Moving past social anxiety
October 5, 2009 7:25 AM Subscribe
Does anyone else feel like an imposter? I often have a hard time building relationships with people. I can be polite and make small talk with other people, but I struggle with making friends. I struggle with social anxiety which is part of the problem, but how do you move past it and build relationships with other people so that they are genuinely interested in getting to know you better?
posted by Garden to human relations (13 answers total) 55 users marked this as a favorite
This is the part that is the most tricky for me. I'm good at being polite and making small talk, but talking about things past this is where I really struggle. For most of my life I've always gone with what the other person wants to do and I've followed obediently. The problem is that I don't know how to lead in a friendship. I frequently worry about the fact that the other person I'm hanging out with is getting bored. I don't know what to talk about most of the time beyond small talk and being polite so I'll rely on meeting my friends and hoping that they have something interesting to talk about. Some of my friends from the past that I still hang out with enjoy having conversations when we have a drink and that's fine. I guess the problem is that I don't understand what the next step is with talking to people that I've just met. I think that a lot of people become disinterested and think that I don't have much going on in my life due to the fact that I don't know what to talk about. Perhaps this is true, as most of my hobbies are solitary activities such as reading and working on the computer. However, I also enjoy going to the art institute, museums, and baseball games. I'm sick of being so unsure about what to talk about. This is one of the reasons that I don't date very much as I can sense that the person I'm with feels bored. A lot of the times, I feel bored as well but I don't know what to do about it. I've been seeing a therapist for a while and we talk about the social anxiety being a problem, and I'm trying to get past it, but I just don't know what to talk about. Any suggestions/ideas?