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Little Winged One
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Say,preteen and teen years. Perhaps if it isn't learned at this critical stage it becomes difficult/impossible to ever truly "get it"? I'm talking about the many subtle but highly important facets of social interaction. The ebb and flow of conversations,making small talk,facial expressions,etc.etc. Are many of us doomed to be permenant outsiders,always slightly off in key areas? So subtle that most couldn't pinpoint the exact issues,but giving others a feeling of general unease?
 

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Done with SA
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It could be since people seem to believe school age (from pre school to high school) are the key years for social development. But, while I believe that, I don't think that is the cut off period or that there really is one. I think it just gets more difficult the older you get. When you're younger, your entire life is usually centered around going to school and being around people your own age, having to socialize with them whether you want to or not, making you or giving you the chance to learn social cues and interactions, but once you leave that stage and you're on your own more, you have to create those chances and situations to be social yourself. Continue schooling, get a job, go out, join things. If you don't do these things, your chances to have and learn social interactions and cues lessen as time goes on to the point that you think you'll never be able to learn them and you're off on some things, but that's just my thinking. I could be wrong.
 

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colliver55
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My social worker has told me that I probably will never recover as such because I had social anxiety from a young age. She thinks I may improve slightly but I'll always have deficits in my ability to socialise. So I would say yes its possible you need to learn your social skills at a young age.
 

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I don't think it's ever too late to learn social skills. However, after a certain age people just seem to have their friends, so meeting others and establishing those friendships becomes more difficult.
 

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My social worker has told me that I probably will never recover as such because I had social anxiety from a young age. She thinks I may improve slightly but I'll always have deficits in my ability to socialise. So I would say yes its possible you need to learn your social skills at a young age.
You need a new social worker ;)
 

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A Living Woman
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3,464 Posts
I'm studying early childhood development and it is obvious that keys to social interaction are very important to establish from infancy on. Those first few years are so crucial to the overall development of a child. That's when you're learning and growing most, when the foundation of who you are in the world is laid. I think adults tend to make their children focus on formal education before they're ready to and forget that social-emotional development is VERY important at that age. If you are not socially-emotionally developed appropriately, it has such sad effects. If certain connections in the brain aren't stimulated, they die. From that point on, it just gets harder for people to develop other, healthier habits, you know?
I think it's possible to change but not without A LOT of hard work. Those are years you will never get back. You will never return to that level of absorption. You will never be a clean slate. BUT you can change your behavior. It doesn't make your experiences go away. It just means you're dealing with it differently. I guess the never, never, never makes it really negative but hey, everyone has been tainted, haha. People in general always have something they need to work on, something that will take a lot of time and energy so really...it kinda makes you normal in that sense. ;)
 

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Gun-Shy
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55 Posts
I heard something today that was kind of inspiring. They were talking about how nearly every successful businessman experienced major failures, often cataclysmic failures, and that that's how they learn and finally succeed. They just kept bouncing back and ultimately persevered. Maybe not exactly the same as prevailing over SAD, but still not that dissimilar, especially when it comes to succeeding with ordinary goals like relationships, shopping etc..I learned from my recent dating fiasco and I feel I'm in a better position to succeed next time because of it. Maybe we can't erase the old programming, but we can add new programming. :)
 

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I'd agree.
I saw a show about Feral Children(It's not as cool as being raised by wolves. Most of them were abused or neglected.). It said that if language skills don't develop in the crucial years they can never really learn to comunicate. They can learn words and stuff but not how to use them properly. Socializing must be similar. I understand the theory but it's just entirely alien to me.
 
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