I am 24 and have no social skills whatsoever (through lack of practice). There is nothing particularly wrong with me [from the outside] but I need to hang around with people who don't scare me with their confidence and life experience, as I have neither. These people are hard to find.
How can I make friends?
try putting urself in situations where u have 2 interact with ppl. it would b hard atb 1st but ud get used to it eventually, like join a group or club with similar intrests etc
"So I wake in the morning and I step outside<br />And I take deep breath and I get real high<br />And I scream from the top of my lungs<br />What's...
Have you considered joining clubs based on interests you share? That can be a good way of meeting people similar to yourself, and with a common interest that you can talk about.
The above advice about common interests really is the way to go here. There was a time (long long ago, ha ha) when I was very shy and introverted myself. I know the feeling, you're just bloody cringing and cant think of a thing to say and feel like the worlds biggest eejit.
It's important to get to meet people in situations that you're comfortable in, so that you're more relaxed and more yourself. Also meeting people while you're engaged in an activity eliminates the need for immediate conversation. And dont worry yourself sick about being shy, some people find it an appealing quality, I do!
But at my age (24) I am supposed to have some life experience and I would feel too inadequate to ever mix with real people, regardless of whether we had similar interests. I have no confidence to speak to people, nor the required confidence to perform those "special interests/hobbies" in front of other people.
I am leaving my work in 6 weeks and I fear that someone could organise a small leaving do for me out of sympathy. I have been there for 3 years but have obviously never properly socialised with my colleagues. I may also get invited to someone else's leaving party.
However, I have never been to a party before, and I can't interact with people because I have no experience or any social skills, so I will have to say no to any potential invites - even if its my own party! This will be a humiliating experience whatever happens and I am scared they will think even less of me once I've gone.
Now you see how much of a mess my life is.
aw man. i think you need a virtual hug
pm me if you want to talk. im here for you hunny.
*~I don't mind living in a man's world..As long as I can be a woman in it!~* -Marilyn
Listen, I know it's hard to see your way out of a situation when your stuck in it, but what's going on here is really very clear to someone who's got an objective view. What's happened is that somewhere along the way, for some reason, it dosent matter what, you withdrew from being social for fear-based reasons. Whatever the fear was based on, (it sounds like rejection, but I'm no shrink) dosent matter cause that's not the point.
The point is you are being held back by fear. You are right in that it is unusual that someone of 24 should have such limited social skills and because you know this you withdraw further to limit the possibility of the thing I suspect you are afraid of; rejection.
What are you intending to do about this? I'll bet these feelings have been with you a long time. I'd be willing to bet they were opressing you ten years ago. Are you going to let another decade go by, by which time you'll be in your mid thirties and afraid to leave the house? Your opressor here is FEAR and what you need to do is make it your opponant - in short, fight back.
There is a brilliant and very famous life-altering book by a woman called Susan Jeffers, called 'Feel the fear and do it anyway'. I really think it's your best chance. Grab the bull by the horns and read that book. After all, what are the alternatives?
By the way, with six weeks to go, I'd get that book asap and start reading fast. Let me know how you get on.
No matter how long your life is, it'll still be way to short to waste another moment feeling this way. You'll be in my thoughts, x.
hmmm its never to late to start making friends
if they throw u a party go im sure it wil be a small affair if u dont feel comfortable u can always leave no-one is going to force u into this !!
mm the only way u are going to get out with the discomfort is if u confront it .....like some of the other people have said maybe join a club like i said just try to talk to people if u dont feeel comfortable i stress no-one is forcing u to stay their
u just have to keep trying!!!!!
i hope this helps and i hope u sort it out pm me any time !
<img src="/forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/smile.gif" alt=":)" title="smile" height="15" width="15" /> a smile on the outside to often is saddness...
