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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok, I just joined because I really need some help... and somehow found this web site through inquiries on Google... a lot of inquiries...

Here's what happened to me today and I just can't shake it.

I'm a university student. 20 years old, but a freshman. (That's another story in itself...) Well, I get out of psychology class early. I'm hanging out with two other people in my next class, English. One is a young girl, 18 I'd say, and the other is an older woman. (She has a 13 year old daughter. I really don't know her age, though.)

Well, we're talking about something... and it seems like out of nowhere, the older woman just says to me "Well, when you talk, people are annoyed and give you mean looks. You talk so much... always talking about this and this and this!" Um, wow, that was uncalled for.

Then, the younger girl -- who I find has socially awkward tendencies too -- chirps in that she's seen these people give me "mean looks."

Now I'm just absolutely paranoid. Right now, I don't know what sort of disorders or what I have... but I know for a fact I am incredibly paranoid right now to the point of tears. Apparently, because I ask inquiring questions class while everyone else would much rather sit there like zombies... Of course, it is perfectly acceptable for OTHERS to ask questions that have no relation to what's being discussed?! No one gives them "mean looks" apparently... Nope, just *me*!

I just don't get how an adult of all people... especially one with a daughter of her own... could just... could just BLURT this out?

I now feel like never speaking a word again. Never asking or trying to inquire of more knowledge. For years, people have been criticizing me -- I don't talk enough, I talk too much, I'm annoying, I'm too smart, I ask stupid questions... It's just NEVER ENOUGH!

I can't decide.... should I become a full-time mute ... or should I punch this woman in the face for having the gall to act as if she is better than me?

End rant. :/
 

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Chocobo
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Well, from what you've said I don't think the problem is with you, but with the others for having insecure feelings that you're getting more attention because you're asking more questions. Or maybe they don't think you're cool or something? But you're focused on the right things I think, and so I think you should avoid those people who apparently give you mean looks. Being a mute is not something to consider and well, if I may ask, how exactly did you respond to that happening? Like, did you just walk away or...?

Feel free to PM me as well if you'd like to talk more about this, or about anything really. :)
 

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You don't need many good friends in life, most people have like 1 or 2 or 3 or 4, others are casual friends. These poeple you talk with are kind of casual friends, if even that.

It's true what you say, most students are mute zombies in class. They are the same ones that say "oh I was thinking that too glad you asked". They are followers. Also I have asked questions to the teachers privately and they didn't and later they all whine when they did the assignment wrong when they did not ask. The teacher says "half of you did it wrong, why didn't you ask?" uh yeah, why didn't they. They wanted to be kewl lol. They are not, of course.

Your casual friends are just that. They are stupid followers I hate to say it who think they are smart when they are just scared to look stupid by asking a question. They are actually stupid because they do not know and do not want to know and they want to prevent you from knowing too because you are not following the crowd.

You ought to find people who are serious about school like you are and who don't drink while in college. You don't need many good friends in life. You haven't done anything wrong in the least. If you find these friends in the classes you are in, who are like you are, be forward, and make friends with them. They will be glad to have you as a friend.

The others, lol, what can I say? You are going to have to work with them in groups but just play your role out. A role as you know is a role like in a play in a way, where everyone has a unique part. You are playing the part of the intelligent person. You want to have good grades, to understand instructions clearly, so keep doing what you are doing. Find these other friends for support and keep in touch with them for continued support. Some of them out of the many you approach will in fact become friends but maybe not all. Go out to eat with them or meet at a coffee shop.

You are playing a legitmate role, and there is nothing wrong with you. The only thing wrong with you perhaps is that you lack a relaxed confidence when you participate and ask questions. If its appropiate-feeling consider you ought to smile slightly and nicely (not pridefully although I doubt you are that way but I'll throw that in there anyway) often before you speak and/or during it and have a relaxed firm voice. Don't speak too fast or too slow, but a good pace with varying the pace a little of faster or slower but keep in general an even pace showing selfpossession and self-control and poise, as it is the best way to speak. You might want to take a voice class if your school has them, it would be under the theatre courses.. Don't look around nervously at others.. Just look for other intelligent people like yourself in each class who are participating also because they need to know what is going on and they want to be able to do things correctly and accurately. Go up to them and ask them how they are doing on their assignments and sit next to them if it seems right and make friends with them if you can.

