This is a question for the extroverts, the popular, those who play well with others and the possessors of good people skills. What do you know about meeting people, making friends and relationships (both platonic and romantic) that others might not? [more inside]
I used to be very shy. Through years of pushing myself (I'm 33 now), I've become pretty amazingly functional. But I find myself in an unexpected spot. While I very much want to be around people and I can now handle it without freezing up, my experience of actually being around people is one of gritted teeth and willpower. There's very little joy in it. In theory, I'd like nothing more than a bushel of friends hanging out in my kitchen on a Sunday night. In practice, I push myself into social situations like dunking my arm in freezing water, pulling it out with a huge sigh of relief as soon as I let myself. That's not a recipe for forging new friendships, which I know take time and certain amount of vulnerability. What can I do to take myself to the next level -- from functional to genuinely friendly? Do people ever make it to the next level? On the phobia scale, it's not enough for me to be able to let a spider crawl on my arm without having a panic attack, I need to be able to lay down in a cave full of spiders and love it. (I've been in therapy for a year, but aside from that, I'd like to hear from you all.)
How do I know if I'm shy? [more inside]
Me : Extrovert. She : Introvert. Can this relationship survive? Should it? [more inside]
Do people with under-developed social skills know that their skills need work? If so, how? [more inside]
Therapy or bootstraps? I have no friends beyond immediate family and online acquaintances. I can't clean house or do my home-based job because I get distracted -- by surfing the Net, even though it gets boring and I get less and less pleasure from it, by eating, by walking around the house, or by doing anything but the productive work I know I need to do to be happy. I have a very difficult time even reading a complete book, and I have always been an avid reader. And I have almost completely starved the creative part of myself. I have almost nothing to show for my life over the past twenty years. [more inside]
I am shy and sometimes socially anxious person who has benefitted greatly from social activities run by a small support group where I live (Glasgow, Scotland). I found that site just by sheer good fortune after learning (a couple of years ago) to type the phrase "social anxiety" into Google. I would like to meet more people and have more of a social life and so have started a local Shyness group on Meetup.com. I would like my group and my site to appeal to those who see themselves as shy rather than socially anxious and to those who know they are shy but have never heard of social anxiety. Where would be good places online and offline to promote our group? Where are the local shy people to be found?
I'm new to Minneapolis, fresh out of college, working at a job where my co-workers are much older than me, and I'm feeling a bit stumped over how to go about finding some new friends. I enjoy rock shows, bike riding, indie movies etc., but I feel shy going out all by myself. What are some good ways to find a niche and some good pals in a new town? [more inside]