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Old 02-20-2013, 12:54 PM   #31
dmiller64152
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Agri View Post
An introvert prefers solitary activity, but doesn't avoid social contact out of FEAR.
Agreed. Although when one doesn't recognize the nature of introversion, that very feeling of being different can cause the anxiety. For me, once I realized that there's nothing wrong with preferring solitary activity, ironically it was much easier for me to face social situations.

I spent years around Es who continually pounded me for making the "choice" to prefer to be alone. It made me feel terribly bad about myself because I didn't think I really had a choice. So in order to fit in and be perceived as having made a "better choice," I drank a lot just so I could loosen up and talk to people.

Extroverts generally don't get it.

My advice to the OP is that she needs to figure out if it's her distinct personality or if it's really a psychological disorder. One can be "treated" while the other cannot and should not.
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Old 02-20-2013, 01:44 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by MissMichigan View Post
Just looking for general advice, "this is what I did" type of stuff.

I'm not a very social person. I really, truly want to be but it's very hard for me. I can text or write for days, but when it comes to actually talking to someone, I just can't do it. It's almost a panic type thing. I'm so worried i'll say something stupid or that people won't like me once I really open up and show them who I really am. Until recently, I've just accepted it as part of who I am and dealt with it. I'd accepted that I would always be the quiet girl in the corner watching everyone talk and have fun, not participating.

But then last week, my DB told me it needs to stop. Apparently, people are always asking him what's wrong with me, why don't I talk, why don't I like them, etc. It embarrasses him, and he's getting fed up. He's told me if I can't learn to talk to people and be more social, he's going to have to end things. I am very much in love with him, and having this conversation was a wake up call for me. I know this part of me needs to change, and now I have extreme motivation to make it. (And before anyone starts bashing him or saying I should just leave him if he can't accept me, etc, I WANT this to change, I HATE this about myself. This isn't just being shy or quiet, it's major. He knows I'll be happier if I can work through this, and he wants that happiness for both of us. He said he hated to tell me it was that big of a problem, because he loves me so much, and think i'm "the most awesome person he's ever known, and just wants everyone else to know that too")

SO...what do I do? How can I overcome 20+ years of being painfully shy and cripplingly anti-social? How do I get over the fear of interacting with people? How do I stop caring what other people think of me enough to be myself no matter what? I've been trying to take baby steps the last few days, things like talking to a cashier, being more involved when we went to his friends house (who said he noticed me being more social and was impressed), and making a plan to hang out with two of our friends on my own. I know this won't happen overnight, but I'm just hoping someone on here can tell me they've been there, and were able to get over it. Any advice, help, pointers, or direction to a good blog/article/book, would be greatly appreciated. TIA.
I'm concerned that you're changing for your DB, and not for yourself. You only got extreme motivation to change when your DB said he would end things if you didn't change.

NEVER change for someone else. Only change from within will be effective. If you change for him, and down the road you guys break up anyway, you'll just go back to your old self.

I would recommend therapy. But even if you can change, this could take months/years. Is your DB willing to stay by your side no matter how long this takes?
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Old 02-20-2013, 01:55 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by diznee25 View Post
I'm concerned that you're changing for your DB, and not for yourself. You only got extreme motivation to change when your DB said he would end things if you didn't change.

NEVER change for someone else. Only change from within will be effective. If you change for him, and down the road you guys break up anyway, you'll just go back to your old self.

I would recommend therapy. But even if you can change, this could take months/years. Is your DB willing to stay by your side no matter how long this takes?
Seriously! I still feel quite a bit of resentment toward all the people in my life who tried to strongarm me into being more outgoing. For WHAT? I'm shy. That's who I am. Get over it.

If the OP is fine with being a wallflower and the OP's boyfriend is giving ultimatums because it embarrasses HIM, I'd say there's something wrong with the boyfriend.

Yes, I've learned over time to be more outspoken, but it was because I wanted to. Mainly because I had kids and needed to be their advocate, or because I wanted to take my career to the next level. I sure as heck wouldn't let any dumb old guy tell me what I need to do.


ETA: I realized that the OP said she WANTS to change, but I wonder how much of that is because the boyfriend is obviously finding fault with who she is... when who she is is just perfect.

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Old 02-20-2013, 02:08 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by Ginny Favers View Post
Seriously! I still feel quite a bit of resentment toward all the people in my life who tried to strongarm me into being more outgoing. For WHAT? I'm shy. That's who I am. Get over it.

If the OP is fine with being a wallflower and the OP's boyfriend is giving ultimatums because it embarrasses HIM, I'd say there's something wrong with the boyfriend.

Yes, I've learned over time to be more outspoken, but it was because I wanted to. Mainly because I had kids and needed to be their advocate, or because I wanted to take my career to the next level. I sure as heck wouldn't let any dumb old guy tell me what I need to do.

EXACTLY. It's really easy to distinguish the introverts from the extraverts by the tone of their posts!
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Old 02-20-2013, 02:18 PM   #35
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I agree OP should only try to change if she wants too. But I also think that if she doesn't want to change, But DBF has the same right. If OP doesn't want to change, no one should expect DBF to change himself and his social life to fit her needs. Aka - he doesn't need to stay home every night to make her happy.

