things i've learned since forcing myself to be social - Social Anxiety Forum
 
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-29-2006, 01:14 PM Thread Starter
 
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things i've learned since forcing myself to be social


1. People prefer shallow meaningless conversations, rather than philisophical deep meaningful conversations. Brush up on trends, celebrity goings on, slang, and anything else that would fall in the shallow topic category, you're gonna need it.

2. If you hide from jerky, arrogant, opinionated, annoying, judgemental, you-name-it people for years at a time, for whatever reason, you will lose what social skills you have and it will take you being around jerky, arrogant, opinionated, annoying, judgemental, you-name-it people, failing miserably, embarrassing yourself, flopping like a fish out of water, to get those social skills back.

3. People notice your lack of social skills and will judge you and make comments directly to you and behind your back, some accurate, some inaccurate. Get used to it, people judge people, and ignorance cannot be avoided.

4. You cannot hide and be quiet in a social environment. This is considered unacceptible and weird and you will quickly become an outcast.

5. Making eye contact for too long makes the other person feel too uncomfortable. Also, too short of time makes you seem like a wimp. Time the eye contact perfectly to balance respect and level of comfort for the other person.

6. Be witty and willing to embarrass yourself. People respect that more than seriousness and showing too much intelligence.

7. Reflect how you're feeling through expression. People need the upper hand by being able to read you. If you're stone faced, that invites negative speculation, i.e. angry, mean, aloof, boring, nontrustworthy.

8. Most of all be open and honest. Once people know you're just anxious, that you have a certain level of anxiety in certain situations, they are more understanding and forgiving. You might even make a close friend out of it.

Feel free to add what you've learned, you might help someone else
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-29-2006, 01:47 PM
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Given these points (especially 1, 2, 3, 6), what do you get out of it? Are you actually better off being popular, or is it just intellectual suicide in which you conform? Is it possible to find a middle ground where you can be social with the people who are worth being social with, but not the rest?

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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-29-2006, 02:11 PM Thread Starter
 
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re: things i've learned since forcing myself to be social


I'll try one more time without erasing and starting over....I'm in school again, I have a few more months to go, and I don't want to be the odd one out anymore, especially if I know what it takes to fit in. What I get out of it is learning how to interact with ALL types of people and not just ones i'm comfortable with. Brushing up on social skills does mean you have to put yourself out there and deal with difficult and shallow people. But in that, you can eliminate who you wouldn't consider a friend anyway and save the deep stuff for those who really matter. In the meantime, the middle ground for me is just keep it light, take people with a grain of salt, have fun. What made me hide from people so long was my intolerance to the majority of them. I find that kind of a life is very isolating, boring, limited and depressing so i'm building up my tolerance I guess.
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-29-2006, 03:41 PM
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Tch, I dont like that list of yours. Damn judging people.

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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-29-2006, 06:53 PM
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re: things i've learned since forcing myself to be social


So to sum it up: become an extrovert.

It seems to me that socialising takes a huge amount of effort and supression of your true feelings and personality to actually get anywhere. I wonder if it's actually worth it. Honestly, at the moment i just dislike most people. Not the people on this site.. i like quite a lot of them, but in the 'outside world' i find i don't even want to try to get along with many of them.

Yes, i know.. my bad, it's my own fault for thinking like that and it's no wonder i'm alone. But i'm stubborn and i don't like the idea of having to change my attitude towards and tolerance of people i don't actually want to get know just to find the few i do want to know. Maybe i should just stick to being alone?
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-29-2006, 09:14 PM
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Love the list, especially #6. It is all so true, and I love how you put it.

What I would add to the list?... JUST HAVE FUN!!

Not easy. I know. If only it were that easy.

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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-29-2006, 09:19 PM
 
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re: things i've learned since forcing myself to be social


Great list Zengirl! I do agree with many of your points, however, I think what it really comes down to is finding that elusive "middle ground".An example being number 6, too much sillyness will also lead to loss of respect.

