how to become less akward?

Watch this thread
Anonymous #1
#1
Report Thread starter 4 weeks ago
#1
Ok, so often when I am talking to people, I feel quite awkward. Not in a massively restrictive way, just sometimes I feel a bit wooden like Im not quite being myself. What confuses me though is how my confidence level varies a lot, and im not exactly sure why. i can't really describe it, just sometimes i feel much more confident than other times. like the other day i arrived at a house party sober, and the room was full of people i didnt know, i feel like a lot of people, particularly those with social anxiety would get stressed out by this. if this was me at a "non confident" time i would have really struggled to ease into the situation. yet for some reason i was feeling more confident than usual and so i found it very easy to blend in and start making jokes with people.

On the other hand, sometimes I feel much less confident. for example the other day i was just in the kitchen with my flatmates who i know really well and for some reason just couldnt join into the conversation, anytime i did it felt really forced and i was just fake laughing a lot. its like i really go into my shell at times.

I'm mainly just really trying to identify what can cause these rises and falls of confidence to work on permanently being more confident. There are a few things i think it might be caused by. for example, i find after i have exercised i often come back and feel more confident in front of people, no idea why, maybe its the hormones that get released during exercise. but again this isn't always the case. also, sometimes i find if i have spent a lot of time to myself, like when im studying, and then go back into a social situation, i experience the shyness. almost like my social skills are rusty.

I could go on for ages giving you more nuanced examples of this awkwardness, maybe that would be more informative but i think this is a sufficient background into what it is. so, does anybody have any advice on how to deal with this? when im experiencing less confidence, does anybody have any good advice on how i can free myself up and join in on the conversation? because often when i start to go into my shell i can go the rest of the day being quite awkward when somebody is speaking to me, and it might take something like a night out of drinking to loosen up again. thanks for reading i would appreciate any responses.

p.s if anybody wants more information ill be glad to answer any questions
0
reply
bryophyte
Badges: 3
Rep:
? You'll earn badges for being active around the site. Rep gems come when your posts are rated by other community members.
#2
Report 4 weeks ago
#2
This sounds to me like social anxiety. Feel free to completely ignore this, but I relate to everything you have said and have had social anxiety my entire life. For me, faking confidence used to help, but I found after a while that it made me seem like someone I wasn't (which felt worse than the awkwardness). Nowadays I almost lean into it - I just don't care any more. Not sure how helpful that is as it seems overly simple, but if people aren't okay with my awkwardness then they can stay away from me for all I care. All I will say that in more formal educational/professional situations I will always fake confidence and be very very smiley. This almost gives me a mask to hide behind in those situations, where I know that I'm being someone I'm not.

As above, feel free to ignore if unhelpful
1
reply
Anonymous #2
#3
Report 4 weeks ago
#3
Thank goodness there are more people out there who just hate talking small talk to other people.

Exercise is the best antidote to Cortisol, the stress hormone, so if you are exhausted usually you are nice and relaxed.

Be ok with how you are. There are plenty of folk out there who prefer sheep to people.
0
reply
Anonymous #1
#4
Report Thread starter 4 weeks ago
#4
(Original post by bryophyte)
This sounds to me like social anxiety. Feel free to completely ignore this, but I relate to everything you have said and have had social anxiety my entire life. For me, faking confidence used to help, but I found after a while that it made me seem like someone I wasn't (which felt worse than the awkwardness). Nowadays I almost lean into it - I just don't care any more. Not sure how helpful that is as it seems overly simple, but if people aren't okay with my awkwardness then they can stay away from me for all I care. All I will say that in more formal educational/professional situations I will always fake confidence and be very very smiley. This almost gives me a mask to hide behind in those situations, where I know that I'm being someone I'm not.

As above, feel free to ignore if unhelpful
respectfully, I disagree. One of my best friends has diagnosed social anxiety disorder and he is far less confident and assertive than me even when I am at my least confident. He can often be in a room and if there is anyone there he isn't total friends with he will not say a word for the entire duration. I can easily talk to people, I just *force* it a little bit. Also, from what I can gather social anxiety isn't just limited to interactions. My friend actually leaves areas that are slightly overcrowded as it triggers his anxiety,. there are other things that trigger his anxiety that don't make me in the least bit uncomfortable. He has also said that there are people with far worse social anxiety than him, so I have to say I don't think its likely I have social anxiety.

Interestingly, I have a theory on social anxiety. When you look at a condition like autism, people who have it are "on the spectrum" in that you can display more or less autistic tendencies than other people with autism. I believe this idea of a spectrum should be applied to many other conditions, like social anxiety. In my opinion, everybody on earth is on the social anxiety spectrum. lets say it goes from 1-100. I can think of a few people who for example i have never witnessed get embarrassed, they could standup in front of a large crowd and talk without preparation, and do so without a hint of anxiety. These sort of people would be very low on the spectrum, say 1-5. on the contrast, people with debilitating social anxiety would be 95-100. Now, there are plenty of people who are confident yet not quite as numb to social anxiety as the people between 1-5, they might get embarrassed in really harsh situations. this might be 10-20. you see what i mean? it is possible to be MORE socially anxious than someone without actually being high enough for it to be diagnosed. i think here i may be somewhere around the 50 mark? in that if you put me in a room with people who are pretty outgoing and confident. i will sort of appear as really quiet. however the opposite applies if you put me in a room with people who are higher than 50. my aim is to get to around the 30 mark.
0
reply
Mentalhealth*12
Badges: 9
Rep:
? You'll earn badges for being active around the site. Rep gems come when your posts are rated by other community members.
#5
Report 4 weeks ago
#5
(Original post by Anonymous)
Ok, so often when I am talking to people, I feel quite awkward. Not in a massively restrictive way, just sometimes I feel a bit wooden like Im not quite being myself. What confuses me though is how my confidence level varies a lot, and im not exactly sure why. i can't really describe it, just sometimes i feel much more confident than other times. like the other day i arrived at a house party sober, and the room was full of people i didnt know, i feel like a lot of people, particularly those with social anxiety would get stressed out by this. if this was me at a "non confident" time i would have really struggled to ease into the situation. yet for some reason i was feeling more confident than usual and so i found it very easy to blend in and start making jokes with people.

