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Thread: Asking for Advice

  1. #1

    Default Asking for Advice

    To be frank, I'm not very good at making new friends. This may seem a bit lame but it's a very frustrating problem. I'm a bit on the introverted side and on top of that, meeting people in particular makes me feel incredibly anxious.

    The point is, I want to meet like minded people. I want to be able to talk and share experiences with people that I can care about and who will care about me. I want to be able to confide my feelings to other people rather than hiding everything that I think is important about myself. (this actually is not about confiding about AB/DLism since, imo, that's something that is only relevant to a relationship)

    I have a problem opening up to people and telling them what I think and how I feel. It feels like I don't really have permission to feel or let on that I actually have more than basic emotions that people want to recognize. It sounds silly but I realize that am partially incredibly terrified of opening up about myself and also terrified of losing the friends that I do have.

    So I guess this is me trying to probe the wisdom of the masses that are on this website.

  2. #2

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    Sounds like you have social anxiety disorder.

    I have the same thing, and I find that three things help:

    1) If you have hobbies/interests, find like minded people to share them with (not necessarily ABDL) and talk about your common interest.

    2) Ask questions about the person. People usually like to talk about themselves so usually you will find out a lot about a person by just asking questions, and plus you don't have to feel obligated to be open right away. This also gives you the ability to find common ground and evaluate if this person is somebody who is like minded.

    3) Be authentic and don't give a fuck. When you find somebody who is like minded, you are going to have differences regardless. Don't feel like you have to change your opinions to suit this person. Good people value honesty and respect people who have strong opinions. If the person(s) doesn't /don't agree and they feel it is against their core values then it's probably not going to work out, in which case it's probably for the better.

    This process takes time, so be patient and be natural and you will find people that will appreciate you for who you are, after all there are billions of people in the world!

    I wish you good luck!

  3. #3

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    I have been the same way all my life , afraid of trusting people and afraid of rejection. Afraid of being rejected as been my biggest problem. I have always been open about my feelings towards people and have been hurt to many times. After being hurt so many times it has taken a long time to trust any one. There are a lot of good caring people out there I just came across some of the worst people.

  4. #4

    Default

    Take it slow. Just because you share similar interests with someone doesn't mean you have to open up to them right away. Give it time and as you become more comfortable with the person, the sharing part will come.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by StormyBear View Post
    To be frank, I'm not very good at making new friends. This may seem a bit lame but it's a very frustrating problem. I'm a bit on the introverted side and on top of that, meeting people in particular makes me feel incredibly anxious.

    The point is, I want to meet like minded people. I want to be able to talk and share experiences with people that I can care about and who will care about me. I want to be able to confide my feelings to other people rather than hiding everything that I think is important about myself. (this actually is not about confiding about AB/DLism since, imo, that's something that is only relevant to a relationship)

    I have a problem opening up to people and telling them what I think and how I feel. It feels like I don't really have permission to feel or let on that I actually have more than basic emotions that people want to recognize. It sounds silly but I realize that am partially incredibly terrified of opening up about myself and also terrified of losing the friends that I do have.

    So I guess this is me trying to probe the wisdom of the masses that are on this website.
    This is a well written post and you ask a good question.

    Firstly you don't sound like an invrovert. Introverts generally do not feel the need to be social and in some cases despise the notion or thought of it.

    Some things to consider:

    -You must realize that you have much to offer. [ The greatest gift you can give another is the purity of your attention. -Richard Moss M.D. ]

    -Meeting like-minded people takes some effort. But not the effort most people think of first. The common misbelief is that you have to make yourself seem social, suave, and confident. This is a regarded misconception. It only makes the persuer more self aware and insecure at not representing who they really are. The less known approach is to simply be yourself and 'observant'. With enough observation it will make it more clear who you are most interested in talking to. Often times it may be that the other individual has picked up the same 'ques' and a connection is made much easier.

    Some tricks to remember:

    -Use key-words to spark conversation. If you suspect somone of interest is not into small talk you could ask them a simple question. A question in an area that you suspect they may be interested in. Like; "Are you into computers at all?" or "You strike me as someone interested in fine arts." The question can be as generic as Hollywood but can spark an exponentially engaging conversation. It the question 'falls flat' you can try again elswhere. The odds are good if tried a few times.

    -Always have a joke to tell. It's kinda' like an ace in the hold. If things get stuffy do not be afraid to put your hand up and say "I've got one." You would be suprised (I mean very suprised) at how well recieved even a dry joke goes in a stale situation. If you've got a couple of them you would soon look like Steve McQueen.

