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I'm wondering if anybody can relate to me.

I've seen a couple poeple mention here that they much prefer one on one situations to those of a larger group. I was kind of shocked because I'm so much on the other side.

It seems like in 1 on 1 situations I'm always trying to think of something to say. And of course I always draw blanks or think every idea that comes to my head is dumb. And it seems like I never can keep a conversation going. The awkward silence KILLS me. Honestly, there is no worse feeling in the world than being forced into a situation where it's you and another person and there's nothing to say. Obviously they're not talking either but that's rational thinking, get that out of here...

If there's a couple people it seems to take the pressure off. And if nobody's talking at least I can see that they have nothing to talk about with each other so it's normal for me to not have anything to talk about. I'm definitely not perfect in group situations and as the group gets bigger and I know less and less peope I can be mute, but at least it's not as bad as being 1 on 1.

Even with friends and family, I dislike riding alone in a car together or hanigng out together when there's only two of us. Not as much to prevent me from doing these things, and I don't think they can see how uncomfortable I am inside, but still...

Although if there's a purpose to a 1 on 1 meeting I handle it pretty easily. Job interviews, meetings with a TA, etc, aren't so bad. I still might stammer or sound stupid, but I'm not freaking out.

And this limitis my social life as you could imagine. Girlfriend? What's that? Going out to dinner with someone I barely know would be hell from the get go.
 

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I know what you are talking about. I have more trouble in 1 on 1 situations. But my problem is that I get so anxious I just start talking about anything and everything that comes to mind, and I go into extreme detail just to keep attention off of myself and on some other topic. This also really limits my social life because I tend to alienate people. It can be quite frustrating sometimes because I want to make intelligent friends and I want to beat this anxiety. But when I get stuck with someone 1 on 1, I just kind of go numb and find myself doing what I always do.
 

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The Phoenix
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I would like to think that I am fairly good when it comes to one-on-one interaction, provide I actually KNOW the person, so I'll throw down what I can.

Something important to remember about 1-on-1 interaction, awkward silence WILL happen. Unless your one of those people who can make a conversation out of nothing and the other one rolls with it, things like this are bound to happen. Just act calm and like everything is normal, because it is. Now if time keeps going and your still having trouble thinking of how to keep the conversation going, try making fun of how the conversation isn't going anywhere. For example "So what exactly do you think about nothing?" Or, "Well...I see we are having a conversation about nothing...Seinfeld would be proud of us." Also, just throw out something you enjoy doing. It doesn't necessarily matter if they like it themselves, (well, unless your into WoW or something. I don't recommend telling a girl all about your level 100 character) but just simple things like movies, books, or academic interests. AVOID POLITICS AND RELIGION THOUGH THESE ARE HAZARD TOPICS. (Unless you happen to agree, but it is better to get to know the person better before you throw those out there.) Your goal with throwing out something random like that isn't to start a specific conversation going, but set up dominoes to possibly let the other person, or youself knock them down.

Anyway, a conversation is 50% what you say and 50% HOW you say it. Hope this helps out somewhat!
 

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I prefer one-on-one situations, but maybe I could still help a bit since I'd probably be in the same boat as you if I hadn't developed some strategies.

Perhaps you might want to familiarize yourself with open-ended questions. People generally like talking about themselves or their interests - and oddly enough they seem to like you more if you're interested in their passions. Check out this small guide to open-ended questioning. Giving slight nods and little "uh huh's" while a person is speaking lets them know that you're still interested. Keep in mind that you should only ask an open ended question if you're actually interested in it - boredom shown in your face can stunt a conversation as well.

On a date you might want to give a genuine compliment to the person's sense of style. In fact, being genuine is really important in all communication - people stop talking and sharing with a person they don't trust.

One thing that helped me immensely was getting hold of a 'book of questions'. I usually keep a small one in my purse for emergencies. Keep one in your car for those awkward long drives with someone and you'll never run out of things to talk about. Keep a few on your coffee table too and people tend to pick it up and do all the work for you. ;)

Good luck.
 

