Advice needed: Social anxiety and University

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Advice needed: Social anxiety and University

Postby seanmeakin » Mon Feb 06, 2012 11:37 am UTC

I know that this is probably a topic that has come up many, many times before, some I'm sorry if this is repetitive.

I'm starting university in two weeks (after, due to moving, a year and a half long gap year, in which I moved countries), and it occurs to me that this will be the first time in MANY years that I have been plunged into a social situation where I know absolutely nobody. I haven't made a friend from my own efforts for years now, and I'm now worried that I am just going to fail at it massively.

I know how that sounds, but trust me. I'm awful socially. Truely, truely terrible. I'm one of those people that stands there in a normal conversation and says something to totally kill it instantly, most of the time without even realising it. Around college, in my classes, I had a reputation for being a bit of an arsehole purely because I can't grasp the social niceties.

This is a really bad way of phrasing my question, but how do I do it? How do I show people that I'm not an arsehole, and that once people get to know me, I can actually be quite good to be friends with?
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Re: Advice needed: Social anxiety and University

Postby Hofstadter'sLaw » Mon Feb 06, 2012 6:19 pm UTC

Would you be able to elaborate on what “social niceties” you can’t grasp that are making you seem like an arsehole? I consider myself absolutely sucky at social niceties too, but I don’t have a reputation for being an arsehole, so it's hard for me to relate. Some specifics would help me understand what your situation/problem is exactly.
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Re: Advice needed: Social anxiety and University

Postby seanmeakin » Mon Feb 06, 2012 9:37 pm UTC

Well, I can't really pinpoint it exactly, I seemed to have that reputation MAJORLY through school, less so throguh college but it was still there.

I think it's things like if somebody is wrong, I'll correct them, or, when we used to do group work and I didn't want somebody to join, I'd tell them why, which was usually because they were a slacker or I didn't like them.

Also, a lot of people that didn't like me would still recognise that I was smart and would ask me for help a lot, and I would refuse on the basis that I shouldn't waste my time on people who don't like me, which they took offence to.
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Re: Advice needed: Social anxiety and University

Postby Chen » Tue Feb 07, 2012 6:41 pm UTC

Excessive honesty can be a problem, especially when meeting new people. Being brutally honest about things rarely leaves a good impression with others. The difference between rudely telling someone you cannot help them and doing so kindly is pretty big as far as impressions go. A simple "I don't really have time for that now" is much better than "No I don't want to help you". How is it you're thinking people don't like you anyways? In college I found it pretty rare that someone who generally disliked someone else would go actively trying to get help from them. Perhaps you are judging people too severely too.

In any case, if you want to meet people and socialize, you should avoid too much criticizing. People don't generally enjoy being told they are wrong. Now if you're debating that's fine, but generally if someone is telling a story or something you don't want to but in and tell them they're just wrong. If you need to dismiss someone's ideas or a course of action, avoid too blunt a response. Blunt, efficient responses tend to come off as rude and cold, both of which are not good for keeping or making friends.
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Re: Advice needed: Social anxiety and University

Postby PerchloricAcid » Tue Feb 07, 2012 7:07 pm UTC

The kind of attitude you have towards other people* commonly leads to the kind of attitude they have towards you**.

So, if you want something to be different with other people's attitudes towards you, you should probably start by changing your attitude towards other people.


_____________________________
Spoiler:

I had a reputation for being a bit of an arsehole purely because I can't grasp the social niceties
I think it's things like if somebody is wrong, I'll correct them, or, when we used to do group work and I didn't want somebody to join, I'd tell them why, which was usually because they were a slacker or I didn't like them.

Also, a lot of people that didn't like me would still recognise that I was smart and would ask me for help a lot, and I would refuse on the basis that I shouldn't waste my time on people who don't like me, which they took offence to.

---

I had a reputation for being a bit of an arsehole purely because I can't grasp the social niceties



It's okay to tell people that they are wrong, and that's why I haven't selected that part of your statement. However, as the previous poster said, it is important how you do it.

You should learn to become more tolerant of other people. Or, at least, not be so selfish to expect other people to be tolerant of you, while you aren't being tolerant towards them!

