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Old 05-12-2017
Mikazuki1590's Avatar
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I enjoy playing video games as a hobby. Been playing them since I was about 6 or 7 probably. These days, with home consoles, online play is a big draw but with that, comes partying up with other players and voice chatting. Most people will want to do this if you add them to your friend list.

I just get such bad anxiety when I try voice chatting. I freeze up and don't know what to say really. I just feel like my voice sounds stupid or someone will make fun of me or something which I know a lot of that stems from my school days when more outgoing people would mess with me because I was quiet and reserved.

I have literally one friend I hang out with from time to time and even when it's just me and him voice chatting, I get nervous, but with him I CAN at least talk to him to a degree. The problem comes when any of his friends who I don't know enter the party chat and then I just kind of shut off. Makes matters worse when a lot of them like crude humor and stuff which I just find kind of juvenile these days, so it gets old fast.

This just happened actually. I saw my friend was online so I asked him if he wanted to chat while we play whatever. Then a few minutes later one of his other friends joins which raised my anxiety level. I tried to stay and deal with it though and try and converse as best I could. Then yet another person joined and it rose more and i just left the party without saying anything. I did message my friend though and told him the reason. It just sucks that something so simple can be so difficult for people with SA.

It sucks because I deal with loneliness too so I'd like to be able to just voice chat with someone when the chance arises but I guess what I need is to add other people who prefer a 1 on 1 chat only or something.

But yea, this stuff happens with phone calls too. I often have to take a deep breath before calling a restaurant and placing an order for instance. I get very nervous I'll say something stupid or my voice will crack, lol.

How many others here deal with this? Feel free to chime in.
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Old 05-13-2017
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I'm definitely with you on this one, and I think most people with SA are as well. I used to have trouble calling for reservations and the like, but I've gotten past that, mostly by doing it over and over. If I have to call regarding some complex issue that requires me to confront someone, I tense up.

You can try writing down what you want to say before you call, and use those notes during your conversation.

I can also relate to having trouble speaking with friends online. I feel like I need to fill the silences in a lobby that ultimately occur while waiting for a game to start. And it's like, what do you talk about? You can try talking about strategy or anything about the game really if you feel you have nothing else to say; it won't come off as random and will be perfectly apt to the situation.
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Old 05-13-2017
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Yea, I just don't get how some people can just go back and forth with their witty banter and one liners so effortlessly. That's the type of stuff my buddy will do with some of his other friends when they join the party. I'm just not that type of person. I can't think of things to constantly say just for the hell of it, lol, and this makes me feel like I come off as boring to most people. Like I'm not interesting enough to spend time talking to.

I think when people actually get to know me, I can be a funny person and at least decently fun to be around. I can be this way around my family because I'm so close with them/used to them. With strangers however it's very difficult. I often feel intimidated and lack confidence. Glad I'm not the only one, though.
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Old 05-13-2017
Miserum's Avatar
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Yeah banter seems to be a big part of socializing. Being witty and sometimes even insulting.

Come to think of it--because of this post--whenever I have to go out and socialize with a crowd I know for a fact leans toward banter, I get extremely uncomfortable.

I think banter comes from a place of inward confidence, something I lack. Knowing this I think makes it hard for me to make fun of someone else in a playful way, and inevitably when I get insulted back, I take it more seriously than I should. It's hard to see and poke fun at the flaws in others when you already feel like your flaws far outpace theirs and are far more noticeable.

My lack of confidence also directly contributes to me trying to overcompensate, so I end up saying stupid, unfunny, phony things that I wouldn't say otherwise and which serves to even further diminish my confidence because no one laughs or they respond with something extremely witty that just wrecks whatever I just said. So I end up anxious, in a silent competition of creative thinking, puns, and free association with my friends and acquaintances, which usually ends in relative disaster for me. Sometimes I stop talking completely because of it. And then of course I'm the weird guy that doesn't talk.

I can have an intellectual conversation with people; these don't make me so nervous. But when it comes to banter, I freeze.

And my good banter is so inconsistent! I know for a fact that I can banter, but it only comes when I'm feeling confident, or faking my confidence so badly (fake it til you make it) that I become confident and thus, can banter. I've been practicing the latter more and more as of late.

There are some resources on google. Just type in "how to banter" and pick your poison.

I think eventually what good banter boils down to is being your confident self (way easier said than done) and chemistry with others around you.
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Old 05-14-2017
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Yea, a lot of what you said sounds just like me as well. I hate trying to say things just to fit in. It does feel fake because I know deep down I don't truly wanna open my mouth at all unless I actually care about what I'm saying. Otherwise I see no point.