*The next time one of those casual friends makes a comment like you are doing something wrong say "I could care less" in a firm voice and go on to the subjects that are of mutual interest. If it is brought up again, repeat this, as the assertive broken record technique. It is a non-issue. They are not your boss or teacher, or the govt, or your parent that you may choose to honor, etc. Their opinion on this subject is of no concern. This is not an issue to argue on with others, but they are not mentally on your level and do not expect much from them or think of them as wishing they were different.

Try to get some good hard exercise in a couple of days a week with lighter exercise the other days because it will help greatly with a comfortable normal confidence level. Don't fault yourself for how you come across as wrong though. A person who is engaged well in any activity is always aware in the moment of how they are acting and adjusting a little to it constantly. It becomes a habit to adjust. It is not something to fault yourself on heavily. It is a process of learning as well with good days and bad days. You are not going to have many bad days what you are doing because you aren't doing anything inherently wrong at all, althuogh you can't go through life without bad days. I rather come out of the day a little more intelligent rather than stupid. The classes will go by and you don't want to think "gee I wish I asked more questions, far better grades, and got more out of it, and made friends with a couple of the teachers, and found some intelligent friends to talk to, but instead I was influenced by the negative psychic currents in the class that is so common to the younger age range and those older bitter people that go to college later in life (its true, a lot of the older ones are bitter, and the younger ones are just pessimistic). For the love of God, these people should not be where you get your values or actions from.

If you can't accept yourself as the intelligent person at this point or it sounds prideful somehow to you, then you could say to yourself you are playing the role of the sincere person that asks questions, the curious person, the studious person. All of which are legitmate roles. You aren't the person who is thinking about getting wasted tonight or this weekend. The person who is thinking of revenge on someone. The person who has a bad hangover. The person who doesn't care how they do and doesn't want to be there. You should be proud to play a better role than that. You are lucky and fortunate to be able to do so and should. Even if you are the nervous student who wants to do well, that is a very respectable and humble role to play.
 

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*The broken record technique is too limited and potentially confrontational to just only have to use, I didn't mean it to sound like that is only what you could or should do. But it is one way. It kind of has to be said in a calm tone with friends or casual friends for it to sound as if you are bored and fixed in opinion where it is not a subject you are going to change on, but it can be said quicker if not friends. If its said quicker, it sounds angry and can cause some to back off or to come forward I mean in the way to cause argument, which was not my intention. But depending on how things are said, with this makes a difference in reaction.

Other ways technqiues are the negative assertion - where you agree with what they say in part, or in principle. Although privately you disagree with what it means. It is a common technique and if you look up it is explaned in diferent ways. "Yes, they do look annoyed". I recently read on another source that said it is used to prevent situations from escalating. You are not arguing but it sounds like you are sort of agreeing, which you are, in part.

There's negative inquiry where you ask probing questions for them to actually elaborate on the criticism while you plan not to react at all. Sometimes this is used to find out whether the criticism is constructive criticism or to hurt you. But it is also used to just de-escalate any criticism period. Such as "how do they look annoyed?" or when or how often, etc, who?. And to ask a few questions but without any reaction or judgment about yourself where you look affected. The goal is to show you aren't affected at all when you know that the person is trying to hurt you. This is used when someone is criticizing you. Just keep asking them to explain a few times, but do not agree or disagree with what they are saying. "well thanks for telling me that" is one possible ending phrase. "well that's interesting" is another. There are others, I forget them offhand. And it is good to know and have more information about things going and it is interesting to some degree. This is not confrontational either. If you look this one up, there are better examples on it. In some examples they try to get the other person to run out of steam by asking them to elaborate and give information while you show you don't care.

