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How to talk to people without feeling awkward?
Its a big problem for me. Most probably the one thing that upsets me the most. I dont have any one that I hang out with...just one or two that I see once in a blue moon. I try so hard when striking up new friendships but not being able to talk to people lets me down in a big way. People are honest...they say 'god, you are so quiet' and you dont say much do you!' After a while they give up on me and I dont hear from them again. I need to get rid of this mental block that appears when I am out with people, the fear that stops me from being able to think of things to say....the fear that stops me from keeping a conversation going. I can utter very little more than a yes or a no and that eventually kills a two way conversation.
I went out twice this week, with the same person. Although I know them I am not comfortable in a situation where I need to engage in conversation!
I felt scared and awkward because I know I obviously need to talk to keep the one sided conversation going.
I was unable to utter many words...eye contact is totally non existant. I was pulled up on this by the person I was out with who kept moving his head to try and engage me when my eyes were looking everywhere but him! I told him to stop it and that I couldnt make eye contact as by this point it was making me so damn uncomfortable. He talked quite a bit to start...until he ran out of things to say and then we both sat there in complete silence. My fault entirely. He sent me an email saying that he felt awkward.
I need to get out of this habit of feeling too shy/scared/terrified to talk to people. Here I am, so desperate for friends but then with no confidence and no communication skills whatsoever no wonder people dont hang around!
I am even like this around my own family. When I go and see my mum the exact same thing happens! I am now 42, been like this all my life. Is there any hope that I will ever change? Its crippling me! Sad
My New Exercise Programme - Two Weetabix and an Aero chocolate bar broken in chunks over the top.....VOILA - Aerobix!

Have you checked in your area to see if there is any sort of counseling group to ease you past this? Here is the states there are some therapy techniques used, where they put a few shy folks together in a small group and actually give them role playing scripts to read from to prompt conversation. Over time, the small groups begin to exchange and make eye contact on their own.
It sounds as if the fellow you were out with was really trying to engage with you. Maybe if you could try and explain your feelings to someone you are with it could help get you started in the right direction.
You write in a very open and inviting way so this tells me if you could move your words through speech as well as through written words you'd be a very interesting gal to converse with. You're also very attractive and I have read some of your posts that show you have a great sense of humor. You just need to get all that good stuff coming out in the open!!Smile

Hmmm. I'd reckon you need to ask yourself what it is you're so afraid of happening once you engage in a conversation. Afraid of saying something stupid? Lol, welcome to my world! Afraid of saying something dumb and insensitive? Perhaps by making a joke about a menu being written by a dyslexic, and your dinner partner pipes up, 'Hey, I'm a dyslexic!", so to desperately salvage the situation, you make a panicked joke about it, such as 'Oh, English dyslexics are fine; this is a French restaurant, and the French ones are the worst," which is where you realise you've gone wrong, because your dinner partner glares at you, so you go even MORE wrong by diverting to a joke about Welsh dyslexics, "which would be the English!", but before you can congratulate yourself on this astonishing display of wit which must surely have rescued you, your dinner companion says icily, "My mum was Welsh", and though you try to explain that weren't actually making any jokes about the Welsh, the frosty glare and silence from your companion tells you all you need to know. It is finished. Game over. All-your-base-are-belong-to-us. The big Kabloom.

So occasionally I do prefer silence. Sometimes I'm just not up to it. But at other times - hell yeah, I'll take the plunge! Ever see Trainspotting? Well, if you did, do you remember the scene where Spud takes the job interview while high? Well yeah, that's pretty much me when I go on a date. I mean, I don't think I'm that bad. But not that great, either. Anyways...

If your fear IS that you're going to make an ass of yourself, then maybe it'll help to do what I do: once in while, just let it go. Accept that the situation might turn out cack, just shrug off the idea that whoever you're with might think you're a berk, and accept that there is a VERY bright side if it all goes wrong: that you will have a hell of a good anecdote for making another potential pal laugh and smile!
"For know you, that your gold and marble city of wonder is only the sum of what you have seen and loved in youth. It is the glory of Boston's hillside roofs and western windows aflame with sunset, of the flower-fragrant Common and the great dome on the hill and the tangle of gables and chimneys in the violet valley where the many-bridged Charles flows drowsily. These things you saw, Randolph Carter, when your nurse first wheeled you out in the springtime, and they will be the last things you will ever see with eyes of memory and of love."
theres only one thing thats worked for me heh

forcing myself
bye forever

AIM: shawnonalawn
I have no idea! I'm always awkward, even around people I'm completely comfortable with. I think it's the fear that I'll say something stupid. But once I realize that I have to contribute to the conversation, I manage to force myself to speak, even if I do sound like a idiot. It's all in my head though because no one's ever said I sounded like a idiot Big Grin

Eye contact is tough. I've never gave eye contact in the past, but I learned to do so while doing job interviews. I still feel like I'm staring at people awkwardly, so when I get tired of the actual eye contact I use the tricks of looking at the other person's forehead or nose. It gives the illusion of eye contact without having to stare down someone.

