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Social Skills

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by Ewok, Aug 12, 2017.

  1. Ewok

    Ewok Peer Supporter

    I suppose this is not really a TMS question (or maybe it is) but I have identified that my interactions with others are a large source of the anxiety I generate on a daily basis. I've always know that I was an introvert and like time to myself. I wouldn't consider myself shy but I struggle to build and maintain friendships mainly because I feel I struggle to be a good conversationalist. I just never seem to know what to say to people and dread ono-on-one or small group situations where I am expected to contribute to the conversation. For others, conversations just seem to flow effortlessly and with enjoyment. I even have this problem with family members and people I know well. I'm just constantly trying to think of things to say. Is this related to being overly self-conscious and low self-esteem? Does anyone else struggle with this? Can anyone give me any advice?
    Lily Rose likes this.
  2. RozieHolland

    RozieHolland Peer Supporter

    Hello Ewok,

    I also struggled with myself to be conversational in the right way.
    I also didn't know what to say when I was in company with friends or family.
    I wanted to be in part of them, also tried to think of some things to say, but the words didn't come.
    Then the shame came, I am not normal, I am not like other (normal) people, I thought.

    Now I know better.

    When I was younger I was searching for words in my head, but those were not there.
    Nowadays the words come easy, from my belly, I don't have to search anymore.

    I am a sensitive person. I prefer to feel, not talking.
    When I am talking to much, I lose the contact with myself, and that is something I don't want.

    And what are the conversations about?
    About the weather? About dinner you had last night? About clothes they sell in the shop? About the elections?
    For me this is the reason I didn't participated with nonsense. This is not what life is about.

    When that came clear to me, rest became over me and silence.
    Now I can be quiet in company, but still present, and the rest usually also calms down.
    When there is no talking, I don't feel afraid anymore, because I am in the present.

    For me this is TMS, because of the tension it brings to your body.

    With love,
    Ewok, Ellen, Lily Rose and 1 other person like this.
  3. plum

    plum Beloved Grand Eagle

    I'm an introvert. I like to rest back in social situations, listen and observe, add to the conversation when I have something to say. I used to struggle, largely because I felt I had to be witty, entertaining and charismatic. Having dispensed of these silly notions I am free to be myself. I trust myself and am grounded in who I am and what I have to offer. This enables me to be at ease which lets others be at their ease.

    Some people are the strong and silent type (my youngest brother), others are flamboyant and hilariously funny (my other brother), and most are somewhere in between. I love the differences in the interactions these bring and our relationships run smoothly when we are just ourselves. There is comfort in that.

    Cease trying and content yourself with being the lovely, quiet, sensitive soul you are. Allow those qualities to permeate your interactions and you will feel tension dissipate. Being a person of depth is a lovely thing.
    Ewok, Ellen, Lily Rose and 1 other person like this.
  4. Gigalos

    Gigalos Beloved Grand Eagle

    Social talk... hmmm... Sometimes I like it but it really depends on what kind of monkeys join the circle. Do they want to impress each other? Or are they just chilling and sharing peanuts? It really is a form of flee picking and food sharing. You tell me your story about what happened to you in the mall, I tell you my story about how dreadful the vacation was. You tell me where to buy those shoes, I tell you a joke that makes you laugh. You want a beer, I am getting one myself so... ?? No thank you, want some peanuts??

    But it really is a vicious cycle... My findings have been that the less I care, the more talkative I seem to be... and sometimes there is the aftermath 'oh my god, did I really say that to him/her?? Why can't I just shut up?'. Anxiety beforehand, self critique afterwards, both during... The trick for me is still trying to do everything in the moment. Don't worry beforehand, don't worry while you're there and don't critique yourself afterwards. And don't forget that probably half the people there have difficulty with all this too. And... the more you do it, the easier it becomes.
    Ewok, plum, Ellen and 1 other person like this.
  5. Lily Rose

    Lily Rose Beloved Grand Eagle

    Silence can be oddly powerful when combined with being comfortable in your silence.

    As for social situations, I have pre-set my boundaries and my 'tribe' does not expect me to participate, though they unfailingly extend their invitations. In this, I am very blessed to have such lovely friends.

    I especially never participate in any social activity that involves food or any form of alcohol. I prefer mindful eating, and since I enjoy my food, I consume it only in the nurturing environment of my home. And alcohol ... it changes people into strangers, and the volume gets too loud. No one hears each other ... they are too wrapped in their own voices. Many (most?) social situations are gossipy, which, too often, carries the subtle (or not so subtle) blade of mockery and scorn. Thus, you rarely get to connect with someone at more authentic levels.

    What Rozie says pretty much sums it up :)

    The only time I feel truly lonely is when I am involved with any social situation. If I was ever caught in one (family) and I could not escape, I would make myself useful. Who doesn't appreciate a volunteer to do the dishes? ;)

    No one 'expects' me to be social. Anyone who does soon learns to remove that expectation. There is often surprise when I explain this, as I seem so comfortable and calm and so fully engaged when at Farmers' Market or teaching Yoga, or teaching Poi ... but these aren't social situations. They are activities with specific intentions.

    Introverts need some social interactions, but it is a matter of finding the venue for this.

    Perfection, as always!
    ... and this, too!

    You are just perfect how you are. Let yourself BE.

    .... with Love and Gratitude
    Ewok, plum and Ellen like this.
  6. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

    I find that if I shift my focus off of myself (how am I being perceived, do others like me, etc.) and onto others, then social interactions are much more enjoyable and go much smoother.

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