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I don't.
 

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Start paying more attention, watch what other people say and do, you can start to learn, and then try stuff yourself. It's not as difficult as you fear it is, you're socializing right now by posting on a message board. You just say something, and people say things back
 

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I don't either. This probably isn't the greatest place to ask for advice on how to socialize, since most of us are here because we don't know how to. Seems this is a skill that's never formally taught yet we're all expected to know it. Well, I don't know it.
 

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Procedure for socializing:
1)Ask open ended question
2)Answer your own question
(or vice versa)
3)repeat

And here's my list of open ended questions that i came up with myself:

Career
Do you get along with boss/coworkers?
What would be your ideal job?
Do enjoy your career?
What do you love/hate about it?
How much money do you wanna make and what would you do with it?

Interests
What do you like to do in your free time?
What is your ideal vacation?
What did you do today? this week?
What are your biggest challenges?
What's the best thing in your life?
What have you achieved lately?
Got any hobbies?

Upbringing/family
Do you have a lot of friends?
How was life growing up?
Get along with parents/siblings?

Goals
What are your hopes and dreams in life?
If you could change anything about you, what would you change?
What contributions do you want to make?
What's your biggest wish?
If you could be anyone, who?

My personal interest questions, which are things I enjoy talking about:
Ajay's interests
Do you use computers a lot?
Like watching youtube videos?
Do you workout? Gym? Nutrition? Yoga? Fighting? Sports?
What do you do to improve health/fitness/relationships/friendships/social
Do you like walking around the mall?
Like going to movies?
Best/worst comedy/movie?
Favourite food? Color?
Seen the news lately?

Relationship Questions (after you know them well)
What you like/hate about opposite sex?
Funnest place to go on date?
Should guys be chivilarous? Bad boy?
Do you want marriage? Kids?
What would the ideal relationship be like?
Ever been in love?
Top attractive body parts?
Stupidest thing a gf/bf could do?
Who should pay for who?

All of these questions will bring up new interesting topics which can be questioned. Most of these open ended questions can be followed up with "why?" answer the whys for yourself as well, equal amounts of getting to know each other is ideal.

....of course, this isnt the real problem is it. Ive seen plenty of people who never spend a second memorizing lists of topics and they socialize alot and like it.
The problem here is there seems to be a subconscious aversion to socializing.

The solution to that is to learn to love doing it by doing it and having fun doing it. So using these open ended questions may just help with that :D
 

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For me to socialize I feel I have to be funny. The easiest way is to make fun of...myself. most times people don't get my warped sense of humor and then it's not funny at all. no one laughs and then its' awkward. having a serious conversation seems stupid unless its a topic i like otherwise I really don't care. I always try to turn it into a joke, make sarcastic comments and generally be negative. I can sense people tire of this routine quickly.
 

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Unless you have aspergers or some sort of autism I think deep down we really do know how to socialize but we doubt ourselves so much we just can't. At least that's the case for myself it's an irrational phobia I can't seem to pass even if I tell myself "what's the worst that could happen?" dosen't matter what the situation is or who the person is it's like being afraid of spiders or something.
 

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SA makes people self-obsessed and so you 'tune out' from social interactions, you're too busy worrying in the moment to just react.

Also, the sort of questions AJ gives as examples are the sort everyone gives as advice, like, just say, 'how is the weather?' And personally I used to read these questions as being sort of stilted, contrived, artificial, and unlike anything people actually say to each other. And some of them are sort of 'job interview' questions that people can't respond to without a somewhat prepared answer. If you say to someone sitting next to you on a bus, "So, what do you like to do with your free time?", it'll be a little awkward. If you see someone sitting next to you on a bus reading a book you recognize, and you say, "How do you like that book?", it can sometimes spark a conversation. And you might learn that the person likes Harry Potter just like you do, or that they like the book but hated the movie, or whatever. And convos branch off.

Obviously, if your mind is overflowing with anxious thoughts and self-scrutiny, you might not notice that the person is reading a book at all, or you might not think to talk about the fact that you've read the book too, or whatever. You have to pick your opportunities to make small talk, and you have to pay attention to what's going on around you. All stuff which is hard for us, because we're stuck in our heads.
 

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I don't either. It's not really about me not knowing what to say, but me being conscious of a voice in the back of my mind saying that people won't like me and won't even want to talk to me in the first place. I also hate attention and I feel as though in order to socialize I have to draw peoples' attentinon to myself and I don't like the idea of that.
 

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I hope to never have the misfortune of meeting somebody who wants to ask those questions. Those are perfectly fine questions for NORMAL people, but they're a real problem for me. All the work-related ones are a problem when I'm literally done nothing for the last 14 years. Try to explain that in any way that doesn't sound insane.

For most of the questions on your list I'd either have no answer or my answer would fall so far out of the norm that the question asker would think I'm insane; an assumption that may not be inaccurate.

And here's my list of open ended questions that i came up with myself:

Career
Do you get along with boss/coworkers?
What would be your ideal job?
Do enjoy your career?
What do you love/hate about it?
How much money do you wanna make and what would you do with it?