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Yeah, I prefer group interaction as well. When I'm in a group I can just listen and maybe throw in a comment every now and then. When I am alone with someone, the pressure of having to converse with them is too much for me so I freak out and never know what to say.
 

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i prefer 1 on 1 because it is easier to talk to one person than a group of people. i can concentrate on this one person and they have to focus on me. In a group, its very hard for me to say something because everyone else is talking up a storm. I also feel like everyone notices that i am the only person in the group not talking.

however, 1 on 1's arent always good for me either. like you said, if i am talking to someone i dont have much in common with, we'll have a lot of awkward silences. so i like 1 on 1's but it depends on who i am talking to.
 

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I'm also better in group settings rather than one on one situations. Although, one on one situations does require me to use my brain more so I can think of things to say.
 

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If I have to choose between a group or 1 on 1 setting with a group of unknown people to me I'd have to say group. Your able to blend in easier and can throw in a comment every now and then rather than holding a 1 on 1 conversation (which would freak me out). I always worry what to say or what to talk about. And yeh, the silence kills me and I feel stupid like I should know what to say or to talk about. D:
 

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I've been thinking about this very issue quite a lot lately. For me I can't say which is easier, it probably depends on the situation. But I've thought up a few ways reasons why I might find groups/one-on-one situations easy/difficult:

Groups Pros
- There is less expectation on me to say something, I can just sit there and say nothing if I wish
- I can wait for a topic that's interesting and then make a comment
- I can feel sociable just by being with a group without talking that much
Cons: If I do make a comment that is weird or not funny enough, there are more people to disapprove of it and lots of eyes looking at me when I speak
- fear of cutting the whole conversation short
- I feel really crap about myself if everyone else is having a great time chatting and I'm just watching them
- I am quite a slow-thinker when it comes to conversations, so quite often in groups the pace of talking is so fast and changeable even if I do have a comment it is hard to interrupt as someone always gets to their "turn" sooner than me - in other words, there aren't long enough gaps between each utterance for me to get a word in

One person Pros:
- I'm more likely to actually *have* a fulfilling conversation with someone/make a friend and be able to go into depth on a topic
- it feels acceptable to make a bit of a goofy or weird comment to break the ice and if I do come across as strange it's just one person's judgement and not 4 or 5
- it's easier for me to actually speak at all because it's just one person listening and there's less chance of them interrupting me or me interrupting them
- they are obliged to respond to what I say (referring back to the larger group problem of fear of a halting a conversation)
Cons:
- I must speak
- silences are more awkward
- eye contact is probably essential.

So ... all in all, I'm more anxious about talking to someone one-on-one, but in the long run I'll probably have a more successful conversation with them. Too bad the anxiety of approaching people prevents me from having many on-one-one interactions.
 

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For me it depends on what the situation is - anything in a group I wont say anything and will feel anxious about being singled out or that people will notice how quiet I am. One on one is best for me because I know whats gonna happen, theres less anticipation - I don't have to wait to talk, I don't have to worry about being outnumbered, I feel like I have more time to explain myself, I can see their reaction and more easily see how they are feeling about what I am saying, there is a clearly defined end so I know when we are finished and I feel like the person will judge me on the merits of what I say rather than what is socially acceptable. There is an element of certainty that this person wants to talk to me rather than just talking to me because I am part of the group.
 

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I am better one on one in certain situations. Most find me to funny and understanding. When I am in a group, I fade into the background. I do the same with my brothers and sisters. I think they trained me to be this way.
I got some mixed up messages and I hate them for not being for me now.
I have five brothers and sisters and none of them stay in touch, or say
"man, your important to me, come see me, be a part of my life" ugh!!!!