Confidence is key though. If you feel like you're worth talking to, it's easier to have a conversation with someone. Practice more with your family because they won't care if you look silly.
(08-08-2010, 12:47 AM)sadface Wrote: theres only one thing thats worked for me heh

forcing myself

Indeed, sadface. I think it may actually be worth it... Thats my conclusion.
I know exactly how you feel, I was like that back a while ago. I learnt the secret though; it's not to stress over it. Next time you're with a person force yourself not to care. If it makes it easier, try and get em onto a topic they want to talk about a lot and just listen, nodding and offering opinion.

Because trust me, when you stress over not being 'fun, interesting' it shows. And it makes you fumble more, because you're thinking 'I'm boring the person'. And remember the golden rule, you're meant to have fun while talking to someone, don't be so stressed about it and relax!
Does it help to know that the other person might be feeling just as awkward? That's one thing I really like about my job. My client is naked on a table, he's vulnerable, a little nervous, and kinda horny, and I'm fully dressed and in full control. Do that a few times, and you stop feeling so awkward about talking to people.

Giving massages or punching a guy in the balls are my answers to everything.
Just reach over and bitch slapp them to get their undevided attention. It'll be all down hill from there. Smile
Just be yourself. Don't impress people.
Not all conversations have to have deep meanings, mind masturdbating or serious.
Once you get pass the ice breaker or small talk.
It's just a matter of being or feeling comfortiable with communicating with other people.
The more relax and at ease you are, the more other people will be relaxed.
Then you can talk about other subject that might be of interest or subject that you can relate to.
Or fuck it...just tell dirty jokes. Toungue

It's helpful to know that other people are into their own crap than to really care too much about what you're
In other words...sometimes it's better to just listen and just build a repore.
Other times our bodies do the talking for

It's also helpful to know that people will associate you with thier feelings....
If a person is having a bad day or a bad moment, if your around them or trying to communicate with them, they're still associate you with
bad feelings...
For example. It's probably best that I just lend my left arm to a woman after having sex with her and getting her to have a major orgazism.
She'll remember me with good feelings. Associate me with her good feeling and good times as she talks her head off.Toungue
That's the impression or perception she'll have of me...through good feelings.
That's probably why most women likes men that can make them laugh.

And don't enternalize other people's stuff.
For examaple if a conversations went bad, it might be the other person going through whatever...In other words, its not all about you.
You can try shifting the conversrtation or just listen.

A lot of it comes back to your self-esteem or self worth.
I've gotta say, I've not logged on for a few days as I found it hard opening up. I'm my own worst nightmare I tell ya! :o)
I want to thank all of you for your replies...each one means a lot to me. I am off to the dentist now so unfortunately dont have time to give a reply to each one of you to tell you what I have gained from your input but believe me I have gained a lot in knowing some of you also deal with the same thing....your ways of dealing with it yourselves....I love the humour that comes out of something like this. I was sad when I was writing my thread but now find myself chuckling at some of you....naked bodies...dyslexic menus...dirty lot are a funny bunch....thats meant in the best possible way of course!!!! Smile
A friend that I have not seen for a long while sent me a message yesterday. Its someone I have only ever met a couple of know, met up for a drink...that kind of thing.
Each time we have been out they have also pointed out how quiet I am. Like I dont already know! I thought I had heard the last of him because I know he must feel like I dont want to be there...which when it gets all too uncomfortable I dont! Every time I venture out with the intention of keeping the conversation going...that I wont be shy, that I wont clam up and lose my ability to speak...
So, we are in the process of arranging an evening out....he is talkative....easy to get along with....I just need to work on keeping the conversation flowing, rather than feel on edge when there is a silence, which then makes me panic because its quiet, which then makes me have a mind block and I cant think of one single thing to say.
I've got about a week to take all your kind offerings on board.....then will put them into practice...I am feeling a lot more upbeat about it already...fingers crossed it goes ok! :o)
Right, I am off to the dentist....thank god, I wont have to do any talking once he sticks his tool in my mouth!!!
My New Exercise Programme - Two Weetabix and an Aero chocolate bar broken in chunks over the top.....VOILA - Aerobix!


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