How can social skills be improved? Or can they?
May 30, 2014 10:49 AM Subscribe
I am currently 21 years of age (female). Growing up I didn't have too many friends and always felt intensely awkward and shy. I've grown past some of those feelings as I've gotten older and feel like I understand a lot more about how to have friendships and how to relate to people now, but I don't feel like I understand as much as I should. I really want to be more social and be better at relating with others so I keep putting myself in social situations but I'm not sure that I'm improving all that much.
When I was younger people would always describe me as very quiet, sweet and nice but probably too nice. I had a lot of anxiety at school and felt very awkward when hanging out with friends but I didn't know how to describe it back then. When I was younger I just felt different from other people. I really wanted to have close friendships but I just didn't know what to say to people.
Now that I'm older I feel like I understand more about what being a friend means and how to be myself. I try to put myself out there. I work in a busy coffee shop dealing with customers all day, and I try to learn how to best interact with customers and coworkers. I embarrass myself a lot but I keep trying because I know it will help me.
One of my issues is that I feel like I act too nice and happy when I'm not. I think people can see through my acting and it bothers them. For example, when I walk into work and greet coworkers I always say that I'm doing great and try to sound happy but I'm really not. They can tell I'm faking it. I also don't know if this makes sense, but I have trouble maintaining my sense of self and my opinions in conversations.for example, last night I was out at a bar with a friend and we were talking in a group. I am very good at observing people and found myself a lot of the time just engrossed in others conversations and had to remind myself to contribute. I usually didn't have much to say. I also feel like that because of being shy I don't have as many experiences to relate to others with and there's no way to catch up on that.
I used to think I was different from others and I worry if people find me weird or get bad vibes from me. But when in conversation with others I realize how alike I am to others and didn't know others felt the same way as I do. I spend a lot of time in my head and to myself but I feel like I'm tired of that and see the value now in spending time wth others.
I live at home currently with my dad and stepmom and I spend a lot of time in my room, I'm not close to my parents. I go to community college, which I'm graduating this summer with a general transfer degree. My friend from highschool goes to university a couple hours away. Shes very popular there. I want to transfer to a university and wonder if it's too late or I'd be too old to experience the college living life. I could either stay at home and go to a local cheap state university or transfer somewhere like there and live on campus. Would this probably be good for me?
I know this post was long and possibly confusing, I just want to give a full picture of where I'm at. Thank you