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Old September 14 2010, 02:08 AM   #1
Collingwood Nick
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Lets talk about .. overcoming social phobia

Or 'shyness'

Does anyone here 'have' this? It used to be a big problem for me in the past. I could do ok one on one with people (most of the time they'd be but at least I could get the words out) but group situations especially with other dominant males would see me clam up tight.

Through effort and practice I have pushed through this 'shyness' to create a decent life for myself. I can now 'switch on', even amongst groups, and not be the bloke that doesn't say anything. I think that's a big improvement.

But the shyness is still there. It's not as strong as before and I can work through it, but what I'd really like to do is drive a stake through its heart. I want to be one of those blokes with brilliant wit, who know exactly what to say when it's needed, not fifteen minutes after the conversation.

So lets open a forum on social phobia, learning to work through it and what a person can do if they want to improve their conversational skills.
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Old September 14 2010, 04:13 AM   #2
Ood Sigma
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Re: Lets talk about .. overcoming social phobia

Hmmm, I'd say our situations are very similar. I also moved from extremely shy to a state where I am still soft-spoken but also able to interact normally socially. In my case, I sort of blame my parents for raising me to be distrustful of others and not encouraging me to expand my circle of friends. In the end it was my fault but as a child one learns a lot of behaviors from their parents.

I overcame it through a change in venue (college) and the willpower to make the life I wanted instead of sitting back and letting things come to me.
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Old September 14 2010, 04:30 AM   #3
gturner
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Re: Lets talk about .. overcoming social phobia

Drink a bottle of whiskey and shoot a few people at a party for no reason at all, other than to demonstrate your alpha maleness. It helps.
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Old September 14 2010, 04:45 AM   #4
Owain Taggart
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Re: Lets talk about .. overcoming social phobia

I definitely have a problem with it, but I'm slowly improving.
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Old September 14 2010, 07:43 AM   #5
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Re: Lets talk about .. overcoming social phobia

I'm very shy and insecure, but I'm also very interested in people. I think my parents forcing me to socialize all through childhood helped me not be a total mute, and now I'm quite good at talking to strangers. The anxiety is still there but I sort of push through it. Fake it till you make it, sort of thing.

Besides, people are just so awesome!
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Old September 14 2010, 07:56 AM   #6
J. Allen
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Re: Lets talk about .. overcoming social phobia

^ Indeed they are!

In elementary school, I did not really speak at all, save for occasions when I would be asked a question in class. In middle school, I had a few friends, but I never talked in the group. It was only in my Senior year of high school that I started breaking through that brick wall, and I do have to give credit to speech class, which helped me speak in front of large groups of people without getting nervous. That was the year I started talking. Constantly.

Now, I'm not nearly as shy as I once was. I'm far more gregarious, more warm and inviting, and I'll smile and use body language well before we shake hands in any sort of meeting.

With all of that out in the open, I still like to look inward upon myself, I still like a lot of alone time. When I had a job, I felt at my best when I worked alone. I have gone to the movies alone, and while it's fun to have friends along, sometimes I just want my own presence rather than a group of people. The shyness is still there, deep down, and if I wanted to, I could regress back to it, but then in doing so, I would undo a lot of the great work I've done on bringing myself into the open and embracing differences and changes. It is difficult to stay out in the open, because I'm very empathically sensitive. People's emotions run right through me, and sometimes, strong emotions and gesticulations will make me want to pull back into myself.

Overall, though, breaking through my shyness has been a positive experience for me.
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Old September 14 2010, 08:06 AM   #7
gturner
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Re: Lets talk about .. overcoming social phobia

Kestra wrote: View Post
Besides, people are just so awesome!
No, people suck. They are weak, cowardly, illogical, organic, bleeding-hearts. That's why they'll either fall to the Romulan Empire, the Klingon Empire, the Vulcans, the Borg, or the Ferengi, all of which are vastly superior to humans.

You can take your "humans are awesome" attitude and shove it out of a torpedo tube.

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Old September 14 2010, 10:24 AM   #8
Nachtkommen
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Re: Lets talk about .. overcoming social phobia

I've always had a problem with SA/SP since I can remember. (Kindergarten) I used not to be able to approach the cashier at a store to buy anything or call someone on the phone that wasn't a close family member. I've improved quite a bit since then, but I'm still nowhere near where I need to be, unfortunately.
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Old September 14 2010, 10:50 AM   #9
Admiral Shran
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Re: Lets talk about .. overcoming social phobia

Sarek of Vulcan wrote: View Post
In elementary school, I did not really speak at all, save for occasions when I would be asked a question in class. In middle school, I had a few friends, but I never talked in the group.
That's what I was like until extraordinarily recently. I'm still nervous around most people, attractive women in particular. But I'm starting to make some progress towards becoming the outgoing person that I want to be.
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Old September 14 2010, 10:51 AM   #10
Goji
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Re: Lets talk about .. overcoming social phobia

Of all the problems I have, shyness is not one of them. But I definitely sympathize with those who do suffer from it.
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Old September 14 2010, 01:57 PM   #11
JarodRussell
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Re: Lets talk about .. overcoming social phobia

We should do a poll.

What are you in public:
OR
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Old September 14 2010, 02:04 PM   #12
the Dagman
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Re: Lets talk about .. overcoming social phobia

Why? What did that poll ever do to you?
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Old September 14 2010, 03:17 PM   #13
wissaboo
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Re: Lets talk about .. overcoming social phobia

I had always thought of myself as shy. Right after high school I became a hair dresser and actually left the profession because I was so uncomfortable being that interactive with people. I wasn't so shy I didn't socialize however. And I'm sure there were people who would be surprised I even considered myself shy. Years later I was forced back into hairdressing again by life circumstances and have stayed in that field. One day it occured to me that I wasn't shy at all. My job had given me the ability to sit down with absolutely anyone and wrangle a 2 hour conversation out of them if need be.

so the moral of the story is shy is just a phobia like anything else. And the only way to get rid of it is to expose yourself to the thing you fear.
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Old September 14 2010, 03:31 PM   #14
exodus
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Re: Lets talk about .. overcoming social phobia

I have a dominate personality, so I'm not shy very often and find it easy to socialize.
I have a good friend that's very shy also to the point of anti-social.
I feel bad for him sometimes because I can tell he's very lonely because he hardly has any friends due to it. I've tried to introduce him to other friends of mine but we won't do it. I'm not sure if there is any other way I can help him. I just don't wanna see him alone for the rest of his life.

BTW, well said wissaboo.
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Old September 14 2010, 03:54 PM   #15
Robert Maxwell
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Re: Lets talk about .. overcoming social phobia

I was really shy as a kid and still am to some extent, but I push past it and jump right into interacting with people. I've gotten to the point where I can meet someone new and carry on a conversation with them right away and not appear shy at all.

It's kind of like stage fright. I am terrified of getting up in front of people and potentially embarrassing myself, but that's why I do it anyway. It just gets easier every time you do it.
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