[Personally, I don't like working in a group either, but to blatantly tell someone "I don't want you here because I don't like you" is really not nice/is arseholeish. It also does not bring anything good: neither to you, neither to that person, neither to the group. It's not just about "social niceties", it's about showing respect towards other people and their opinions.]


How do I show people that I'm not an arsehole, and that once people get to know me, I can actually be quite good to be friends with

Just don't act like one.
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Re: Advice needed: Social anxiety and University

Postby Hofstadter'sLaw » Tue Feb 07, 2012 10:18 pm UTC

Even if you’re dealing with people that you don’t like for good reason, it still pays to be civil to them since others will judge you on how you treat them. Like Chen said, bluntness doesn’t go over well with most people, and the situations you’re being blunt in make you sound insulting and disrespectful.

One thing you could do to be less insulting is to try phrasing things in a way that removes the negative focus from whoever you’re talking to. (“I don’t want you to work with my group because you’re a slacker.” vs. “Sorry, but we already have three people in our group—anymore and it’ll be hard to get this done.”)

Or try being apologetic (even if you’re not sorry at all) and make it seem like you want to be helpful even though you won’t sit there and walk them through it. (“I don’t want to help you.” vs. “Sorry, but I really need to get my own work done and can’t help you right now. I bet you’d understand it better if reread the end of chapter 5 in the textbook or saw the professor during his office hours today though.”)

There’s no reason to be correcting people unless 1) the mistake/error will be harmful/disastrous to them, 2) you’re working with them on something and their errors will affect you, or 3) you’re already friends/on good terms with them so they won’t take it as rudeness.

At least you’re aware of what you’re doing that’s annoying your classmates. It puts you in a much better position to change than someone who’s totally clueless.
Last edited by Hofstadter'sLaw on Wed Feb 08, 2012 12:07 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Advice needed: Social anxiety and University

Postby seanmeakin » Tue Feb 07, 2012 10:57 pm UTC

I think the whole bluntness, especially towards group work, comes from school. I tried being nice about not wanting to work with people who I didn't like, but these people constantly insisted until the point where the only way to make them stop was to be blunt with them. I had to do that for the last three years of school and I still haven't properly recovered from that. I do try not to do it, but bluntness became my instinctive reaction.

A lot of the time, I'll say stuff to other people along the lines of what's been said above, and it will take me a few hours to realise that, actually, what I said was pretty arseholeish.

Hofstadter'sLaw, you make some very good points about how to change the way I phrase things, without compromising how I truly feel about a situation, I'll try and take it on board. Especially the helpfulness thing.

How is it you're thinking people don't like you anyways? In college I found it pretty rare that someone who generally disliked someone else would go actively trying to get help from them. Perhaps you are judging people too severely too.


In school, people used to genuinely ask me for help, even though they knew I didn't like them, because it used to amuse them. They would get genuine enjoyment out of trying to convince me to help. In college, it was mainly people who thought I was too much of a social outcast to socialise with. I overheard at least two groups of people say it during my two years there.
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Re: Advice needed: Social anxiety and University

Postby PerchloricAcid » Wed Feb 08, 2012 12:12 am UTC

I can totally relate with your blunt reactions. I, too, have often acted bluntly towards colleagues etc. I see that you have realized that it has become merely a habit ("bluntness became my instinctive reaction").
Try breaking that habit. I'm not sure what would be a good way to do that. Perhaps try rethinking every critical comment you're about to say: might it be hurtful to the person, or is it even necessary to say that?
If you pay attention to people's reactions (face expression, gestures, changes in mood, sometimes even verbal reactions) to your comments, you could momentarily realize whether you have said something arseholeish (instead of that happening hours later).
Gradually, you will be able to completely lose the habit of bluntly [harmfully] reacting in some situations.


