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Hi peeps.

I've got a phobia of social silence. To me they are nearly always awkward silences, but seem quite situation specific. Around a very few people that I know really well it's ok as long as there is something else to do, ie, watch TV, computer game, etc. However for example I can't bear the social silence of watching TV around people I don't know very well. I cant focus on the film and take nothing in, watched whole films before and not had a single clue whats happened as I can't concentrate.

In pubic in-front of strangers i'm fine. I can talk to people behind a till in a shop relaxed and don't care about silence then. I don't really care about social silence in front of people I don't think will have to get to know me.

But when I'm with people that for example are in my halls, or in my class, or down my local pub, or at work I get very conscious of running out of topics of conversation as soon as there is a few seconds of silence. This will then make me start more worrying about what to say than thinking about what to say, which will either result in me saying something superficial and usually awkwardly off topic (by which time the social dynamics rapidly spiral as i become ever more self couscous) or I just give up socializing make an excuse and try to leave the situation.

Its a catch 22 situation. I can't think of anything to say because I'm worrying that I can't think about anything to say. So I end up just coming across as boring or disinterested in talking to them, as I either leave or go quiet.

Anyone else?
How can you get over something like this?
 

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When making small talk, my mind goes goes through a checklist like this -

anything happened to me recently worth mentioning? funny, sad, whatever.
Whoever I'm talking to, I'll think about who they are and what they're known for. If a guy's in my class, I'll ask or make a comment on the teacher or the current assignment.

And asking people questions like where they're going is an easy way to start conversations for me. Then you just build off of that. Just try to observe how other people talk and try to follow along.
 

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I feel like if there is an awkward silence then it is my fault, so its a viscous cycle, I'm anxious about talking, and when no one is talking I also get anxious. That's why I think i tend to gravitate towards outgoing people, it takes some of the pressure off me. I'm afraid I don't really know how to get over it though, i still struggle with it.:|
 

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I feel like if there is an awkward silence then it is my fault, so its a viscous cycle, I'm anxious about talking, and when no one is talking I also get anxious. That's why I think i tend to gravitate towards outgoing people, it takes some of the pressure off me. I'm afraid I don't really know how to get over it though, i still struggle with it.:|
Yes! Talkative people make life so much easier.
Whenever there is silence, I get this panicky conversation running through my head:
"OMG! Awkward! Say something now!"
"But I can't think of anything."
"This awkwardness is killing me. Say. Something. Now."
"I have nothing to say!!!"

:flush
 

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I don't know is this will help or not, but I think that you're telling yourself that you won't have anything to say even before you get into the conversation. Say each time I got into a conversation I would always say the lyrics to my favorite song. I would always be able to say those lyrics in any conversation. Now replace those lyrics with a repertoire of questions("How's your day been?, Where are you going?"), feelings(you build these up before hand, and if all you've been is nervous, say you've "been down". I think telling someone you have emotional problems is less awkward than not saying anything at all), and observations("the weather is nice", "have you finished assignment x?", "you look good today").

It's also probably easier to practice your social skills on close friends and people you feel comfortable around. This way you can improve your confidence so when you do talk to others you will succeed!
 
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