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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys!

I'm a 33-year-old who doesn't feel like she belongs in the 30+ crowd just yet, "unfortunately" I also happen to be a very deep thinker who doesn't really enjoy smalltalk and all the social/sociable discussions that are meant to ease and grease new encounters. I am not American, have consistently had the same problem in my previous culture; people everywhere want "easy people" to talk with, OR they end up vomiting their entire life or issues at me as though I'm a therapist (which I am not although most people who get to know me say I easily could have been), without even the courtesy of listening to me in return...

I feel I just don't know how "socializing" is supposed to work, or it's done along lines that make NO SENSE to me. I've always been like this but have recently started feeling anxious about the prospect of spending my later years alone, because.... I just don't know how to find people like me! Am really bad at it.

As a random example, if I joined a bookclub, I would be dissatisfied with how shallow most people's interpretation of most books are, and too shy to suggest mine because it's "too deep" for most people and they'd tell me to "not take everything so seriously", OR they feel overwhelmed by my perspective and end up taking it personally; I have an apparent tendency to make people feel small and injure their insecurity which I can freely admit to. :(

The above social scenario repeats itself often, unless I'm lucky to find 1 or 2 people who think on the same lines; unfortunately conversing with only 1-2 people isn't what a club/social gathering/party is about, you're trying to involve everyone and all are supposed to share their point of view or participate on the same footing, leading to my not participating much because I don't feel like talking about *anything* along shallow or obvious lines, and I'd eventually just quit due to my perspective being impopular.

That example sums it up...

I also have a history of anxiety and depression since early childhood (all abandonment and abuse-related) which I understand makes me aloof at times and probably explains why I don't care about "easy" conversation. I'm mostly Buddhist in my life perspective, can respect that most of us have First World Problems but that's really not all there is to life. Thus I don't want to spend my life talking about silly things, or rehashing the same things over and over. I want to move forward...

It seems to me, in person, most people don't want to truly discuss what they think: don't want to be challenged with new perspectives, and they don't challenge me much unfortunately. There's always some weird, polite distance... I am craving a different social experience and find myself stuck in a crowd that wears masks most of the day and seeks distraction by night.

I'm not looking to make friends in 5 minutes, goodness.... but I seem unable to make friends at all, unless "I change". But these are the parts of me I REALLY LIKE!... =/ and don't want to change them for the sake of "being around people" whom I don't truly get along with anyways.

It makes for a very lonely life. So I guess I'm not looking in the right places.

I have trouble finding people who aren't too afraid of putting their honest self out there... I don't myself, because it's not well-received, so I understand the problem. But hey: gotta start somewhere right?

I'm interested in seeing who happens to be hanging out around here, and find out if anyone feels the same!

Thanks for reading. :)
 

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Hi GrinnyStoneElf.

I can relate to a lot of what you said, especially the part about liking some of the ways that you're different.

I'm a deep thinker as well and I love to explore all kinds of weird and wonderful ideas and I could never ever sacrifice this part of myself (it's really my best feature) but it's almost impossible to find anyone on the same wavelength. Even when I had friends they would usually just look at me and shake their heads when I went off on one of my tangents.

I'm terrible, horrible, awful at small talk but if the stars align and I can actually find someone interested in a deep conversation I can talk for hours. About practically anything. Because I love learning. And being challenged is not a problem because it's the only damn way anybody learns anything! I love it. I've always tried to approach every problem from every possible angle and I love a good debate. That's just the way that I am. Alas, my pursuit of truth is largely responsible for why I no longer have any friends. How do you relate to someone when every exchange is superficial?
 

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Welcome, GrinnyStoneElf! :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you for the welcome gentlemen :)


Truant, it sounds like you're very used to this as well! Did any of your friends ever offer explanations or hints as to why they would just shake their heads and refuse to engage more in your conversational direction?

Your reply made me think, sometimes I wonder if I just don't completely fail to see how many different levels there are to "deep" and "superficial" and it makes it impossible for our comfort zones to overlap at all (I have no one to teach me)--for example, in the mind of someone who's not good at swimming, anything deeper than tippy toes is "too deep"... whereas I must be an ocean trench dweller or somesuch. :)

I've been trying to see it "everyone else's way" for years and failing badly at it. Without that there's no way for me to bridge the gap. I'm sure it's obvious to "everyone" but me around here. :b

I should probably just bite the bullet and keep asking around, but even that question seems beyond most people's comfort zones >_<;
 

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Welcome. Sorry you have had such bad experiences so far. Here's to hoping you can find someone to talk to that will be deeper and listen as well.
 

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Truant, it sounds like you're very used to this as well! Did any of your friends ever offer explanations or hints as to why they would just shake their heads and refuse to engage more in your conversational direction?
No one has ever come out and told me why they stopped engaging. I'm sure it's a variety of factors: boredom, intimidation, the sudden realization that I'm a crazy person. I eventually just stopped trying and now I don't really talk to anyone anymore.

I've been trying to see it "everyone else's way" for years and failing badly at it. Without that there's no way for me to bridge the gap. I'm sure it's obvious to "everyone" but me around here. :b
Honestly, I don't think there's a secret. Most people tread shallow water, that's just the way it is. They're happy there, and if you don't mind engaging them on that level you'll fit in. If you want to swim in the deep end you have to find people who want to be there or swim by yourself.

If you want to have better relations with other people and can resign yourself to swimming in the shallow end I can offer a few suggestions.

1. Don't try to help people unless they specifically ask you to help them. 99% of the time when people bring up something that's bothering them they don't actually want to fix it, they just want to ***** about it. Offering unsolicited advice is a good way to annoy people. The correct response is almost always some variation of "That must be hard. I can see why that upsets you." This one is hard for me because I instinctively want to help people but I'm getting better at shutting it down.

2. Don't play devil's advocate. People don't want their beliefs challenged. They want them reinforced.

3. Don't talk about yourself, get other people to talk about themselves. There is no subject in the world more fascinating for most people than themselves and no subject more boring than other people.

Stick to these rules and people will see you as a wonderful conversationalist because they'll see nothing but a perfect reflection of themselves. ;)

What kinds of conversations are you trying to have that other people don't want to engage you? In my case, it's usually about the relationship between thought and conscious experience or something related to that subject.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
What kinds of conversations are you trying to have that other people don't want to engage you? In my case, it's usually about the relationship between thought and conscious experience or something related to that subject.
The exact opposite type of conversation from what those 3 pieces of advice lead to. :)

I suppose that means, overall, I'm also looking to engage people who will provide a mirror of myself, but it's not a "self" I share with many others; I would probably be an awesome conversationalist for the rare folks who see it my way.

It makes me feel a bit better to have read this laid out as such and I appreciate the thought fodder quite a bit... :) Thanks.

A friend (one of the rare people I consider so) explained how meeting people who match you in such ways is like winning the lottery... I kind of feel that's fatalistic so I'm keen on developing a "radar" instead... I'll have to tackle my anxiety in a different way than just randomly engaging people and figuring out if they "fit my bill" or not.

I don't think I've ever seen any "howto" on being able to minimally discuss things with more superficially-minded people though so I'll keep the 1-2-3 tacked on my fridge...!!! :teeth

Have a great one :)
 
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