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alarimer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-14-06 07:11 PM
Original message
Anyone else have trouble communicating with people?
Do they think you are rude just because you can't think of things to say? Does it ruin potential relationships?

I swear I am no good at the whole interpersonal communication thing. I can't make small talk very welll; I can't flirt. It is more than just shyness, although that has always been part of it but I have no real problem getting up in front of groups as long as I am well prepared and know what I am talking about. I can't just wing it though.

I just can't seem to think of things to say and nobody understands this. No one. They think I am rude or being standoffish and I am not doing it on purpose. Well sometimes I really don't like them, in which case I don't really care. Sometimes I feel like an alien from another planet.

It is probably one of the main reasons I have not had a relationship last more than a few months. Most people give up on me too soon. It has gotten to the point where I am so anxious when I meet someone new that I just cannot relax and have a good time. I am so worried that I am going to ruin it before anything even happens. I really try hard to talk to them but apparently it isn't good enough.
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Rabrrrrrr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-14-06 07:12 PM
Response to Original message
1. May I momma dogface in the banana patch?
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Haole Girl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-14-06 07:13 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. Well, as far as...
"Do they think you are rude just because you can't think of things to say..."

No, I wouldn't say that is my problem. My problem is that I have too much to say! ;-)
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alarimer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-14-06 07:19 PM
Response to Reply #1
6. Well that wasn't what I meant
but thanks for the laugh
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Haole Girl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-14-06 07:27 PM
Response to Reply #6
8. Welcome
:hug:
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alarimer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-14-06 07:30 PM
Response to Reply #8
10. oops, I think I posted that in the wrong place
It was directed toward the poster who made the nonsense sentence, which did make me laugh out loud.

But I do work with a guy who is the total opposite of me. He will stop and chat with anyone anywhere about anything. It is like he must fill the silence with something. It cracks me up. He also whistles, which is annoying.
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datasuspect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-14-06 07:12 PM
Response to Original message
2. you sound like someone i would get along with
one of the dearest women i was ever in a relationship with fit that description to a "t."

you don't live in oregon do you?

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Deja Q Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-14-06 07:17 PM
Response to Original message
4. Well, I can't vouch for all - but Asperger's Syndrome has kept me awkard.
BTW: I've had nothing since a one-nighter in February. Before that there was nothing since September, which was the end of a 2.5 month relationship with a guy who had more issues than I. Before that it was over four YEARS since I had any form of relationship, a one-nighter, or anything. And that was the end of a 3 month relationship that really never was. Before that I had nothing apart from a one-nighter, which I had attempted (yet backed out halfway through out of fear of getting AIDS) because I was going to end my life the next day. (Guess what I didn't do the next day...)

I know how you feel, utterly. It's not fun. But we're survivors. Why else are we still here?

We're not meant for people. We're meant just to be ourselves. Not everybody has somebody and I don't like it when people say the patronizing "There's someone for everyone". Even * has been more truthful on issues.

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alarimer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-14-06 07:27 PM
Response to Reply #4
9. It's funny though- I tend to be the opposite at work
It is like I have become so comfortable around them that I occasionally go to the opposite extreme- can't seem to shut up, even to the point of interrupting, which IS rude. Go figure.

Although it is good that I have a job in which I don't have to be a Chatty Cathy. No one expects it of me (and, in fact, most of the people I work with fall on the more introverted part of the scale). Not suprising in a bunch of scientists.

I do interact with the public; strangely, that does not really bother me. I am not crazy about it and would rather not have to but I am not paralyzed with fear. Sometimes I can't answer their questions but being standoffish is okay when dealing with drunken fishermen, I find. A lot less likely to get hit on.

It is really in a social setting that I have this problem. Once past the initial stages of acquaintance, things go better. Although one guy did break up with me because I didn't talk enough but somehow I was too demanding when I did (WTF?). On second thought, most of my breakups have occurred for more of the usual reasons: met someone else, not compatible, etc. My problem is getting past the intial stage.
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Xipe Totec Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-14-06 07:18 PM
Response to Original message
5. Conversation is easy,
All you gotta do is listen.

People love the sound of their own voice. Just say, hu huh, yes, tell me more about yourself, and you can keep the conversation going forever.
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crim son Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-14-06 07:26 PM
Response to Original message
7. I second what Xipe Totec says.
I was devastatingly shy for most of my life. Then I learned that people just love LOVE to talk about themselves. When I'm stumped - say, when I'm meeting person after person at a party (the horror!) - I ask people about themselves. Even if I don't much care about the answers initially, continued questioning usually leads to my finding a mutual interest.

But, not having anything to say in a long-term relationship? I can't imagine that, unless I'm with the wrong person. You shouldn't have to be the only one doing the talking, you know. :hug:
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alarimer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-14-06 07:33 PM
Response to Reply #7
12. Well upon further reflection
I can't really say that my relationship failures were because I didn't talk enough. There were plenty of other reasons: met someone else, the usual reasons anyway.

