Jump to content
Mental Support Community

How to be more social?


smallstar
 Share

Recommended Posts

Okay, so who wants to tell me how to "get a life". How do I get over my fears and act like an adult, meet people, spend time out of my house or work and maybe one day have my own life, a life I don't mind living, a life I'm not afraid to live, maybe even a life I could enjoy living, I can't find away out of this bubble of life I have created for myself, like a shield, I want to step out of it but it's like it's elastic and I just bounce back in once I get to the edge, I guess I don't really want to get out cause obviously there's not actually anything pushing me back, what's worse is it's not one thing to get over, it's two, I'm afraid of not being home, feel guilty if I leave for too long, constantly watch the clock when I'm not home, and the reason to go out is to meet someone to marry and make the life I want but I can't interact with other people well, especially someone I might be interested in, I am not social and can't handle social situations and I'll shut down, when I have gone out in the past that's what happens, I shut down, stop talking to anybody, get upset and just can't wait to go home. I don't know what to do to make myself different, better, I'd say I'm giving up but I don't think you can give up if you haven't really tried, you can just quit caring I guess.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I imagine walking into a date with the reason to meet someone to marry would make social interaction pretty interesting. I remember using a similar sort of perspective myself, but a date is a category distinct from relationship status – and marital status even! If you make plans to go out on a date, the main point in doing so is to have a good time and to get to know the other person a little bit better.

To become more comfortable in social settings, perhaps you can practice by starting slowly and working your way up. For example, you can begin with a coffee date with familiar friends, slowly building on smaller milestones until you can invite a friend you have always wanted to see more of, social gatherings with more than two people, and so on. Just talk about hobbies, plans for the coming week, month, and quarter, other things of interest that you have found funny, and use these topics as a basis to connect with other people.

Don't be discouraged, smallstar! You had a few bad experiences, but you tried! Clearly, you are not done yet. For each week, make a small commitment to train your social skills. It can involve setting out to spend ten minutes to chat with a good friend or co-worker, having a quick lunch with family you have not seen, whatever you want. But, what you are really trying to accomplish in each task is to simply relax and touch base.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi smallstar,

I can relate to what you are feeling wholeheartely. my question to you is , that do You want a social life? what is making ou feel like your unable to? Is this primarialy social anxiety? fear of saying the wrong thing? shyness? can you give us more details about how your are feeling .

Igot the impression that you would really like to be more social. It is not that you do not want to, or totally turned off by people or social interaction. So you feel that you will say the wrong thing? Or rejection?

Were you a shy child? Or has these issues recently come up in your life?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Kaudio, maybe what I wrote was not clear, I'm not talking about going on dates and thinking about marrying the person, I am just talking about going out in general, with friends, where I may have the opportunity to meet someone that I may be able to date or marry. I am sure, very sure I have the whole dating and marriage and relationship thing all screwed up in my head. My experience there is limited to two dates, neither went anywhere, and I met them through a website. I don't have one person in my life that would be someone I could date. That's why I need to go out, I am not going to find someon by sitting home.

Mscat, hi, yeah I have always been like this and yes, a very shy kid. I do want to be more social, not for the social part of it, just so I can get married soon, I could care less about going out otherwise. I am a very one on one person, I can't do groups, at all. And yes, I am very afraid of saying and doing the wrong thing. And rejection is probably my number one fear. I like to pretend I don't care, but I do, obviously. I always feel out of place. All I want is to blend in, I just feel like I always stick out.

Edited by smallstar
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hey smallstar,

How about trying a bowling league, a softball league, a walking club or something like that? I guess maybe if you're not really inclined to athletics you could go maybe look into some book discussion groups, a community music group (if you're musically inclined and play an instrument) or some other social activity like that?:P

Maybe even doing some volunteer work at a local food/clothing bank would help you become more comfortable with going out.

I have problems with feeling awkward in groups, but it does seem that if there's at least a little something everyone is doing togther it helps me to be more comfortable....

Link to comment
Share on other sites

hey smallstar, i think every one feels they stand out to an extent, its an anxiety thing. The biggest thing i could say to help is to build the confidence that you dont have anything to be afraid of or feel awkward about, and what you'll actually find is everyone is just about as nervous as you! its really nice to find out people are more like you than you think, i would also recomend just letting the fear down when you go out for grocerys or daily tasks, just sort of enjoy it and know your conquering your anxiety

"Dear prudence, won't you come out to play?

Dear prudence, greet the brand new day.

The sun is up, the sky is blue.

It's beautiful and so are you."

I think you can do it,

and building the confidence will make you feel great! :P

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Smallstar

I will help you "get a life", if that is what you really want !

I will not judge you and I will not "tell you how to get a life", I will simply help you to help yourself, all you will have to do is promise me that you will remain committed to making those changes, if you can do this I will set aside 4 hours every week to help you to make those changes one step at a time... this is not something that you can do overnight and it will take time.

