I just feel so terribly uncomfortable around people, and they seem to feel the same about me. I am unable to hold a conversation, even mundane smalltalk makes me anxious. I mostly reply with one-word answers, since I don't know what else to say. I've got nothing to say, really. The memories that I have are old and faded, the past few years have been empty and uneventful. I've got no stories to tell, ideas to share, nothing to have in common with anybody. My mind feels sort of hollow, too, like I don't have a personality.
I started taking anti-depressants 6 mts ago and some therapy, and I got a job, but it's all going nowhere as I am still unable to function and unable to even recognize what's up with me or why - I simply don't have a clue. My best guess is that the years of isolation made me loose my ability to be social, that I forgot how to human, basically. But how do I change that? Is it even possible?
(sorry for the wall, and thanks for anyone with advice)
You just have to accept that the first steps are the hardest. Socializing requires practice, like any other skill. The more you try, the easier it'll be, and you'll be having actual experiences with other people, so you'll have new things to talk about.
Get yourself a job, too, if you don't have one. Join us in the real world. It kinda sucks sometimes, but it's better than being alone and doing nothing.
Like I said, I've been trying for 6 months now with therapy and such. And I got a job... Things are just awkward as ever. Part of me feels like it's getting even worse now, my social inability that is, because I'm constantly confronted with it, how bad it is.
I got the smalltalk part (somewhat) down by now, but I never truly connect with anyone I talk to - it's more out of politeness I'd say.
But yeah, you're right, the first steps are freaking hard. I'm feeling pretty hopeless. It's that I'm a girl, and guys are more forward/approach me first, but me being robotic and dull stops anything from ever developing. Even with that advantage I got nothing. It's disheartening.
Keep practicing small talk. With enough failures and not giving a fucks you will realize that you have hours or a day where you are "in the zone" and are extremely charasmatic, quick witted, personable, sexy, and an all around hoot. Coffee helps me so im sure meth or something might help you if you were that desperate. The only thing aboit in the zone is that its not consistent and for the time in in the zone theres 10 times that length that im a boring nobody... And people ask whats wrong and why im feeling down... I just have to keep practicing and so do you. Its like we are aliens trying to be human and nobody has let us in on the joke yet. Just work with a bunch of females if possible its so much easier and non stressful if you have the only dick in the building and you wont have to compete to be the coolest funniest guu. You will be him and with practice you will get better.
I am a girl so that's not relevant, but I get the point. Drugs, Idk... I don't want to come to depend on them, you know. That's addict territory. I thought about trying MDMA, since there was some kind of MDMA therapy happening and seemingly working alright for people in similar situations. But that's not something I'd be willing do at this point just yet (needs research).
I'll keep practicing like you said though. I hope you're right and it will get better at some point.
If you have a boyfriend husband or close friend mdma will bring you closer together. So it responsibly if you choose that.
The meth thing was a half joke i guess. Bit seriously coffee helps take a little edge off of my brain fog. It comes in waves man. I think the guys that fully transition from super introverted to functional normie are those who consistently remind themselves to keep trying to be personable even if it is hard an energy depriving to keep it up for a prolonged period.i know i cant... But i do know that when you do start getting one or two rhings right you will actually be into the conversation and be right there in that moment. Thats where you have to be. In the moment. And then when you go home and relieve and judge yourself on how you acted around people you will smile a little. Also- try to learn to fake confidence but be careful because people dont know you are faking and you could be taken for a self centered arrogant jerk if you dont pay attention to yourself. Modesty and confidence fake it with a group and once that group is convinced then you wont have to fake it anymore because you will have showed evereryone THAT YOU ARE CONFIDENT and you have already headed in the right direction.
Sorry i rushed this. Maybe run on sentences or typos.
I too would like to know how to escape the prison of my mind.
I'm successful in material things and work, but my life is empty. I started taking meds a little over a year ago. Things are better, but I still have mental breakdowns (today).
I've long used caffiene to keep going, but it wears my nerves thin. I really don't have an answer.
