Connect the dots (or, people..)
January 9, 2012 11:31 AM Subscribe
How do you connect with people? How do you reach out to someone you're interested in getting to know better to let them know you're interested in them as a person (with or without romantic potential).
I suffer from a bit of social anxiety and shyness so I tend to feel extremely awkward in approaching opportunities for one-on-one interaction.
posted by myShanon to human relations (19 answers total) 36 users marked this as a favorite
I've spent the last 15 years or so wandering my way through a series of ready-made social circles. Stepping into a new partner's group of friends, walking into a gaming group or local alternative community, etc. I've relied on those groups to provide me with acquaintances which might develop into friendships. I move around a lot, so this has been the easiest, most efficient way to meet lots of people in new cities. The problem is, group dynamics tend to be about the group, its particular cliques and internal dramas...
It doesn't always lend to individual one-on-one interactions, and actually connecting with another member of the group is more the matter of luck than anything else.
Most of my friendships are superficial, people who I see in group settings and get along with, but rarely talk to as individuals unless they need something from me. I tend to become the advice column / sounding board for those who need to talk, but never have anyone to turn to when I need someone.
When I move away, even those who cling and cry about my leaving quickly stop responding to my attempts to keep in touch, and going back to visit is like walking in as a stranger again. They've already forgotten me, or enmities have popped up somehow in my absence.
This carries over into my relationships, as I tend to be a very ah... impulsive type of person, diving head first into new relationships because I don't want to lose the heat and passion of infatuation. Becoming intimate so quickly usually bypasses a lot of the "getting to know you" stuff... and later when passion begins to settle, I find myself trapped with someone I barely know and don't know how to talk to. The relationship quickly disintegrates as they feel bitter over my "sudden" desire for communication instead of intimacy.
I've followed the same pattern so many times I could walk this maze backward with my eyes shut and still end up at the same destination as always.
In 6 months or so I'm moving out of state, to a place where I don't know anyone. I'm fantasizing about this being a real chance to start over, break pattern and re-lean how to interact with people on an individual basic. Maybe even learn to connect and develop meaningful friendships/relationships... and if that also leads to future romantic relationships being more about what we have in common than how we get on in the bedroom, that'd be awesome too.
My current plan involves taking my puppy for lots of long walks, reading a lot of books, taking plenty of time for self examination to see where I can improve. I want to take the opportunity for a complete change toward the better, leaving most of my self destructive habits behind. I'll read in the park and talk to anyone who strikes up a conversation... avoid the party and bar scene and other situations that will lead me back to the same type of people who have encouraged my bad habits in the past...
I've got the "bettering myself" plan worked out..
I still have no clue how to actually connect with people, or meet people without relying on some kind of social group... I'm not looking to date so would prefer not to involve dating sites and such. I know I can just walk up to interesting looking people and say hello, but... what to say or how to not seem creepy?
Or I could just ramble at people in real life the way I do online, and if they think its cute maybe they won't run away :)