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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have spent a lot more time with people recently. I take sports classes and have joined a social group via a website. People mess up all the time.

They laugh at inappropriate moments. I sat next to a guy at one meeting who was very outgoing but he was also pretty blind to the signals others sent. He laughed loud and hard at his own jokes and sometimes even when someone had said something a little more serious. It was a bit uncomfortable sitting next to him.

They say stuff that is totally boring. The organizer of that group has gotten into a little spat with a rival group on facebook and told another girl at a meeting all about it. He got all agitated and talked and talked about that other group until she looked at me in a slightly helpless way. It was boring and silly but that didn't make him unpopular at all.

People are moody and don't make much of an effort with others. A guy who I had gotten on well with at one of my sports classes got all aggressive with me during training. It wasn't that bad but it raised eyebrows among the others there. It came totally out of the blue. I don't really speak to him anymore and he seems to regret it quite a bit.

Generally, people reflect very little. They just behave and think later. They mess up all the time.

Also, what I have noticed is that people sometimes ***** at you at random. They seem to try out boundaries or are simply not in charge of themselves (women and men). When I simply snap back at them they tend to like me after that. Why?

What are your experiences of others' social skills? Would you agree that normal people mess up all the time?

Edit: ADD: Then there was this girl at another sports class (Yes, I take a different class almost every day of the week this summer - I need practice with people). We did a tough new exercise and I said that I was suprised that it was so hard for me since I cycle a lot. I was just making conversation (I thought). She looked at me and I could see how insecure she became. Obviously I must have made her feel bad about herself with that comment. Since then she gives me those really fake smiles and always watches me (like, what kind of towel do I have? and what brand of bottled water do I carry?) Strange.
 

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You've actually highlighted the reason I am so shy. I'm afraid to stream out my personality like everyone does because I'm afraid of messing up. I used to believe that everyone else just didn't mind showing their personality, but I don't believe that anymore. I just think a lot of extroverts are unaware of their mess ups, and might even be more inhibited if they somehow did become aware.

Just off the top of my head I can remember people who laugh too loudly, make bad jokes, sound arrogant when they answer the teacher's questions, unknowingly share their personal lives with the entire room, and I can most easily remember all of the times these people were made fun of and criticized behind their backs.

I can't help feeling that a lot of "normal" people simply don't realize they do these things. It's not always a matter of them having more confidence than us, although that is true sometimes. Maybe.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
That is why I posted that. Sure, I am curious to hear what experiences others have had but my argument is that there is no reason to be insecure since a lot of you are probably not much worse than 'normals'. The difference is, as you say, the insecurity.

Also, I think most people are talked about behind their back. Is that really that terrible? I am beginning to think not.

Also, isn't it possible to learn from others' mistakes and not mess up in the ways they do?
 

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This thread is pretty much proof that 'people' are just 'people'. I honestly believe that people with SA just over think things to such an extreme that they suddenly think that 'normal' people are somehow better; when really, its the exact opposite. Stop thinking, and don't take things so seriously, and you'll find just how easy it is to be with other people.

I have experiences from work, and just day to day dealing with normal people and their habits. It's what made me realize my anxiety is cause by nothing more then simply "over thinking" and trying to appear "better / perfect" all the time. Once I stopped over analyzing and thinking so much, things got VERY easy.
 

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You are right, they do. And when I encounter it I always think "see? everyone makes mistakes, some are just better at dealing with it than others. you happen to be one of the people who suck at dealing with it because of SA".

An example: I feel miserable when I'm trying to say something but I'm getting ignored because there are too many people talking and they don't hear me. I feel so inferior and as if my input is much less important than anyone else's. It's so illogical, and I know it, yet I still feel like crap. The same thing happened to this guy in my math class a while back. He started talking but people weren't paying attention so he just kept repeating himself until he was heard. During that time, I felt embarrassed for him. I couldn't imagine why anyone would want to repeat themselves if they were ignored the first time. When I look back on it now, I realize it's because I didn't know than not everyone will get embarrassed at the same things I get embarrassed from. It must be very liberating for those people who don't give an action such as "tripping in public" a second thought.

Like Chris mentioned, they're probably not even that aware of it, but I think that's because they're not as self-conscious as we are (we over analyze every bit of our actions, no matter how small they are), and not being aware of it can come in handy in these situations.

I remember we had a substitute teacher once who was probably really nervous because it was her first day of substituting and she had really big sweat stains under her arms. Every time she would raise her arms, you'd hear snickering around the class. I would have almost died from embarrassment if I was her, I would've figured it out right away because I'd realize people were laughing and every time people laugh, the first thing I think "oh, they're laughing at me" and then I check to see what I'm doing wrong or if there's anything on me. It's like automatic.

The point I'm trying to make is that, yeah, practically everyone is talked about behind their backs, judged, even made fun of. Like you, Lisa, I don't think that's necessarily a bad thing. It's not something we can control and I think on some level, it's natural. I hope that knowing this can make people's SA better. Because a lot of the time, things aren't as bad as we think they are. Particularly when anxiety takes over you.

