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Trouble talking to others

forteloud
Community Member

I've had trouble speaking for a long time. I can't keep a conversation going to save my life, i'm so disinterested in what everyone is saying to me, and i'm disinterested in what i'm saying a lot of the time. I do feel like speaking whenever its complaining or speaking about my mental barriers, but of course i don't want to burden people with that, so I refrain from speaking about myself too much. I speak about myself too much. Even attempting to have a conversation with myself right now, i can not think of anything to say. I am blank, completely and utterly blank.

I never meet up with friends one on one, I have tried time after time because I'm always pushing myself out of my comfort zone in order to get better with practise. But I haven't gotten better, if anything i've gotten worse. I tried again yesterday, I met up with a friend of 8 years, probably my closest friend (not saying much for me because i dont really have anyone close) and I could hardly speak. I didn't feel nervous as such, i didn't feel in a bad mood. I just had absolutely nothing to say except echoing him and sprinkling in some weak attempts at observation or comedy that was essentially just complaining and negativity (which is almost all i ever say)

I've been so determined to get better at this, for years. I've stayed at my job because i have good friends there that i can learn from socially. Every day I think of new ways i can approach socialising, every day i try something else, and every day i fail. There are bigger problems in the world I know, but the inability for me to have a conversation with another person is so frustrating because I am completely alone. I will say, that I have had conversations in my life, very few though, and it has felt incredible to be able to discuss a topic with someone, not unloading my thoughts or them unloading theirs, but a real back and forth conversation. I do also have days where I am funny, chattier and easier to talk to, but far and few between. I see people do this at ease with one another and i feel so isolated not being able to participate, I've practised and practised, studied people and my behaviour for years and I feel like i'm further than ever from being at that point.

I appreciate any feedback, thank you guys! 🙂

6 Replies 6

Doolhof
Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hi forteloud,

Welcome to the community here. There are some days when I find it so much easier to write and communicate that way then to try to talk to someone. I have been married for 30 years and there are moments when I stumble over the short sentences I want to say to my husband.

We are all different. Some people seem to find it very easy to talk and are knowledgeable in all kinds of topics. Some people say hello and goodbye and that might be all, some people like to dominate and don't allow anyone else to say anything.

Did you enjoy your time with your friend even though you don't feel like you had much to contribute to the conversation?

Sometimes when I try harder to talk, I make it worse for myself! Do you find that?

I usually find asking the other person about themselves works well. Most people are quite happy to chat about themselves and their own lives.

Talking about how we are feeling is important as well. I have a friend I can share all the hard stuff with, then we move on to more pleasant conversations.

Hope you feel welcome here to write about how you are feeling.

Cheers to you from Dools

Hey dool, thanks for the response!

You could be right about that but i hope thats not my case. I really love talking to people, theyre the times i feel really nice and happy but i'm struggling to keep the right mindset to conversate. In response to your question about spending time with my friend, honestly, no, i didnt enjoy it at all. As soon as he stepped in the car i wanted him to leave, i didnt want to talk because i just had nothing to say that contributed to the conversation. And yes i definitely find it harder to talk when i actually want to! It seems as soon as i lose all hope, and collapse into nothing that i suddenly can speak to people, so youre definitely on to something there.
Maybe this is just how it is, but going on 20 years old and spending almost every second of it alone it starting to take its toll i feel. Maybe i'm just being dramatic though, a lot of people probably arent as satisfied as they could be. But I still want to believe i can be someone i like.

Thank you dools!

forteloud,

What an interesting two posts you have written.

This sentence you wrote stands out for me

"Every day I think of new ways I can approach socialising, every day I try something else, and every day I fail.

The fact you are tring every day to improve yourself is such a good skill and shows how determined you are.

I do wonder how you decided that you fail everyday. I think maybe those people you socialised with would see you as friendly and enthusiastic.

Sometimes we judge ourselves so hard. I know I talk too fast at times and people may find me hard to follow and then I feel really annoyed . When other people talk too fast or feel uncomfortable in a social situation, I just think how brave they are or I don't notice how nervous they are unless they tell me.

We can be our harshest critics.

I wish you could like yourself as I like the way you have not given up and want to improve.

If friends felt like you did about talking to others, how would you treat them. I am sure you would be supportive and you would like them. Just a thought.

Thanks again for being honest.

Quirky

I love what you've written, it makes a lot of sense. We really can be our harshest critics and a lot of the abuse we inflict on ourselves is just unnecessary, most of us just want to get by day to day and are so preoccupied by our own lives that we don't care to spare a thought about something so insignificant as our friends muck up.

But unfortunately I think the problem lies within for me, perhaps I just have an insatiable desire to be liked or a need for positive and deserved attention.

Theories aside, I do still have hope because i remember those amazing days where I felt at peace with myself and others.I really truly liked myself. Its silly to compare and try and reach what could have just been a great few days or weeks because more often than not we won't be able to reach our high expectations of what that was.

But honestly, most days aren't great for me and I just want to be back there, I was high on life, in those days I was making goals, I was making friends, I was learning and it was all happening so naturally because I really felt happy.

I feel a bit defeated right now, but I'm sure I'll be back soon, just felt i needed to express my thoughts somewhere.

Thank you for the response quirky. 🙂

Hey - not really going to be too much help I'm afraid, just letting you know you're not alone.

I'm always the first person to say hi, for example to colleagues at work when I first see them and always ask how they are. But sometimes I just feel like it's SO much effort and why should I always have to be that person? Why don't they do it first once in a while?
Then these questions make me a bit angry, but also I start questioning myself.

I sat at a table at work on the last day before a holiday with 4 other colleagues (I'm new to the workplace, So don't have many connections yet). I made sure my body language was approachable and open and kept my eyes up and interested and not one of them brought me into their group conversation. I ended up leaving and feeling pretty crap.
I know it says more about them than me, but some days it's hard to take. Staying positive is hard work and sometimes I resent it.

I'm just trying to make today a little bit better than yesterday and focus on keeping hold of my positivity.

Good luck with your journey - you are not alone and I'm sure that others would not say you failed those interactions you speak of - we do judge ourselves too harshly.

Hey, thanks for the response.

It really sucks doesn't it, I love that you are trying and really putting yourself out there to start conversation and make friends, you're braver than me haha. It can be so demotivating and lead you to feel so hopeless, just try and remember their side of things. They could be short of conversation or intimidated by you, jealous by you or scared they'll offend you. Try not to let it effect you, you're doing great. Be true to yourself and don't let anyone's actions change that, you're doing great.