Then there is "clouding or camoflouage". This is where you ignore what they say basically and say something completely different with some kind of emotional emphasis on it as if you don't care. Which you don't. I have some tapes by Carol Price on assertiveness techniques. Some coworkers criticized another for being late, and since it wasn't the boss asking why, it was none of their business, so the employee complimented the man's tie back and how the color was flattering. "That's a nice tie on you Joe. The color blue, suits you well". In another example on the tapes, one mom criticized another mom (I wrote this example in another post) because her 5 year old could not count to a thousand like hers could and the mom on the receiving end ignored the comment and said "did you see those new camaros, wow they are hot!" In both instances I noticed that there was emotional emphasis that was positive but on another subject, showing that their spirit was not deflated or their kindness.

Anyway 4 ways to deal with destructive criticism that are standard assertiveness techniques. Constructive criticism is dealt with differently.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you all for your replies. It means so much to get actual advice and support, not the typical "You're overreacting" and "F**k them" advice from my boyfriend. (If I ask my mother, she is cruel and panics and says "If you don't stop freaking out I'll take you to the doctor!!!" Apparently the Prozac doesn't kick in hard enough for her.)

I actually used the 'negative inquiry' technique, somewhat, without knowing it. Dumbfounded and actually on the verge of an anxiety attack, I managed to ask "Like who?" The older woman (who yes, is a "casual friend" if I dare even call her that... just... classmates, you know? Not even friends) points out this young girl Stephanie who I sit beside in the next class.

So what did I do? As they began to converse about other stuff, I was thinking if Stephanie had ever given me a dirty look...ever, ever, ever. She's given me the "What is going on I don't get it?" look... then there's just her regular stare. Thinking closer, I thought of the movie Juno where Juno tells Bleaker the girl he's taking to prom gave her the stink eye... to which he responds, "Thats just her face." Well, the baffled, I guess 'mean look' Stephanie gives is her normal look.... a lot of the times her mouth is open because she has braces. I confine in the older woman "You know... that's probably just Stephanie's usual face. That's how it looks!" <--- To which I feel only made the older woman think I was making up an excuse. (Mind you, though, Stephanie is the one that talks to me in class whenever she has the most mundane question or needs me to repeat what our professor just said. I cannot fathom why she'd ever give me a mean look?)

But the point is... it felt like this older woman implied that everybody in the class did. Like, this is supposed to be my warning? I guess I have a touch of paranoia or something... but... I don't know. Just feels pretty ****ty when an older woman can tell a 20-year-old (and I'm very sensitive :/) that she talks too much. Isn't there social etiquette that says you DON'T say stuff like that to people? I feel really singled out in this attack. I can't find any reason in my mind she'd feel the need to SAY this to me. I don't say anything negative to her?

I'm not of particular higher intelligence. I'm on an average level... I just don't think like "them" I guess? But my father -- the anti-social introvert -- always told me that you should question everything. So what's one or two questions in class? (One seems like a lot, I suppose, when the class average is about .25 questions from everyone. :p)

Sometimes it feels like this forced socialization is worth nothing... all that happens from it for me is that people find a reason to call me "annoying." Even though they have flaws and faults of their own... their silence must be oh-so-golden?
 

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Dancing on my own
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I have the same problem, I just posted about it yesterday haha I considered just being mute too because it would help the conversation between everyone around me go better.
http://www.socialanxietysupport.com...p-talking-because-i-dont-say-anything-102225/
My mom always tells me she sometimes dreads when I go with her somewhere, like an event, because I never say anything right and really embarrass her to the point where her friends pull her aside and ask her why I act like that and is there something wrong with me.
 