One more thing I wanted to add, I notice I react similarly to things on message boards online (not this one, since I know I'm among people with somewhat of the same problems), not just in real life. On another forum I go to, I see people opening up to the point where they seem so exposed and I get nervous for them. But the replies they get from others aren't bad. I've made a couple of "opening up" posts myself and after I press *submit reply* I almost instantly regret it and am afraid to check the thread again because I'm afraid of people judging me from what I typed. When I check it months later, the replies I got weren't even CLOSE to being as bad as I imagined.
 

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That is why I posted that. Sure, I am curious to hear what experiences others have had but my argument is that there is no reason to be insecure since a lot of you are probably not much worse than 'normals'. The difference is, as you say, the insecurity.

Also, I think most people are talked about behind their back. Is that really that terrible? I am beginning to think not.

Also, isn't it possible to learn from others' mistakes and not mess up in the ways they do?
I've learned a lot about what not to do in conversation by observing, yes. For instance I try not to be that guy who goes on and on about a boring topic like his diet or his kids. In fact, every time I notice a mistake someone made it's an opportunity.

I enjoy pinpointing the causes of awkward social situations, because once I understand how a situation makes people feel, it's easier to figure out what I should do (or not do, like laugh at the wrong times).

For example, when I'm assigned to a group of random classmates for a project, I can break my shyness (and thus break the awkward silence) because I understand the situation. I used to participate in the awkward silence, which is a social mistake normal people make in and of itself, but only because I didn't know what everyone else was thinking. I thought they didn't want to talk to me, or were put off by me in some way.

But once I noticed that people respond well to a group member taking charge, I gained understanding and a level of certainty about that situation that removed my anxiety. It allows you to predict how someone would like the person they're interacting with to respond.

I think a lot of social mistakes can be traced back to someone acting in a situation before they fully understand how that situation makes people think and feel (surely someone wouldn't laugh at the wrong times if they knew what the right and wrong times were).
 

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Basic likeability seems to allow others a free pass of sorts- Negative or annoying behaviors are easily laughed off or overlooked. I never feel that initial acceptance so I often feel my awkwardness isn't brushed off,instead each "offense" is held against me - a running tally that consistently proves I'm different.
 

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Lisa, I understand that (many) people make tons of mistakes and don't really think about them. But what perpetuates my anxiety are the judgements I make about those people. When I see someone acting like an idiot or laughing inappropriately, I think "Wow what an idiot, I feel embarrassed for him, I'm glad that's not me"..."I'm just going to sit here and 'be safe' and not say anything because I don't want to screw up like him"

I think people with social anxiety are extremely judgmental of themselves AND others, and that's what the root of the problem is.

Also, what I have noticed is that people sometimes ***** at you at random. They seem to try out boundaries or are simply not in charge of themselves (women and men). When I simply snap back at them they tend to like me after that. Why?
Guys are attracted to good looking girls who are bi***es. It doesn't really have to do with SA it's just a natural thing. A guy looks at you and thinks you're pretty, and when you're mean to him it makes him want you more.

I'm not calling you a b****, but snapping back at them makes you more attractive than if you were just nice and didn't say much.
 

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I almost instantly regret it and am afraid to check the thread again because I'm afraid of people judging me from what I typed. When I check it months later, the replies I got weren't even CLOSE to being as bad as I imagined.
It really frustrates me that things have to be this way. I know it sounds immature and teenager-y, but the internet is a great place because it's really the only place where strangers can be intimate with each other and talk about how they actually feel. Almost every social situation with non-family members and non-best-friends is an exercise in revealing the least interesting and least vulnerable parts of who you are. As a result of this, people become arrogant when they mistakenly believe they're the only one with certain thoughts, but even worse than that people mistakenly believe they're the only ones with certain problems.

If people just stated their true feelings, minds all over the world would experience extreme relief as they steadily came to realize that they're not the only ones who have no social life, or the only ones who masturbate.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
It really frustrates me that things have to be this way. I know it sounds immature and teenager-y, but the internet is a great place because it's really the only place where strangers can be intimate with each other and talk about how they actually feel. Almost every social situation with non-family members and non-best-friends is an exercise in revealing the least interesting and least vulnerable parts of who you are. As a result of this, people become arrogant when they mistakenly believe they're the only one with certain thoughts, but even worse than that people mistakenly believe they're the only ones with certain problems.

If people just stated their true feelings, minds all over the world would experience extreme relief as they steadily came to realize that they're not the only ones who have no social life, or the only ones who masturbate.
If you don't mind then I will copy and paste that sentence into my signature. It sums up the social reality out there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Basic likeability seems to allow others a free pass of sorts- Negative or annoying behaviors are easily laughed off or overlooked. I never feel that initial acceptance so I often feel my awkwardness isn't brushed off,instead each "offense" is held against me - a running tally that consistently proves I'm different.
Try to stay neutral at the beginning. Do not communicate your self doubts. People will probably not pick up on them and you will be surprised that you will get that initial acceptance.