Some I have heard some think I am stuck up, God, if they only knew. The fear
of not being accepted, or to ugly to talk and think, or you have no degree
you have no right to think or say anything
outloud(ugh.... I know that is my self esteem, my damn ego against me-thats just not right.) I am scared think I am not only depressed (yes, I am on medication-whooohooo! the cure-all), it really just keeps me from following through with suicide, which I wll never try again, because the Suicide Ward is not only expensive, useless, and confining, and I don't think I will even succeed at that, but I have this weird *** social phobia too.)

How much is one person suppose to take?? (Oh yeah, God only gives you as much as you can handle). Well, I am not normal. I have walked through suicide and so called survival, only willing to still trade anyone who wants to live with my desire to not live here anymore. I don't see the point, it just all crap!! I don't get it. Don't worry, I have to stay here till God comes to take me. Thats what a suicide attempt taught me. I have no control.

Have you ever read those books about people who go through these terrible
accidents or loses and come out on the other side, "a much person, in a much better
life." What the heck??? Why them and not me???????
Just more proof,that I am nothing, especially to God. Oh, or is it I am learning some lesson from a previous life, that I know nothing about, and don't know what it is I am suppose to learn,but thats ok, cause it will all work out in the end.
Ok, well you can tell I am not in a good spot, this is the first time I have expressed my feelings to anyone since my attempt in 2002. You'd think I'd be better now, but I am not, I am lonely but not stupid.
Thanks for listening. It does mean alot to me. Maybe this will help-who knows?
 

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Just one more thing. My one on one is professional, not personal. I am only
able to talk to certain people one on one, and it is never intelligent talk, its like " oh, how are the kids?" "Are you still closing on your house Wednesday?"
I am too afraid I will mess up, have my facts wrong, or someone will be funnier or smarter. I hate this, I need to deal with this.
 

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Oh my God, I just finished reading your post.
"Girlfriend, what's that?"
Oh my God, how I relate???? What happened, I used to have girlfriends 25 years ago, we used to party, laugh, go to fairs, or parks and have a great time.
Now, I don't even know how to be or meet a girlfriend? or partner in life for that matter.
Thanks so much for sharing, it means alot to me, you know, I am not the only feeling this way. It's real and it hurts.
 

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yea i do much better one on one because i dont feel like i can be overwhelmed or get lost in a group of people talking. One person i can focus better on an i know they focus better on me but put a group of people i dont know or am not comfortable with then i panic. At work i do better though
 

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I know what you mean about 1 on 1. Im better in a group.

Luckily my 'awkward silences' only last for a moment before I float off into my own little world and forget that I was even talking to someone..

Ive always wondered if it made people feel awkward when I sit there staring at the table.
 

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Longing to be Free
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I have trouble in both 1 on 1 and in groups. In 1 on 1 the problem is that I am guaranteed to be in the conversation, there's no one else that is going to talk. In groups I feel unimportant next to the more active people in the group.
 

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Completing agree and sympathize with OP.

I definitely prefer group settings over one on one. It seems like everyone has mostly just said which they prefer. I'll try to dish out some advice as I have had a lot of experience and awkward silences with one on one situations.

This advice is for if you don't know what to talk about.
1.Listen to what they are actually saying. Often times you're too busy u you're own head to actually come up with a valid response to the conversation.

2. Be okay with awkward silences.The main trick is to show that you're comfortable with the other person. Even if you're not try to show that everything is all dandy and you're enjoying yourself. Supposing you're in the car driving with this other person. You can do certain things with you're behaviour that will show you're comfortable. A really good way is to just get comfortable. Who care's about the awkward silences. They might care but show that you don't. That would make them more comfortable around you. Show you're comfortable with silence even though you might not be. It takes practice but it works. You can also just look out the window.. yawn..burp.. do some body language that shows you are in you're own thoughts and comfortable with yourself. I do admit this is tough for restaurant/bar situations where you're across the table. But often looking like you're deep in thought can help. Just look at a part of the table and do that squint with you're eyes to show you're thinking about something. Heck it might even make you seem mysterious.

3. Get better at conversing by people watching. Whether you're on buses or skytrains or anywhere outside, look for people who are in one on one situations. Observe them. If you can get close enough see what they're talking about. How they talk about it. You'll often see two people not talking to each other but they look comfortable.

