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Thread: Can't Talk To People? :/

  1. #11
    Ghost Monkey Soul Array Vizconde's Avatar
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    Sep 2009


    I sympathies with you as I used to have a bit of a difficult time with social conversation.

    Actually it was turning the social conversation dynamic into something else than what it is traditionally thought of which made me more appreciable to NT sensibilities.

    For me it was PUA (the pick-up arts) which both motivated me (with a sex reward) and made what otherwise seemed like a waste of time into a dynamic I could understand....esentially a game.

    Although I doubt the pick up arts are your cup of tea, nevertheless its primary components of social dynamics and NLP (see: ) can just as easily be applied for platonic purposes. Thus mindless chatter can be adjusted into meaningful social experiments.

    After a while it even becomes fun.
    I redact everything I have written or will write on this forum prior to, subsequent with and or after the fact of its writing. For entertainment purposes only and not to be taken seriously nor literally.

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    Spamtar - a strange combination of boorish drunkeness and erudite discussions, or what I call "an Irish academic"

  2. #12
    Uniqueorn Array William K's Avatar
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    Aug 2009


    I'd suggest reading Dale Carnegie's "How to Win Friends and Influence People". It was written over 70 years ago I know, but a lot of the stuff are still valid
    4w5, Fi>Ne>Ti>Si>Ni>Fe>Te>Se, sp > so > sx

    appreciates being appreciated, conflicted over conflicts, afraid of being afraid, bad at being bad, predictably unpredictable, consistently inconsistent, remarkably unremarkable...

    I may not agree with what you are feeling, but I will defend to death your right to have a good cry over it

    The whole problem with the world is that fools & fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts. ~ Bertrand Russell

  3. #13
    Certified Sausage Smoker Array Elfboy's Avatar
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    Nov 2008
    5w4 sx/sp
    SLI None


    a few things
    I. you say that you are tormented for days if you say something stupid, but you can't judge if what you say is stupid by others' reactions most people are stupid and easily offended and 90% of the time, it doesn't have to do with you. the most likely possibilities are:
    - the person has a big ego and is easily offended
    - you didn't tell the person what they wanted to hear
    - the person couldn't accept what you said
    - the person was emotionally troubled about something else and took it out on you
    - the person was just a douche bag
    - the person misinterpreted what you said
    - you disagreed with that person and they dislike for it, even if you're right or it's a matter of opinion

    II. stop beating yourself up
    1) you don't have to meet your standards immediately, if you're working towards those standards, that's reason enough to feel good about yourself
    2) I know as both an INF and a 4, the world is a dark and terrible place we seem to be the only people who have a problem with that. but you CAN become strong if you tell yourself that you can be
    3) if you do your best, you have nothing to be ashamed of.
    4) don't feel bad about not wanting to talk to people. most people are extremely boring
    5) on a similar note, don't feel bad about wanting to be alone for long periods of time, sometimes what's going on in your head is just more interesting that the rest of the world around you
    6) being afraid or worried is absolutely useless. try and pin point the cause of your anxiety to eliminate it
    7) when you find something wrong with yourself, be excited that it's an area for you to improve in =)

    III. now for some actionable steps =)
    1) you obviously feel alone and scared, get some friends who will support you and make you feel better.
    2) on a similar note, you seem like a very affectionate person and you need someone or something to shower with affection that would return that affection. Until you are confident enough to get a boyfriend, try getting a really friendly dog that will lick your face and snuggle with you.
    3) once you have your dog, go out walking with him for 30-60 minutes a day when it's bright out, you'll feel happier
    4) if you are really depressed, see your doctor. sometimes the passage ways that allow seratonin to reach the brain aren't working properly and your brain doesn't get the mood stimulus. if this is the case, medication can correct this problem
    5) pray
    6) on a similar note GOD LOVES YOU! that alone is reason enough to be ecstatic with joy
    7) take some time to focus on YOU. it's not about other people right now, you need to help yourself before you can help others
    - take up a hobbie
    - dedicate some alone time to yourself every day where you think about you. what makes you comfortable? what qualities do you like about yourself? what are your personal values? what areas would you like to grow in? how do you operate as a person? what do you want out of life?
    - pamper yourself. go shopping and get some new, sexy clothes, go out to eat a little more, take a long luxurious bath
    - relax with a nice cup of tea, if you don't like one kind, their are many varieties, but tea is incredibly healthy and relaxing and makes you feel great
    - read a book while enjoying your tea. if you really don't like tea, hot chocolate and apple cider are good too =)
    - every morning, look at yourself in the mirror and say "I am a good person" "I am sexy" "I am strong" even if you don't believe it now, you will BECOME that way