Personally, I tend to be a bit of an arsehole when confronted with new situations and lots of new people (e. g. enrolled Uni last year), but as time passes by, I get to know people and naturally stop feeling the urge to act snarky, arrogantly, overly-critical towards others, etc - I guess it's just some kind of a defence-mechanism of mine. Most people are pretty kind-hearted and they'll actually be glad to accept that you're an okay person, as long as you stop making them feel bad.
I don't think I ever really crossed any lines during "hater periods", though. That's quite important.
As time passes by, most people learn to view me as somebody who may be a "heavy person" at times, but is generally okay --- I believe your goal would be something similar.
It's not that hard, you don't have to stop "being yourself", just don't be disrespectful and hateful. :wink:
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Re: Advice needed: Social anxiety and University

Postby Hofstadter'sLaw » Wed Feb 08, 2012 12:45 am UTC

Ah—it sounds like the people asking you for help or to be in your group are total douchebags. Sorry you have to deal with them. I find it very hard not to give a sarcastic/insulting/curt reply after a certain point when someone’s badgering or nagging me too (even my friends). If someone I'm not too fond of doesn’t take “no” for an answer the first or second time they ask me something, I usually say something along the lines of, “Sorry, I’ve already told you I can’t, and my answer’s not going to change. Please stop asking.” Then I just shake my head “no” if they ask again, then stop reacting to any further pestering. You can be direct as long as you stay polite about it, and I imagine they'll stop bothering you if you stop responding.
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Re: Advice needed: Social anxiety and University

Postby seanmeakin » Wed Feb 08, 2012 1:05 am UTC

I could try filtering what I say, taking that extra moment to make sure that what I say won't offend the people I'm talking to. Paying attention to people's reactions, though, might be difficult. I'm dreadful at that.

I can also be a bit of an arsehole when I'm put in an uncomfortable situation (although my friends tell me that they don't notice that, but they could be just trying to be nice about it), or when somebody does something to trigger my OCD (which people seems to take great joy in). My friends either don't care or don't notice, either way, they don't mind it. Although they too know that I can have heavy moments.

The people in my classes at school were total douchebags. It was the culture in the school, I don't know why. College was better, but half of my media class were douchebags too. I'll try and restrain my sarcastic/insulting ways in future situations similar to that.
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Re: Advice needed: Social anxiety and University

Postby PerchloricAcid » Wed Feb 08, 2012 2:19 am UTC

Well, uh, if things are really like this, perhaps the cause of the problem didn't actually originate from your behaviour*. You should by no means try to be nice to people who purposely trigger your OCD and stuff like that! I think the best reaction to that kind of provocation is - no reaction. Ignore that kind of behaviour if you can. That will make the person who is taunting you feel as if the taunt isn't working - either they'll try to find another taunting method, either they'll just fuck off (the more you ignore, the likelier it is that they'll fuck off).
I mean, I'd suggest a "look, what you're doing really bothers me" conversation, but from your description, those people don't seem like people likely to comprehend that kind of talk. :shock:

That really sucks.
Sorry if I was too accusive in my first post. :?

Nevertheless, Uni is a great opportunity to set a new beginning to your social life.
Ponder on your previous mistakes, try analysing which action yields which reaction, give new people chances to become your friends, and make sure you seem worthy of being their friend, too.
I'm not saying this as a cliché. When I was in elementary school, there were mutual feelings of repulsiveness between me and a vast majority of the other kids. I looked forward to high school/middle school/whatever you call it, because I saw it as an opportunity to do the whole social interaction thing from the start. It worked out pretty well. And I didn't actually work hard on it, I just learnt what (not) to do when dealing with other people.
I'm no peoples person, but let's face it, in general, human beings need (friendly) interaction with other human beings. There surely are people with which you could "click", that is, have a functional relationship. Especially if you're enrolling something you're interested in; there will be lots of people with whom you will share interests.


If you feel that you really have serious issues regarding social anxiety, a few visits to a good therapist might help.


[*Depends on who was the first to make the other side feel bad though: was it them making fun of you etc and then you acting arseholeish, or was it you acting arseholeish and then them trying to get even by being mean?]
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Re: Advice needed: Social anxiety and University

Postby seanmeakin » Wed Feb 08, 2012 2:38 am UTC

It's uncertain who started it really, it's quite subjective, but I'm inclined to think it was them. One day in my media class, somebody that I didn't really know asked if they could read my work to get an idea of how to do it because I'd just been given a high grade, I told them they could, jus to be careful and don't mess it up. Which they did. Unintentionally, mind you, at this point nobody (myself included) knew that I had OCD. When I came back, my OCD kicked into overdrive and I went mad. Luckily, I managed to cool down pretty quickly, but that was it really, it was out that if you mess up my stuff, then I went mad. This prompted three years of people walking past my desk and knocking my stuff to the floor, or rearranging it or equivalent.

