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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Someone sent me an interesting question about friendship and I thought I would share my thoughts with you guys:

Let's create a relationship scale:

1. Stranger
2. First-Name basis
3. Acquaintance
4. Indirect friend
5. Direct friend
6. Close friend
7. Best friend

When people meet they go through the stages of the scale. I'm going to describe how you move to deeper parts of the scale below:

When people first meet someone they feel each other out through "small talk." What people are doing is "testing" how similar their personalities and interests are.

If you meet someone who is similar to you, you guys will have a similar sense of humor, similar way of talking, similar interests etc. This will allow for GREATER sharing of personal information with each other. As more of these similarities come out, both people will become more comfortable with each other and begin to know "how to act" around each other. They will start to climb the relationship scale and they will start to push the boundaries of their relationship. The more similarities they have and the more positive validation they get from each other, the more "confident" they become and the higher they can move up the relationship scale.

So how does this relate to you? The problem for many people with social anxiety is that they don't have the confidence to fully be themselves. They are constantly regulating everything they say and do, so it comes out "robotic." Moreover, people with SA are different than most people in the first place, so they find it harder to find "similarities" with the general public. Finally, many people with social anxiety simply don't have the social skills to relate to many people in the general public.

And this is why its important to try and be friends with someone similar to you. If someone is similar to you, the more likely you guys will open up to each other. The more you open up to each other, the more you can have natural, free-flowing and personal conversations.

Friendship is about disclosing personal information to each other and validating each other through similar personalities, values, and/or interests.

For more information about developing social skills look here:

http://www.socialanxietysupport.com/forum/f26/social-skills-101-a-126784/

Let me know what you think. If this topic is of interest to anyone, let me know and I'll write more about it.
 

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Too similar can be a bad thing. I usually feel very awkward talking to someone who is overly quiet like me. Or, sometimes they try to help, saying, "I know exactly what you're going through!" and I'm like, "Oh yeah? Chances are, you're still going through it! How are you going to help me?!" :sus

I think for a lasting friendship, it's important that friends balance each other out in terms of strengths and weaknesses, but share certain key aspects (ex. sense of humor) at the same time. They can be kindred spirits, so to speak, even with completely different backgrounds.

 

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It's a question for me that social skills are something we have to gain by reading books(based on Social Skills) , talking with people or this is something we naturally will never ever have ?
And seriously, i think SA is not a really good thing to be proud of being ourselves , we are fighting with SA after all , so i don't get how i can be fully myself.... and it's really hard to find someone similar , and if we are lucky to find there will be two or three in life
 

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Leben ist verrückt!!!!
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I love this post!!! I've been looking for something like this!!! Thanks.
I think what u said is true. Its just weird that I never really seem to get past stage 2!! :(
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I love this post!!! I've been looking for something like this!!! Thanks.
I think what u said is true. Its just weird that I never really seem to get past stage 2!! :(
It's hard for people with SA to disclose their true personality while also meeting enough different people to find someone similar to them.

The odds of someone with SA who doesn't approach lots of different people making friends is very slim, unfortunately.

What is an indirect friend and a direct friend????
An indirect friend is someone you're friends with through someone else. You guys hang out together through knowing that mutual friend and interact as friends as part of that group. But when that mutual friend is not around, you don't make plans together just you two.

A direct friend is someone you make plans with one to one and also within group settings.
 

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Despite having severe SAD I'd keep finding myself in the best friend or close friend situation before the others. Sometimes I do this without telling people my name. I disclose very personal information immediately. I don't relate to the way others do things and it works for me.
 

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I had a easier time making friends when i was younger but when i got to high school, my SA showed up and couldn't make any close friends and now as a adult out of school it's extremely difficult to make friends other than the people i talk to at work but those are aquintiances.
 

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We cannot tell the precise moment when friendship is formed. As in filling a vessel drop by drop, there is at last a drop which makes it run over; so in a series of kindnesses there is at last one which makes the heart run over.
 

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Nice scale. Pretty theoretical (and smart) too.

I think friendship is about being yourself in company of another so that you feel that you're accepted and liked for that what you truly are. And having fun, enjoyment etc positive stuff in that relationship.
 
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