    -Most importantly be yourself. If you are uber uncomfortable then you will only be looking for the nearest exit. It doesn't matter even IF you seem nervous or uncomfortable. When was the last time you noticed someone who seemed uncomfortable that you decided to ignore for it? Probably never. It doesn't matter to people because EVERYONE has been there more than once.

    -AND just the fact that you are there and they are there is simple reason enough to believe that there is conversation waiting deep within the hearts of all.

    I hope I lent at least a morsel of credence to the fallacies and facts of meeting another for any engaging topic of conversation and the hope of finding friendship out of it all.

  6. #6

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    Thank you all for responding to this. Sorry for taking so long to respond. I was kind of soaking it all in.
    To pldc:
    That's all very sound advice which I already follow. I understand what you mean, but that wasn't really the type of advice I was looking for. It's not that I don't know HOW to socialize. I'm just not sure how to make close friends. Your last point addresses this but it's much harder than saying "Be authentic and don't give a fuck". I would argue that we're always authentic. But how much information is too much? We don't tell people everything about ourselves and with good reason. There are many things that I like to keep private. However, there are many things that I keep private that I would like to have out in the open but are really awkward conversations that may not be well received. I'm just honestly not a very trusting person and it's something that I realize I need to change. I'm just not sure how to go about it.

    To ilostthesheriff:
    To the first point, introverts don't necessarily bar themselves away from all socializing. They just do it differently. They tend to get exhausted from excessive socializing and need time to recuperate by themselves. They socialize less and in different ways than extroverts but they don't shy from socializing altogether and can become lonely. As for your other points, you bring up many good ones.

    Thank you all for responding.

  7. #7

    Default



    Quote Originally Posted by StormyBear View Post
    Thank you all for responding to this. Sorry for taking so long to respond. I was kind of soaking it all in.
    To pldc:
    That's all very sound advice which I already follow. I understand what you mean, but that wasn't really the type of advice I was looking for. It's not that I don't know HOW to socialize. I'm just not sure how to make close friends. Your last point addresses this but it's much harder than saying "Be authentic and don't give a fuck". I would argue that we're always authentic. But how much information is too much? We don't tell people everything about ourselves and with good reason. There are many things that I like to keep private. However, there are many things that I keep private that I would like to have out in the open but are really awkward conversations that may not be well received. I'm just honestly not a very trusting person and it's something that I realize I need to change. I'm just not sure how to go about it.

    To ilostthesheriff:
    To the first point, introverts don't necessarily bar themselves away from all socializing. They just do it differently. They tend to get exhausted from excessive socializing and need time to recuperate by themselves. They socialize less and in different ways than extroverts but they don't shy from socializing altogether and can become lonely. As for your other points, you bring up many good ones.

    Thank you all for responding.
    OK, StormyBear, I feel I need to wade into this conversation.

    Now here's the thing about me: anyone who has been reading my posts so far, starting with my intro post that was tagged as a "featured post" for like two weeks, probably has me pegged as someone who is a huge talker, the life of the party, super comfortable with herself and her life, someone probably possessed of a million friends.

    They'd be wrong.

    The truth about me is rather different. I am only a huge part of conversations when it is safe to be--when I am in company I know or when the conversations are (like these) online, where I can express myself in writing. In writing I feel safe because I can take the time to formulate my thoughts more carefully. It is not merely the web's anonymity that accomplishes this; I feel the same way in online groups of friends. IRL I am even willing to take risks--to challenge authority--if I do it in writing, whereas I'm much more likely to sit quiet and let others do it if it's in person.

    In a party or a larger group of unknown people, I am very unlikely to get to know anyone unless they come up to me and begin the conversation. I have sat alone in karaoke bars for entire nights drinking my wine and waiting for my turn to sing. If someone sits at my table and starts a conversation, I'm extremely happy to try to get to know them, but I find I am constitutionally incapable of doing that myself. Bizarrely, though those who know me are surprised to discover it, a Meyers-Briggs test puts me into the Introvert category even though I can do things like sing at karaoke bars and have fun in groups if I know the others.

    The reason is simple: I spent a lot of my life hiding parts of myself from others, and that internal focus became so much a part of me that it left me constantly on guard. I discovered at some point that I simply couldn't open up to others in a personal way. I could do it with a therapist, I could do it in writing, but I could not do it verbally in person. Thus I began to understand why others were developing all of these very close friendships and I...wasn't. I have many friends. But I don't have many close ones. And that is the saddest part of my life. I know that, if I died tomorrow, there would be a lot of people at my funeral. But I also know that, aside from my family and a few others, the truth is that my passing would not leave much of a hole in anyone's life. Now I'm not going for pity here; I don't wallow in it and I don't want it. There's no need: it's a good life. But I do see the clearing in its center and wish I could have built something there.

    So what am I saying here? (And note that I am opening up on a very personal level...this is written after all.)