    I'd post more, but I'm really tired now. anyway, good luck

  4. #14
    Member Array October Rust's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2010


    Some really great answers, guys! Think I'm gonna have to come back and reread all of this any time I'm lonely and need a push in the right direction. Thanks so much
    INFJ, 4w5
    Mercurial, Idiosyncratic, Sensitive
    RLOEI, Chaotic Neutral, Melancholy / Phlegmatic
    Johari / Nohari

  5. #15
    Iron Maiden Array fidelia's Avatar
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    May 2009
    1w2 so/sx


    Second the motion on Dale Carnegie! If it's possible, I'd highly recommend taking the Dale Carnegie course, which sets you up with public speaking opportunities where you can't possibly fail. It's initially expensive, but has made the difference many times over for a lot of the jobs my brother has gotten and really increased his confidence level dramatically. Another one would be Toastmasters.

    If you feel underconfident generally, you can greatly reduce your discomfort in all situations by acquiring more skills and by expanding the circle of people you know and increasing your connections with people. Start with those you feel safe with, but expand through - saying thank you (verbally and in writing) when people have done something nice for you, share enough information with them that they have some more to work with and understand you better, know your interests and some possible topics of conversation etc, and get involved in service towards others. You don't have to have big conversational skills to wash dishes with a volunteer group of people, serve food, help with a project, cat/dogsit, take in an absent neighbour's mail and so on. These will help focus your attention outwards, expand the breadth and depth of interactions, and increase your comfort level as you get safe practice.

  6. #16
    Member Array Serenes's Avatar
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    Oct 2010


    I am pretty shy myself and I used to be really bad at social situations. I always wanted to go through school invisible, because I was so scared of people. But in high school health class, I found out about this thing called Social Anxiety :/ and realized most of the symptoms sounded like me. Then I wanted to get better so I read advice on how to improve and read some self-help books. I took little steps each day to put myself out of my comfort zone and forced myself to do things I normally would not have done.

    -I started out by smiling at people randomly and saying Hi when they passed by. Tried to look more approachable (be aware of how you look - smile more to look friendly)
    -If someone was alone, I'd randomly go up and try to start a conversation with them as practice. Just talk about anything! Like what the weather was like, what did they do yesterday, how are they feeling or w/e. Just keep asking questions and some people love talking so :p you don't have to say much. You can practice first by forming your questions and answers in your head before you approach someone. If it gets awkward, you can just say goodbye and leave lol. (you can try going to the park, mall, or even at school.. wherever)
    -Remember to keep eye contact when you are talking to them. Force yourself! and try to fake smiles ;p if you can.. it helps the other person feel comfortable. (you can practice in the mirror, talking to yourself)

    Take little steps at a time depending on how much you can handle. At first you can talk a little, if you are getting better you can try to make the conversations longer.. and the next time you can make it even longer. Keep repeating.

    You even can kind of think of these things as a game, and a challenge. I mean, even if it gets awkward or the conversations hits a dead end.. it won't really affect you much since it's random strangers you may never even meet again. So why care what they think of you. And at least you can walk away from it and think to yourself "wow at least I tried! Good Job!" plus you may even make friends! lol it's kind of funny because after I talked to someone randomly, I'd be like "YAY +1 point for today." and I tried to get a point each day.

    The more you do it, the more it will eventually get easier for you. Seriously though, I used to be an Incredibly introverted, frightened and shy person.... but I was actually able to do this by pushing myself, keep thinking "what's the worst that can happen? they won't like you? so what, that's not going to kill you. Just do it!" ;p (even if you are scared & terrified, that's all the more reason to push yourself and do it). There are so many other people out there anyways who you can get along with. Oh and there is also the saying that people often are so self conscious about their own selves than to worry about what You did or said, hehe.