The only time I think it's not so bad is when I'm drinking alcohol, since I'm so much more relaxed, I tend not to care as much about anything. Only problem is I'm not drinking ALL the time, lol.
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Old 05-14-2017
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikazuki1590 View Post
The only time I think it's not so bad is when I'm drinking alcohol, since I'm so much more relaxed, I tend not to care as much about anything. Only problem is I'm not drinking ALL the time, lol.
Ah yes, alcohol can be quite the social lubricant. I try not to really rely on it as a means to improving my social skills though. It's a band-aid at best, and a crutch at worst. I used to rely on alcohol to get me through social events, but the reality is drinking heavily over time wreaks havoc on the body and mind.
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Old 05-19-2017
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True, but as of right now it feels like my only option to settle my nerves sometimes. :/
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Old 05-20-2017
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I have same issue as you... when people invite me to play with them on voice... i start to over think stuff and start to think the things I will say is too stupid and unrelated even though when i think back later, is none of that.

I didn't have this issue when I was younger.. but now i feel that i'm not good enough to play with them, even though in the end of the day it's just a game and we are all playing it for fun
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Old 05-24-2017
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Quote:
Originally Posted by outofthisworld View Post
I have same issue as you... when people invite me to play with them on voice... i start to over think stuff and start to think the things I will say is too stupid and unrelated even though when i think back later, is none of that.

I didn't have this issue when I was younger.. but now i feel that i'm not good enough to play with them, even though in the end of the day it's just a game and we are all playing it for fun
Yea, for sure, man. Exactly how I feel at times. It sucks.
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Old 05-26-2017
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I feel the same way about the anxiety that comes w/ voice chatting over my console. I have a pretty crappy mic/headset I bought from Gamestop for around $10, which doesn't ease my anxiety at all. I have "friends" from all over the world on my PS4, from New York, Australia, Canada, and some other places, why would they want to talk to someone from San Antonio whom they have almost nothing in common with (other than games)?

I do have 2 funny stories about mic chat on PS4 though but it didn't come from my voice:
I was team playing (6 vs. 6) in NHL on the PS4 one night, my team was doing pretty well, but then someone got on their mic and started blasting his teammates. He called each of his teammates by their username and called each one of us an "idiot". It was funny to me but needless to say it only made my anxiety over using my mic even worse.
Another 6 vs. 6 game in NHL, this time in the game lobby, I entered right in the middle of someone elses conversation. "Gerbils man, yea...more talk about gerbils...Gerbils, I take 'em and stick 'em straight up my ***, love 'em." I started laughing so hard I almost had to exit the lobby, I cannot make that stuff up.

Well, that's just 2 stories, one that worsened my anxiety and one that in a way kind of helped it
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Old 05-26-2017
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Lol

Gerbils....what the..? xD

I've never had anyone insult me via voice chat since I don't use it much, but I have had several messages from players who were either salty because they lost to me or from players who were on my team and claimed we lost because I was "trash" at the game, even though I'm pretty sure I remember doing fairly decent in those specific instances, lol.
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Old 05-28-2017
Fey
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I'm a lifelong gamer, too. Growing up I mostly played single-player games or online games before voice chat was even a thing.

I had a speech impediment in early elementary school and became very self-conscious of my voice, especially over phone calls. When online gaming and voice options became more popular voice chat was just like phones to me. I didn't even like the idea of MMOS at first - why would I want to play in a big group of strangers?

I was extremely shy about it at first. I remember setting a goal of even just saying "hello" in my guild's channel and didn't even meet that half the time. The more I started playing in small groups the easier it became, though. People didn't really react that strangely to my voice or speech, and adding only one or two at a time made things easier to manage.

Of course this was at the same time things were improving in real-life, too. I don't trust total strangers for voice chat (female), but friends of friends are fine.
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Old 05-28-2017
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fey View Post
I'm a lifelong gamer, too. Growing up I mostly played single-player games or online games before voice chat was even a thing.

I had a speech impediment in early elementary school and became very self-conscious of my voice, especially over phone calls. When online gaming and voice options became more popular voice chat was just like phones to me. I didn't even like the idea of MMOS at first - why would I want to play in a big group of strangers?

I was extremely shy about it at first. I remember setting a goal of even just saying "hello" in my guild's channel and didn't even meet that half the time. The more I started playing in small groups the easier it became, though. People didn't really react that strangely to my voice or speech, and adding only one or two at a time made things easier to manage.

Of course this was at the same time things were improving in real-life, too. I don't trust total strangers for voice chat (female), but friends of friends are fine.
I still think it'll be a while before I can play in a big group. Just the thought makes me nervous, lol.

Definitely understandable about you not trusting strangers online. I know unfortunately some female gamers can be discriminated against sometimes or even stalked & stuff.
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