How to start a friendship with someone who has social anxiety?

#1
Any tips on approaching someone who has bad social anxiety? I always try to talk to him via IM or email because i take it face to face interaction is real tough for him he gets nervous with everyone. He tends to keep to himself & is always in his own world. Hes extremely quite with anyone & everyone . He will only give you short 1 word answers never engaging in any convo. He seems to never get jokes that people say he wont really react or laugh to them like everyone else. Actually he never really has much reaction to anything people say always just nods and smiles and thats it. He gets nervous with everyone and tends to run off as soon as anyone tries to talk to him. He never ever makes eye contact always looks down. Hes always short and quite with me doesnt engage much in conversations but hes like this with absolutely everyone. I try to be friendly & nice to him. If hes very socially anxious is it bad that i always try to initiate conversations and always try to talk to him?
 
#2
Are you sure it isn't Asperger's or something else? A lot will depend on the individual anyway. Typically efforts will be appreciated even if someone with social anxiety can't deal with them very well.
 

grapevine

Well-known member
#4
Maybe just take the time to let him get used to you. Kinda downplay your interactions with him so they are not big and scary or suggestive of him to mirror you- go to his level.

Good luck : )
 
#5
I think you just have to be careful not to scare him off by talking too much and/or trying to get him to talk more, but as Nate said, being nice to someone, saying hi and talking to them without necessarly expecting any participation from their side, it will probably be appreciated in the end even if it doesn't look that way in the first place.
 

ryan2022

Well-known member
#6
If it really is social anxiety, I would say to act completely normally, and just appreciate their company.

Say reassuring things like "good seeing you my friend", laugh a lot and just have a good time.

Don't over think it I'd say.
 
#7
I think you just have to be careful not to scare him off by talking too much and/or trying to get him to talk more, but as Nate said, being nice to someone, saying hi and talking to them without necessarly expecting any participation from their side, it will probably be appreciated in the end even if it doesn't look that way in the first place.
Im kind of wondering or hoping i have not scared him off already by talking to much or always trying to get him to talk yikes i hope i havent done that but i have been trying quite a bit to talk to him :(
 
#8
If it really is social anxiety, I would say to act completely normally, and just appreciate their company.

Say reassuring things like "good seeing you my friend", laugh a lot and just have a good time.

Don't over think it I'd say.
Your right i think i might have to take it down a notch . And i for sure must stop over thinking it :-(
 
#9
And its funny because he actually gets allot of attention from women because hes a very attractive tall man . All the girks want his attention and want to talk to him and hes mega shy has social anxiety or aspergers whatever the case.
 
#11
If is possible do something with him that doesnt require plenty social interaction, like playing something or watching a tv show. In that way he would be much more relaxed and will be easier for him to talk.
 
#12
I'm the same way. You can get him to open up by talking about something that interests him. It can be difficult finding a topic that does though because he's likely not going to share it unless someone else brings it up. If he starts talking more than usual, he's probably talking about something that interests him.

Never point out the fact that he's quite. IDK about him but, everytime somebody tells me I'm quite, I feel obligated to not speak. Also, don't make him feel anything less than normal. People with SA tend to feel like outcasts.

Want more eye contact? Tell him that he has good looking eyes. He'll probably smile and look away initially but, It will work in the long run.

Lastly, raise his self esteem with sincere complements. It sounds like he might be having self image issues and he'll like spending time with you if you make him feel good about himself.

If all else fails, get some booze involved.
 
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#13
I'm the same way. You can get him to open up by talking about something that interests him. It can be difficult finding a topic that does though because he's likely not going to share it unless someone else brings it up. If he starts talking more than usual, he's probably talking about something that interests him.

Never point out the fact that he's quite. IDK about him but, everytime somebody tells me I'm quite, I feel obligated to not speak. Also, don't make him feel anything less than normal. People with SA tend to feel like outcasts.

Want more eye contact? Tell him that he has good looking eyes. He'll probably smile and look away initially but, It will work in the long run.