Should there be compromise? Yes. But sometimes people just aren't compatible. Eventually both sides feel resentment when one side feels forced to be something they aren't.
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Old 02-20-2013, 04:02 PM   #36
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One trick in social situations is to try to get people to talk about themselves and be interested in what they are saying.

If you are going to be in a social situation, try to prepare a little ahead of time. Check with DB and see if he can fill you in on the background of some of the people. That way you can introduce yourself and say things like - DB said you do (insert activity or interest). Say, I've always been interested, but would like to try 'activity' some day. Ask them to tell you about it - what they like, etc.

For someone who reads, be prepared to discuss a book that you have read, etc. Ask about what the person likes to read, what books they've read lately, compare authors, etc.

You can get people to talk about their their jobs, interests, hometowns, childhood activities, families, etc., etc.

Once you become an 'expert' asking questions and keeping people talking about themselves, they will think you are a great conversationalist.
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Old 02-20-2013, 04:03 PM   #37
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When I was single and making new friends, etc. I found listening to podcasts and reading short stories was incredibly helpful. It really gave me talking points to almost anything. I loved listening to This American Life and Wait Wait Don't Tell me. They covered so many broad subjects in an entertaining way I found I could really contribute to conversations and it gave me some interesting ice breakers when meeting new people.

Also I just wanted to add, I think your BF should make an effort to help a little more. Is he being accommodating in helping you break-in with his circle of friends? Sometimes guys aren't the best at that, I know I had to tell DH what I needed from him to feel comfortable around his friends when we were dating.
Good luck!
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Old 02-20-2013, 05:39 PM   #38
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You might just be introverted. Here is an article:

http://briankim.net/blog/2007/10/top...ut-introverts/
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Old 02-20-2013, 06:02 PM   #39
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Being introverted doesn't give anyone permission not to interact with their bf's friends. Being extroverted doesn't give someone permission to be obnoxious or to overshare with their bf's friends.

Introverted doesn't mean fearful, extroverted doesn't mean obnoxious. Neither one is a negative trait. However, if you are at a point where your social difficulties are ruining your relations, regardless of which personality trait you have, I think it's a great time to work on it.

I think the OP deserves kudos for wanting to work on something SHE sees as a handicap and her bf gets kudos for talking to honestly to her about it rather than just breaking up with her over it.
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Old 02-21-2013, 09:36 AM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MissMichigan View Post
I'm not a very social person. I really, truly want to be but it's very hard for me. I can text or write for days, but when it comes to actually talking to someone, I just can't do it. It's almost a panic type thing. I'm so worried i'll say something stupid or that people won't like me once I really open up and show them who I really am.
It's been said but people seem to be ignoring it. She's not an introvert.

Introverts don't WANT to participate in chit-chat. They see no point-although some are quite good at faking it. This is social anxiety, which is 100% not the same.
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Old 02-21-2013, 10:00 AM   #41
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Originally Posted by mrsklamc View Post
It's been said but people seem to be ignoring it. She's not an introvert.

Introverts don't WANT to participate in chit-chat. They see no point-although some are quite good at faking it. This is social anxiety, which is 100% not the same.
Are you a psychologist? Maybe she only thinks she wants to because she doesn't know that it's okay to be introverted. She may very well be an introvert, or maybe not.
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Old 02-21-2013, 10:09 AM   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrsklamc View Post
It's been said but people seem to be ignoring it. She's not an introvert.

Introverts don't WANT to participate in chit-chat. They see no point-although some are quite good at faking it. This is social anxiety, which is 100% not the same.
I consider myself an introvert. At times I've also had social anxiety. Usually when people were trying to pressure me into becoming more social. I believe that most people who experience social anxiety are also introverted by nature, placed in a position that makes them feel uncomfortable or awkward or that there is something wrong with being the way they are.
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Old 02-21-2013, 10:23 AM   #43
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Two things I would suggest:

Therapy. It sounds like you have social anxiety and therapy can definitely help.

Put yourself in a role. Pretend you're an extrovert and confident. Think about what that would look like and try to act it out. I'm kind of the same way, though only in certain situations, really, and that has helped me.

Good luck!
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Old 02-21-2013, 10:39 AM   #44
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Originally Posted by dmiller64152 View Post
Are you a psychologist? Maybe she only thinks she wants to because she doesn't know that it's okay to be introverted. She may very well be an introvert, or maybe not.
I'm not a psychologist, nor do I have to be to know the difference between social anxiety and introversion. Social anxiety is a disorder characterized by fear of social situations and what other people think of you. Introversion is a personality trait, not a disorder. Introverts CAN socialize, they usually just prefer not to.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ginny Favers View Post
I consider myself an introvert. At times I've also had social anxiety. Usually when people were trying to pressure me into becoming more social. I believe that most people who experience social anxiety are also introverted by nature, placed in a position that makes them feel uncomfortable or awkward or that there is something wrong with being the way they are.
This is the common misconception that I was trying to clarify. Anxieties are a disorder; introversion is completely normal. People who have social anxiety typically want to participate in social contexts, but are afraid of what others think of them. Introverts just really don't care what most people think.
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Old 02-21-2013, 10:49 AM   #45
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Sorry, but DB is not a keeper if he's trying to change you!
Did you read the OP's post at all?
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