    I guess it's this: I think you are right that we are always as authentic as we can be. But learning how to change the way you share yourself with others simply is not easy. If there is anyone you trust enough IRL to talk to about this, do so. If not, maybe you should try a therapist. I figure at my age I'm a bit late on this front, but you are just starting out. There are tons of friends waiting to be met and plenty of life to be lived.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by StormyBear View Post
    To ilostthesheriff:
    To the first point, introverts don't necessarily bar themselves away from all socializing. They just do it differently. They tend to get exhausted from excessive socializing and need time to recuperate by themselves. They socialize less and in different ways than extroverts but they don't shy from socializing altogether and can become lonely. As for your other points, you bring up many good ones.
    Yes you are quite correct. I had to revisit the definition of introvert vs. social anxiety. My original description would describe someone who is recluse. I am happy to discover that I only qualify for being introverted as opposed to my fear that I had a mild case of social anxiety. Thanks for your input.

    - - - Updated - - -



    Quote Originally Posted by ICkaraokegirl View Post
    OK, StormyBear, I feel I need to wade into this conversation.

    Now here's the thing about me: anyone who has been reading my posts so far, starting with my intro post that was tagged as a "featured post" for like two weeks, probably has me pegged as someone who is a huge talker, the life of the party, super comfortable with herself and her life, someone probably possessed of a million friends.

    They'd be wrong.

    The truth about me is rather different. I am only a huge part of conversations when it is safe to be--when I am in company I know or when the conversations are (like these) online, where I can express myself in writing. In writing I feel safe because I can take the time to formulate my thoughts more carefully. It is not merely the web's anonymity that accomplishes this; I feel the same way in online groups of friends. IRL I am even willing to take risks--to challenge authority--if I do it in writing, whereas I'm much more likely to sit quiet and let others do it if it's in person.

    In a party or a larger group of unknown people, I am very unlikely to get to know anyone unless they come up to me and begin the conversation. I have sat alone in karaoke bars for entire nights drinking my wine and waiting for my turn to sing. If someone sits at my table and starts a conversation, I'm extremely happy to try to get to know them, but I find I am constitutionally incapable of doing that myself. Bizarrely, though those who know me are surprised to discover it, a Meyers-Briggs test puts me into the Introvert category even though I can do things like sing at karaoke bars and have fun in groups if I know the others.

    The reason is simple: I spent a lot of my life hiding parts of myself from others, and that internal focus became so much a part of me that it left me constantly on guard. I discovered at some point that I simply couldn't open up to others in a personal way. I could do it with a therapist, I could do it in writing, but I could not do it verbally in person. Thus I began to understand why others were developing all of these very close friendships and I...wasn't. I have many friends. But I don't have many close ones. And that is the saddest part of my life. I know that, if I died tomorrow, there would be a lot of people at my funeral. But I also know that, aside from my family and a few others, the truth is that my passing would not leave much of a hole in anyone's life. Now I'm not going for pity here; I don't wallow in it and I don't want it. There's no need: it's a good life. But I do see the clearing in its center and wish I could have built something there.

    So what am I saying here? (And note that I am opening up on a very personal level...this is written after all.)

    I guess it's this: I think you are right that we are always as authentic as we can be. But learning how to change the way you share yourself with others simply is not easy. If there is anyone you trust enough IRL to talk to about this, do so. If not, maybe you should try a therapist. I figure at my age I'm a bit late on this front, but you are just starting out. There are tons of friends waiting to be met and plenty of life to be lived.
    This is an interesting and insightful post.

    I had to read it several times as it describes a hidden layer in-between introvert and extrovert. I know for one that I would never be able to karaoke under any circumstance but striking up conversation is not that hard for me. It appears there are a multitude of grey areas in this realm that lead us all to just simply being human. I think we have the tendency to base ourselves and our social prowess against those who have little to no inhibitions.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by ilostthesheriff View Post
    I had to read it several times as it describes a hidden layer in-between introvert and extrovert. I know for one that I would never be able to karaoke under any circumstance but striking up conversation is not that hard for me. It appears there are a multitude of grey areas in this realm that lead us all to just simply being human. I think we have the tendency to base ourselves and our social prowess against those who have little to no inhibitions.
    Yes, I too believe that there are a "multitude of grey areas" in almost every question. It's easy to want to compare ourselves to those who seem perfect, but why on earth should we do that? It would be like looking in the mirror each morning and feeling inadequate because I don't look like a supermodel. Um...not a good idea.

  10. #10

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    i am like you in that i am kind of anxious around people. i've been going to a psychiatrist and i think that can help you out with it. some people think that it's just shyness but social anxiety is way different. i'd recommend calling a psychiatrist.

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