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I need help with social interaction Watch

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    Where can I get it?

    I haven't got any friends despite being at university for several years. Tbh I'm scared of people, I walk past people in the streets and I feel fear, I'm terrified they're going to shout at me or say something or just stare at me. But I know this isn't normal, I am sick of being alone but everytime I try to make friends - in university societies, on the bus, in class, in sports clubs - I fail. I've tried reading books about successfully interacting and tried to put the stuff into practice but I fail. I've tried internet sites but again it never works out for me. I don't look people in the eyes when I talk to them so I've tried forcing it for the past few years and I still can't make friends. I had to see a lecturer after class last week and I was shaking so much and couldn't sleep for several days before even though he's a really nice guy. This isn't normal but I can't work out how to change things.

    Bascially, I can't think what else to do, I want to make friends because I'm desperately lonely and just want people to talk to, hang out with and do normal stuff with, but I've tried so many things and they've all gone wrong and I'm still alone. Is there anywhere I can go or anything I haven't tried that I can do to try and make friends/
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    maybe you could join a society or find a job like a sales assistant where you always talk to people to build up confidence. i'm not the most social person either but you'll find it a lot easier to talk to people, maybe hang around with classmates?
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    Aww

    I think you've made this up into a really massive thing and it's taking over too many things. I have no idea how you'd get rid of this, I have the same thing myself. I get butterflies putting my hand up in class! I suppose we just have to force ourselves.

    Please don't start giving yourself the label of 'social anxiety'. Not that I think you are, just in case you do start reading the internet and come across it. Sorry to those who believe in it, but as a medical diagnosis it doesn't exist really, or at least it shouldn't. It's just being anxious in social situations. If you do it's easy to think you can't help it and then it just spirals down.
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    Perhaps it might be worth talking to the Uni counsellor? It sounds like it isn't necessarily your fault but could in fact be an anxiety disorder or something, which if treated as such you could be given some coping strategies and perhaps you may then become less agitated while around other people. If nothing else, I'm sure they will understand what you are going through and help in some way.
    If not that then try your best not to over think it, the best friendships happen naturally and over a period of time of maybe just having short chats on which you can build something.
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    (Original post by chinaberry)
    Aww

    I think you've made this up into a really massive thing and it's taking over too many things. I have no idea how you'd get rid of this, I have the same thing myself. I get butterflies putting my hand up in class! I suppose we just have to force ourselves.

    Please don't start giving yourself the label of 'social anxiety'. Not that I think you are, just in case you do start reading the internet and come across it. Sorry to those who believe in it, but as a medical diagnosis it doesn't exist really, or at least it shouldn't. It's just being anxious in social situations. If you do it's easy to think you can't help it and then it just spirals down.
    No, I don't want to label myself with anything (although I do have depression according to my GP), I just want to try anything to make friends. Sitting back and saying it's social anxiety won't help me, I agree with you there, but honestly I don't know what else to do.

    In class I have said more these last few weeks than in my whole life put together, I never put my hand up at school, but it hasn't got any easier, I turn bright red everytime, shake a lot and all my words come out a mess no matter how much I try to think about them beforehand. The worst is when the teacher picks me, I just talk crap and then sit in silence, it's like my brain shuts down when put on the spot. So I'm not sure how much forcing myself is going to help - tbh I think it's just making me look like an idiot, because my points come out wrong and so it looks crap to everyone else which might further make them not want to be my friend. I don't know.
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    you sound like you have some sort of social anxiety disorder and low confidence; might be worth seeing someone and reading some books; but at the end of the day a lot of it probably won't help much.

    you gotta FORCE yourself to be in social situations. don't focus on a goal of becoming friends. the problem with books is that a lot of them are or contain a lot of garbage to sell themselves - a lot of them have soo many ideas, which aren't necessarily effective, you won't be able to coordinate all them at once - it's too complicated; you'll be thinking of what the book says here and there and how to implement it, instead of being in the moment and actually interacting with the person in front of you.

    i say keep doing activites/clubs with other people. Go to the gym - even if you don't talk to anyone - you see people at their most vunerable, sweating and looking like they're about to collapse - and they're less threatening. Also bodybuilders are fundamentally insecure - but most people as they get stronger and bigger, get more confident. It happened to me. I know that no one I meet is fitter or stronger than me - it gives me confidence - with both guys and girls. If I were to recommend one thing it would be david d - a pua guy - ok, problem with pua is that it makes people too introverted which isn't something you want, but if you look out for that, you should be ok - you can get tapes and books and things online - it also gives you confidence with women. And for men a lot of insecurity comes from not being able to get women, to get sex and be a man.
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    Try talking to a university counsellor, they may be able to help and there may even be workshops available. I know at my university I've seen posters around saying that there are workshops available for those suffering from eating disorders, social anxiety, stress etc. Some are one-to-one and some are grouped.