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Yeah, something is definitely not right with that conversation. If they are giving you bad looks, it is on them. The only thing that you can do is be friendly to them. The rest is on them. College can be weird sometimes, too. I had two friends completely stop contact with me and I never really knew why. Some people have problems relating and are just "high school plus" :lol.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Don't let what your mom says get your down Courtney. I think the only reason my mom says all these mean things to me like that is because it's HER that is truly the "psycho" one... so she feels like she has to label me "psycho" to make HER feel better about herself.

And millenniumman75, do you really think so? Because... is this how normal conversations are suppose to go about? Just... the random declaration of my annoyance completely floored me. Even if someone thinks that... I never thought, especially as an adult, you announce it to the person? I didn't even say anything to open up criticism on my personality??

Well, the thing is, I don't even know if I'm REALLY getting mean looks? Or if she's just saying I am for some ulterior older woman reason? Like, I feel -- no proof though -- like she was trying to purposely humiliate me? Like she was trying to gain control over me by making me feel ashamed?
 

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Undergrad studies are full of idiots. It's not worth your time and energy to try to justify and elaborate about everything you learn in class.

Don't sweat it. In fact, take the opposite approach. Observe how other students appreciate, or not, what's being talked about in class. Treat it like an experiment. You'll get more out of the class environment that way instead of trying to openly confirm what you believe as fact (which stupid people perceive as arrogant).

If you have more questions, go to office hours, but still, read the professor's body language. If she seems antsy, annoyed, intimidated, etc., keep your inquiries simple. If she seems intrigued by your interest, keep going.
 

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Chocobo
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Don't let what your mom says get your down Courtney. I think the only reason my mom says all these mean things to me like that is because it's HER that is truly the "psycho" one... so she feels like she has to label me "psycho" to make HER feel better about herself.

And millenniumman75, do you really think so? Because... is this how normal conversations are suppose to go about? Just... the random declaration of my annoyance completely floored me. Even if someone thinks that... I never thought, especially as an adult, you announce it to the person? I didn't even say anything to open up criticism on my personality??

Well, the thing is, I don't even know if I'm REALLY getting mean looks? Or if she's just saying I am for some ulterior older woman reason? Like, I feel -- no proof though -- like she was trying to purposely humiliate me? Like she was trying to gain control over me by making me feel ashamed?
After what you said, it seems more to me that she's insecure about herself and is just talking like that to make herself feel better, in which case you should just ignore her and keep being you :) She's just trying to put you down so she can be higher, but clearly she's already stooped to a pathetically low point in life where trying to demean someone is her only pick-me-up. Don't sweat it, and if possible, just ignore her completely. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
After what you said, it seems more to me that she's insecure about herself and is just talking like that to make herself feel better, in which case you should just ignore her and keep being you :) She's just trying to put you down so she can be higher, but clearly she's already stooped to a pathetically low point in life where trying to demean someone is her only pick-me-up. Don't sweat it, and if possible, just ignore her completely. :)
Thank you. :) That's what my friend (that goes to another college) told me when I finally caught her online and confessed all of what had happened to me. She told me that this woman is just plain rude.

One of my social anxiety problems I have is that I internalize these things. Yeah, I'd never admit that before but now I'm admitting it--- I internalize these things that people tell me like this. I can't fathom how people just "shake it off" and whatnot... to me, it's a seriously offense when someone flat out insults me.

Maybe I should be asking for tips on how to not internalize when rude people feel the need to tell me my faults and flaws in casual conversation?
 

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Chocobo
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Thank you. :) That's what my friend (that goes to another college) told me when I finally caught her online and confessed all of what had happened to me. She told me that this woman is just plain rude.

One of my social anxiety problems I have is that I internalize these things. Yeah, I'd never admit that before but now I'm admitting it--- I internalize these things that people tell me like this. I can't fathom how people just "shake it off" and whatnot... to me, it's a seriously offense when someone flat out insults me.

Maybe I should be asking for tips on how to not internalize when rude people feel the need to tell me my faults and flaws in casual conversation?
I can relate to that, I never shake anything off although I often give others the advice to. It's not as easy as said.
 

