How to come up with things to say? - Social Anxiety Forum
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post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-21-2020, 06:19 AM Thread Starter
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How to come up with things to say?


So there are times when i don't feel too anxious and I want to engage with people, but then I have nothing to say. How do I come up with things to say?
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post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-21-2020, 03:33 PM
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Only thing I can say is you need a lot of different kinds of experiences and constant social interaction. After a lot of that, you will finally be able to come up with things to say.

Just a lot of 'hard work' to get better at this. Nothing else has ever worked for me.
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post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-21-2020, 04:02 PM
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Well I always say similar things every time: it should come from your heart
Other than that I could do a list of ideas-
get-to-know-each-other topics (you got a friend, you want to get know them, don't you?)
what's going on in the world
talk about your interests/hobbies
what you're doing, how are you? (don't you care? if not you shouldn't be friends)
care about each other topics, listening, offering consolation, giving feedback
any comments you'd like to say
Hope that helps
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post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-21-2020, 05:46 PM
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Only thing I can say is you need a lot of different kinds of experiences and constant social interaction. After a lot of that, you will finally be able to come up with things to say.

Just a lot of 'hard work' to get better at this. Nothing else has ever worked for me.
this

Even shy people can be sassy sometimes...
I'll put drunk raccoon in my signature as well, because I CAN...
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post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-21-2020, 05:56 PM Thread Starter
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Only thing I can say is you need a lot of different kinds of experiences and constant social interaction. After a lot of that, you will finally be able to come up with things to say.

Just a lot of 'hard work' to get better at this. Nothing else has ever worked for me.
Then I'm screwed. I have so little experience when it comes to social interaction.
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post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-21-2020, 08:09 PM
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Conversation is an art and much like learning to use language more elegantly and tactfully. Conversation with people you have very little in common with requires you to be able to take a topic and then elaborate on it, showing interest by asking questions, relating to what they say, or a common skill is to use something the other person says to go off on tangents.

For example someone might tell you they bought 5 pounds of bananas for a buck at the local market. Now this conversation can take many turns. Chances are you might say "oh that's cheap" and they'd say "yeah I know". That's pretty much the death of the conversation.

To keep it going a little longer you might point out how expensive bananas are where you normally buy them. Then you can proceed to talk about how everything is going up and how unaffordable living is and how the government is screwing everyone over etc.

Or you might ask "where is that market?" They explain the roads to take and some buildings to go past. It can end with you telling them you'll check it out. Or you might recognize a building they mentioned to go past and you begin to tell them you went to that place last week.

Another path this conversation could take is when they tell you they bought bananas you might tell them you need to go and buy some and then proceed to explain the reason such as you want to make a banana cake. They then might tell you about what they cooked then the topic turns to cooking. Then you throw in someone you saw on tv regarding a cooking show. Then they go on about what shows they like to watch etc.
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post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-21-2020, 09:10 PM
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I feel like if I'm really having such a hard time coming up with something to say, there's probably not a reason to say anything.

/WYSD
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post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-21-2020, 10:40 PM Thread Starter
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I feel like if I'm really having such a hard time coming up with something to say, there's probably not a reason to say anything.
Then I'll probably never speak to anyone besides my family.
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post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-22-2020, 12:05 AM
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Then I'll probably never speak to anyone besides my family.
Don't worry OP - you probably just need some practice.

Once you get a bit better at it it won't ever even enter your head that you won't be able to think of something. There's always something to say - but you don't always need to say it obviously.

Most of the time it's just a question of being observant, listening to what the other person is saying and responding, then maybe talking a bit about that or asking them questions. I tend to be careful with the questions though - if you do it the wrong way people might think you're being intrusive or impolite.

A lot of it just comes down to confidence - as with a lot of things. I can get anxious in social situations but it's literally impossible for me not to be able to think of something to say. If anything I often have to try and shut the hell up.
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post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-22-2020, 04:32 AM
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Then I'm screwed. I have so little experience when it comes to social interaction.
I was there a couple of years ago, I thought I was 'screwed' too. My advice? Find a profession that forces you to do those things. You'll get paid to recover from your SAD issues, think of it that way.

I mean you're talking about people in general right? Not friends you already have a lot in common with. Then yeah, I really don't think you're gonna learn to talk to them the way others do unless you 'practise' daily.

Reading advice about it or therapy will never replace the actual moments you are there with a person live. Different kinds of adrenaline kicks in IRL, and you need to get used to those feelings while performing under pressure.

And we need to continue this for life. As far as I have come personally, if I were to say become a hermit for a year and then come back to the real world, I think I will lose all the progress I've made.

