Progressing Further...

Postby NPhilip » Tue May 15, 2018 9:08 pm

The last couple of weeks I've been trying to talk more. A bit of a back story, I have always been 'shy' and 'quiet' my entire life and never really made an effort to make new friends. This is new to me, but the past few weeks I've been really trying. It's really weird for me at the moment, it feels like I'm bothering everyone or interrupting what they're doing. It's really exhausting too. I've been reading through forums and online articles that say to watch TV presenters and see how they act or react. That sort of helps but my issue with this is the topics that come up don't really match ones in real life if that makes sense. Also, something challenging is making the first move in a conversation. It feels awful, before I even start talking I get really nervous and start to think about things that I know will most probably not happen. I understand that at the start this will happen a lot until I get used to it but is there a way to make this more comfortable? Also, how can I keep a conversation going? Something else I've noticed is that I'm worried about how I'm coming across to the other person, if I'm annoying, boring or just awkward. This must be normal though right and being awkward is sort of normal at first? I'll also mention that I have Asperger's.

I realise how much I've missed and don't want to miss out anymore. When I start talking to someone it's kind of fun. But it's scary too (hopefully for not so long). Last few weeks have been rough and I'm trying to be honest with myself more and realised I'm lonely, hopefully this will help me. Thank you.
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#1

Postby Richard@DecisionSkills » Tue May 15, 2018 9:23 pm

Who, what, when, where, why and how.

How are you doing? What have you been up to? When did you do that? Why did you do that? Where did you do that? Who were you with?

Who, what, when, where, why and how is elementary for reporters or conducting interviews. When I went to a crime scene, these are the questions I always covered and made sure were in the report. Exceedingly simple, but very effective.

You want to keep a conversation going? Just keep cycling through who, what, when, where, why and how.
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#2

Postby NPhilip » Thu May 17, 2018 7:55 pm

So it's been a few days since I read your reply and things have been going really well. It's really easy to keep a conversation up just by using a few words, I was really surprised. I actually got invited out yesterday which was really cool, first time this has happen to me. I think the people who I've been talking to get irritated when I keep asking questions so I sort of stumbled when I noticed this. I think that next time I'll just make sure to give what they're saying a moment and add to it or something like that. It's all still new to me, but I'll give that a try. Anyways, thank you
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#3

Postby Candid » Fri May 18, 2018 7:55 am

NPhilip wrote:I think that next time I'll just make sure to give what they're saying a moment and add to it or something like that.


Good point, NPhilip. It's important to demonstrate that you're listening. For that you can try paraphrasing when appropriate, especially when someone reveals something significant. It's a well-worn counselling trick that gets people to open up more.

For example:
Other person: I'm addicted to hang-gliding. I get such a kick out of it.
You: You like a good adrenaline rush.

Taking it one step further, you make an effort to get at the feelings behind the words.
Other person: I didn't know what to do. I thought he might come back and finish the job.
You: That would have been a scary situation.

It sounds like you're doing very well at your new skill of asking questions to get people talking, and all you need to add is empathy. That's what will differentiate you from a news reporter!
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#4

Postby NPhilip » Sat Jun 02, 2018 12:41 am

Thank you for the reply Candid, I read it a day later and sort of made a plan of how I could set things up. It's been really confusing. It's so tiring trying to keep a conversation going. I feel out of place when I talk. I'm not sure if its because the people around me keep a conversation going differently or if I'm just overthinking it. The past two and a half weeks have felt like one big failure. It's so tiring and exhausting, I don't know how people make it look so easy. I feel like I make people uncomfortable or just annoy them. I don't know if I should be bothered by this but I am, and I sort of hate talking. I really hate talking. I've put so much time and my energy into trying to improve but I'm struggling to see what I've done. All I see is just one big awkward time. But, having said that I've noticed a few things about myself. I'm patient, very patient with others around me. I'm very tolerant too. I've been told I'm kind and nice a lot the past week too which made me feel a tiny bit better. I probably think about this way too much and I really like some of the people I'm talking too. I'm worried If I talk to them too much they'll end up hating me. I've seen them do things together without me and it doesn't feel good. I'm so confused. Anyways, thank you for your reply again, I use everything that you mentioned and really helps.
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#5

Postby Candid » Sat Jun 02, 2018 10:15 am

NPhilip wrote:I feel like I make people uncomfortable or just annoy them. I don't know if I should be bothered by this but I am...


I would be bothered by it, too! Do you have any evidence that people are uncomfortable or annoyed? And if you have, do you have any evidence that it's because of you, ie. that they weren't uncomfortable or annoyed before you strolled up?

You started out "I feel like...", so it seems likely these are your beliefs about yourself, so strong that you attribute them to other people.

I sort of hate talking. I really hate talking. I've put so much time and my energy into trying to improve but I'm struggling to see what I've done. All I see is just one big awkward time.


There's no law says you have to talk, you know. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mWFEMystYGc

I really like some of the people I'm talking too. I'm worried If I talk to them too much they'll end up hating me.


Do you let them know you "really like" them? Sincere compliments feel great to both parties.

I don't know why you're getting left out of things, but it seems to me your beliefs about yourself are making you awkward. What's wrong with saying: "Next time you do xyz, can I come along?" The direct approach is the best in this situation.
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#6

Postby NPhilip » Thu Aug 16, 2018 11:35 pm

It's been a while since I read your reply and things are going good. After so so many awkward situations of speaking, it isn't so hard now. Asking people to do stuff with is still a bit awkward, especially when they come up with an excuse to not invite you. People get weirded out when I compliment them a lot so I've toned it down a bit. I realise I must sound like a child writing about talking to people like I do but I don't know, I just started late I guess. Anyways, Another thing I've realised is that I think I talk to people differently then they are used to, at least at my age. I think I bore them. I bore me to be honest. I spend so much time and energy getting to know people and no one has ever asked me any questions back. I don't usually explain what I'm thinking after asking someone about things they do, It just seems like I'm asking them for me to be asked. I feel like a lot of people think I compliment them just so I can get a compliment back. People are surprised when I bring up things I notice about them. Anyways, I can easily hold a conversation now with little trouble. I'm just really boring. I don't know if there are any tips on being more fun in a conversation but I would really like them. Thank you.
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