On the other hand, sometimes I feel much less confident. for example the other day i was just in the kitchen with my flatmates who i know really well and for some reason just couldnt join into the conversation, anytime i did it felt really forced and i was just fake laughing a lot. its like i really go into my shell at times.

I'm mainly just really trying to identify what can cause these rises and falls of confidence to work on permanently being more confident. There are a few things i think it might be caused by. for example, i find after i have exercised i often come back and feel more confident in front of people, no idea why, maybe its the hormones that get released during exercise. but again this isn't always the case. also, sometimes i find if i have spent a lot of time to myself, like when im studying, and then go back into a social situation, i experience the shyness. almost like my social skills are rusty.

I could go on for ages giving you more nuanced examples of this awkwardness, maybe that would be more informative but i think this is a sufficient background into what it is. so, does anybody have any advice on how to deal with this? when im experiencing less confidence, does anybody have any good advice on how i can free myself up and join in on the conversation? because often when i start to go into my shell i can go the rest of the day being quite awkward when somebody is speaking to me, and it might take something like a night out of drinking to loosen up again. thanks for reading i would appreciate any responses.

p.s if anybody wants more information ill be glad to answer any questions
It can sometimes be easier talking to strangers than friends. You know absolutely nothing about them so there are so many topics to talk about. I wouldn't characterise fake laughing as anxious behaviour. It's pretty normal behaviour, particularly in women. Mirroring to fit in.

You're definitely right about exercise. I start having a mental breakdown if I don't exercise everyday.

Anxiety is definitely on the rise though. Spoken to so many women who I thought were really confident who then confide in me that they have really bad anxiety.
0
reply
Anonymous #1
#6
Report Thread starter 4 weeks ago
#6
(Original post by Mentalhealth*12)
It can sometimes be easier talking to strangers than friends. You know absolutely nothing about them so there are so many topics to talk about. I wouldn't characterise fake laughing as anxious behaviour. It's pretty normal behaviour, particularly in women. Mirroring to fit in.

You're definitely right about exercise. I start having a mental breakdown if I don't exercise everyday.

Anxiety is definitely on the rise though. Spoken to so many women who I thought were really confident who then confide in me that they have really bad anxiety.
thats really interesting. I have noticed the same that these days it is surprising how many people are going through anxiety without ever giving that impression. the reason it is interesting is because I have no issues with anxiety or depression in my day to day life. in fact i feel really fortunate to be in such a content state of mind most of the time. on the contrast, i found out the other day one of my friends suffers from regular panic attacks and he literally comes across as the most calm composed person. i mean like no social anxiety whatsoever, but no he suffers from regular panic attacks.
0
reply
Mentalhealth*12
Badges: 9
Rep:
? You'll earn badges for being active around the site. Rep gems come when your posts are rated by other community members.
#7
Report 4 weeks ago
#7
(Original post by Anonymous)
thats really interesting. I have noticed the same that these days it is surprising how many people are going through anxiety without ever giving that impression. the reason it is interesting is because I have no issues with anxiety or depression in my day to day life. in fact i feel really fortunate to be in such a content state of mind most of the time. on the contrast, i found out the other day one of my friends suffers from regular panic attacks and he literally comes across as the most calm composed person. i mean like no social anxiety whatsoever, but no he suffers from regular panic attacks.
Might be childhood trauma. I knew a woman who trembled in her stomach area because that was where he touched her.
0
reply
Meduse
Badges: 16
Rep:
? You'll earn badges for being active around the site. Rep gems come when your posts are rated by other community members.
#8
Report 3 weeks ago
#8
^^^
I know this is from a week ago, but it is quite a big leap to go from panic attacks/anxiety to guessing about childhood trauma.
1
reply
Mentalhealth*12
Badges: 9
Rep:
? You'll earn badges for being active around the site. Rep gems come when your posts are rated by other community members.
#9
Report 3 weeks ago
#9
(Original post by Meduse)
^^^
I know this is from a week ago, but it is quite a big leap to go from panic attacks/anxiety to guessing about childhood trauma.
That's true. I think the prevalence rate for childhood trauma in adults is something like 25%. I think it's always good to keep things like this in the back of your mind as childhood trauma is associated with an increased risk of both panic disorder and social anxiety disorder. Same thought process as with domestic violence. It's just something to look out for in your interactions with other people.
0
reply
Meduse
Badges: 16
Rep:
? You'll earn badges for being active around the site. Rep gems come when your posts are rated by other community members.
#10
Report 3 weeks ago
#10
(Original post by Mentalhealth*12)
That's true. I think the prevalence rate for childhood trauma in adults is something like 25%. I think it's always good to keep things like this in the back of your mind as childhood trauma is associated with an increased risk of both panic disorder and social anxiety disorder. Same thought process as with domestic violence. It's just something to look out for in your interactions with other people.
Indeed. Many people do not realise the root of their anxiety being down to trauma.
0
reply
X

Quick Reply

Attached files
Write a reply...
Reply
new posts
Back
to top
Latest

Were exams easier or harder than you expected?

Easier (36)
26.09%
As I expected (46)
33.33%
Harder (49)
35.51%
Something else (tell us in the thread) (7)
5.07%

Watched Threads

View All