    Also maybe consider getting a small part time job? Bar/retail would be good - something with face to face interaction. I know that my retail/bar jobs certainly helped me a lot with confidence talking to new people which does carry on over to the every day, you pick up little ways of starting conversations and get more confident in asking questions and keeping a conversation going.
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    Do you have any siblings?
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    (Original post by White Trash)
    No, I don't want to label myself with anything (although I do have depression according to my GP), I just want to try anything to make friends. Sitting back and saying it's social anxiety won't help me, I agree with you there, but honestly I don't know what else to do.

    In class I have said more these last few weeks than in my whole life put together, I never put my hand up at school, but it hasn't got any easier, I turn bright red everytime, shake a lot and all my words come out a mess no matter how much I try to think about them beforehand. The worst is when the teacher picks me, I just talk crap and then sit in silence, it's like my brain shuts down when put on the spot. So I'm not sure how much forcing myself is going to help - tbh I think it's just making me look like an idiot, because my points come out wrong and so it looks crap to everyone else which might further make them not want to be my friend. I don't know.
    Haha yeah, it's awful when all your words come out like that. I've had to give more presentations in three months than I ever had to in secondary school and it's been awful, I end up saying two sentences and then my voice just dries up. I think the trick is to breathe. But how! You forget about it :rolleyes:
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    (Original post by afua12)
    Try talking to a university counsellor, they may be able to help and there may even be workshops available. I know at my university I've seen posters around saying that there are workshops available for those suffering from eating disorders, social anxiety, stress etc. Some are one-to-one and some are grouped.

    Also maybe consider getting a small part time job? Bar/retail would be good - something with face to face interaction. I know that my retail/bar jobs certainly helped me a lot with confidence talking to new people which does carry on over to the every day, you pick up little ways of starting conversations and get more confident in asking questions and keeping a conversation going.
    I've had jobs in the past, not at the moment, but I had the same problems there. I didn't get on with the people I worked with, I was always the loser quiet one even when I tried to be friendly to people. 8 hour shifts spent on my own were hell. Wasn't too good at dealing with the customers either so usually got told to stay out the way/wash up/do stock stuff.

    With university counselling do I just call them up and explain, or what happens with that? I'm a bit worried I wouldn't be able to get much from it as I'm quite useless at talking to people.



    (Original post by EskimoJo)
    Do you have any siblings?
    3 brothers and a sister. I get on with 2 of them, but don't really see the other 2.
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    (Original post by Rancorous)
    you gotta FORCE yourself to be in social situations. don't focus on a goal of becoming friends. the problem with books is that a lot of them are or contain a lot of garbage to sell themselves - a lot of them have soo many ideas, which aren't necessarily effective, you won't be able to coordinate all them at once - it's too complicated; you'll be thinking of what the book says here and there and how to implement it, instead of being in the moment and actually interacting with the person in front of you.
    This.

    I used to be just the same with presentations etc, the more I'm forced to do them the better/more confident I get. Go to the societies and don't give up on them, when you're put on the spot with questions just focus on trying hard and conquering your fear rather than focusing on how difficult it is.

    Good luck man.
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    (Original post by White Trash)
    Where can I get it?

    I haven't got any friends despite being at university for several years. Tbh I'm scared of people, I walk past people in the streets and I feel fear, I'm terrified they're going to shout at me or say something or just stare at me. But I know this isn't normal, I am sick of being alone but everytime I try to make friends - in university societies, on the bus, in class, in sports clubs - I fail. I've tried reading books about successfully interacting and tried to put the stuff into practice but I fail. I've tried internet sites but again it never works out for me. I don't look people in the eyes when I talk to them so I've tried forcing it for the past few years and I still can't make friends. I had to see a lecturer after class last week and I was shaking so much and couldn't sleep for several days before even though he's a really nice guy. This isn't normal but I can't work out how to change things.

    Bascially, I can't think what else to do, I want to make friends because I'm desperately lonely and just want people to talk to, hang out with and do normal stuff with, but I've tried so many things and they've all gone wrong and I'm still alone. Is there anywhere I can go or anything I haven't tried that I can do to try and make friends/
    have you heard of social anxiety disorder? if you do have it and are diagnosed, you can be prescribed something like valium which takes the fear element away. without the fear, your personality can come shining through and you can make friends... yay
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    (Original post by White Trash)
    I've had jobs in the past, not at the moment, but I had the same problems there. I didn't get on with the people I worked with, I was always the loser quiet one even when I tried to be friendly to people. 8 hour shifts spent on my own were hell. Wasn't too good at dealing with the customers either so usually got told to stay out the way/wash up/do stock stuff.

    With university counselling do I just call them up and explain, or what happens with that? I'm a bit worried I wouldn't be able to get much from it as I'm quite useless at talking to people.





    3 brothers and a sister. I get on with 2 of them, but don't really see the other 2.

    I wouldn't know how it works at your university, but I should imagine that you could just call them/ walk in and say that you would like some help with social anxiety and then they would be able to tell you what you need to do/what's available to help
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    I know the feeling of being anxious around people... every time I walk past people my heart stops for a second and I start to panic for some odd reason. It's more a worry of what people would say once I pass, a case of paranoia on my hand.