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I know it hurts to hear stuff like they told you, but that can be a good thing. One time my good friend at the time called me a f'n mute really loud out when i was being quiet. It's possible they were telling you that people were giving you dirty looks to help you out. Even friends don't always say the nicest things. I went to military school in high school and the way they got people to do things there was sometimes yelling right in your face or making you drop on the ground and knock out push-ups. One guy even got beat up when he was sleeping in the middle of the night. Instead of being mad about this, you must look at the bright side. You just got a taste of the real world. People are mean and cruel, we live in a world of sin. People criticize people all of the time, especially your friends because they talk to you and know you. You need to wake up to reality. The world isn't just going to sugar-coat everything they say and be courteous all the time. A LOT OF THE TIME THEY WILL BE MEAN.
 

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*the broken record technique is too limited and potentially confrontational to just only have to use, i didn't mean it to sound like that is only what you could or should do. But it is one way. It kind of has to be said in a calm tone with friends or casual friends for it to sound as if you are bored and fixed in opinion where it is not a subject you are going to change on, but it can be said quicker if not friends. If its said quicker, it sounds angry and can cause some to back off or to come forward i mean in the way to cause argument, which was not my intention. But depending on how things are said, with this makes a difference in reaction.

Other ways technqiues are the negative assertion - where you agree with what they say in part, or in principle. Although privately you disagree with what it means. It is a common technique and if you look up it is explaned in diferent ways. "yes, they do look annoyed". I recently read on another source that said it is used to prevent situations from escalating. You are not arguing but it sounds like you are sort of agreeing, which you are, in part.

There's negative inquiry where you ask probing questions for them to actually elaborate on the criticism while you plan not to react at all. Sometimes this is used to find out whether the criticism is constructive criticism or to hurt you. But it is also used to just de-escalate any criticism period. Such as "how do they look annoyed?" or when or how often, etc, who?. And to ask a few questions but without any reaction or judgment about yourself where you look affected. The goal is to show you aren't affected at all when you know that the person is trying to hurt you. This is used when someone is criticizing you. Just keep asking them to explain a few times, but do not agree or disagree with what they are saying. "well thanks for telling me that" is one possible ending phrase. "well that's interesting" is another. There are others, i forget them offhand. And it is good to know and have more information about things going and it is interesting to some degree. This is not confrontational either. If you look this one up, there are better examples on it. In some examples they try to get the other person to run out of steam by asking them to elaborate and give information while you show you don't care.

Then there is "clouding or camoflouage". This is where you ignore what they say basically and say something completely different with some kind of emotional emphasis on it as if you don't care. Which you don't. I have some tapes by carol price on assertiveness techniques. Some coworkers criticized another for being late, and since it wasn't the boss asking why, it was none of their business, so the employee complimented the man's tie back and how the color was flattering. "that's a nice tie on you joe. The color blue, suits you well". In another example on the tapes, one mom criticized another mom (i wrote this example in another post) because her 5 year old could not count to a thousand like hers could and the mom on the receiving end ignored the comment and said "did you see those new camaros, wow they are hot!" in both instances i noticed that there was emotional emphasis that was positive but on another subject, showing that their spirit was not deflated or their kindness.

Anyway 4 ways to deal with destructive criticism that are standard assertiveness techniques. Constructive criticism is dealt with differently.
nice
 

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^a 5th - is joking, there needs to be a lightening up too, I knew there felt like something was missing and I was thinking about this and how joking is usually added in the mix because...

they seem to be used in some combination and we have seen this before in sitcoms especially where insults are countered somewhat like this...

if you can't get away with camoflouage or joking at first
negative assertion, or/and negative injury or/and asserting with broken record repeat and end with a joke and/or camoflouage to change the subject

Good for relationships where there's no accountability in the criticism like the boss/managers, the cop that stops you for some violation, your spouse, your family member you promised them something, etc..
 