"Listen, I know it's hard to see your way out of a situation when your stuck in it, but what's going on here is really very clear to someone who's got an objective view. What's happened is that somewhere along the way, for some reason, it dosent matter what, you withdrew from being social for fear-based reasons. Whatever the fear was based on, (it sounds like rejection, but I'm no shrink) dosent matter cause that's not the point. The point is you are being held back by fear. You are right in that it is unusual that someone of 24 should have such limited social skills and because you know this you withdraw further to limit the possibility of the thing I suspect you are afraid of; rejection."
That sounds like a good synopsis to me, although you ask what i am going to do about it, well i don't think there is anything i can do about it.
I will look for that book that you mentioned, although i won't hold out much hope that it will help me. I fear I am too far down the tortured path. I know deep down that I cannot be saved now. I am nearly 25 and if I was 15 then I could get help, but not at my age.
I just hate the way I have no respect or credibility from anyone, it is true I have had a weird life but I know it could have been different if I had the ability to socialise with people.
I cannot even make eye contact with people because I suffer from mild anxiety attacks whenever I make eye contact with someone. My paranoia goes into overdrive and I can only think about what negative things they must be thinking of me as I speak.
Also, I believe that my lack of eye contact with other people reduces my interpersonal skills, and maybe people think I am rude or disinterested in them because I can't hold a conversation properly. But this is not the case, I am just dangerously low on confidence, so low that mixing with real people is too difficult.
In the summer of 2003 I belatedly thought about throwing myself in front of a train and commiting suicide. I was long-term unemployed at the time (job interviews are also difficult to me with my kind of problems), so maybe that contributed to my depression. However, I soon after managed to get a job which I still have now, well at least until late September. This has at least stopped me from feeling depressed as much as I used to. Yet in those three years I have not made any friends or won any respect from my coleagues. This has lead me to feel suicidal again and I really don't care any more.
Ok, now listen: You are almost 25 years old and of course you have no idea how long your life will be. The natural life of a man is estimated at around 75 years of age. Lets assume for a moment that you live that long. Please try to imagine how you would feel on your deathbed, at 75 years of age, knowing that you gave up the opportunity to change your life at 25. How would that feel? How heavy would the weight of regret be? Could you forgive yourself? Or would you be angry and coiled up in knots of remorse?
Now, I cant look into your eyes but you have shown me a very deep and private facet of your phsyche that I would never be able to glean from a glance and, on experiencing that, I feel authorised to tell you that it is obvious you are not somebody undeserving of respect; you are a young man struggling in a very deep well of lonliness because he has been cut off from the remedy of it - interaction with other people.
What's absoloutly imperitive here is that you come to understand that it is your FEAR that has cut you off, and it is your FEAR that will continue to do so, until you take back your life and remedy the situation by battling that fear.
I have to admit, it is the saddest thing I've heard in a long time, that a young intelligent man (and you are clearly intelligent, as I can deduce from the content of your correspondance) cannot find his way to reach out to the people around him.
It has to have occcured to you that there must have been young women who were attracted to you over the years, but never made a move because you struck them as sullen and standoffish? Perhaps in your paranoia you have lost sight of the fact that nobody has the power to read your thoughts and that people will just make assumptions as to why you do not socialise, and will most likely come to conclusions that are way off the mark?
You simply CANNOT give up on yourself at 25. The ridiculousness of that assertion will only hit you in many years to come when your youth is gone, but by then it will be too late.
By the way, I had a pretty weird upringing myself, what with my parents being patients in the local mental hospital. I left home at 13, two months after my fathers suicide because my mothers illness esculated to intolerable proportions. Believe me, I know what 'weird' is all about.
PLEASE read that book, even if only to prove me wrong, as I'm pretty sure it can be of some benefit to you. Let me know when you've got it.
I'm sorry to hear baout your childhood. I guess that makes me seem pretty inadequate in comparison.
However, I browsed through the book you mentioned but I didn't think suited me very much so I couldn't buy it or rent it.