I speak from experience. I once wasn't exactly good at speaking before an audience. I did a course on public speaking and they told us to 'fake it'. I did and it worked. People didn't pick up on my nervousness and everything went well. Because it went well I then developed real confidence. I use that skill all the time now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
This thread is pretty much proof that 'people' are just 'people'. I honestly believe that people with SA just over think things to such an extreme that they suddenly think that 'normal' people are somehow better; when really, its the exact opposite. Stop thinking, and don't take things so seriously, and you'll find just how easy it is to be with other people.

I have experiences from work, and just day to day dealing with normal people and their habits. It's what made me realize my anxiety is cause by nothing more then simply "over thinking" and trying to appear "better / perfect" all the time. Once I stopped over analyzing and thinking so much, things got VERY easy.
:yes That is what I am trying to do this summer. I am actually a bit disappointed in people. I thought they were so much more gifted then I was. Turns out not to be quite so.... :lol
 

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:yes That is what I am trying to do this summer. I am actually a bit disappointed in people. I thought they were so much more gifted then I was. Turns out not to be quite so.... :lol
Story of my life. Once I started getting out all my "feelings" I get from my inferior complex disappear and I realize just how crappy people really are. I also work in Customer Service so yeah - there's a way to REALLY realize how ****ty people are.

The majority of people in my eyes are just dogs. Dumb, clueless, and only learn from example. They are NOT these 'amazing' free thinking, confident gods we pretend to see them as. 'Social' life is nothing more then mimicking what the mainstream expects of us as a people. It's a joke.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Story of my life. Once I started getting out all my "feelings" I get from my inferior complex disappear and I realize just how crappy people really are. I also work in Customer Service so yeah - there's a way to REALLY realize how ****ty people are.

The majority of people in my eyes are just dogs. Dumb, clueless, and only learn from example. They are NOT these 'amazing' free thinking, confident gods we pretend to see them as. 'Social' life is nothing more then mimicking what the mainstream expects of us as a people. It's a joke.
Yes, you have to say good bye to the idea of people being great creatures. They can be nice though. They are not all crap. But yeah, if you work with the public then you see the worst side of people every day.
 

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Yes, you have to say good bye to the idea of people being great creatures. They can be nice though. They are not all crap. But yeah, if you work with the public then you see the worst side of people every day.
Oh yeah I totally have. I've made alot of progress since I started to confront all these issues with my anxiety. It's only been a few months, but I still feel like I've come along way.

And yeah, once I managed to "get rid" of, or at least "blocked it out" the idea that others are all "high and mighty" I started to do SO much better each day XD

Oh yeah theres lots of nice people - but yeah, most suck. A lot. Or at the very least, we all have problems - no one is perfect. I think thats the big problem a lot of people have here - they think Social people are perfect. They aren't. they might even be worse off then us XD
 

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Try to stay neutral at the beginning. Do not communicate your self doubts. People will probably not pick up on them and you will be surprised that you will get that initial acceptance.

I speak from experience. I once wasn't exactly good at speaking before an audience. I did a course on public speaking and they told us to 'fake it'. I did and it worked. People didn't pick up on my nervousness and everything went well. Because it went well I then developed real confidence. I use that skill all the time now.
I was going to try to take Dale Carnegie public speaking course this summer. I didn't have time though. I do have his book though called "How to win friends and influence people." I recommend it to everyone who has SA.

So would you say that course really helped you to start to get rid of SA?
 

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It really frustrates me that things have to be this way. I know it sounds immature and teenager-y, but the internet is a great place because it's really the only place where strangers can be intimate with each other and talk about how they actually feel. Almost every social situation with non-family members and non-best-friends is an exercise in revealing the least interesting and least vulnerable parts of who you are. As a result of this, people become arrogant when they mistakenly believe they're the only one with certain thoughts, but even worse than that people mistakenly believe they're the only ones with certain problems.

If people just stated their true feelings, minds all over the world would experience extreme relief as they steadily came to realize that they're not the only ones who have no social life, or the only ones who masturbate.
I was actually thinking about this today. If everyone just revealed their true feelings we'd all feel far more comfortable. I think one reason humans rarely reveal their true feelings is because society will get screwed up in some way... remember that episode of the Simpsons, in which everyone does what they feel like because Brad Goodman gave them that advice and people lost all their inhibitions. Look what alcohol does to people..... they lose their inhibitions and say their true feelings which sometimes lead to conflict or problems of some sort. Social inhibions serve some purpose I suppose at some greater level. We all have secret feelings and problems but we all somehow know not to talk about them because of our embarrassment in revealing it. Like if I mentioned I masturbate to someone, depending on who they are, they would be weirded out or feel uncomfortable and because of that I would know to feel ashamed. And they also know this and will not reveal it because I would most probably react in the same way.
 

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I was going to try to take Dale Carnegie public speaking course this summer. I didn't have time though. I do have his book though called "How to win friends and influence people." I recommend it to everyone who has SA.

So would you say that course really helped you to start to get rid of SA?
Yeah, that book will do all of us real great
 
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