It is getting past the initial few meetings in order to see if there is something there that almost never happens. That is where I am stuck.
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crim son Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-14-06 07:47 PM
Response to Reply #12
17. Well, I get that.
I have to believe that if somebody is right, you will just find yourself communicating. When it isn't, it can be like pulling teeth.
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idgiehkt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-14-06 07:32 PM
Response to Original message
11. yes.
I think I talk okay. I just miss a lot of stuff that other people do and never know what is going on. But I guess I should say that I also say stupid things that are offensive sometimes and don't realize it until it is way too late.

I suck at group dynamics, and to have to work with a group of women is my worst nightmare, because women have all the little secret signals and codes going on all the time. I mean, it's terrifying. I do better with men as far as work goes, or by myself.

And I have to say the cumulative effect of it is really bearing down on me at this point in my life. I can't seem to overcome that right now. No advice, just empathy and commiseration.
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alarimer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-14-06 07:37 PM
Response to Reply #11
14. I miss signals too
I don't know why but I am very easy to trick. My coworkers know how easy it is to pull my leg. It works every time although I am getting better at guessing.
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idgiehkt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-14-06 07:49 PM
Response to Reply #14
19. I have to say
I hate that f*cking shit (being tricked, whatever). It stopped being funny about 1989, for me, anyway. Hate it. For me one problem I have a time with is a discretion about who is lying and who isn't, or who is trustworthy. Gloom, despair, and agony on me, lol...but since you brought it up, lol.
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Skittles Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-14-06 07:36 PM
Response to Original message
13. oh, my specialty is getting folk like you talking
I grew up with an autistic brother and learned some skills about bringing people out of their shells...I grew up as a GI brat and my first day in a new school, I always gravitated to the table in the cafeteria where someone was sitting alone, ignored - yes INDEED

I think you could benefit from some counseling - yes - you have inseucrites that seriously affect your life.
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alarimer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-14-06 08:18 PM
Response to Reply #13
21. well I have gone that route before
a number of years ago over a really bad breakup in which I found out the guy basically lied about everything. I didn't find it all that useful. Of course insurance basically limited to 10 visits; I think so that maybe had something to do with it.
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Skittles Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-14-06 09:25 PM
Response to Reply #21
22. tip for you
you need to find the therapist who is right for you - yes, that means shopping around - spend a couple sessions with them and if you're not comfortable, move on. You'll find someone you click with, you will.....if your insurance is too limited try to find one with a "sliding scale fee" meaning they adjust rates depending on your income
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mad-mommy Donating Member (884 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-14-06 07:41 PM
Response to Original message
15. I may have some suggestions, if interested?
my brother can be somewhat introverted. Comfortable on some subjects and around familiar people. He has finally met a wonderful girl that is just like him, and they have been dating a while. One thing is to be yourself, and not care what other people think of you, but easier said then done. I may have some suggestions, if interested?
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alarimer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-14-06 07:48 PM
Response to Reply #15
18. I would be happy to hear any suggestions
fire away
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mad-mommy Donating Member (884 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-14-06 07:52 PM
Response to Reply #18
20. check your mail
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begin_within Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-14-06 07:46 PM
Response to Original message
16. Most people just want someone to listen to them. All you have to do is
sit there and look at them and listen attentively to what they are saying. When there is an appropriate pause, ask them a follow-up question that shows that you were listening and you want to know more about what they said. Later you can also repeat back to them a summary what you heard them say. The feeling of having been listened to and understood by another person is powerful and therapeutic. People will just eat it up if you pay attention and listen to what they are saying - no matter what they are talking about. You don't even have to offer any interpretation or opinion of your own. Simply reflecting back to them what they told you shows them that you listened and understood them, and this is very powerful in getting people to bond with you. You will become very popular with this simple and valuable skill. And from there, you can quickly move the location of the conversation over to the bed.
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femmocrat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-14-06 09:40 PM
Response to Original message
23. This is a great topic!!! I kind of have the same problem, except....
that most of the things people talk about don't interest me.... so I have a hard time pretending to give a damn what they are prattling about. I don't follow sports, don't watch much TV, don't go to movies.... I guess I just don't have anything in common with "most people." And I don't have the time or patience to sit there and pretend to listen to someone going on and on about themself... sorry! Especially when such people never ask me anything about ME!!!

Like you, I can talk in front of a group as long as there is a specific topic. It's the small talk, especially in group situations, that I'm just not good at. I'm usually the one in the middle of the group, trying to listen to conversations on either side of me... and having no one even notice me. :shrug:

Thanks for listening!
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alarimer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-14-06 10:02 PM
Response to Reply #23
24. For me, it's more like being frozen with fear
I don't know where to start. Oh, I know plenty of conversation starters. Like "what are your hobbies?" But that only goes so far. I am no good at flirting at all. In fact this is what brought this on this evening, although I have been thinking about it for a while. A guy I met yesterday, whom I like well enough to see again, asked me if he was good-looking enough for me. WTF? Now I know this is just flirting but I had no idea what to say: "Yeah, guess you'll do". I didn't know how to respond because, frankly, I am not all that hung up on looks. But to say that sort of sounds like a put-down.
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