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Old 04-07-2009, 06:03 PM   #1 (permalink)
Insane
 
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Location: I'm up they see me I'm down.
Sick new...compulsion???

Hi again. I'm here because I have an issue. Lately, I've developed this need to be around other people. From the time I was twelve until the about six months or so ago, I was happy being alone-indeed, I preferred it. I hung out with my stepbrother and whoever he was friends with at the time, but I never had any emotional or sentimental connection to anyone. I was able to remain detatched. I was sort of the class clown at school, friends with everyone but buddies with no one. People would approach me for conversation and I would find myself feeling annoyed and violated, be it girls flirting or guys wanting to shoot the shit. I was always happy sitting at home reading, playing the computer, listening to music, working out, or going out hunting alone, etc. Now though, none of that does it for me anymore. I still enjoy those things, as well as other solitary activities, but more and more I find myself wishing for a girlfriend, or even just some guys to kick it with. Unfortunately, my years of social isolation have left me without the know-how on how to meet people. I don't really know how to carry on a conversation with someone I haven't been around on a regular basis for months or years, so I don't know what to do. Anyone have any advice?
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Old 04-07-2009, 06:16 PM   #2 (permalink)
Forming
 
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Location: ....a state of pure inebriation.
First off, welcome to the ranks of the socially active!

Now, I warn, my advice will be very cliche, but that doesn't change the fact that it really works.

Be yourself, and be confident about it. Just be who you are wherever you are and if somebody doesn't like it... well, that's just how it goes. Some people won't like you. More importantly, though, some people will. Most people find a confident person interesting.
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Old 04-07-2009, 06:26 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Location: My head.
You are sick my friend. You need help. Dr. Phill or one of the many self help books might be an answer.

No seriously, this happens. What you have to do (besides following the above advice to the letter) is start paying attention to everyone. Now don't forget yourself but also ensure for the first couple of weeks you're hanging out with folk you don't turn every conversation to a topic about yourself. You'll come off as a selfish prick.

Welcome to the universe.
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Old 04-07-2009, 08:10 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xerxys View Post
You are sick my friend. You need help. Dr. Phill or one of the many self help books might be an answer.
Lol nice one. Thanks for the advice guys, but any ideas on what exactly to say? I ask because when someone I don't know walks up to me and says something like "Crappy weather today, huh?" I think "Uh wow thanks for the update dipshit. You think I'm too fucking stupid to know what the fucking weather is even though I'm standing outside right next to you?" And I then proceed to politely engage in excruciatingly boring small talk for the next five minutes.

Oh yeah. I can be be kind of an asshole sometimes.
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Old 04-07-2009, 08:14 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Location: ....a state of pure inebriation.
That is the cynical asshole inside of you. While it isn't appropriate to be rude to someone who is simply trying to be friendly, that is who you are.

A very wise person once told me, "We're all assholes; some of us have tact."
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Last edited by Punk.of.Ages; 04-07-2009 at 08:20 PM..
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Old 04-07-2009, 08:18 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Location: I'm up they see me I'm down.
A very wise person indeed. I don't actually say that but hmm...you've both given me quite a bit to think about.
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Old 04-07-2009, 08:57 PM   #7 (permalink)
DOOMTRAIN
 
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I think it would help to know what age group you're in and what kind of people live in the area you live. That is, if you want specific advice.
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Old 04-07-2009, 10:02 PM   #8 (permalink)
Junkie
 
Location: My head.
Quote:
Originally Posted by FelixP View Post
... "Uh wow thanks for the update dipshit. You think I'm too fucking stupid to know what the fucking weather is even though I'm standing outside right next to you?" ...
Hmmm here's where you fail .... you see, your knee jerk reaction was to think that this person was judging you somehow. Either the guy guessed you can't tell the weather was crappy so he decided to update you.

I had to RETRAIN my trail of thought to steer away from this. Boring talk can always be turned into something you want to talk about seeing as the dude on the other hand gave no initiative to change the subject.

Random dude: Crappy weather huh?
You: Yeah, It's supposed to be April ...
Random dude: Right ....

**crickets and awkward silence**

--------Alternative--------------

Random dude: Crappy weather huh?
You: Yeah, It's supposed to be April ...
Random dude: Right ....
You: That Jersey ... [you a nicks fan/play hockey/shoot ducks]?
Random dude: Yep, since I was 10.
You: Ohh, I see, I just lost all respect for them, they lost so badly last quarter the poster on my wall is now offensive and inappropriate!!

People enjoy people who enjoy them ... point out something about him and if he is so normal in fact his skin color is beige, ask him what he does and where he comes from. Don't be afraid to share. Exchange names at the end of the conversation when your finally getting your train/bus/cab/coffee and leaving in order not to sound like a weirdo ....

Don't ask me about girls ....
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Old 04-07-2009, 10:08 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Location: ....a state of pure inebriation.
Girls aren't so different. The whole feeling of being judged is just more intense.

You said it all Xerxys: People enjoy people who enjoy them.

