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Friends and Family Everyone has disagreements, even best friends and family. If you need advice about a relationship, ask us here.

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I don't know how to talk to people. - February 26th 2011, 01:19 AM

I have no idea if this is in the proper category. I apologize if it's not.

I thought I was getting better at opening up and making friends but I feel like I'm becoming more and more isolated. Right now I'm involved in the school play, which is something I love to do, but I can't help but feel this strange loneliness because I'm so left out. It's worse this year because we're a cast of forty people and certain people get more praise/attention than others. I know this is all standard highschool stuff but it hurts. Whenever I bring up this problem people tell me the same thing they've been telling me for years - that I have to make an effort. It's not like I don't try at all. I do. But I lose confidence because I get ignored, brushed off or under appreciated for my extreme hard work by others. And like how the fuck am I supposed to just make everyone love me? I don't even know how to talk to people or what to talk to them about. It's like I don't even know how to make friends. It's like I can't even speak


MOJO RISIN'~!








Last edited by PSY; February 26th 2011 at 02:25 AM. Reason: Moved thread to the "Friends and Family" forum.
   
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Re: I don't know how to talk to people. - February 26th 2011, 02:09 AM

What do you define as "making an effort"? The reason why I ask is because your definition, my definition, and everyone else's definitions might be different. When you try to talk to people, do you say "Hello"? "Hello, how are you"? How far do you attempt to go with a conversation? What do you talk about? Do you ask them questions, do you talk about yourself, or is it a mixture of both? How long do these conversations normally last? A few seconds? A minute? A few minutes? In general, why do the conversations hit dead ends? Do you begin to feel awkward? Does it seem like the other people feel awkward? Do you run out of things to say? Do they seem to ignore you and shift their attention elsewhere? If so, what are you generally talking about around the time they start to do that? What seems to capture their attention? Other people? Activity occuring nearby?

I've encountered this problem more times than I can recall, and eventually, I started asking myself these three questions: what am I doing wrong, what are the people around me doing wrong, and what factors are affecting my ability to make friends? My response to "what am I doing wrong?": I'd say hello, ask how the other person was, then be at a loss for what to say next. My response to "what are the people around me doing wrong?": Actually, I couldn't find an answer. My response to "what factors are affecting my ability to make friends?": Not enough time and/or privacy to really sit down and get to know one another on a deeper level.

Once I could identify these problems, I was able to change my tactics and start making friends. Hopefully, you can do the same as well!





   
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Re: I don't know how to talk to people. - February 26th 2011, 02:21 AM

Well it is true that there are always tons of people around and it's fairly hectic. But that shouldn't make it impossible to hold conversations, right? I mean if other people can do it...why can't I? I do start to feel awkward...or I feel like the other person doesn't care/isn't listening. I often feel extremely ignored.


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Re: I don't know how to talk to people. - February 26th 2011, 02:30 AM

You may be able to tune out background noise when conversing with someone who's already your friend. If it's someone you don't know very well, however, you may not be as motivated to keep the conversation going. You've got to lay down a foundation for friendship first... so I would suggest meeting people before/after classes and quickly asking them if they would like to join you for coffee after school, on a weekend day, etc. Let them get to know you one-on-one first, no distractions... THEN you may find it's easier to maintain conversations during practice.

So it sounds like it's a little bit of both. You feel awkward because it seems like the people you're talking to are ignoring you. In turn, those people may sense you feel awkward, which makes them want to excuse themselves from the conversation. Or maybe they're just plain rude (I had quite a few theater friends in high school... I know how DRAMATIC they can be sometimes!).





   
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Re: I don't know how to talk to people. - February 26th 2011, 02:42 AM

It's not strange to just ask someone to hang out one on one even if you've only talked a few times? And yes you are so right about these dramatic people. They surround me everywhere...holy hell. I just freeze up and have no idea how to handle it sometimes


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Re: I don't know how to talk to people. - February 26th 2011, 03:28 AM

It's not as strange once you get to college. You go to classes or club meetings, chit-chat with people, and if you seem to have a few things in common, you make plans to meet up for coffee. I guess things aren't quite that awesome in high school, though... people can be so hostile! =/ Well, it couldn't hurt to try, right?





   
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Re: I don't know how to talk to people. - February 26th 2011, 03:37 AM

Haha! Well maybe I'll fare better in university. I thought i wasn't so unbearable to be around...but for some reason I just get so paranoid when I'm in this big room full of people. I don't know how to talk, how to form a friendship...how to trust and get to know others. I mean, the weird thing is, I have friends. Not a ton, but yes, I have friends. Yet I still feel terribly lonely, and I begin to wonder how I got these friends in the first place...because really...we're all strangers to eachother until something develops from it. And logically I know this is all true but in the moment my breath will literally get caught in my throat or I will freeze. I get so nervous or scared and then I can't really talk properly...sometimes I start going off about stuff I really shouldn't talk about, or I'm too honest/blunt (not necessarily in a rude way, but maybe in a way that might put people off guard because we're not close). It's like there's rules to "teen society" that I just can't abide by and I get ostracized for it. :/ So I'm pretty much getting crippled by fear/insecurity


MOJO RISIN'~!








Last edited by CageCardinal; February 26th 2011 at 03:45 AM.
   
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