I think my problem is that I am fearful of talking to someone face-to-face because I am scared of being rejected, so to avoid the humilation I just avoid trying, which in turn makes me look even worse. I just don't know where or why I ever ended up like this or why my fear is so great. :confused:
You dont seem in any way inadequate, you seem like a guy who thinks he's inadequate, which is in some ways even more frustrating for me!
I'm a bit embarassed about posting delicate details of my private past all over the internet there, but I was just trying to drive home the point that you can come from pretty extreme adversity and turn out fine. I've had all that shit and a drug problem on top of it, missed ten years of school then went back to college. Things really CAN go your way if you want it bad enough and are prepared to work hard enough for it.
Why didnt you feel the book was for you? To be straight with you I think that's a bit of a cop out and wouldnt be at all surprised if fear of having to struggle against fear itself stopped you buying that book. To my mind, you cant say you've given a book like that a fair shot until you've read to the final word, closed the book, then gone off and implemented it's suggestions in your life and see do they work. Do you know what I mean?
Actually, I listened to a clip of the AudioBook on iTunes and it wasn't the type of book I was expecting. I was hoping for a instructionary book, not a personal recount of the author's life. Maybe I'll give it another go.
The threads of instruction are gleaned from the authors own life experiences, I think that's worth more than advice from somebody who learned everything they know about the workings of the mind from textbooks. Go on, give it a go! What have you got to lose?
<I cannot even make eye contact with people because I suffer from mild anxiety attacks whenever I make eye contact with someone. My paranoia goes into overdrive and I can only think about what negative things they must be thinking of me as I speak.>
HM - I believe that this issue may be a bit over the heads of an internet forum - although Starfish has certainly given you some excellent advice/suggestions. Social anxiety/paranoia is a very real thing and perhaps through your work health insurance and primary physician you can get a referral for therapy from a professional.
Being insecure and/or shy is one thing but to have suicidal thoughts is quite another - could be you are suffering from clinical depression.
Perhaps if you were in a group with others who have similar issues that you could talk to open and honestly would be the very springboard you require to get over it. There are "tools" that you can learn to get over this.
That being said - IMO there is no such thing as "normal". What you are is what you are - sure you can work to improve yourself but stop thinking of yourself as others "might" be perceiving you - truth is you actually DON'T know how anyone is perceiving you - this is only in your own mind. I think one can only be successful in life if they pretty much stop caring about what other people think. Sure we all want to be accepted by the group but it is more important to be true to oneself.
Please - today, find out thru your physician about getting some professional help - while you are at your job possibly it would all be covered by health insurance - and then let us know what you find out.
Somewhere inside you there is a beautiful person waiting to come out - so most of all stop reinforcing those negative thoughts by saying "NO!" in your mind whenever they crop up - and immediately replace it with a positive one - all these negative thoughts are just a bad habit that can be easily overcome with a little bit of practice.
"The path to salvation is narrow and as difficult to walk as the razors edge."
Self Luminous said: "I think one can only be successful in life if they pretty much stop caring about what other people think". I came to that same conclusion many moons ago and that has since been something of a mantra for me, which I live my life by whenever necessary. For me, it's the only way to go. I think you can get there HM, but it's going to take some serious and dedicated effort.
Have you heard anything more about this leaving work function you were worried about?
I am leaving work in less than 2 weeks, and as far as I know I will not be invited to a leaving party. Another couple of people are leaving at the same time and they have had parties organised for them - and I obviously havn't been invited.
Obviously I have stated before that I would have probably said no even if I was invited, but the fact that I am being totally ignored tells me all I need to know.
ask a bunch of people "will u be my friend?"
"Sometimes I think i'm gonna join the army, I mean it's basically like FPS but better graphics. But what h...
Have you got a new job lined up? If so, you could see this as something of a fresh start.
Now I'm going to ask you - real slow, did - you - get - the - book?! :1 <- This is my best attempt at a stright lipped angry face as I cant figure out how to use the icons properly!