I am too quiet
I never have anything to say and am always labeled as shy within minutes of meeting a new group of people. Does anybody have any tips on being more interesting and outgoing? Also please don't say "just talk" it is actually quite hard for me and sometimes I physically cannot make myself speak in situations (no sound comes out or I start to feel really sick). Thank you for any advise, I really want to meet more friends and am getting sick of being labeled and treated differently just because I am quiet.
There's nothing wrong with being quiet, but if you're looking for ways to improve your social skills, there are some easy things to do. Start by having real conversations with someone you're really comfortable with, such as a family member or close friend. Then once you feel really comfortable talking with that person, try someone who you're not quite as familiar as, like a person from school/work who who've been around with before. Just keep trying to get out of your comfort zone bit by bit. Slowly expanding your abilities is the easiest way to overcome a challenge. Remember, being quiet isn't always a bad thing, so the goal isn't to completely change yourself.
If you still cannot physically talk to people after you've tried to , see if you can consult a professional on the matter. They can offer new ways to help you with any social challenges you may face. Hope this helped!
Try to find someone with the same interests as you and talk about that. Don't make the conversation too hard for yourself. I would avoid subjects as politics, medical care and the environment and such. Instead of that talk about something you're really excited about like your favorite band or something. I think a 'useless' chitchat is better if you want to have a small conversation with someone you don't really know.
I also recommend not to reveal too much of yourself. Don't give too much opinions about the subject your talking of. If the other person doesn't feel the same way as you do the conversation might end bad or there are much unwanted silences.
A complement is also a good conversation starter. It makes people feel noticed and they are more likely to get back to you if you're nice to them. Try to make some jokes (unless you have really dumb humor like I do - thanks to my dad....).
Also remember, sometimes you are never ever going to see that person again.
Body language is very important. Look directly at people when they're talking, turn your upper body in their direction. Make sure people notice you. Don't let your shoulders hang low (that's prob not English), don't look to the ground all the time, don't hide yourself. Back straight, chin up, smile.
I like talking a lot. But I talk about the same subject over and over again (mostly food and diet) and I'm not very into the news and such so in some conversations I just don't have an opinion. In that case I keep my mouth shut and just listen what others have to say. I used to be quite shy, and I still am when I meet new people. For me it helps so think 'fuckit, what ever, never going to see them again' but I understand that it's hard to turn that feeling off.
I actually don't really know if this is an answer to your problem. I'm wondering if you're having a problem with talking, or with talking to people. Is it hard for you to talk with people over the internet, or is face to face more the problem? Do you know why you are shy?
I hope this is helpful. Good luck.
I forgot to mention that it might be possible that you have selective mutism or a mild form of social anxiety. If it's either of these, then it's definitely not your fault that you have problems talking to others. Again, if you can't talk to others no matter how hard you try, ask your doctor or see a specialist.
I suggest joining a drama club if you have one. I'm very quiet and was shy in high school also, but drama teaches you to make a fool of yourself and not be afraid. It teaches you how to make yourself vulnerable and how to make yourself heard. If I could, I'd make drama classes mandetory in junior high and high school. I think it answers to a lot of social awkwardness that comes with that age.
But I'm worried that you opened your post with, "I never have anything to say" Never? I doubt you never have anything to say. Certainly there must be things you like, things that make you laugh, cry or make you angry. You need to find those things and explore you feelings on them. Then you need to learn to enter those feelings in a conversation.
That happened to me a lot! But I discovered a few things that might help you too:
1- There's nothing wrong in being quiet. Being quiet doens't mean you're not an interesting person.
2- Don't try to be interesting. Just talk about things you like, things you know, things you feel comfortable talking about and try to find people with the same interests as you.
3- Don't take people too serious. If someone says "Oh you're so quiet" it doesn't mean "Oh I will never be your friend".
4- Don't compare yourself to others.
Hope it helps you somehow.
It may be that you are more of an introvert. It took me a long time to realise this about myself and understand that its okay. I think the thing to work on is your self confidence so that you feel okay with being who you are and feel able to deal with social situations when you need to. I've worked the past 12 years as a mental health support worker and mostly work with young people. What seems to help is finding something you enjoy doing and finding somewhere you can do that with others. When you have a focus, especially something practical conversation comes more easily and naturally as you have a common thing you're working on and to talk about. Maybe something like some voluntary work with a local charity (maybe with animals) or a sport. Also one of my clients says walking her dog helps her with her anxiety and shyness as she says she feels more confident with her dog by her side and people come over every so often to ask about her dog and to stroke him.
If you need to develop "extrovert" skills, join a local toastmasters club. They are all people learning to be better speakers.
But as far as personal situations, be yourself. Forcing yourself to be someone you are not is incredible stressful and fake. Be pro-active, ignore the social butterfly's and look for someone who may be as shy as you. Just standing quietly next to someone after a quiet hello is a very positive and supportive role. You may find that helping someone else with their shyness by quiet support is an incredibly rewarding experience. =)
It's often been said that the quietest person is usually the one listening hardest and probably has the one comment worth listening too!
I'd definitely agree with Ravens Trove. You might like this TED talk on the power of introverts - its one of my favourites
Oh, Arty, I can't thank you enough for posting that! I was a radio DJ and after 20 years ended up as sales manager over 5 radio stations. I was so depressed and wound up and driven. I did exactly what Susan Caine is saying... took the job to overcome my "weakness". This video was a wonderful affirmation.
Sweet Beccaurus, I eventually found an excellent question to ask yourself if you're struggling with your public presentation. When are you truly relaxed, when you're completely alone, or with people? I"m always surprised when people say they are freaked out by being alone... it's so natural to me.
Watch the video, it's an awesome tool to understanding your true value!
I'm glad you enjoyed it - its well worth watching if you are naturally more quiet and introverted. I went for years thinking it was a flaw and thinking I had to be more outgoing. I'm 38 now and have a couple of really good friends and an amazing boyfriend and I'm happiest when I'm at home watching a film with my bf or crafting or just surfing the web. I also subscribe to reddit and their introvert subredit http://www.reddit.com/r/introvert/ and that has some good discussions. A few months back there was a thread on peoples ideal Friday night - it was great for making you feel okay about being quiet. The only thing I would say about reddit is that there are loads of trolls out there. The smaller subreddits like the introvert one are fine but if you are more sensitive then you may want to lurk and just subscribe to the subredits that interest you.
Thank you for all taking the time to comment, I really appreciate it. I think I need to come to terms with my quietness and just see how things go.
That's great! Good luck!
I think I have the same problem as you...most people always tell me "oh, it's a phase" or "oh, I was really quiet back ____", and they're the most outgoing person in the room x__x
I have many of the symptoms for selective mutism, but I suppose I'm trying to overcome it by opening up to small groups of people ("safe space, brave space" type groups especially ), and I've been getting a bit better with talking to strangers...there's still situations where I meet people and have no clue how to act around them and end up just really socially awkward. I also tend to not be able to speak with older family members for some reason...
I tend to be able to speak out if it's involving something I'm passionate about...for an internship last year I had to help lead a meeting, which was fine, except when I had to call the room to attention it was like "ack!?!?!" because I wasn't able to bring myself to yell over everyone....so, still working on it
...but Hi! Let's get to a comfortable point in terms of outgoing-ness together!
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