I find it difficult to connect with people. Anyone else feel the same?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 07, 2010 11:46 AM GMT
    This is something I've had throughout my life and I find it very tricky at times. This has nothing to do with communication skills as I have no problem with communication whatsoever. It seems to be a problem that's on a deeper level.

    I find it very difficult to make close friends. If I really wanted to (which I don't) I could make plenty of 'friends' but none of them would be close. What normally happens is that when I meet new people and I like them, afterwards of course they want to do ordinary things such as go see a movie, go to a bar, have coffee etc but that is the stage where it goes horribly wrong. I suddenly get 'cold feet', and suddenly going to see a movie with them seems like the worst thing that could ever happen. Lots (well not so much anymore!) of my friends always want me to go to a party with them or go out with them and I always end up making silly excuses. I don't know what it is. Do I have a social phobia? But I wouldn't think so as my job requires me to be highly sociable. Perhaps I'm sociable out of necessity, it's not my natural disposition? I do admit though that of all the times I've been to a party or even just hung out with friends, moments before I always get this sick feeling in my stomach. I can go on stage in front of hundreds of people but something small like going to a party freaks me out!?

    I dislike large groups of people. I'm especially referring to things that require teamwork and cooperation. I get quite hostile and suddenly either need to back out of the group or go against everyone (or just not participate at all). This was especially noticeable when I used to be in teamsports such as Rugby. My coach would shout at me and send me running around the pitch practically every session as I refused to do anything he told me to do. So yes I dislike when people are in groups, however I have no problem with public speaking to a large group of people though icon_confused.gif

    All my life, I have felt like an 'outsider', due to lots of things like my race, my family, sexuality of course, different interests etc. At times going against the grain is the best feeling ever, but more times than not it really does feel like you're a misfit. I was never bullied at school because I would stick up for myself; but I have a problem with opening up to people I guess. I'm hoping quite a lot of people can relate to this, I guess even just sharing experiences would help. icon_smile.gif

    Many thanks,

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    Jul 07, 2010 11:59 AM GMT
    Did you really think anyone is going to reply? No one wants anything to do with you, budd.

    I AM JOKING!!
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    Jul 07, 2010 12:08 PM GMT
    It sounds like you might have a form of Social Anxiety Disorder.

    I've struggle on an off with it for years but it's under control right now. Therapy and/or medication can really help with it. I'd suggest talking with your doctor about it first and getting a good recommendation for a therapist.

    You'd be surprised how many people suffer from some form of social anxiety. The more you talk about it with others, you'll find it's not uncommon. The point is to overcome it and to force yourself to do things you are afraid of. If you continue to give in and back out of situations you will continue to feed the fear. It's not unusual for you to be able to speak in front of large audiences but be uncomfortable in more intimate settings. I'm the opposite - I enjoy smaller social settings and hate public speaking.

    It sounds like you've developed a defensive shell and you become aggressive or rebellious...so that should be one of the first places to start.

    You'd also be surprised to find out how many people feel like outsiders. I grew up in a small town and was different from everyone else. I felt like an outsider most of my life till I moved to New York (where I'm way too normal).

    I hope this helps.
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    Jul 07, 2010 12:47 PM GMT
    StudlyScrewRite said Did you really think anyone is going to reply? No one wants anything to do with you, budd.

    I AM JOKING!!
    icon_cool.gificon_lol.gificon_biggrin.gif


    You bumhole!

    I was going to send a furious message back to you with loots of curse words hahahahaha.You wouldn't have been able to handle my fury. icon_twisted.gif

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    Jul 07, 2010 1:00 PM GMT
    lissenup saidIt sounds like you might have a form of Social Anxiety Disorder.

    I've struggle on an off with it for years but it's under control right now. Therapy and/or medication can really help with it. I'd suggest talking with your doctor about it first and getting a good recommendation for a therapist.

    You'd be surprised how many people suffer from some form of social anxiety. The more you talk about it with others, you'll find it's not uncommon. The point is to overcome it and to force yourself to do things you are afraid of. If you continue to give in and back out of situations you will continue to feed the fear. It's not unusual for you to be able to speak in front of large audiences but be uncomfortable in more intimate settings. I'm the opposite - I enjoy smaller social settings and hate public speaking.

    It sounds like you've developed a defensive shell and you become aggressive or rebellious...so that should be one of the first places to start.

    You'd also be surprised to find out how many people feel like outsiders. I grew up in a small town and was different from everyone else. I felt like an outsider most of my life till I moved to New York (where I'm way too normal).

    I hope this helps.


    Hey thanks, that was really nice. I like that.

    Yeah I have a colleague at work that said she despises going to parties etc - well she's a lot older than me...but still! She's the most talkative person in the world so I was shocked when she said that. In a way she's a lot like me: although I'm not talkative, I appear 'sociable'.

    That did help, so thank you. icon_biggrin.gif
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    Jul 07, 2010 1:08 PM GMT
    I'm glad it helped, Gbob. Like your co-worker, people are surprised when they find out I hate public speaking or giving presentations. I manage to overcome it pretty well and I think it's what drives me to do a better job.

    Pushing yourself to do things that scare the shit out of you can give you the tools to handle many obstacles.
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    Jul 07, 2010 4:18 PM GMT
    I have the same issue. Great trouble creating and maintaining friendships. I just don't trust people
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    Jul 07, 2010 4:50 PM GMT
    Gbob said
    You bumhole!

