only use gestures or simple words.

I'm going to see a counselor on the 22nd of this month. Perhaps I can get some answers there.

But please, if anyone else struggles with this, let me know. Thank You.
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-10-2009, 09:38 AM
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100% have the same problem. I have a really hard time carrying a conversation with family and friends. My family puts me on edge and makes me blank out just as pad as a perfect stranger. I also never answer more then a few words, and rarely elaborate on anything. I think a common symptom of SA is mind blanking when prompted with an anxious situation. Hence why I write down personal information if I have to make a call. I will forget my phone number, social security etc if asked.

I also find I don't stand up for myself around my family very well either. They come down on me for not doing this, or doing that and I just take it. When many of the times I really should speak up. I really thought all this would fade with age, but it hasn't.
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-10-2009, 09:38 AM
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Hi Silence. Yes I can relate to you with regard to this. My occupation is an audio typist and I rarely speak to my colleagues unless I have to. When someone does speak to me, like you, my mind goes blank. Colleagues make many comments behind my back and I am given weird and hostile looks all the time. I too sometimes feel unable to cope with this. I feel incapable of standing up for myself. I wish I could think of something more helpful to say to you. Best of luck with the appointment with the counselor later this month. I hope the counselling is helpful for you.
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-10-2009, 11:33 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you for your replies!

@Aleforge: It's really disheartening isn't it? When your own family feel like strangers to you. And you're right, this problem doesn't fade with age. I've been dealing with this my whole life and still no change at all. I wish I had someone to speak for me who knew all my thoughts and feelings so I didn't have to verbally put myself on the spot.

@Fairydust: No no, your kind words and the fact that you replied are helpful enough. It's good to know I'm not the only one struggling with this affliction. I also have colleagues of whom I cannot talk with even though I've been with them awhile. Sometimes I try to sit very still so they forget I'm present. lol. I hope we can both get through this.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-29-2013, 03:27 AM
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I feel the same way too,I can't speak with my family.Though I can speak with my friends to some extent,it's my family i have problem speaking with. They love me very much and alway are trying to be there for me but I feel so disconnected from them I don't know why. Makes me feel guilty that I can't talk to them.and your right it doesn't fade with time. Hopeful you get through this this.:/
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-04-2014, 08:46 PM
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Wow I know exactly how you feel and like @Davictoes said I feel so guilty for not speaking to my family. In fact I beat myself up for not doing it and I guess that is what makes me so angry with myself.

Like you said I usually just nod, answer with a few words, or just shrug. My mind doesn't really go blank but I either think of what I want to say and then I just get so tired that I end up mumbling or I just get so angry and frustrated that I have to respond because I try so much to not be seen around the house. When I respond like this I call myself horrible names and go back to the cycle of negative thoughts about myself.
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-04-2014, 08:58 PM
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Another thing forgot to mention was the selective mutism. When I was younger I couldn't speak in front of a class. I believe it was Kindergarten and I had to stand in front of the class and just say what color my jeans were. I couldn't talk at all and it got worse when years later a family friend picking me up from the backseat of a car and my leg kind of got caught underneath the seat in front of my and something sharp cut my leg so deep that blood was running down my leg yet I could not speak which frustrated my parents because they started worrying if other things were happening to me that I was talking about. That incident was over 10 years ago and I still have the scar.

I hardly talk to others unless spoken to but there have been times when I would be talking to a school counselor or my previous therapist and I would get so overwhelmed that my I would shut down for almost 20 minutes and I couldn't speak or hardly move. Both my counselor and therapist were so alarmed that they thought that I was about to harm myself. I was so embarrassed.
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-28-2016, 02:21 PM
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The exact same thing happens to me. I am a 13 year old girl. My parents got a divorce when I was only 4, and since then it seems like I can have a conversation with any of my family members apart from my mom, my dad and my sister. I have been living with my grandparent for almost 10 years and however, I can't speak to them. All I can do is answer when they talk to me. I usually answer with just yes or no, because I feel like I can get any more words out. Sometimes I just nod or shake my head. And the same thing happens with the rest of my relatives. My dad is always mad at me because I don't speak to his girlfriend and her daughter. They think it is because my mom used to insult them all the time, but I am starting to think it might be this. For a while I have been thinking that the only way to explain my behavior is social anxiety. I match most symptoms. I get extremely anxious in any social setting, I can't speak in class and my heart pounds and races, I blush, sweat and my voice crack constantly while giving oral presentations. But know that I know that this is also a symptom of S.A., I am ever more convinced.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-28-2016, 02:23 PM
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I can't* have a conversation with any member of my family, apart from my mom, my dad and my sister.
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-28-2016, 11:31 PM
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Start of with your family members try to speak more do u experience redness when u are speaking to your family members ? or do u sweat
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