>Parents kept my life secluded outside school althrought my teenage years
>Eventually become recluse
I know how you feel OP, I try to rejoin the real world but I missed out on some vital times to socialize.
I feel like an idiot but whats worse is people can somehow sense it, like if someone else was just quiet that person could talk and talk away to them while they listened but for me they feel awkward and only say little.
There is nothing worse than being in a silence with someone struggling to think of the next thing to say and sensing that they are doing the same.
Well, maybe. But as a child to early teens I was normal - so maybe not? I don't know whether or not it can manifest itself at a later age...
Circumstances and bad luck gradually left me isolated for the past 10 years, I don't doubt that had a significant impact on my state of mind and what I've become as well.
It's hard to say.
Im thw guy thats been trying to give advice too. I have some questions though... Medicine. How does it help because i know i need to go to therapy and want something to even me out but i cant afford it yet. What do the medecines do? Maybe make me not anxious when i talk? Make me not be so critical? Idk all i want is a therapist and mayne prescription to help me get over the difficulty of how much energy it takes to be social
Like I said, I have no one.
Your mentality is really great, I envy that. Maybe I do, well I know I do, give up too soon. That persistence is something I know I lack too. Trying and failing puts such a weight on me I can't seem to shake. Every attempt sucks the willpower out of me, more and more each time. Pushing through asks of more than I can give, it feels. But that might just be me not being used to anything, I know I'm too sensitive and spoiled in that regard, that I can give up. And do.
It's so easy to fall back into that negative/passive hole again, it's what I know best and now I think about it, I might even feel most comfortable there. But I also know that feeling that you described, of acting normal (or at least not awkward/cringy, anything that fuels self-hatred) around others for a day, and it does feel good. It's something I want for myself, however difficult it may be.
No need to be sorry, thanks for talking to me. GL to you too.
Yeah I totally know what you mean.
Especially the sense of having missed out on some vital part of socializing.
I know "quiet" as well, but they're mostly just not people-people. When they're actually around be, they do talk, at least they know how to. I'm just utterly clueless, like even if I wanted to, I wouldn't know how.
In my mind I do alright, but even what I'm writing right now, I'd never be able to put into words IRL.
My parents enabled me too, but it was all my doing. And I'm kinda thankful too, because I would have offed myself if they'd pushed me in any direction. Sucks that your parents did it intentionally, I'm really sorry.
It's different for everyone, but yeah basically it's supposed to level you out. When you get the chance you should just try it for a month or so, and if it doesn't work or if it makes you feel bad in any way, try a different one. It can really help a lot, despite all the shit SSRI's get, they also change many lives for the better.
You sound like someone who could help me learn about myself just as i might be able to show you some things. Id like to get your email and talk more but my wife isnt too keen on things like that and id have to hide that from her and thatd make me feel shitty.... SOOOO we will talk here for a while until you or I decide to not check the thread.
It is easy and comfortable sitting at the house playing vidya and its hard even having to entertain close friends for a cook out. Its a really deep engrained thing in people like us to try to protect ourselves from beings stupid or failing. We have felt failure and pain so much- and we were never properly socialize when younger and possibly there might be mental issues(i have them i just havent been diagnosed yet because im poor.)
Lemme put It like this- i am totally not confident in ANYTHING I do except for talking to people about spaying and neuturing their animals(odd i know, but it was my job) yet for some reason most other people cant see that u are as unconfident as you think you seem. You will give it away by dwelling on it. Are you good at shit talking on a mic online? Is it easier? Its way easier to text than to talk right? But when you actually see that person face to face its hard to think of
1 of 1 cont...