We can do this here, or via personal messaging/email, it's entirely up to you :P

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Star,

From what I understand the obtaining of a life tends to happen from the inside out. An old cliché that I could never deal with as a kid: You can't love someone else until you love yourself.

Okay, so how does that happen, that's the question I had a hard time with. Still have a hard time with, maybe. I think the biggest thing you can do as self-help is to keep pushing the boundary of that rubber bubble. No one says you have to suddenly love crowds of people. But keep trying to interact with one or two at a time, and try to do that with a variety of different people. You don't have to tell them deep secrets, just look them in the eyes and talk to them. In fact, don't talk that much; ask them stuff instead. People really love to talk about themselves. ;-)

But the other half, since I know just how hard that kind of self-help will be, is to try to find a professional to talk to. (I know you know, and that you're trying.) Therapy will give you a person to talk to about all the hard stuff you're going through every day with your parents. Then you don't have so much pressure to get into heavy topics with the new people you meet. It'll give you someone who can challenge all the bad things you tell yourself about yourself, and the other people will give you a chance to test out new ways of interacting, with no real loss if you decide to try something else.

It takes time, I know, but you do have your whole life ahead of you, and that seems like a pretty good reason to get started. :-)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hee, I cheated! :-)

Nah, I happen to know a couple of tricks. Easiest way is to go into the Windows Accessories System Tools and look for something called Character Map. It's an old application that shows you various Unicode characters (all sorts of languages including Arabic or Hebrew) and lets you cut and paste them in. A shortcut is, if you know the character's number in Unicode (because you looked it up before), you can type the character by holding down Alt and typing the four-digit Unicode number on the number keypad. For é, it's Alt-0233. You can find most of the other so-called Latin-1 characters (for most European languages) if you trial and error nearby. So ç is Alt-0231, and ô is Alt-0244 ... Fun way to while away an afternoon is to make your own character table. :-)

Edited by malign
Type: must be 0244; 244 is a different character
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yeah, that sounds a little complicated for me, I thought maybe I was just missing a button on the keyboard or something. I know I need to find a new dr to contact, the other one never emailed me back, now I feel like an idiot for sending a second email. I just don't understand why he would email me back the first time and then ignore me. I haven't really felt like looking for another dr, but I know, as you told me, that in order to progress I need to do things even if I don't feel like it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest ASchwartz

Hi Smallstar,

I have a number of thoughts I want to share with you and the others based on the postings.

First, I want to suggest the idea that there is no need for you to change the person you are because you are fine. You have some obstacles in your way to fulfilling your life but the you who you are (????:) ) is just fine. If anything, become more self accepting. You know, most people feel uncomfortable in social situations and meeting new people. A few are never bothered but most are, to one degree or another.

Second, do not bother with a doctor who does not return an E. Mail. By the way, what do you mean by a "doctor?" If you mean a psychologist or social worker for psychotherapy, that is one thing and that is very good. If you mean a psychiatrist, why go there? How about a good psychotherapist?

Allan

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yeah, it was a therapist I had contacted, not a psychiatrist. I have since contacted a new doctor through email, since the other guy never answered. So we'll see how that goes.

The problem with being social is that I just never want to do anything, go anywhere. If someone asks me to go out, it actually gets me upset and angry, makes my head spin. And I hate having to lie and make excuses. People don't ask me too much anymore, which is fine by me, but when someone does, out of the blue, it catches me off guard. I have gotten much worse with time. I used to make attempts at going out, I wouldn't always say no, but when I did go out I couldn't socialize with anyone until I was drunk. I am so awkward and get so anxious otherwise. At this point I never say yes, it's not even a consideration for me. I used to think about it and toss the idea around in my head and sometimes I would finally just do it. I have limited social skills and would rather not have friends as I hate having to constantly turn them down and say no. I fear they will take it personally, but it's not. It's not any one person I just don't enjoy going out. And it's not as if I'm having this lovely time at home and that's why I stay in. At home it is always tense, never relaxing. I just wait for bedtime. The people at work get irritated when I say things like , oh man it's Friday, that stinks. Or it's almost time to leave, that stinks. I prefer to be at work. Anyway, that's besides the point. The reason I feel the need to learn to force myself to go out and socialize is because I want to get married and have babies. That's it, that's all I want out of life is a husband some babies and a home. I'm not trying to learn to be social so I can make friends, I don't want friends, I can't be a good friend, or the kind of friend I'd like to be.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest ASchwartz

Hi Smallstar,

I am pleased to hear that you want to go out, meet someone, marry and have babies. That is great and that is what life is all about. You do not have to be "miss social" or the "most popular," because that is unimportant. Meeting that one special person is all you need.

You know, I think it is interesting and important that friends invite you to go out. Obviously, they like you. I can see where they might stop giving up but, think about it, they like you. Remember that.

Some of us always feel anxious in social situations, especially with new people. I am one of those people who is anxious with new people until I start to feel comfortable.