I'll add a few of my own:

1. Never, EVER gossip or say anything negative about anyone...it will eventually come back and bite you in the butt and tarnish your image. I know that's common sense, but sometimes, in the quest for good small talk, this can be hard to resist.

2. Keep your own problems/anxieties/drama to yourself or only share with the best of friends. And when it comes to those best friends, which can be far and few between for most of us, don't unload on them all the time. If you feel the need to talk to someone about "problems" in your life, wait a few days to see if they resolve on their own first. Point being, why over stress the few resources that we have?
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-29-2006, 10:08 PM
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i do agree with some of your points too, up to some degree though. but they are good, which might help out - no matter how difficult they are...

i do think one has to balance up seriousness and silliness.

I'd like to think that in the end, it will be worthwhile.

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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-30-2006, 12:30 AM
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You hit the nail right on the head, zengirl. I love your list for it's honesty and objectiveness.

And I agree, it's all about tolerance and flexibility. I'd also like to add RESILIANCE, the ability to "bounce back" from blunders and mistakes, and quickly move on with life.

We don't have to sacrifice our personality or the core of our being, to live a satisfying social existance. It takes some eye contact and expression on the face. Takes observation, opening up your eyes and ears to the scene around you. Willingness to face folks you're not always fond of, from time to time. The ability to contribute tidbits to group conversations, even if the subject matter seems trivial or boring to you.

Which reminds me (adding to your list)...
Conversation isn't always about the subject matter. Sometimes the function of conversation is just to be with other people. That's probably why many conversations are superficial. Most people are somewhat familiar with pop culture, the weather, and what was on the news last night, so they use common knowledge to form a bridge with others, to reach a common ground. Even when people talk about the latest TV show, it's not actually the TV show itself that they care about. It's the connection you make with the other person that matters.

So when the convo seems boring, try to remember it's not the subject matter that's important, it's the person that's important, the verbal connection between human and human.
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-30-2006, 01:40 AM
 
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The list makes sense but having anxiety and troubles talking to people isn't a choice. I've exposed myself a lot but i'm still pretty much the same - i'm still nervous and having a hard time going to school and socializing in general. If i felt comfortable with others i probably would be witty and open and chitchat with guy next to me
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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-30-2006, 09:28 AM Thread Starter
 
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re: things i've learned since forcing myself to be social


"try to remember it's not the subject matter that's important, it's the person that's important, the verbal connection between human and human"

This is well put. I guess having SA, we forget that because we enjoy being alone so much, but it feels really nice having that connection after not having it for so long.

Someone also mentioned doing those things on the list is hard...it definitely is. I come home sometimes my head hurts so bad I feel like my brain is bleeding, but i'm getting better. A couple years ago, I couldn't look at someone in the eyes without blushing, and for six years I didn't leave my house except to grocery shop every other week. Now I can carry full conversations, I can present my opinion, and i'm getting respect, i'm out around people almost every day. I just need to lighten up a little bit and learn to go with the flow, which is what it takes to be social. As SA'ers we already have the intelligence and depth, just need to come to the surface.
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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-30-2006, 10:21 AM
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Re: re: things i've learned since forcing myself to be socia


Quote:
Originally Posted by ubershy

1. Never, EVER gossip or say anything negative about anyone...it will eventually come back and bite you in the butt and tarnish your image. I know that's common sense, but sometimes, in the quest for good small talk, this can be hard to resist.
wise, wise words

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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-30-2006, 10:27 AM
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re: things i've learned since forcing myself to be social


i dont know about #5. you make eye contact with someone youre talking to or someone who is speaking. the eye contact should last as long as the conversation. eye contact without a conversation though would label you a 'freak'

#8- open and honest yes, but not with mental health. society is not ready to accept mental health yet so its best to keep that to yourself. you'll find very few people who will be understanding/supportive. everyone else will either not care, pretend to care, not understand or label you 'freak'

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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-30-2006, 10:37 AM
 
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i like your list, zengirl, very helpful, i learnt a lot from it.

thank you very much!
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