I too am in your situation. I stopped going to school in grade 9 because of mental health shit like anxiety and depression. I still haven't finished grade 10 and I'm 20 now. Now after slowly exposing myself to socializing I think I'm starting to get used to it, I even have a few good friends I got from working in a kitchen.Here are my protips:
>Try to speak with no filter, people are more accepting to talk about random shit than you think
>Don't ask one answer questions(yes or no), ask questions that leave the answer open for discussion
>Even if you aren't really interested ask people to elaborate on things they are talking about, if someone is interested in the subject enough to tell you about it they usually like talking more about it
>If someone asks how your day was don't just say good or bad. Say something like "it was ok because X" or "It wasn't so great because Y"
what to say or to act in conjunction with the texts that you said. Im being very specific here and using my life experience as a template. . im sorry if it doesnt make sense. Look its not easy. Dude im about to be 29 and i moved back in with my parents in december and i lost my job my home and i dont have a home that my wife and I can coexist in. Im a grade a definition of a failure and it fucks with me alot... But these last two months of sittin in my moms house doing nothing makes time stretch so much. Ive got an interview tuesday and i am going to force myself to get in that zone so i can get this job... Its all about being in the zone for those important parts sis. Please tell me you are a teen- because if you are then your situation will get a bit easier as you start understanding life. If you are an adult you are just going to have to stick with it just like me.
But what if your mind is just blank? Nothing popping up that you could ask, or tell. It's hard to describe, but that's what I struggle with most. I seem unable to communicate on any level. Did you have that problem too?
No it does make sense. And you actually have a reason to be in this mess, I've got none, I had everything. Maybe if your situation improves, you're mental state will too. And things like that can really change a lot in a short amount of time. That could be the drive you need to get that job - I hope you do and that you'll find some peace of mind.
However, regarding the e-mailing or w/e, I don't feel comfortable with that - I'm sorry.
>please tell me you are a teen
Oh god I sound like a pervert
Look man its not easy but everybody can do it. I was asking if u shit talked on the internet. Because that could be a good practice spot for you to get talking practice.
Also seek out convos or groups with at least 2 other people.. Maybe 3. Thats like the ideal group because you dont have to say too much and the conversation will continue to go smoothly if you dont speak much. Also be funny. If you suck at humor then make being lame and cheesy your 'gimmick.' I purposely say stupid unfunny things and the people that know me laugh because of how genuinely unfunny it is yet its funny.
Im just throwing out anything that hits my brain to try to helo you out.
Also nothing you said makes me believe you are co-dependent in anyway... But i am. So look that up and see if thats something you need to address because understanding that helped me.
To make friends, you have to be interesting.
Not very interesting, but a bit.
To be interesting, you have to have INTERESTS.
You can develop interests on your own.
Or you can develop interests with other people.
Then you can talk about your interests, and you might just be interesting.
Truth. Ive seen people who are not traditionaly fun guys have atight knit group of friends all because they larp and play d an d or something. Nothing against that ir anything but yes interests.
I did struggle with that but speaking as part of a group helps a lot, also if it's your thing socially drinking with people really helps loosen the tongue.
Learn to listen, just take notes of what people say when they talk. They are trying to find something to talk about too. Even if you know nothing about the subject, ask them.
If you draw a blank a little self deprecation never hurts.
What are your hobbies? To be a functioning social individual you need to have interests. If you don't go out there and try some shit, you will meet people you can talk with doing so.
For example I love just walking in the woods, it sounds goofy as shit but that's one of my things,
Practice and build confidence.
Also other people seem to be uncomfortable around you because they are uncomfortable. Heres why:
Humans have a little known about 6th sense.. Your mood is being given off in an odourless scent that others pick up upon. People can kind of sense your mood.
If you are a generally uncomfortable awkward feeling people, it will just seem everywhere you go everyone thinks your creepy or weird, and they wont know waht to say. Theyre picking up on that shit.
So the better said than done trick really is learn to stop feeling that way... its got you in an endless loop.
Might I suggest joining groups that have similar interests to you with very open accepting friendly people?
If you can find yourself a good group who will love you and treat you well regardless, then hang around them a lot, it will REALLY affect how you talk to others.
Push yourself. I'm sure that you've heard that a bit of advice that tells you building your social skills is analogous to building muscles.