    I was going to send a furious message back to you with loots of curse words hahahahaha.You wouldn't have been able to handle my fury. icon_twisted.gif



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  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 07, 2010 5:10 PM GMT
    You may have an introverted temperament. That doesn't mean that you are shy. You may just need to learn how to manage your energy.

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/0761123695/ref=mp_s_a_1?qid=1278522414&sr=8-1
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    Jul 07, 2010 5:56 PM GMT
    No not at all, always able to make friends everywhere.. the only prerequisite is they have to be interested enough in me to talk to me, then the rest is fine
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    Jul 07, 2010 7:56 PM GMT
    To the OP,
    Yes, I can relate to you in many of the issues you brought up here.
    I too have been a loner. I had no real friends at school, and I was bullied too. The physical education master did not think much of me either, because as a schoolboy I was a skinny wimp who lacked confidence and cohesion at Games. So I was unpopular at school for being crap at soccer and especially rugby, for some disastrous reason I was not born with the full knowledge of the rules on how the game was played, as other children were!
    Later in life I did make friends, but whenever I am with a group, I'm always the silent one, unless the subject discussed is of special interest to me. To this day I prefer to do things and go places on my own than in a team. I work by myself for myself, and not for an employer, and I have traveled the world on my own. On this score I was referred to as "brave" by several people at different times and on different occasions, including the airline hostess on a United Airline flight to New York from London in 1995.
    I have been to counselling sessions on this social matter in 2005. This included an IQ test, which I scored above average. The final result of the counselling was that I have Aspergers Syndrome, a disorder related to Autism, which affects social interactions. The main difference between Aspergers and Autism is that the former affects mainly males with a high average to high IQs. I have a straight friend who IQ is much higher than mine and a candidate for MENSA, who is literally a genius at maths as well as on political and current affairs, but totally useless in practical things such as kicking a ball and D.I.Y. His Aspergers Syndrome is so severe that he, unlike me, has always lived a lonely life as a bachelor and now in his fifties, still longs for a wife he always wanted since he left University back in the early 1980s.
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    Jun 10, 2011 4:57 AM GMT
    StudlyScrewRite said Did you really think anyone is going to reply? No one wants anything to do with you, budd.

    I AM JOKING!!
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    Not nice. icon_neutral.gif

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    Jun 10, 2011 4:58 AM GMT
    Greenhopper saidNo not at all, always able to make friends everywhere.. the only prerequisite is they have to be interested enough in me to talk to me, then the rest is fine


    Do you have AS????
  • titus8229

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    Jun 10, 2011 5:20 AM GMT
    Yeah, I know what its like to feel like an outsider and I can relate to not clicking with people in general. You just gotta keep looking until you meet the right friends.
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    Jun 10, 2011 5:25 AM GMT
    i have trouble with deep social situations also and sometimes even light socializing. it's interesting someone mentioned anxiety as i have severe anxiety too. i don't and will not ever take medication for anything of the sort though. have tried that and it was bad news, endless side effects and almost destroyed my life. i only do holistic medicine and it's working great, anyone with anything anxiety based i'd recommend at least looking into that. anxiety medications just make you sleepy as hell and don't really get rid of anything.
  • joncfernan

    Posts: 216

    Jun 10, 2011 5:37 AM GMT
    titus8229 saidYeah, I know what its like to feel like an outsider and I can relate to not clicking with people in general. You just gotta keep looking until you meet the right friends.


    I agree with Titus. Just keep looking for those friends that you do feel you want to connect with more on a deeper level. It took me a while, but finally I've managed to find an extremely diverse group of close friends that I've been able to round up together. We love to joke, make fool of ourselves infront of each other, half guys- half girls, and we always get together to sit down at home for a movie night with food we all make or bring. The funny thing is - theyre all really different - one is a somewhat emotional gay videogame nerd(hes a sweetheart), a bitchy but loving makeup artist, a shy loner, a bubbly business woman, a strong attitude nutritionist that doesnt get along with anyone new, etc. Just have fun and enjoy how different people are and get ur own group going if u feel akward on 1 to 1 friends basis with those ur getting to know icon_smile.gif
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    Jun 10, 2011 5:49 AM GMT
    I think one possibility is that you haven't found your niche.

    Perhaps you just need a different crowd of friends. For example, my close friends aren't social butterflies, partiers, but are a bit more inhibited, which doesn't make them any less social/funny/awesome. So, for instance, instead of going to a more typical college party with drinks, I'd rather stay be with them in an apartment and play a board game. When I'm at some party, with people I don't know so well, I feel out of place or like I shouldn't be there.

    Just a hypothesis, I guess. Maybe something to think about?
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    Jun 10, 2011 5:55 AM GMT
    no, not at all. i love to be around large groups or people and meeting new people. they have to be fun tho or its peace out.
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    Jun 10, 2011 2:06 PM GMT


    Well, I'll go out on a limb here and say not all anxieties, for example, mean a diagnosis of an illness. Back in the old days, what you're describing, Gbob, was considered pretty normal and acceptable.

    I also used to experience these little stabs of anxiety before going out, but I did anyway. (in fact in my early twenties I was so nervous going out I often took a spare shirt in my knapsack because I'd nervously sweat the pits of shirts right down to the waist, lol!). Eventually by getting out there, I found myself with a few warm and good friends, and that helped me open up and let myself out, as well as let others in; speaking poetically, open doors have a tendency to do that. icon_wink.gif

    -Doug