1. Lea`Brooks
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    Lea`Brooks Contributing Member Contributor

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    Is anyone else socially awkward?

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Lea`Brooks, Apr 13, 2015.

    Yo. :superhello:

    I've always known I was socially awkward. But it's becoming more and more clear as I get older. It's quite frustrating to say the least, but I know it's not something I can really change. I was born this way, and I don't see it getting better any time soon.

    I'm typically good on the phone with strangers (making appointments, filing complaints, etc) and talking to people at the store (cashiers, employees, strangers who make small talk). My problem comes with people who aren't quite strangers but aren't quite friends either.

    I'm a very modest and private person. I don't like sharing my background or feelings or bodily functions with anyone but my closest friends and my husband. It makes it hard for me to make new friends, because they feel I'm cold or shutting them out. And since I just moved to a new state where I know no one, this makes me a very lonely housewife indeed.

    But my biggest issue is with my roommate. He's been friends with my husband for a long time and just moved in with us a couple weeks ago. I've been having some issues with him not helping us clean up around the house or paying for groceries. But since I don't really know how to talk to (basically) strangers about problems, I always come off as incredibly bitchy, without meaning to. So I just don't talk about it most of the time, which makes me look like an even BIGGER bitch. And it's very tiring having people think you are cruel just because you aren't vocal. :superwhew:

    I blame it on being a writer. lol I was gifted with the ability to write, not speak. If I could WRITE my roommate a letter to explain the issue, I'm sure he'd understand much better and would not get upset. My husband doesn't quite understand my flaw with communicating (he thinks my bitchiness is something I can just turn off, when in reality, I don't even realize I'm doing it) but he does do my communicating for me in situations like this. However, it's still an incredible burden to be so socially inept.

    Does anyone else have this problem? Is it a common problem among writers or do I just suck? :nosleep:
     
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  2. GuardianWynn
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    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

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    I am like the exact opposite while having the exact same problem.
    I am social awkward the same way. Except instead of being to silent or to cold I am so warm I chase people away by accident. :cry: It is just as bad I think.
    I sort of don't know how to do the proper half measure. I either start talking and don't shut up and annoy people or don't know what to talk about and just grow into the wall.
     
  3. Lea`Brooks
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    Lea`Brooks Contributing Member Contributor

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    There are some people I'm like that with.

    I feel like I'm very good at reading people. I typically get an immediate first impression, and if it's bad, I avoid them like the plague. But if it's good, I try to do anything in my power to be around them more, get to know them. But I'm not assertive, so I never actually ask them to do anything. So I just talk to them a lot when they're around, hoping they'll ask me to do something.. But they never do. lol

    I'm so bad at making friends.... lol

    Edited to add: I was so desperate for friends when I first moved here, I posted a personal ad on Craigslist. I got contacted by a really nice girl, who was very much like me. But again, not assertive, never asked her to hang out. And she never asked to hang out either. So our emails eventually tapered off, and we never met or formed a lasting friendship.
     
  4. GuardianWynn
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    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

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    I want to be your friend now!!!!

    In my case it doesn't help that I am like a shut in by accident. I don't stay in because I need to or anything. I am just a boring person. I don't drink or smoke or do drugs. I am sort of the guy that just likes to stay home, watch a movie or maybe play a board game with a friend.

    To me, the idea of the perfect day would spending it with my special person(Once I find her) doing nothing more than talking so passionately that never of us notice the clock move on to another day.

    Yeah I am such a sap. lol
     
  5. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    I'm only socially awkward around people I don't like. That's mostly because I'm spending more time trying to think of ways for getting the hell away from them over trying to find something civil to say. When I like someone I'm expressive and gregarious - very very talkative, and I'm quite good at reading people.
     
  6. Lea`Brooks
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    Lea`Brooks Contributing Member Contributor

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    Me too! lol

    I'm awful around people I don't like or that don't like me. Not because I'm trying to be, but because I don't want to be fake. Why should I play nice with you when I don't like you? Why should I talk to someone that I know doesn't like me? For example: my husband's sister doesn't like me, but doesn't realize I know that. She invited me to her baby shower next weekend. I clearly don't want to go, because why would I celebrate and spend time with someone who doesn't like me for no reason? Well now she's mad that I'm not going... Really?!

