|11-22-2008, 12:15 AM||#1 (permalink)|
Join Date: Nov 2008
My Thursday night
So, I tried to be social Thursday night. I was invited to a battle of the bands between the different schools at my university. I knew some of the people in our school's band, albeit not very well, so I decided to show up. I like live music anyhow.
I got there, and they had these little questionnaires asking you trivia questions about all of the schools. If you completed the questionnaire properly, you would be entered to win a prize. The idea was to get you talking to people in other schools, so I grabbed one and didn't really have any problem walking up to people I didn't know and asking them some questions. We would briefly chat, but eventually we each would part ways to get the rest of the questions answered.
After about 30 minutes, I had my questions answered. Now there were maybe 40 people there. It was starting to get crowded and people were starting to form little conversational circles. I identified one that was a mixture of men and women (I don't like talking to only women because it makes me look like I'm hitting on them and I'm really bad at traditional "guy talk") and tried to enter it. They were standing in a small circle talking to eachother. It was too loud to hear about what. I tried to enter the circle by physically inserting myself into it, but they didn't open up. Maybe I just didn't assert myself enough. Anyhow, I left to go chat with some other people who I know, but aren't my friends.
Eventually, the bands start playing. I listen to the bands, but there is downtime between them as the new bands set up their stuff. I realize I should be talking to people. I look around. Everyone seems to be engaged in a conversation with other people. I pick one or two people who seem to be a bit lost and then thinking about approaching. I try to focus on all the negative thoughts I was having to keep me from doing it ("you're not interesting enough, they'll reject you, what if she has a boyfriend, what if he thinks you're gay"), but I realize I'm not having any of those. The only thought I have is, "What the hell am I going to say after hello?" My mind feels completely and utterly blank.
I have no idea what sort of fear that is. I do well when I'm in situations where I know what I'm going to say, but I guess I fall flat on my face when I'm improvising it. I guess I also worry that if I make a bad impression, people will remember me. These aren't random people in a bar, I recognize many of them from other events, and I will see them again.
What kind of fear is this? So, how do I get over this? I looked into Toastmasters, but I don't think it really addresses my issues. I can give a prepared speech any day; I've lectured hundreds of people before and even once gave a speech in front of ~1,000 people. It's the small, social settings that I fail at.
|11-22-2008, 12:35 AM||#2 (permalink)|
Join Date: Nov 2008
I don't think physically inserting yourself into the circle was a good idea. It would feel like you were intruding on someone elses conversation.
I think you're afraid of getting close to people. Making friends isn't about having good conversational skills imo. It's about opening yourself up and being warm and inviting and empathic. About sharing yourself with another person.
In this situation other people would have no idea how you're feeling. They would see you trying to butt in on other peoples conversations without really having anything to contribute except a kind of stoic restraint.
I think there's a deeper problem and trying to fix the symptoms (i.e. social anxiety or whatever) is just avoiding the underlying issue.
Maybe you're afraid of being honest with people and find it easier to maintain a sense of authority and capability then truly express how you feel. Maybe you're deathly afraid of getting close to someone emotionally.
I say this out of experience. I've been through this stage. In my case I unconsiously decided I was better than everyone and they had a problem if they din't want to be friends with me. I've realised I actually had a problem with myself.
|11-22-2008, 01:25 AM||#3 (permalink)|
Join Date: Nov 2008
For example, I was talking to a Russian girl at this party, and this guy I sort of know just walks into our conversation and starts talking to her. He finds out she's Russian and they start talking in Russian (which I don't understand). Eventually, I realize I can't participate in this conversation and try to politely slink away. Was that rude of him? Probably. But I guarantee you that if you asked her who she liked more, she liked him.
|11-22-2008, 10:57 AM||#6 (permalink)|
Join Date: Nov 2008
I don't think mediccation will solve anything.
I know exactly how you feel. But theres always a deeper problem.
Theres a reason you're not entirely comfortable around people. You need to figure out what that is. I'd advise you to maybe start journalling and meditating or something to do a little soul searching and connect with yourself. It's hard to figure out what the problem is if you are looking away from it.
The people who you watch being successful with other people are just that because they know themselves.
It sounds like you're really trying hard and being persistant. That's a really really good thing. Don't give up. You just need to keep trying different angles until you have a breakthrough. This could be a really small breakthrough but if it's enough to shift your perpective then you're already on your way.
I'm confident that you'll make it eventually. Just concentrate on yourself. Don't be afraid to go really deep into yourself even if it's painful and seems neverending. You have to go through the dark tunnel before you can reach the light.
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