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There are occasional times where I don't think anxiety is holding me back, but I still can't make conversation or connect with people because I have nothing in common with human beings.

For example, when I go to the SAS chat, people go on and on about pop culture -- music I've never heard and movies I've never seen -- that they all have in common with each other. The reality is that I don't want to subject myself to stuff that I'm not interested in for the sake of having stuff in common with people. So, am I locking myself out of any chance to get into a conversation that might eventually lead somewhere more interesting if I were lucky? Is suffering to learn common subjects just a required part of the social game?

Same goes for life experiences. I was at an in-person social anxiety group a few weeks ago, and by the second meeting I felt anxiety wasn't really hindering me from speaking anymore -- but I was still silent. I just had nothing to say to them. I couldn't relate to any of the things they were talking about. I haven't had any of their experiences. It made me feel like a blank slate, a newborn baby.

Of course I do have interests and things I like to talk about, but they're niche interests that I'm never going to be able to share with a randomly selected person or group. It seems like socializing requires giving up your identity and morphing into more of a shared cultural identity. It makes sense that there's a give and take, it's only fair, but I still can't bring myself to accept it.

To summarize it bluntly, normal conversations bore me to death and usually might as well be in a foreign language. So my chances of navigating the social maze to reach the people who can talk about things that I can talk about are rather slim.
 

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Born Of Blotmonað
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There are occasional times where I don't think anxiety is holding me back, but I still can't make conversation or connect with people because I have nothing in common with human beings....It seems like socializing requires giving up your identity and morphing into more of a shared cultural identity. It makes sense that there's a give and take, it's only fair, but I still can't bring myself to accept it.

To summarize it bluntly, normal conversations bore me to death and usually might as well be in a foreign language. So my chances of navigating the social maze to reach the people who can talk about things that I can talk about are rather slim.
Good post, I relate to most of what you've mentioned
 

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Maybe find a group of people into whatever you're into and try joining their group? Easier said than done, I know. I don't think it's not being "human" enough it's more like there is little to get into if you don't want to get into social interaction so we get into esoteric things and get obsessed with them.

Stuff like sports and mainstream music and movies bore me but I wish I could get into at least sports so i'd have something to talk about. I'm sure they are out there but I haven't found many people that want to talk about 50's beat culture, buddhism, hunter thompson, etc for instance so I feel for you.

Good luck.
 

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Done with SA
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I understand what you're talking about. I always feel like when I have a conversation with someone, online or offline, I have to change the way I am to keep the conversation going and keep it interesting. I'm not up on the current fashion trends, celebrity gossip, television shows, and such and when people mention them, I don't have an opinion on it because I simply wasn't interested in it enough to find out about it, so now I have nothing to say on the matter. I've faked conversations and it feels like a huge chore. Such as:
Person: Did you see that new show called blah, blah?
Me: Uh, sure.
Person: Wasn't the first episode funny? I would never do that.
Me: I wouldn't either.
Person: And Candis, doesn't she just get under your skin?
Me: Well, I'm still on the fence about her.
Person: My friend is, too. I can't wait until the next show.
Me: Me, either.

And that's if I can fake it well and the other person isn't paying too much attention. Other times, I've been called strange, boring, weird, etc., because I didn't know about whatever frivolous news or show is currently hot. It's just I'm not interested in that, so I don't find it at all interesting to talk about.
I feel like I have to give up being myself to have a normal conversation and it, to me, doesn't seem worth it.
I do believe if you find people with interests similar to your own conversations between you won't feel like that.
 

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I too feel the same way. I often go into chat and just observe as I have nothing to add or I don't know or relate to what they are talking about.

I get the feeling verbal communication isn't so important to me. I'm happy simply being in the presence of someone; someone who in turn is comfortable with my presence. I don't need to talk with someone in order to 'connect' with them or gain satisfaction out of a meeting. Note: I am not talking about pysical connection of any sort. I am talking about just being close to someone.
 

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“Socializing requires giving up your identity and morphing into more of a shared cultural identity.”

I know exactly what you mean, and agree with everything you said in that post. When you’re someone who has individual interests to most, it does feel as if you have to give up your identity for the shared cultural identity in order to communicate. And this is something which I will not give up, so I often find myself separated from others and alone in my own world. It’s as if I live on another planet to everyone else, and communication between my world and theirs leads no where. Few people I can actually relate to, and few people actually take the time to understand me. I can understand why, because if I can’t understand them, I wouldn’t expect the same back. It’s like a phone line which cuts out at the end, and my social anxiety doesn’t exactly help either.

Society is consumed by things which I cannot find interest in myself: pop music, the hottest movies, the hottest TV shows, celebrity gossip etc. etc. and I’m glad to find that there’s others who feel the same. What if you’re not interested in these things? It’s as if there’s this pressure to follow along, but when doing so, you lose your own identity.

I have never really been able to have a good conversation about a shared interest of mine with another person, because I am yet to find others who have similar values and interests to myself. It’s like I’m surrounded by this foreign language, or that I’m simply not human. I’ve been told several times that I need to get with it and things like that, which offends me as these foreign people are clearly not being respectful of who I am and what I am interested in. Just because I don’t live in the shallow world of junky movies, TV shows, celebrities, pop music, fashion, what is “cool” or “in” etc. which the majority of people I’ve met live in, doesn’t give them the right to tell me to “get with it”, because it’s not right for someone to change themselves in order to fit into the norms a culture creates. One day I hope to find more people who I can relate to. In the mean time, I will not create a false self just so I can mould myself into a culture which I clearly do not relate to.

Thank you for that excellent post. That is something I can certainly relate to. Never change who you are because individuality is a wonderful thing and is something which the world needs.
 

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yeah whats with that? i like oldies music (50s-90s) so thats pretty weird for a 21 year old, yet i still keep up with the latest stuff. So when i hear what other people listen to, thousands of bands that i have NEVER heard of.... where the hell do they find this stuff?
 

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Done with SA
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yeah whats with that? i like oldies music (50s-90s) so thats pretty weird for a 21 year old, yet i still keep up with the latest stuff. So when i hear what other people listen to, thousands of bands that i have NEVER heard of.... where the hell do they find this stuff?
Liking old music isn't weird at all, to me, at least. I like music from the 20s and above. I've only ever spoken to one person (around my own age) who likes music from before 1960.
 

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dirt person
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it's funny... i'm so out of that 'mainstream'-thing and for as long as i can think i didn't have anything in common with most people.

but in the rare cases that i actually found someone i could have a conversation with, i was suddenly so nervous and could barely get a word out.

people that i find interesting/fascinating are always the ones that make me the most anxious.
 

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Simon Says...
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yeah whats with that? i like oldies music (50s-90s) so thats pretty weird for a 21 year old, yet i still keep up with the latest stuff.
Bleh, not really... since most good music is from either the 70s or 80s :D

Especially 80s. Moar synthesizers in music today plz.

As for feeling like people all around you are interested in things you have no idea about and aren't/wouldn't be interested in; yeah, I can relate somewhat. However, I think it should be said that sometimes there's probably quite a temptation with SA to develop a real "me and them" attitude and not give things a chance that really you might actually end up liking. Sometimes.
 
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