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Old 1 Week Ago
aj
 

Hi guys.

I've been attending an anxiety group - it lasts six weeks and is with six or so other people. It's mostly just being taught about coping techniques, but I have managed to get myself to speak sometimes when the group is asked things.

Next week is the last week and as usual I'm leaving without knowing anyone. Well I didn't really expect that to happen, but most of them I've barely said more than 'hi' to. Why can't I find the time to try to talk to people? What do other people do? The problem is the sessions are two hours long and there just aren't enough opportunities... it ends up as a short time when they arrive at the start, and a few minutes as a break in the middle, when if I'm lucky, there might be a chance. This isn't even one-on-one, but most of them seem to disappear in the break so it depends who stays. It's usually one or two of them. And then if I do get a chance, I feel too awkward.

I thought that making an effort not to sit silently in the corner for the entire time would help people want to talk to me but it just doesn't make any difference. I'm definitely approachable.

There are other groups that I might go to in the future and I'm going to try not to get hung up on this one but I'm afraid that starting again every few weeks is going to stop me getting anywhere. It's just too slow and I know I need to learn what to do but I'm so stuck. It's such a shame and such a waste.

Any ideas what I can do next time to get anything more from the time I have left? I'm not even in a position to make anyone a coffee or anything... I know I'm not going to me making friends or getting phone numbers but just to feel like I exist would be nice. Last time nobody even looked at me or said 'bye' to me when it finished although some kind of have in the past.
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Old 1 Week Ago
Sacrament's Avatar
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Don't let that course end with you not having the take the opportunity to make a connection with others. Everyone's anxious in that group, and most people are probably wanting to do the same thing you want to do. Surely people have talked about their interests in that group, so try to find common ground and talk about that (movies, mountain biking, photography, music, etc).

Once you've actually started a conversation, you'll realize how easier it was than what your brain was trying to convince you.
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aj (4 Days Ago)
Old 1 Week Ago
aj
 

I know, that's why I didn't want to waste it :(

I'm afraid not, nobody's really said enough to go on, sorry

There's never any time anyway. I don't understand how anyone gets anywhere with anyone because waiting for dumb luck for an opportunity doesn't work... yet they do
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Old 1 Week Ago
Sacrament's Avatar
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Try seeing if there's a few with whom you have more in common with, and trying asking them if they want to go out for a cup of coffee sometime, or just to do anything they usually enjoy doing. Or if there's a person in charge of the anxiety group, try asking them what you can do to get closer to those folks.
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Old 1 Week Ago
F0AM's Avatar
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Hello AJ

First of all, don't despair! i think you achieved some very good improvements like
Quote:
I have managed to get myself to speak sometimes when the group is asked things.
and
Quote:
making an effort not to sit silently in the corner for the entire time
that will undoubtedly help you with future groups

Secondly, it's a two hours session with half the people leaving in the break so not much room for improvements. As Sacrament already said: they also have social anxiety so probably they find it quite difficult to start a conversation.

I think the idea of attending new groups is great and you shouldn't look at it as starting from zero since as i said, you already made some improvements and you'll meet new people some of whom may share hobbies/interests with you and that will speed up things. Don't be in a hurry, take your time :)

Also keep in mind that having SA or not, we are all still humans (i think i am at least...you guys can spit acid and grow wings at the age of 14, right, RIGTH?) so succeeding in having a conversation depends a lot on sharing interests, experiences, etc. i think that would be a good start. If you see someone who's been through something like you or have same hobbies, try to approach that person when you feel comfortable and talk about it (some ppl find easier to talk in group than one by one but thats up to you). You are there to improve your conversation skills but may end up finding a friend, who knows!

BTW you may feel awkward but they WILL feel the same way because, you know, they also have SA (yeah, maybe different levels but still SA) so don't worry
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aj (4 Days Ago)
Old 6 Days Ago
kuurt's Avatar
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You ever notice how much harder it is to bring yourself to talk to someone who is themselves shy? It's like their shyness makes your feel more shy, and then it becomes harder to speak. Then you both just sit there awkwardly silent. I've noticed if you speak going in, it kind of sets the mood, and it becomes easier to speak later on. Talking to people, even family before you go could get you into the social vibe and make it easier for you to speak at the group. It could also make it easier for other people in the group to speak to you because it's always easier to talk to people who are social. They seem more friendly, they smile, they make eye contact, they're more inviting - they seem more open to talking.
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aj (4 Days Ago)
Old 4 Days Ago
aj
 

Thanks again, whoa, that's a lot of stuff

It's hard to find common interests because I don't do much, I don't seem to like doing anything... I like computers, animals and watching motorsport on the telly, but that's about it. Nothing I actually go out and do so it's difficult to find something to talk about. But I never get to that stage anyway. But I am hopeful and always waiting to try and make the best of it! I always imagine that if I can feel like I'm wanted by someone I like and also learn to enjoy being with people then I might gradually find I like going out and doing more.

I will try to go into it a little more talkative this week and I'll see where it goes. I agree that it's easier to speak to more outgoing people, even I am drawn to them a lot of the time. I'm sad that I'll have no more chances with this group but I really, really hope it will help me in the future so I hope what you said will come true. Would be ideal if they did some kind of conversation practice group tbh.
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Old 4 Days Ago
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kuurt View Post
You ever notice how much harder it is to bring yourself to talk to someone who is themselves shy? It's like their shyness makes your feel more shy, and then it becomes harder to speak.
Yes, I've experienced that, I think it can also be an opportunity as well though. As both people know what it's like to be shy, you both sort of have an idea of when you're more comfortable in conversation. Like I know when someone asks me questions that force me to be the center of attention, it makes me want to walk away and get out of the conversation. It feels good to get a compliment, but ones that are direct and personal are uncomfortable. So I think if we analyze how we like to be talked to, it can put us in a position to know how to talk to people who feel similarly to us I think.
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