Lastly, raise his self esteem with sincere complements. It sounds like he might be having self image issues and he'll like spending time with you if you make him feel good about himself.

If all else fails, get some booze involved.
I may have previously mentioned something to him sbout how quite he is but i dont fully remember if i did or didnt. And your right he does t quite share what his interest are. When i talk to him and attempt to get him to talk i end up finding myself interrogating him trying to see if he will engage a little. Thats why ive wondered if i have scared him away and i didnt mean to
 
#14
I'm most likely the kind of person described. In my case though, whenever people would talk to me compliment me, it's not really boosting my esteem cause I know that they are just trying to make me feel good. My suggestion would be that to just be yourself. talk with no hesitation or don't hold back. Be frank with concern at the same time not sounding rude. -- That's at least in my case, I thought if this is how it is for me, then maybe it may be the same for him.
 
#16
I'm most likely the kind of person described. In my case though, whenever people would talk to me compliment me, it's not really boosting my esteem cause I know that they are just trying to make me feel good. My suggestion would be that to just be yourself. talk with no hesitation or don't hold back. Be frank with concern at the same time not sounding rude. -- That's at least in my case, I thought if this is how it is for me, then maybe it may be the same for him.
I try to have a regular concersation with him and because hes so short i mean literally all he ever says is yes ,no everythings fine , yeah he doesnt engage so its hard for me to conversate i end up asking 99 questions and dont get very far. Then i feel like he must be annoyed cause i ask 99 questions trying to get him to talk. Thats throught text etc when were face to face because i like him tend to get nervous and then i draw a blank and im not quite sure what to say . I try to talk about anything and hes just quite not saying much trying to escape. And because he acts the same with everyone i have no clue if he doesnt like me if hes annoyed by me or what
 
#17
I have social anxiety and it makes talking to people I don't know, particularly if I am in a group setting terrifying!!! However despite this, I find it a lot easier to connect with someone if I have a common interest. Maybe ask him, (or his friends if you have to) what his interests are??
 
#18
I'm most likely the kind of person described. In my case though, whenever people would talk to me compliment me, it's not really boosting my esteem cause I know that they are just trying to make me feel good. My suggestion would be that to just be yourself. talk with no hesitation or don't hold back. Be frank with concern at the same time not sounding rude. -- That's at least in my case, I thought if this is how it is for me, then maybe it may be the same for him.
Good point. I don't like pity either but, If you're sincere and not just trying to cheer him up, he shouldn't dismiss it as a pity compliment IMO.
 
#19
I try to have a regular concersation with him and because hes so short i mean literally all he ever says is yes ,no everythings fine , yeah he doesnt engage so its hard for me to conversate i end up asking 99 questions and dont get very far. Then i feel like he must be annoyed cause i ask 99 questions trying to get him to talk. Thats throught text etc when were face to face because i like him tend to get nervous and then i draw a blank and im not quite sure what to say . I try to talk about anything and hes just quite not saying much trying to escape. And because he acts the same with everyone i have no clue if he doesnt like me if hes annoyed by me or what
Does he look annoyed? or does he look nice? Does he look awkward? I have never gone annoyed though. I don't think you'll get a chance on him. You will only be limited to being classmates or acquaintances. :( because the world is so big and he's only one person. He would probably prefer to stay inside his shell... that's how it is for me. Maybe if you won't give up... if you think your being annoying then be annoying, until he get's used to it. Don't talk to him like you care. Don't show that you like him. cause that's a kind of judging. Don't be nice/good/kind but be unrude. Don't show him that his actually someone who needs help. Be who you are. Be frank. Don't hold back. Let him get used to you.
 
#20
I have social anxiety and it makes talking to people I don't know, particularly if I am in a group setting terrifying!!! However despite this, I find it a lot easier to connect with someone if I have a common interest. Maybe ask him, (or his friends if you have to) what his interests are??
I dont have social anxiety, but I'm mostly the guy described, I also have trust issues. But for me, I still don't find it easier connecting with someone even if we share common interest. I'm just saying-- and good for you though
 
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