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Social Interaction is really really hard

I'd like to assume that everyone has had an awkward moment in their life where they couldn't think of something to say or they said something dumb. But lately I've noticed that I just can't talk to people in a normal, natural way. It's not like it's just a little bit awkward, I can't do it. I freak out and act weird and they give me a weird look and walk away. 

 

I need a hand. 

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Re: Social Interaction is really really hard

Hi @BlueEleven

 

Welcome to the forums Smiley Happy

 

I'm really sorry this is your experience of social interactions Smiley Sad for the most part that's been my experience of social interactions too, which has caused a lot of stress and pain over the years.

 

Have there been any people in your life who seem to be exceptions to this rule? Like anyone who's been friendly instead of walking away, or who it feels a bit easier to talk to, or who you've been able to establish relationships with that you're happy about despite initial awkwardness?

 

For me every now and then I come across someone who accepts me or seems to be on the same wavelength as me, and when that happens most interactions with them become something I enjoy. I've found it valuable to enjoy and value and remember those connections, reminding myself it's possible and prioritising these relationships where possible. If you haven't yet then have hope- I really believe your people are out there Heart

 

Another thing I've found helpful has been trying really hard not to blame myself when I have those moments when someone will give me a weird look and walk away or there's an awkward silence or I'm shut out of a conversation. I reassure myself I didn't do anything morally wrong (assuming I didn't intentionally hurt anyone), and tell myself I don't need to feel ashamed, and do my best not to dwell on it. Because after many years I finally realised self blame and condemnation want helping Smiley Tongue

 

How have you been feeling about all this, and how are you coping? Does any of this help? ( It's fine if it doesn't!) Is there anything you're doing so far that's helping you cope, or anything in particular that you think might help?

 

Also these forums are a really friendly and non judgmental space Smiley Happy we'd love to get to know you better if you want to hang around. It's really nice to meet you, and I hope you feel better soon Smiley Happy

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Re: Social Interaction is really really hard

Hey @BlueEleven, thank you for reaching out! I can definitely feel this way.

Sometimes I think it may be the culture we’ve been brought up in, where we have to follow the norm of looking a certain way or saying certain things. There’s so much pressure and expectation to ‘get it right’. I struggled with it a lot in high school, always feeling a little bit different with what I had to say. And that is perfectly okay!! It may just be that people who are more similar to you haven’t come along yet. What interests/do you have? Would you consider joining a club\group with similar interests so you may find it easier to talk with them? 

On the other hand, if it’s more the anxiety of talking to people in general, would you consider seeing a counsellor or professional to discuss how you are feeling about social interaction? 

Hopefully I may have grasped an understanding of what you mean, feel free to respond if you’d like to share and explain more about how it is you’re feeling. ❤️

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Re: Social Interaction is really really hard

Hi @hellofriend

Thank you so much for responding! I was slightly worried nobody would so thank you! ❤️

I probably should have made it clear that I have about 3 friends that I can be myself around and who are just as weird as me. 🤪 We sit with a really big group and even though they try really hard to make things less awkward with me, it just doesn’t work. I can’t seem to get myself to act like a normal human being. 😂

But when people I don’t really know ask me questions or talk to me, it’s like they think I’m an alien or I don’t speak English. It makes me angry because I want to show them that they should stop doing that but I can’t act normally! I can’t be casual or normal or relaxed or anything like that.

As for not blaming myself, that’s a really great strategy. I’ve tried it in the past but it never really works. I get worked up and I can’t help but blame myself. 😕

I’ve been coping pretty fine in my opinion (I just kind avoid talking to people I don’t know 😅, which probably isn’t a very good strategy). But I would really like to be able to talk to people I don’t really know on my sports teams or in the charity club I’m in. And all my friends (despite telling me they’re introverts) are really good at it. Recently, I’ve started to feel a lot of anxiety when I have to I interact with people (heart beat rises, hyperventilating, you know the drill). I’m actually going to see a psychiatrist soon because of just general anxiety so I’m planning to mention that.

But thank you so much for your help I really appreciate it. ❤️ I just kind of came to reach out once my gp sent me to a psychiatrist because I was freaking out and this is exactly what I needed.
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Re: Social Interaction is really really hard

Hi @BlueEleven,

 

It's so nice to meet you, welcome to the forums!

 

It's really great to hear that you have a a close group of friends that you can be yourself around. Heart When it comes to friends, I really do think that quality is better than quantity!

 

It also sounds like you're already taking some really big steps outside of your comfort zone by being a part of a sports team and charity club. You should be really proud of yourself for that, it is not an easy thing to do when anxious.

 

One strategy that you may find helpful when you are feeling quite stressed when interacting with others (and feeling your heart rate increasing) may be to focus on your breathing. Taking 5 nice long breaths in and out to help calm your body. There are some apps to help you practice this - like the "breathe" app here. There's actually a huge bunch of tools/apps listed and reviewed here which you can check out in your free time.  

 

It's awesome to hear that you have some great support offline too! Your GP sounds like they have been really understanding and helpful, and I hope your appointment with the psychiatrist goes really well! It's also really lovely hearing that you've found Reach Out so supportive Heart