    But with my best friends, I'm crazy. I go to clubs with them (or used to), can joke and have fun, tell them all my secrets and be vulnerable. But strangers? Acquaintances that I don't quite feel comfortable around? Yeah, with them, I'm screwed. I don't know what to say, what I shouldn't say, how to act. If I act the way I do with my friends (sarcastic, a little weird), they think I'm being mean, when I'm really just joking around. My friends know I have no ill intent. But strangers and acquaintances don't. Shitty.
     
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  7. Lea`Brooks
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    Lea`Brooks Contributing Member Contributor

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    God, me too, man... My roommate gives me and my husband shit all the time because we never go out. We drink very lightly, but don't enjoy bars or clubs or anything. We'd rather sit at home, watch Netflix, play video games.. We're boring people, and we like it that way.

    Seriously though.... You're a guy? lol I thought you were female this whole time.... Female avatar may have influenced me.. Sorry! lol
     
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  8. GuardianWynn
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    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

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    What if I was just the kind of girl that used "guy" as a short hand for person?
    No I am a guy. Is that bad?
    The avatar is one of my characters :). I don't have a picture of one of my boy characters yet. No artist I know is willing to draw one.

    Edit to add: You know I am actually a poor reader of people. I wonder if it has anything to do with the fact I am a poor reader. :cry: lol
     
  9. 123456789
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    123456789 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Its important to remember that most middle class Americans are not gifted at socializing. Just because you left a social interaction feeling awkward, doesn't mean it was your fault. In many cases, this feeling of social inadequacy may relate more to low self esteem than true social incompetence, in other words, even if you have high self esteem, you can still be poor at socializing and maybe not even know it.

    I think that the majority of people are just OK at socializing, not bad or good, but what distinguishes them from the rest is that they're not stressing out about their interactions afterward.

    If socializing doesn't come natural to you, you're screwed. You can force yourself to become a social butterfly, and in a years time be the most charming and likable person in your town, but at the end of the day, you're still going to feel lonely.
     
  10. Lancie
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    Lancie Contributing Member

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    I have the same problems with aquaintences. In a professional setting doing my job I appear quite confident and can talk to people without any issues. My problem is that I've always been timid and very self concious, and if I find myself in a situation where I percieve myself to be an 'outsider' I tend to cope by going very quiet.

    When I gained a promotion at work a couple of years ago I ended up in a situation that was, for me, a complete nightmare. I was moved from the customer services unit to a different office which was closer to where I lived, so initially I was quite happy about the move, but because my new team was national and spread out there was nobody in my team in that particular office which was a shame because I get along quite well with them.

    It seemed to be a mixture of various people who worked in different area/national teams but who weren't at all relatable to me. I found it incredibly diffucult and ultimately isolating, I realised I was coming across as really aloof and odd but there wasn't anything I could do about it. I was determined one day to try and have a conversation with someone and ended up babbling about green beans and squash. In the end I just requested to become a home worker.

    Such is my awkward life!
     
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  11. Lea`Brooks
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    Lea`Brooks Contributing Member Contributor

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    @GuardianWynn No no, not a problem. lol I just feel like a dunce for not figuring it out before. And not everyone is good at reading people. My husband is terrible at it. lol When I can clearly see that someone is upset, he gets the impression that everything is peachy with them. My friends used to call me the Mediator because I was so good at figuring out what people were feeling and the motive behind what they did.

    @123456789 While I do have low self esteem, I do know awkward social encounters are typically always my fault. lol

    Like I said, I'm good with strangers because I've mastered the fake-happy, polite way to have small talk (all my life in retail, you understand). So that makes me really good in interviews and business-like conversations. And I'm great with friends, because I'm totally comfortable with them and know I can be myself around them without any worries.

    It's that in between group of acquaintances that I fail at. It's like.. I don't know them, so I'm polite. But I can't be 100% myself because I'm not comfortable with them knowing all of me. So I'm constantly switching between my polite small talk persona and my normal self, which just gets really confusing. lol I don't have that balance needed to make new friends. I do see myself having a very lonely future...