So that's all I can offer you, the truth. There's no quick fix. Maybe watch motivational videos to start your process.
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post #11 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-22-2020, 07:11 AM
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i always ask that question of myslef....what to say....someone once told me is that i should keep my slef busy , i dont mean workwise but busy in your other pursuits eg i have an interest in english soccer, so i would ask about that eg how are liverpool doing.....

one question that i think allows room for conversation is to ask somebody have they any holidays planned? you could both discuss that, i use this one alot with the people i meet.....i then tell them about my best and worst holiday destinations eg L.A. was great but barcelona was crap.....i then tell thme why......LA was interesting as i saw all the famous peoples houses, barcelona was crap as there was nothing good to see

anyway, what i want to say is i find it difficult to talk but i do have those two options....i think conversation about holidays is interesting for all....i always keep that one up my sleeve

also are you on facebook, that can give rise to conversation....one of my cousins told me that when they ever meet up with family, they would resort to facebook to get some tips for conversation
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post #12 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-22-2020, 11:20 AM
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I'd learn a list of cues that you can easily use anywhere. As you use them more, you learn how to use them and how they follow into conversations x

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post #13 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-22-2020, 11:37 AM
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Originally Posted by samboychippies View Post
Conversation is an art and much like learning to use language more elegantly and tactfully. Conversation with people you have very little in common with requires you to be able to take a topic and then elaborate on it, showing interest by asking questions, relating to what they say, or a common skill is to use something the other person says to go off on tangents.

For example someone might tell you they bought 5 pounds of bananas for a buck at the local market. Now this conversation can take many turns. Chances are you might say "oh that's cheap" and they'd say "yeah I know". That's pretty much the death of the conversation.

To keep it going a little longer you might point out how expensive bananas are where you normally buy them. Then you can proceed to talk about how everything is going up and how unaffordable living is and how the government is screwing everyone over etc.

Or you might ask "where is that market?" They explain the roads to take and some buildings to go past. It can end with you telling them you'll check it out. Or you might recognize a building they mentioned to go past and you begin to tell them you went to that place last week.

Another path this conversation could take is when they tell you they bought bananas you might tell them you need to go and buy some and then proceed to explain the reason such as you want to make a banana cake. They then might tell you about what they cooked then the topic turns to cooking. Then you throw in someone you saw on tv regarding a cooking show. Then they go on about what shows they like to watch etc.

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Originally Posted by harrison View Post
Don't worry OP - you probably just need some practice.

Once you get a bit better at it it won't ever even enter your head that you won't be able to think of something. There's always something to say - but you don't always need to say it obviously.

Most of the time it's just a question of being observant, listening to what the other person is saying and responding, then maybe talking a bit about that or asking them questions. I tend to be careful with the questions though - if you do it the wrong way people might think you're being intrusive or impolite.

A lot of it just comes down to confidence - as with a lot of things. I can get anxious in social situations but it's literally impossible for me not to be able to think of something to say. If anything I often have to try and shut the hell up.
This thread is funny
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post #14 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-22-2020, 12:35 PM
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This thread is funny
Maybe, but it really is that simple. We just have a roadblock to overcome in order to reach that simplicity.
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post #15 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-22-2020, 03:51 PM
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When you put it this way, everything sounds so scripted. Like we're robots

But it's true. Conversations can only take a limited number of directions

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Originally Posted by samboychippies View Post
For example someone might tell you they bought 5 pounds of bananas for a buck at the local market. Now this conversation can take many turns. Chances are you might say "oh that's cheap" and they'd say "yeah I know". That's pretty much the death of the conversation.
This is me. I usually take the death of conversation route
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post #16 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-22-2020, 05:07 PM
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conversation is about being social. we're social creatures and more so conversation is not very important.
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post #17 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-22-2020, 06:16 PM
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conversation is about being social. we're social creatures and more so conversation is not very important.
Thanks for your glaring insight. This is the equivalent of telling someone who has sa to "just be confident" when confidence comes from years of repeated success and positive feedback from others which many don't have. And conversation is very important to make connections and relationships with others and to avoid being ignored or pushed to the side, singled out, teased and labelled as a weirdo for being so quiet which can cause low self esteem and self image problems. For someone who says they don't have any social anxiety what are you even doing on this site?
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post #18 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-22-2020, 06:39 PM
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Thanks for your glaring insight. This is the equivalent of telling someone who has sa to "just be confident" when confidence comes from years of repeated success and positive feedback from others which many don't have. And conversation is very important to make connections and relationships with others and to avoid being ignored or pushed to the side, singled out, teased and labelled as a weirdo for being so quiet which can cause low self esteem and self image problems. For someone who says they don't have any social anxiety what are you even doing on this site?
'conversation is about being social. we are social creatures and more, so conversation is not very important'. My statement still stands. I did not say I have no social anxiety.
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post #19 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-22-2020, 08:15 PM
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'conversation is about being social. we are social creatures and more, so conversation is not very important'. My statement still stands. I did not say I have no social anxiety.
You said you have no anxiety socializing in your thread "what social anxiety do you have". And the statement that conversation not being very important is what is what you should be about.
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post #20 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-22-2020, 09:09 PM
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You said you have no anxiety socializing in your thread "what social anxiety do you have". And the statement that conversation not being very important is what is what you should be about.
Well you haven't read all my posts or don't know what my social anxiety is about. but anyway, I kind of change my statement. conversational skills is important but not the most important.
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