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I don't know what you should do. I understand your getting upset. People are soooooo picky about how you act and what you say etc etc. "sigh" as for the woman's age. I've known very old children. People never grow up and you will learn this. I mean I was bullied by a 43 year old for crying out loud. So... Hang in there. Keep your chin up. And NO don't become full-time mute, as temptin' as that sounds. Easier said than done (heck if I could do so, I wouldn't be here) try not to care what other people think. Fooey on them!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thank you guys so much for your support. I'm so glad I joined this forum.

Today I saw the woman again. This time, maybe out of spite, I decided to be quiet. IRONICALLY, as I stood by the door waiting for the previous class to leave the room, the woman came up to me and started talking to me?!?! :eek:

She is the one that told me people think i'm annoying and that people give me looks when I talk, and she even said when I talk to her people look at us. So, I just gave her short answers and "mhm"s. She asked how Algebra was, I just said "Eh, boring."

Like I said in spite, I wanted to ask her "Maybe YOU'RE annoying ME right now? Hmmm?" But I bit my tongue. Literally. I just can't figure out if I'm "annoying", why does she initiate conversation? Why is she so intent on making me talk? I was minding my own business. It just baffles me.

I also took Daktoria's advice of being quiet today and observing others in the class. There is another young woman in the class that talked quite a bit today... and no one gave her mean looks for going off topic. It seems like everybody is in their own world, staring at their books or into space. Another man would also ask questions and ramble on... no one seemed to notice! They just sat there with only blank stares...

Anyway, thank you guys so much for the methods to deal with this stuff, though. I just fear I'll NEVER understand people and what's "acceptable" social behavior. And what one person considered acceptable, another doesn't... and I just can't seem to figure out how to act around every single person. Damned if I do, damned if I don't. /sigh
 

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Lessthanthree, she is so intent on making you talk either because she has no one else to talk to, she is actually your friend, or maybe it's a mix of both. I think your dilemma is so unusual. Someone with SA usually has the opposite of what you have. We are usually ridiculed because we never talk. I wish I talked so much that it was a problem like you have. If it helps any, people have said i sound like a b---- before. They've said i look and sound like a girl even more than calling me a b----. There was one time when I was working in a full restaurant and a lady I was working with practically yelled that I'm "such a little girl" so the whole restaurant could hear it (by the way, I'm a guy). Talk about insulting my masculinity, lol. But hey, we have to keep showing our face if we want to be independent and make our own money.
 

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Thank you guys so much for your support. I'm so glad I joined this forum.

Today I saw the woman again. This time, maybe out of spite, I decided to be quiet. IRONICALLY, as I stood by the door waiting for the previous class to leave the room, the woman came up to me and started talking to me?!?! :eek:

She is the one that told me people think i'm annoying and that people give me looks when I talk, and she even said when I talk to her people look at us. So, I just gave her short answers and "mhm"s. She asked how Algebra was, I just said "Eh, boring."

Like I said in spite, I wanted to ask her "Maybe YOU'RE annoying ME right now? Hmmm?" But I bit my tongue. Literally. I just can't figure out if I'm "annoying", why does she initiate conversation? Why is she so intent on making me talk? I was minding my own business. It just baffles me.

I also took Daktoria's advice of being quiet today and observing others in the class. There is another young woman in the class that talked quite a bit today... and no one gave her mean looks for going off topic. It seems like everybody is in their own world, staring at their books or into space. Another man would also ask questions and ramble on... no one seemed to notice! They just sat there with only blank stares...

Anyway, thank you guys so much for the methods to deal with this stuff, though. I just fear I'll NEVER understand people and what's "acceptable" social behavior. And what one person considered acceptable, another doesn't... and I just can't seem to figure out how to act around every single person. Damned if I do, damned if I don't. /sigh
I have really related as I've read this post. Thanks for sharing the good, bad and the ugly. I especially liked the advice you referred to from Daktoria about "observing". Sometimes that helps me when I am feeling unable to "compete" or stop worrying about how I am coming across. The book something to the effect of "Chronically Nice" help for the Anxious or something to that effect helped me a ton on that one.
 
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