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Social farewells and I

Hey, thanks for taking the time to read this.

 

I realised that I have a problem socialising due to anxiety. As a result I'm always concerned about what the other person/ people think of me. Whenever I ask my mum about what to do, she keeps on telling me that it's normal, but something else is telling me otherwise.

 

Anyway, I noticed that I have a problem not with the instigation of a conversation, but instead the concluding of one.  I have trouble realising:

The point at which a conversation ends,

and

How to continue one.

This is where my anxiety comes in to play and as a result I either cannot think of anything else to say or cannot concluding a conversation.  An example is what happened earlier today. I was walking my dog and one of my neighbours greeted me and asked me some questions about my dog after I answered, them being social as possible, the conversation just froze. And I freaked out and just continued walking......

 

Should I do something ? If so what?

or am I just overthinking this and perfectly fine as my mum said?

 

Thanks again for bearing with me, and I hope to hear from anyone soon.

Re: Social farewells and I

Hi @Hontez,

Welcome to ReachOut. I think most people can relate to how hard and awkward it can feel to have conversations with strangers when you're younger. I used to avoid making phone calls for that exact reason! The good news is that conversation is a skill that you can practise.  Here are some tips for you!

Making conversation with strangers

and actually ReachOut has a whole massive section of tips on Communication Skills!

In terms of saying goodbye to people, or knowing when to end the conversation - I guess I'd add that it's ok for you to end the conversation when you are ready, by saying "Well, I'll let you get back to it" or... "it was nice to chat to you, see you later" or something like that. That lets the other person know that you're ending the conversation and it's time to say goodbye.

You can also look out for signals from the other person that they're ready to end the conversation. They might start looking away from you, or they might look at their watch. Or they might say things like I mentioned above, like "thanks for stopping by" or "I'll let you get back to it".

Practising little conversations like talking to people while walking your dog sounds like a great way to build your confidence. And you have the dog as an excuse to end the conversation early, too. "Well, I'd better get moving, my dog needs a walk!" is a totally acceptable way to end a conversation. Smiley Happy

Good luck!
blithe

 

Re: Social farewells and I

Hi @Hontez !! 

 

Social anxiety can be something that can happen at any point in a conversation. It can be tough, especially when being super-sociable and chatty is not really something that comes naturally to you. I can understand what you're gong through - I'm pretty awkward in conversation myself, and sometimes when there's a lull in the conversation I'll start worrying about how to fill the silence.

 

This factsheet has some ideas about how to be less socially awkward, which can be helpful to keep in mind. Personally, I've found it useful to start with 'So...' or 'Anyway...' when I want to change a topic or bring up a new one, including situations in which I have to leave. For example:

 

[talking for a while]

Me: 'So, I'd better be going' 

Other person: 'Oh okay, well see you then!'

 

It might also be useful to remember some phrases that you can use if you need to leave a conversation. And even if you do something awkward, keep in mind that it doesn't really matter what the other person thinks.

 

Either way, good luck and keep us posted on how things go Smiley Happy

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Re: Social farewells and I

@Hontez awesome post! Many people are plagued by social anxieties at one time or another and I can totally relate.

The above posts have given some really good suggestions, but I thought I'd just say a little bit too

 

Firstly, the more you think about how you struggle to end a convo, the worse it is going to be! When I know I struggle with a social aspect, I find it actually really helps if I make a joke of it with the other person! You could even jokingly say something like "I have no idea how to end a convo so if I end up rambling and bore you, please let me know!" If you say it with a smile I guarantee they'll think you are all the more genuine, approachable and friendly (and they'll probably laugh).  This method can be applied to all sorts of things.  I used to be really nervous talking to girls, so this is what I did and it helped heaps

 

Secondly, (and this is especially true for social settings) people are usually solely concerned with their own appearance! I would be very surprised if they are as focused on you as you think they are.  (You're self-focus on your awkwardness is evidence for this).   You are probably far more capable socially than you perceive yourself to be.  To help undermine the threat of your own perceived social deficits, I would re-evaluate its importance - go into a situation jokingly thinking to yourself "im going to be as awkward as I possibly can and never end a conversation" and you might find you are less worried.

 

All in all, don't be to hard on yourself and keep exposing yourself to social situations and it'll improve.

 

 

 

Re: Social farewells and I

By the way, no one is perfect socially, everyone brings their own flair and qualities! Be yourself, laugh at your own awkwardness at the beginning of the conversation and other people will love it.  I love it when people are able to joke about themselves!  Also, fake confidence can go a long way so keep trying @Hontez