    Another thing I do is, notice what I Like and Don't Like about my friends or people who talk to me.. I pay attention to how they interact with me and how they interact with other people. Then I use how they made me feel with their actions/words/facial expressions to interact with others the same way to try and elicit the same kind of feelings (happiness, acceptance, silliness, etc). When a friend does something that makes me feel bad, I avoid doing those same things to others. Ex: When friends remember what I said or something specific about me that I shared awhile back.. it makes me happy to think that they actually paid attention to what I said. So I try to do this with friends sometimes... pay attention to what they talk about and bring it up when appropriate to show that I listened, hopefully invoking the same happiness for them. When friends ignore me or give me certain looks that make me feel uncomfortable, I remember and try not to do that with others because I don't want them to possibly feel that way as well. Sooo in a way I'm kind of like a chameleon lol.

    I also noticed that... having internet friends helped me be more open about my thoughts as well... it's like practicing to form thoughts and conversations and experimenting with ideas.... see people's reaction online and then you can transfer that to real life conversations.

    I can still be shy.. but those are some things I've done to help me become more open and able to be somewhat talkative now and take initiative when i have to. It has helped me make friends .. I hope it helps you somehow. If I can do it, you can too! ..I'm like the biggest scaredy cat lol.

    I used to be so different back then.. never smiled, hardly talked, and never tried to let people get close to me because I was always scared of what they would think. If I told my current friends this, they'd be surprised

    This quote also motivates me "If you want to be loved, then practice love!" I can change that to "If you want to have friends, practice being a friend!"
    "You may be one person to the world, but to one person you may be the world."

  7. #17
    Senior Member Array Onceajoan's Avatar
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    Apr 2010


    Quote Originally Posted by gromit View Post
    I like to ask people questions about themselves and what they are doing. It is interesting to hear what they have to say and then you don't have to do as much talking.
    This is my strategy as well. It seems to work because, unlike me, most people like to talk about themselves. They are often flattered when others take a real interest in them. I really try to understand and figure them out by active listening. I ask provocative questions - questions that no one has ever asked them to get them engaged. Often they'll say, "Huh...No one has ever asked me that..." Then they'll go off with their response. I think some people like this form of interaction because it enables them to look at things from a new perspective or understand something differently.

    But some people are just really dull or full of superficial fluff to bother interacting with. Seek out the interesting ones, if you have a choice. Avoid the rest.
    What if everything's an illusion and nothing exists? In that case, I definitely overpaid for my carpet. - Woody Allen

  8. #18
    Symbolic Herald Array
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    Feb 2010


    This older thread might provide some useful advice for you as well.

  9. #19
    Senor Membrane Array
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    May 2008


    Can't help but to notice a certain trend here. Most of these advices seem so utilitarian to me. Not to say they don't work, but it seems like they are changes that are first made on the outside and then have the desired effect on the inside. When I was battling with the same problem, I couldn't go that way because I felt like it is too superficial. I didn't want to feel like I am faking it.

    What I did, I concentrated on finding out why there is this voice in my head saying that I'm not good enough to be liked by the others. Because obviously it's ridiculous to think that I am worse than the majority of people, and that was exactly what I thought about myself. After I traced my problem back as far as I could get, the problem fixed itself. Almost. I did have to get into a new social setting that would allow me to be the new me instead of repeating the old habit. After that I still needed to learn a lot of social clues and stuff like that, and probably people could sense something weird about me. And after that I still had to be able to admit to myself and especially the others that I missed out an important part of so called normal life being isolated through teenage. It felt like the biggest secret back then.

    And after that there still was something to admit. That I am an introvert. So, I actually came back a bit, and now it feels like I've come a full circle. I'm ok about it. The biggest thing that changed, I'm free from shame and regret now. For the most of the time.

  10. #20
    Senior Member Array mochajava's Avatar
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    Jul 2010


    Nolla - what was the deeper reason that you found for not feeling like you were as good as everyone else? Was it the introversion, or was it something else? What was that process like for you, if you're comfortable sharing? It seems like a unique take on this topic that hasn't been addressed yet -- solving the problem from the inside out, rather than the outside-in.

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