    I do typically do well among very rambunctious people. Because they are so open, they make it easy for ME to feel open. And they often are assertive and invite me places, and I just feel more comfortable around them. But stick me in a room with other shy people? Then I'm fucked. lol Because I won't say anything unless they do.
     
  12. GuardianWynn
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    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yeah. Innately reading someone? I suck. But I am an over thinker. If I listen to someones problem I can usually go deeper than them. I have had a person talk to me and then I started telling them how they felt. It creeped them out because I was right! Been awhile since I have done that though.

    People tend to like my writing though. Is it weird to be like the worst reader on this forum probably and not a horrible writer?
     
  13. Darkkin
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    Darkkin Reflection of a nobody Contributor

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    I'm an introvert with space bubble issues, I'm textbook awkward. I avoid people if I can. In the work environment, I'm polite and crisp, occasionally a little starchy. Noncommital conversation is an essential survival skill, most folks don't even noticed when sentitent, creative drives are not engaged. Such is my minial mask. They get good service, I maintain my bubble, life is good.

    And in writing this I realise, I'm actually blessed to be among the socially awkward. I know I'm ungainly in normal social situations, I watch, listen, and speak only when addressed. I come off as aloof, but I am aware, not socially ignorant...Those folks, you want to say something but manners and natural inhibitions keep the silence.

    I'm glad I'm merely awkward, not clueless.
     
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  14. Gigi_GNR
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    Gigi_GNR Guys, come on. WAFFLE-O. Contributor

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    Oh man. Social anxiety is really a bitch. I always do that thing where I walk away from positive interactions with people - new people, usually, but even friends sometimes and romantic interests QUITE A BIT - thinking "oh god, I fucked that all up and they hate me now."
     
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  15. Megalith
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    Megalith Contributing Member Contributor

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    Social interactions and I have had an awkward relationship. Low self-esteem seems to be a decent factor,(causes some anxiety) but I know that isn't the only problem. I am a little too thoughtful, and it always takes time for me to construct what I'm going to say. I would just try and say it, but I would most certainly be misunderstood if I rush myself.(Experience has taught me this all too well.) I had been trapped in a state of never being able to express myself before the person i'm mingling with wanders off, losing interest in my stumbling mannerisms. Writing I think has helped me overcome this somewhat. I imagine myself one day being able to construct fully fledged and coherent sentences off the top of my tongue which express my opinions and thoughts in a fashionable way.

    Although one thing that has been really interesting and helpful is standing with an air of confidence. In my endeavor to overcome my social awkwardness I studied social concepts and communication skills. I also did it for my writing's sake, so I know what a character should look like depending on the intricacy of the emotion they are feeling; But it has helped me a lot in keeping people's attention. Just giving off an air of confidence in a non pompous way, can convince people to spend more of their time waiting for you to say something.(Like you actually deserve because of the way you carry yourself)

    The attention can actually get kind of annoying. That is when realized that I prefer to be alone most of the time. Socializing takes a lot of effort, causes me much stress, and in the end, not much was accomplished. And it isn't that I don't enjoy talking with people, I think we can all agree to that much, it is that I can't hold a conversation with most people because they aren't opinionated enough, or knowledgeable enough. I don't know how they can be so talkative, gossipy, and at the end of their rants have not really said a damn thing. It seriously takes some effort to find someone with a decent head on their shoulders unfortunately... That is why a place like this is a true blessing.

    If anyone was wondering why I'm so confrontational, it is because arguing is my favorite form of interaction.(Occasionally even play Devil's Advocate.:twisted:) My favorite part is probably losing arguments. :angle: Nothing like growing your perspective off others wondrous ideas :superthink:
     
  16. Commandante Lemming
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    Commandante Lemming Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'm going to just assume that most people here are socially awkward in some ways.

    I've yet to meet a fiction writer who I would classify as a normal person - with the possible exception of senior citizens who came to writing late in life.

    That, and I think part of the reason we do what we do is that we overanalyze human behavior and look at social situations as puzzles to be solved using the research we've done. Of course it doesn't actually work that way.
     