So, technically, I was the first to be the arsehole by going mad over some paper, but it wasn't technically my fault.

Sorry if I was too accusive in my first post.


It's alright, from reading what I posted in the first place, I wasn't totally clear about where this all stems from.

I'm hoping I can make some new friends in Uni. I'm in a limbo at the minute. Me and my family planned to move to Australia since about 2007, but we didn't get accepted until Jan 2010, when I was in my final year of college. So when it came to university time, I applied for a British one, and then we got accepted, so we planned to move over here instead. However, since we didn't manage to sell the house until September, there was no way I could get out to Australia before enrolment in January 2011, so I took a gap year, and now I'm about to start. In the meantime, I'm in a new country where I'm failing to get a job, and I haven't made a single Australian friend yet.

My main problem is social anxiety. I freeze in any situation and get horrendously nervous. I suck at small talk, and I spend so much time worrying that I'm not making good conversation or responding correctly that I end up missing my cues to talk and just end up muttering "aha, yeah." I even get socially awkward trying to order pizza on the phone, which is pretty lame.
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Re: Advice needed: Social anxiety and University

Postby PerchloricAcid » Wed Feb 08, 2012 3:40 am UTC

My main problem is social anxiety. I freeze in any situation and get horrendously nervous. I suck at small talk, and I spend so much time worrying that I'm not making good conversation or responding correctly that I end up missing my cues to talk and just end up muttering "aha, yeah." I even get socially awkward trying to order pizza on the phone, which is pretty lame.

This is just slightly worse than me. :D actually, I could identify with the majority of your last post. I have managed to make a few friends, so it's not impossible, even with this condition. Let me elaborate my thoughts.

Main part of advice:
1. At first, try to avoid situations that are hard for you. For example, in my country there is an online food delivery service, and I haven't made a single food ordering call since I found out about that. Find ways to ease your life by avoiding situations in which you get anxious.
2. Suggestion 1 won't solve your problem though. No matter how hard you try to avoid anxiety-inducing situations, some will surely come up. You should seek professional help. I don't know about your views on therapy, so I'll say this just in case: seeing a therapist doesn't mean you're a psycho or crazy or such, it is not shameful at all - au contraire, it demonstrates that you've realised you have a problem and that you're willing to work on it. If you do, however, feel uneasy about others finding out, just don't tell them, that's it. If you're willing to work on self-improvement, therapy is very likely to help with things such as this (or at least my therapist claims so). No, really, seek help. You'll feel better on the long run.
3. This one pretty much sums up my previous post(s): don't treat other people with disrespect, or make it seem that you're waiting for them to fuck something up, so you could criticize or start a conflict. Try making friendly relationships with people. I'm thinking about random conversation starters, such as "hey dude, that's a really neat calculator. is it programmable?" - people like it when other people show interest for them and/or their things. I know it's hard for you, but once you actually do it, you'll see there's nothing to worry about. Exchange two or three sentences, no pressure. If you feel as if you couldn't say more than "aha, yes", say it and don't feel bad about it. People don't judge you even half of how much you yourself do. Random Joe doesn't think that you're embarrassing yourself whilst you think you are. He most probably doesn't give a rats ass! He'd probably think you're just introverted, thinking about something else, etc, and won't give you more than 30s of his thoughts. You need to embrace the fact that other's people's thoughts aren't mainly about you - in fact, they very rarely are. They just don't care whether you're talkative or not. You should talk sometimes, so that you could show that you're worthy of having a conversation with. But no need to pressure yourself. Pressuring just makes the whole thing much worse. The next time you naturally feel the urge to say or ask something (NOT critical, though) - say it, before you even start analysing whether it'd be smart or not to talk. SAY IT!
People WILL accept you as the guy who doesn't like to small-talk too much, but has stuff to say, you just might need to work on it a bit.
Just like ordering pizza: you get anxious, have irregular bowel movement, heart starts pounding, rehearse the phone call over and over, triple-check whether that's what you want so you wouldn't change your mind during the call thus causing another uncomfortable situation [at least this stuff happens to me, as funny as it is :lol: ] --- but after the call, everything becomes fine within minutes.