Interests
What do you like to do in your free time?
What is your ideal vacation?
What did you do today? this week?
What are your biggest challenges?
What's the best thing in your life?
What have you achieved lately?
Got any hobbies?

Upbringing/family
Do you have a lot of friends?
How was life growing up?
Get along with parents/siblings?

Goals
What are your hopes and dreams in life?
If you could change anything about you, what would you change?
What contributions do you want to make?
What's your biggest wish?
If you could be anyone, who?

My personal interest questions, which are things I enjoy talking about:
Ajay's interests
Do you use computers a lot?
Like watching youtube videos?
Do you workout? Gym? Nutrition? Yoga? Fighting? Sports?
What do you do to improve health/fitness/relationships/friendships/social
Do you like walking around the mall?
Like going to movies?
Best/worst comedy/movie?
Favourite food? Color?
Seen the news lately?

Relationship Questions (after you know them well)
What you like/hate about opposite sex?
Funnest place to go on date?
Should guys be chivilarous? Bad boy?
Do you want marriage? Kids?
What would the ideal relationship be like?
Ever been in love?
Top attractive body parts?
Stupidest thing a gf/bf could do?
Who should pay for who?

All of these questions will bring up new interesting topics which can be questioned. Most of these open ended questions can be followed up with "why?" answer the whys for yourself as well, equal amounts of getting to know each other is ideal.

....of course, this isnt the real problem is it. Ive seen plenty of people who never spend a second memorizing lists of topics and they socialize alot and like it.
The problem here is there seems to be a subconscious aversion to socializing.

The solution to that is to learn to love doing it by doing it and having fun doing it. So using these open ended questions may just help with that :D
 

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Me too.
I work in a coffee shop and I have lots of regulars who come in, and I feel like after 2 years of working there I should be having coversations with them like my other co-workers do, but all I do is exchange "how are you?" I feel so stupid. I want to say something more, but my mind freezes and I cant think of anything.
 

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I've been working for the same company for 8 years. In those 8 years I've had several promotions and of course ended up working with different people and got moved to different offices or cubes. What I noticed is I become much more sociable and talkative with the people I sit with but only during the time that we share seating in the same area. So the people that I used to sit near and used to talk to now I don't all that much and I feel weird and don't really know what to say. I think it's the day to day familiarity that makes me more comfortable with some people but if I don't see them every day it's almost like I had never really known them. Weird.
 

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I know how to socialize when I'm not anxious. When I'm anxious, I'm a social retard.
Me too. I'm a great socializer on rare occasions, not so much at other times. I like to think that's my "real personality" if there is such a thing. It's as if the anxiety acts as a roadblock to your thoughts, forcing your thoughts to detour to sometimes uninteresting or strange subjects.
 

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Anxiety really shuts down your brain, so it goes blank as far as thinking of things to say. It doesn't work to just force yourself through it - it would just be an awkward conversation. You have to work on being able to really relax in social situations, to where your thoughts can flow freely. Then you can just look around the room and some topic will pop into your head and goes out your mouth without worrying too much about it.

Of course, if you have strange interests, talking to a 'normal' person will get you some strange reactions. And will probably lead to developing SA. :roll
 

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Start paying more attention, watch what other people say and do, you can start to learn, and then try stuff yourself. It's not as difficult as you fear it is, you're socializing right now by posting on a message board. You just say something, and people say things back
Excellent advice. This is what psychologists call the modeling method.

To be honest, I'm skeptical of other SAer's claims that they are lacking social skills because most SAers have low self-efficacy to begin with. In other words, they doubt they have good social skills which of course doesn't mean they actually have poor social skills.

I forgot exactly where I read it, but there was research done on which treatment would be best for SAD. In vivo desensitization with cognitive restructuring or the former alone were the most recommended. Social Skills training wasn't seen as necessary for most SAers because they actually have decent social skills.
 

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I don't know how to socialize either. In general I'm only able to ask or answer questions and explain some situation, and that's it. I barely choose words in my own language. My english is bad, I can't make up a coherent sentence on the fly. So not to embarrass myself, I just don't talk in english, unless it's absolutely necessary. And here in Brooklyn it's not always necessary. Even my therapist and shrink are russian. With them I socialize pretty well, but not with people I don't know.
 

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Usually, in situations where I'm forced to socialize for brief periods of time, I do okay with it.
I tend to ask others a lot of open-ended questions about themselves, keep the focus on them, and off me.
Most people love to talk about themselves, and I truly find it interesting to learn more about them.
 

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I know how to socialize when I'm not anxious. When I'm anxious, I'm a social retard.
Exactly the same for me! Whenever I get anxious I get stuck in a rut and end up wasting my time, wishing things were more normal for me. Just now for example the entire street went carol singing and were all invited round to one of the neighbours' house. I watched, seeing how the families and friends were all out enjoying themselves. Meanwhile I'm stuck inside with my brother and father who are just as socially retarded as me, but worst of all are very boring and always at their laptop/computer. I wish socialising just happened regularly and naturally in my family, but sadly it doesn't. :(

(P.s Just joined, hi everyone :) )
 
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