The real idea is to go out even though you feel anxious or nervous. That is what I mean. In other words, there is nothing wrong with feeling nervous. We spend too much time fighting against nervousness and that makes us more nervous. Believe me, I know. So, go out even though you feel nervous. There is no shame in nervousness.

Keep E. Mailing new therapists. Have you looked for one on Psychology Today? They keep an updated list of active therapists. Just look it up for your state and locality. It is http://www.psychologytoday.com

Remember, "there is nothing to fear but fear itself" and courage is "mounting the horse even though you feel afraid."

Allan

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yeah, I don't think I get invited anywhere because of someone liking me, it's more that they feel obligated to ask me, in my opinion. But that's fine, because they really don't need to feel obligated, I'd prefer to be left alone. But I do need to start forcing myself to go out, because I do need to meet someone, I'm not really certain however how to meet someone, or more so not being afraid to talk to someone I would meet, or trusting their intent in talking to me. You never know why someone would talk to you, especially if they've been drinking, it becomes kind of pointless, to put myself in these awkward positions and not being able to know what they are really thinking and not believing that someone may actually be interested in me.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You brought up yet another reason why I wouldn't suggest you do your people-meeting in a drinking setting. You won't be the only person there who's been drinking just so they can talk to people. Do you want to have to drink every time before talking to your husband?

What about church? Most of the ones I've heard of have social events, and at least there you know you already have something in common. You don't have to open up to the person immediately. But if you go a few times and say hello to a few people each time, after a while a real conversation might even happen in the complete absence of alcohol!

I'm teasing you a bit, but I really do recommend trying to do things that interest you, because that alone is an ice-breaker compared to just going to clubs and bars and picking someone pretty.

Another point is that, although no one expects you to make friends with everyone, hopefully you do want to make friends with your future husband. How will you do that, if you still carry around all these fears that people don't like you? How, in other words, do you avoid your mother's mistake?

That's why I'm hoping you will find out more about yourself before you set out to find the person you want to spend the rest of your life with. Because the only person you're guaranteed to spend the rest of your life with, is you.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That's a good idea. I don't think there's many people at my church who are my age, most of the church events are full of seniors. There is a youth group, but that is highschoolers. But, I guess I can try and find out events that could be happening at other churches around me. It would be awkward though, it would be nice if I could get someone to come with me, there's not many people I know that would be too willing to go to a church event, they are all more into the bar scene, which I really don't like. But I think I know one person, a friend I've known since kindergarten, she might come with me. She goes to my church and she is a little more into church like I am, even though she does enjoy going out with her friends to the bars, she is good to me, she would probably say yes. I would feel like a total jerk though if I asked her and she laughed at me. Sometimes people don't take me seriously. Which is odd, because I'm the most serious person I know. I know it's dumb, but I just have a hard time when I feel like I made a jerk of myself, but if I tell her I'm serious before I tell her what I want to do and if I tell her not to laugh, she probably won't. People think I'm weird because I like to go to church but I don't think I am.

Anyway, no I wouldn't want to have to be drunk everytime I talked to my husband! I was kind of just thinking get drunk to get to know him than once I knew the person I would be more comfortable with him and drinking wouldn't be necessary. And maybe that's why I don't like the bars, it's like you're there to be judged, that's a hard thing to walk into if you ask me. Walking in is the worst part, that's why I make a bee line to the bar and get drunk as quick as I can, than I feel better. But I don't want to have to be drunk to talk to someone, that's why I like the church idea. Probably the same people would show up at these functions often and I could get to know them slowly, I like the idea of slow. Now I just need to see if something like this even exists.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm sure they exist. My guess is that more successfully married people met in church than in bars, and certainly there are lots of people who don't even go to bars (you're talking to one of them. On the other hand, I don't go to church either; it's a wonder I have a social life at all. ;-)

I understand why you might be such a serious person, at least with other people. After all, you're nervous whenever you're around them ... Hey, another suggestion I'd give you is to try to laugh with people occasionally (or at least with yourself, if the other isn't an option yet.) Besides all the "science" reasons, like releasing endorphins, it just plain helps you stay sane. It's the maniacal laughter that makes people think you're not. ;-)

Well, at least, to the extent that I feel sane, I credit the fact that I can always joke about it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

How, in other words, do you avoid your mother's mistake?

That's why I'm hoping you will find out more about yourself before you set out to find the person you want to spend the rest of your life with. Because the only person you're guaranteed to spend the rest of your life with, is you.

What do you mean by "my mothers mistake"? Do you mean my father? Because I don't think she considers him a mistake, neither do I. More like just someone who's impossible to live with. And how do you find out more about yourself? I don't understand. I thought I knew myself pretty well, at least I'm starting to understand myself. But I wouldn't worry about finding the person I'll spend the rest of my life with anytime soon anyway, I mean I'd like to, but who knows.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...