  17. Megalith
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    Megalith Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think that is part of it. But really, most everyone else is probably socially awkward too, but they just don't pay mind to it like we do. we are overly self conscious about these things. And it might be a growing problem of the new age, but I'm not entirely certain there. And research does help. I used to be absolutely clueless, and now I'm really sharp about what other people's body/vocal language signifies and how I should interpret it. (It makes me a really good judgement of character)

    Your right about the puzzle never truly being solved, and I would only recommend the heavy research if it is of great interest, because the topic is... mind numbing.
     
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  18. edamame
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    edamame Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yes, I'm socially awkward. I don't like to be the first one to engage people or make small talk, so it's hard getting to know new people. I like working one-on-one, but when I'm happy, I have noticed I have gathered strangers before around me. Because I don't like small talk, I tend to be a active listener. So there's good and bad.

    Like the OP, I don't like confrontation either. Maybe you can talk to your husband about the best way to approach his friend?
     
  19. Selbbin
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    Selbbin I hate you Contributor

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    Yarr.
     
  20. lixAxil
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    lixAxil Self-Proclaimed Senator of the RPG subforum. Contributor

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    Hell yeah, I'm the definition of Socially Awkward. Later I would find I have Asperger which somehow explains it, but doesn't help it.
     
  21. Podam
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    Podam Member

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    I feel so at home in this thread.
    I've been ill for some years, diagnosed with social anxiety, but I've always been a bit awkward in social interactions with other people. Lately I just discovered some literature on the subject of introverts and extroverts, and I felt right at home in the term introvert.
    I can love the people I hang out with, and want to hang out more. I can be so excited at the thought of going to a 3-day retreat for spinning wool (another huge interest of mine) with like minded people, but when it all comes down to it, I don't go. I don't go because I know I would probably have a great time for the first 3 hours, but then I would be too awkward and too self conscious, and simply too drained of energy to enjoy it anymore. Then I'd have to isolate myself for the next 3 days, dreading what those socially adjusted people might say about me. I think this might be a common trait with creative people, whether we're very social, or not social at all.
     
  22. Lea`Brooks
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    Lea`Brooks Contributing Member Contributor

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    I agree, Podam. I've only lived in my state for about a year and a half. I don't work, so I have no friends here. My husband keeps suggesting I join a meet-up group. And at first, it sounds like fun. But when I really think about what it would be like, I know I would barely talk. I'd be nervous and shaky. I'd just be... well, awkward. So I don't go.

    I feel more comfortable in classroom-like situations. I keep meaning to join a painting group (I know acrylic and oil, but I've never tried watercolor and I've always wanted to learn), but those classes are expensive and I don't have the funds for that at the moment.

    I thought social anxiety was a common creative person trait, which is why I started this in the first place. It's nice to know I'm not alone in my weirdness. :p
     
  23. 123456789
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    123456789 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Look at it this way. Rachel often gets called a bitch, because she never smiles and seldom makes eye contact. "Crusher" Tom has a death grip handshake. Seth has bad odor and terrible breath. Jessica has a habit of talking over others and trying to one up whoever she is in a conversation with. Who here is the most socially awkward?

    I personally believe that the most socially skilled people have to be taught how to behave, especially since a lot of what is considered socially acceptable is a social construct, but short of that, the best way to handle all social situations is to focus outward. Your issue is that you are focusing inward. You think it is always your fault. This is actually a rather egocentric way of thinking. Other people deserve to have their own faults recognized as well. Worry less about yourself, and more about others, and strangers (at least many) will love you
     
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  24. Podam
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    Podam Member

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    I know how hard that is, @Lea`Brooks . When I first moved to the city I now live in I was all by myself. Brand new job, new city and husband yet to move after me. I didn't really bond with anyone beside one co-worker, until I took the giant leap of going to a spinning wheel course. I made sure to pay the hotel and the course quickly, so I felt forced to go. I was lucky that I had the money at the time though, without it I don't know how I'd meet people. Do you like knitting? There are many knitting clubs around, and they tend to be free :bigwink:

    @123456789 : I love the way you put this. It's very true about focusing outward instead of inward.
     
  25. A Fellow Stalker
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    A Fellow Stalker Member

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    Everyone is to an extent. I think people look at awkwardness way too statically, it's certainly something that can be changed unless you actually have a mental problem holding you back.

    I used to be extremely introverted, probably because of bullying, but I forced myself into social situations and now I consider myself a social butterfly :p
     

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