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Hello everyone,

I'm new to the forums but like many of you, I'm quite familiar with SA. I'm going off to college in a week and I'm not as happy as I would like to be. College offers many new opportunities but I know that I will fail to grasp most of them because of my SA. Basically, I've rationalized my social ineptitude to the point where it seems hopeless to carry a fun, normal conversation with a stranger. I'm hoping that by showing my line of reasoning, someone can prove me wrong or show me something I can do to change my beliefs. So, in most conversations that I've had with strangers, I have only been able to ask questions or discuss specific topics. I haven't been able to tease, make jokes, or do anything that resembles those random conversations we all have with friends. My reasoning for why I can't have casual conversations with strangers is that I'm too self-absorbed. I spend much of time thinking of personal things or topics that are not appropriate for casual converstions. But these are the only things I think about, and so I can't find anything general and interesting to talk about. And yet, I still find myself being flexible in conversation with close friends. All of my friends that I've made in the past have done most of the talking in the beginning. But I know I can't rely on people to do that all the time. And yet, I still hardly ever know what to say. Any good advice, thorough advice anyone? Also, is there a quick technique one could use to drastically alleviate one's nervousness before a speech for example? Thanks.
 

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Your probably just silly around your friends because you know them well. There is nothing wrong with asking formal questions to a stranger - it's actually normal to do that. You may just be putting too much pressure on yourself. Overtime, natural humor comes out of people. Just take it one step at a time. It's ok to be serious at the beginning. Just get to know the person first and things will come naturally. Don't put pressure on yourself to be funny or anything of that nature. Let it happen naturally.

This site emphasizes a lot on taking pressure off yourself:
http://selfpursuit.com/the-art-of-conversation-with-strangers/27/
 

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This is kind of a tricky situation. But, what I'm hearing you say is that you get lost in your own world, thinking of things only you find interesting in your head when other people are talking and you're not sure what to say.

First, take the time to learn about the casual and random things people talk about. In college, people talk about the local sports teams (both at the college and professional), what the teacher said in class, events on campus, and what they did at parties and whatnot. Take time to educate and inform yourself on thing like these by picking up your campus newspaper.

Next, take time to inform yourself about politics and what the big national stories are. Universities are notorious for being highly political and are sure to catch on to any major events.

Third, take time to develop hobbies and interests that you enjoy, but that also other people might enjoy as well. If you feel yours are somewhat unusual, try to develop a couple hobbies that are more widely enjoyed.

Sometimes, if you're slick enough, you can wind very unusual topics into normal conversation, which can be quite humorous. If someone keeps talking about normal things all the time, start saying,"Well, I heard that drinking alcohol excessively can cause your penis to enlarge." Saying unusual things, in the right way, can be very humorous and could make you quite a sought-after person.

Just keep thinking to yourself, "How can I make this work so that I can talk to and be with more people, but at the same time still be true to myself?"

Good luck and let me know if you have further questions.
 

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HaloOfDarkness
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At least you have friends. I'm not all that great at carrying a conversation eiether. It gets to the point where I start bringing up random crap in hopes that they will say something that we can work off of. I think once you hit that point where the silence isn't so awkward anymore then your at a good stage in your relationship. I've noticed the more people that are around, the more talkative people are. If it's just you and a friend, then it gets weird and there's a lot of pressure on the both of you to say something.
 
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