    Depression is definitely caused by your loneliness. You have been desperate to find companions, but you're probably not having any luck down to your anxienty (flustered, stuttering, bad body language etc).

    For me, my confidence has built up through retail work. I also used to be lonely and stuck by my sister and her friends. It wasn't the best situation, as you would like your own selection of friends, but surely you could go out with your brother(s)/sister?

    Also, do what people are saying to you here... join sports that will actually involve interactions and not ones where interactions NEED to be projected from you.

    Are you working? Do you not have friends that were from your high school that you could regain contact from social networks (another helpful boost to your social life)?

    Your main issue is confidence.

    Boost your confidence from either going out with your siblings and meeting people that way, try sports that involve teamwork, talk to people on social networks like this or facebook an if you do not have a job, go to the job centre and they could advise you on how to even boost your confidence in front of people.
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    (Original post by DanielleT192)
    I know the feeling of being anxious around people... every time I walk past people my heart stops for a second and I start to panic for some odd reason. It's more a worry of what people would say once I pass, a case of paranoia on my hand.

    Depression is definitely caused by your loneliness. You have been desperate to find companions, but you're probably not having any luck down to your anxienty (flustered, stuttering, bad body language etc).

    For me, my confidence has built up through retail work. I also used to be lonely and stuck by my sister and her friends. It wasn't the best situation, as you would like your own selection of friends, but surely you could go out with your brother(s)/sister?

    Also, do what people are saying to you here... join sports that will actually involve interactions and not ones where interactions NEED to be projected from you.

    Are you working? Do you not have friends that were from your high school that you could regain contact from social networks (another helpful boost to your social life)?

    Your main issue is confidence.

    Boost your confidence from either going out with your siblings and meeting people that way, try sports that involve teamwork, talk to people on social networks like this or facebook an if you do not have a job, go to the job centre and they could advise you on how to even boost your confidence in front of people.
    I don't have a job, no, I'm in final year at university and have a lot of work to do, but when I'm not working I would like people to hang out with or just talk to. When I had a job it just made me even more miserable, I've had 6 different jobs over the years and had the same thing happen at all of them: I tried to be friendly and didn't make any friends, instead always got given the crap tasks to do (which I did as best I could so people might like me) and generally everyone would joke around without me. Maybe it was where I worked; mcdonalds, pubs and a restaurant. There was a lot of interaction with the public but I was rubbish at it so got put doing stock or in the back somewhere.

    I've been out with my brother a couple of times, but it was awkward and he's younger, his friends thought I was a bit weird, but he's at home, I'm at university so I can't really make it a regular thing. I might try hanging out with him when I go to my mum's for xmas but it's not really a proper solution. When I'm at home it's cool anyway as I hang out with my brothers if they're about, I don't feel lonely then.

    Didn't have any friends at school so I can't take that avenue either.

    At university, I do play team sports, I've done one sport in particular for 3 years and still haven't managed to connect with the people there despite going every week. There's one girl who says hi and maybe we chat about the sport or whatever but she's not a student and I can't seem to take things further. I think she's just friendly tbh, and it's not me doing a good job as to why she talks to me.

    This is the problem and why I'm asking on here where I can get help: I can't see what else I could do (apart from the counselling). I've been to societies and sports clubs, I've read books and the internet, I've tried to change things about myself (wear nicer clothes, comb my hair, look people in the eyes) and I've got nowhere. I'm running out of options.
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    Okay, if you think talking to a counsellor is the only solution, then the best way to go towards this is checking your universities' website under the counselling section, where they normally have contact details for counsellors, emailing them to arrange a meeting.

    I done this when I was having a hard time with issues outside uni, and they could help you with anything, especially the whole social aspect of it. Obviously you'll find it hard at first, as you find it hard to easily communicate in social situations, but try and be as open as you can. They'll help you maybe even find other methods and eventually see where the problem stems.

    From what I have read, I think it's fair to say it's your confidence. Once you have confidence, you'll find everything you know or have interpreted will come to good use.

    As a reassurance though, I think there's areas of potential. Look at this girl who is in one of your sports classes... although you may think she's just nice natured, talking to anyone, she is still talking to you. I think if someone could have a conversation about their hobbies shows they are interesting to talk to. Instead of generally talking about this sport, ask her what she likes to do in her spare time, which might even give you more choices from her ideas or even sieze the opportunity to develop this into a friendship.

    Also, if you had 6 jobs then obviously this must show you give good impressions and in fact you could engage quite well with people.

    Regarding your bro... dw about that and the age. My older sbrothers hang out and there's a big age gap, but brings more opportunities. If you get on well with your siblings and their friends, surely that should give you a boost that you are a decent person to talk to?

    And assuming you live on your own, it must be difficult. But focus on these points. The confidence and forwardness to people could be developed through counselling in uni, but you could personally enhance this with this girl and your brothers .
 
 
 
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