Find some shared interests. If you can't, that means you probably won't get along. Move on.
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Old 04-08-2009, 12:40 AM   #10 (permalink)
But You'll Never Prove It.
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FelixP View Post
...when someone I don't know walks up to me and says something like "Crappy weather today, huh?" I think "Uh wow thanks for the update dipshit. You think I'm too fucking stupid to know what the fucking weather is even though I'm standing outside right next to you?" And I then proceed to politely engage in excruciatingly boring small talk for the next five minutes.

Oh yeah. I can be be kind of an asshole sometimes.
Yea, I guess you can be. Next time think to yourself "They're just trying to say hello." Because they probably are. I've noticed some people say the dumbest things out of the blue, and I try to remember they are just trying to greet me.

I don't normally strike up conversations with people I don't know. So I can't give you topics. But strangers try to chat with me every day (I must send good vibes or something). I can say ... read up on body language a bit. So you can try to interperate theirs, as well as make yourself look inviting, approachable, interested. I can't tell you how many times a stranger has said something like "nice weather we're having" or "you live around here" ... and the way they carry/hold themselves screams "don't think for one second that I care what your answer is, I just wanted to hear my own voice" or "Don't take a step closer, I want to run away". Or worse yet, the ones who have their arms crossed, stand rigid, and don't smile. They look downright hostile. I'm sure they don't mean to come across that way, especially when they're talking about the beautiful weather, and probably don't even know the vibes they send with their body language.

And for Pete's sake, don't stare at your feet while you're saying "pretty day today isn't it? Not a cloud in the sky" The sky isn't down by your shoes.
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Old 04-08-2009, 07:11 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Pick up this book: How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. It will teach you some important strategies for socializing that I use on a regular basis, even in the classroom.

There's a reason why this book is a classic. I read it for the first time when I was 15 and it helped me to survive high school and college. Highly recommended.

Amazon.com: How to Win Friends & Influence People: Dale Carnegie: Books Amazon.com: How to Win Friends & Influence People: Dale Carnegie: Books
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Old 04-08-2009, 09:59 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Location: DC/Coastal VA
Quote:
Girls aren't so different. The whole feeling of being judged is just more intense.
Peter Coors had an absolutely all-time great quote: "Don't worry about what other people think of you, because they don't."

I was thinking about that this afternoon after riding mass transit. Two women struck up a conversation because one thought the other looked familiar. By the time they got off, they knew more about each other than I know about some of my family. I thought about that, and the fact that you have to be really freaky for people to give you a second thought around here. And that's a by-product of an urban area with a tremendously diverse culture.

Essentially, I think self consciousness is a sign of homogeny and immaturity. A remnant from the halls of high school.
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Old 04-08-2009, 12:28 PM   #13 (permalink)
Junkie
 
Location: My head.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Poppinjay View Post
... Essentially, I think self consciousness is a sign of homogeny and immaturity. A remnant from the halls of high school.
Wha??? No man. I disagree. Is maturity, then, why adults and many old people believe they should be respected simply because they are older? This I don't agree with. Anybody can live, all you need to do is eat.

But to stay on topic, have manners. Simple. If you think picking your nose in public will not derive a perception of you, you're WRONG. People don't think much of anything about anyone who is striking up a conversation with them. It's OK to be self conscious, just as long you care about what YOU think about yourself. Not what others think.

Meeting people and making friends can be done easily enough ... and then finding good friends is the harder task.
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Old 04-08-2009, 04:14 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Location: I'm up they see me I'm down.
I'm 18. I plan on enlisting in early July, and I'm thinking maybe that will help me develop social skills. I really don't have any more of a problem with women than I do with men. Part of it is, I often times think "Does this person really give a shit about what I'm saying?" I think most people would be too polite to say "This doesn't interest me. Shut up and go away." I don't want to take someone hostage and talk their ear off about something they find boring.
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Old 04-08-2009, 04:31 PM   #15 (permalink)
another passenger
 
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Location: Youngstown, Ohio
Well dude, you're from Ohio, that is gonna make the art of conversation hard enough as it is. I am here now and talking to people has been my mainstay like, forever. But in Ohio the idea of interesting and topical conversation is unknown and in certain parts of the state...Illegal. But you can stem the tide by remembering a couple of simple things. One.... unless you tell them, you too are a bright witty and urbane kinda guy. They have nothing to judge you against. Two.... Strange pays off. Anything that is off the wall, came out of left field or is simply weird will generally either confuse people into thinking you are interesting or at least keep their attention until you have gone. Try it, you will be the hit of the next party..... Now go forth and sin no more.
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Old 04-08-2009, 05:06 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snowy View Post
Pick up this book: How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. It will teach you some important strategies for socializing that I use on a regular basis, even in the classroom.

There's a reason why this book is a classic. I read it for the first time when I was 15 and it helped me to survive high school and college. Highly recommended.

Amazon.com: How to Win Friends & Influence People: Dale Carnegie: Books
I completely agree with this suggestion. The book is a real gem.
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