How can I converse in large groups?
December 7, 2009 11:32 AM Subscribe
Help me carry on conversations in groups with my *special snowflake* situation.
posted by anonymous to human relations (21 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
Yes, I know this question has been asked before, but my case is different.
I am an 18 year old female college student. I am a shy introvert, who is a mix of INTJ/ INTP. I have always had trouble carrying conversations in large groups (say more than 4 people). I think one problem I have is timing. I can't seem to get a word in edge wise. I don't want to be *that girl* and force my point in where it doesn't flow. When I do get a comment in, other, more forceful people seem to move the conversation elsewhere, and thus people rarely respond to my comments.
If it matters, the groups are usually 100% female. They seem like nice people, and I would like to get to know them better.
Compounding factors: I have learning disabilities (but not Aspergers) that make it hard to read people and sense timing. My parents were very strict when I was growing up, so I was not allowed to watch tv, watch very many movies, or listen to popular music. I still do not really enjoy these things today so I have very little "popular culture" currency. I am commonly lost in the conversation, because I am not familiar with the particular show or band. It would be hard to even research these topics, because they change every conversation. Further research cannot mitigate 18 years of lack of popular culture.
Potential things in my favor: I am self aware. I have a roommate, an INTJ, who can help me to a point.
The other questions I have seen before seem to be about grown up mingling. Here, this is not about approaching the group. Nor does finding fellow wall flowers apply to this situation, because everybody else is actively participating in the one conversation. I would find it strange to ask questions about topic to the group (to try to understand the topic), because it would disrupt the main conversation.
In short, I'm looking for advice to improve my conversation skills keeping in mind my *special snowflake* situation. I am still working on meeting new people with different interests, but that's hard when I can't converse with people in larger groups. I will reiterate that I do not have Aspergers. I'm just awkward and shy around people.