If you spend your time as a shut-in, then of course you won't have interesting stories to tell or be able to hold conversations. Expecting to make friends as a person somebody that barely speaks to people at all is like expecting to bench your body weight the first time you try it. For lack of a better set of words, it takes time, practice, and dedication (especially if you're as far behind as you're implying).
Learning about popular culture and finding music that you like is like researching diets and workout routines. It makes it much easier to achieve the end result that you desire because you have the knowledge to do so.
Go out more and try talking to people. Socializing with people is basicqlly a way to work out your "social muscles". When you meet more people, then youre more likely to run into somebody that you can relate to (most likely someone that is in a similar position to you).
Its easier than you think...
Flip through a local recreation guide, pick something you havent tried or are mildly interested in and go...
I dont have any set hobbies, my thing is trying and learning to do everything...
Ill tell you from that finding clubs is unbelievably easy. Ive done archery, went to some beer crafting meets.. theres a trivia night at a local pub that attracts a great group of people I go to.. theyre all easy to find, just look at your cities community board.
Not only that, but the type of people who will seek out and regularly attend an extra curricular club are the types of people who will treat anyone and everyone with a lot of respect.
As promised (>>16778631), some random rambling (but not too much, I need sleep soon :))
One of the early respondents said "it's like we are aliens trying to be human", but when I was younger I always used to think I was a robot instead of an alien. Eventually I realized that I'm not a robot (even without the 4chan captcha reminding me :)), just a flawed human being... Not being able to fully enjoy many aspects of life sucks, but ultimately life can still be worth living...
When you're struggling with acute depression, you need therapy and medication and just focus on staying alive. But during the milder periods, it's best to try to cultivate a habit of actively managing your mental state. Trying to interact with people in a positive way can be a part of that, but it almost certainly shouldn't be all of it. Even if only because for people like us, interacting with people is (in our current state, it might get better later), so demanding that we can't do it very often without exhausting ourselves.
Most people have focused on the social interaction aspect (which is only normal, as that was the core of your questions), so I'll try to quickly list some other things that help me, hopefully they'll help you too.
Exercise (even if it's just walking)
Reading (Terry Pratchett seldom fails to make me laugh)
Nice food (especially if it's reasonably healthy and you made it yourself)
Mindfulness (or whatever you want to call it, it often sounds like bullshit, and much of it probably is, but it can help)
Masturbation (a bit of a double-edged sword, doing it too much, or relying on porn, is probably a bad idea, but releasing some tension occasionally is a good idea)
Games (also best done in moderation of course :))
not OP but can relate .
This is something (the job getting thing) I've worked on but I always do wonder if I really will make friends this way, I mean that isn't the point of the job but yeah it's sort of the only shots I have right now is via jobs.
It's probably best to try to lower your expectations a bit. Don't aim for making friends on the job, just aim for occasionally having some casual human interaction that you kind-of enjoy.
For me, at least, that's still something non-trivial, yet also sufficiently realistic that I can motivate myself to try (and re-try) relatively often.
Instead of friendship, it's more on the (distant) acquaintance level, which might feel less meaningful etc, but friendship is hard to force anyway.
Some specifics :
Be polite. It won't be enough to get people to like you, but it might help to make sure they don't grow to dislike you.
Be nice. Try to help people when you can, without expecting anything in return. Be careful not to let anyone take advantage of you though.
Observe. Unless you have very few colleagues, you should be able to see and hear people interact regularly. Don't be creepy about it, don't try to straight-up copy them (even if you can act it out well enough, it won't feel good anyway), just use it to maybe broaden your mind.
Try to appear relatively normal. We aren't normal, and we shouldn't really pretend to be all the time and to everyone, but it's seldom useful to "force" it on people who aren't open to it. I might get back to this point tonight if the thread is still around, as it might be somewhat controversial...
Don't force yourself on people. You probably won't have to, as most people are pretty social, and will occasionally spontaneously interact with you anyway :)