4. Bring you're own character to the table. Be yourself. Let them know who you are. They'll learn to be okay with those silences and appreciate you more for who you are. Those few words that you do say will be more valuable.

5. Channel Ryan Gosling's character in Drive. There are many silences between him and the girl yet he looks completely comfortable. Be comfortable and fine with those silences. I know i'm repeating step 2. But i think it's the most important.

Hopefully this helps you guys and please add on to what i have to offer. I'm sure there are other ways to help.
 

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I definitely prefer group settings over one on one. It seems like everyone has mostly just said which they prefer. I'll try to dish out some advice as I have had a lot of experience and awkward silences with one on one situations.

This advice is for if you don't know what to talk about.
1.Listen to what they are actually saying. Often times you're too busy u you're own head to actually come up with a valid response to the conversation.

2. Be okay with awkward silences.The main trick is to show that you're comfortable with the other person. Even if you're not try to show that everything is all dandy and you're enjoying yourself. Supposing you're in the car driving with this other person. You can do certain things with you're behaviour that will show you're comfortable. A really good way is to just get comfortable. Who care's about the awkward silences. They might care but show that you don't. That would make them more comfortable around you. Show you're comfortable with silence even though you might not be. It takes practice but it works. You can also just look out the window.. yawn..burp.. do some body language that shows you are in you're own thoughts and comfortable with yourself. I do admit this is tough for restaurant/bar situations where you're across the table. But often looking like you're deep in thought can help. Just look at a part of the table and do that squint with you're eyes to show you're thinking about something. Heck it might even make you seem mysterious.

3. Get better at conversing by people watching. Whether you're on buses or skytrains or anywhere outside, look for people who are in one on one situations. Observe them. If you can get close enough see what they're talking about. How they talk about it. You'll often see two people not talking to each other but they look comfortable.

4. Bring you're own character to the table. Be yourself. Let them know who you are. They'll learn to be okay with those silences and appreciate you more for who you are. Those few words that you do say will be more valuable.

5. Channel Ryan Gosling's character in Drive. There are many silences between him and the girl yet he looks completely comfortable. Be comfortable and fine with those silences. I know i'm repeating step 2. But i think it's the most important.

Hopefully this helps you guys and please add on to what i have to offer. I'm sure there are other ways to help.
This has also been one of my greatest issues with my SA. Glad I came across this and I will put my own perspective and experience with each of these points.

1. I agree. Often times I am stressing about running out of things to say that I would constantly try hard to come up with new topics in my head while the other person is talking and therefore I do not listen to them. As a result that affects the flow of the conversation as an adverse effect. But when I listen to them, I often fear in what I forgot what I want to say and then lose that great topic I was going to bring up.

2. Just because I am okay with awkward silences, it does not mean the other person is. The other person might think: why I would hang out with a person that would constantly have awkward silences when I can hang out with someone else that do not? This of course varies from person to person. But in my experience I have gone through this countless times with people. To the point they would avoid hanging out with me 1 on 1. Funny you mention bars. The unlucky soul that always ends up sitting next to me on the end in bar seating would always end up in lone silence looking at their phone. Overtime I would be aware of people trying to push their way into seats to not sitting next to me on an end whenever we do bar seating, like musical chairs lol.

3. I agree with this partially. With me the problem with 1 on 1 is not often times not knowing what to talk about generally. Rather it is not knowing and having the chemistry with the other person to be comfortable enough to bring up certain topics with this other person. Due to this our conversation becomes very limited to what things to bring up.

4. Agree with this partially as well. This also depends on the other person and if they will be comfortable with this. Some might accept you and appreciate this while others will see it as a uncomfortable stigma. But if I meet someone like this, I would be sure to treasure the friendship.

5. Well it is indeed a fictional movie character. If I were to imagine someone to hang out with the Driver in real life, I can imagine them being pretty uncomfortable
 
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