Secondary advice (some stuff that will make relationships with people easier on the long run):
1. You CAN have ocd AND make friends.
I believe I also have some form of OCD (or, at least, some traits of OCDish behaviour). For example, I tend to freak out even when somebody merely touches my personal stuff. Interestingly though, my high school and Uni colleagues respect that, and even make semi-jokes on that behalf ("I wanted to return you your pencil and put it in your pencil case, but I figured it'd be safer for me to wait until you came back" and such).
I can't give you the recipe for this, but basically: show people that you will not be made fun of (if they're the type of people that simply cannot be "shown" that, then the mentioned ignoring is probably best). Show people that you have boundaries which you REALLY don't want to be crossed.
Besides that, show them respect that they deserve, too.
2. If you snap at someone and later realize that you'd made a mistake, apologize. It isn't the pleasantest of interactions, but apologizing when you did something wrong is important. It helps a lot. If you find it very hard to do that personally, send them a text message or talk to them via some chat service (gtalk, MSN, whatever you use). It doesn't have (and shouldn't have) to be degrading to you. Just say something like "Hey dude, sorry about today. I didn't mean to make you feel bad, I just lost it somehow. I apologize." DON'T add stuff which should validate your behaviour, don't talk about how you'd had a bad day, etc. Apologizing will make the person feel better and likely forget that little "excess" of yours, and you'll feel better, too (ya'll see :wink:).
3. This might be a bit controversial. If you aren't prone to aggressive behaviour (I cannot stress this enough - because, if you are, just forget this whole suggestion), try having a drink or two during some friendly social interactions. It may help you loosen up a bit, soften your anxiety, and you might find it much easier to communicate with people. Now, it might be a bit weird if you drank before meeting someone and that someone figures it out, but you could go with that someone to a bar and order a beer or something. It used to help me in some situations before. A lot. :wink:


Of course, this would mostly apply when you actually meet someone. Therapy should, however, be started asap.


As to not having a single friend yet...
If there's some kind of Melbourne online community, I think that'd be a great place to start. You could choose people according to their interests, plus there's a lot less pressure than in real life meeting new people.
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Re: Advice needed: Social anxiety and University

Postby Hofstadter'sLaw » Wed Feb 08, 2012 3:56 am UTC

PerchloricAcid wrote:If you snap at someone and later realize that you'd made a mistake, apologize. It isn't the pleasantest of interactions, but apologizing when you did something wrong is important. It helps a lot. If you find it very hard to do that personally, send them a text message or talk to them via some chat service (gtalk, MSN, whatever you use). It doesn't have (and shouldn't have) to be degrading to you. Just say something like "Hey dude, sorry about today. I didn't mean to make you feel bad, I just lost it somehow. I apologize." DON'T add stuff which should validate your behaviour, don't talk about how you'd had a bad day, etc. It will make the person feel better and likely forget that little "excess" of yours, and you'll feel better, too (ya'll see ).

Good advice for everyone. (:

seanmeakin wrote:My main problem is social anxiety. I freeze in any situation and get horrendously nervous. I suck at small talk, and I spend so much time worrying that I'm not making good conversation or responding correctly that I end up missing my cues to talk and just end up muttering "aha, yeah."

I suck at small talk as well. Something that helped me a little was learning to ask questions because then I seem interested in the other person and it gets them to do most of the initial talking. Like, you could ask about a book they’re reading, what classes they’re taking, what topics they’re considering for a paper, etc. If they give you substantial enough answers, then you can keep up a flow of relevant questions until there’s a point where you can contribute something, or they start asking you questions.

seanmeakin wrote:I even get socially awkward trying to order pizza on the phone, which is pretty lame.

Ah! Meeee toooo! I thought I was the only one. I hate talking on phones in general. Thank God for texting.
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Re: Advice needed: Social anxiety and University

Postby seanmeakin » Wed Feb 08, 2012 4:19 am UTC

Yeah, I recently found a website that allows you to order all kinds of take-out online. It was a very happy day for me. The university has therapists available for free for all students, and I was already considering making an appointment, so I might do that for when I start going to Orientation Week. I'm not sure exactly what expertise the ones on campus have, but it's better than nothing, I'm sure.

Just like ordering pizza: you get anxious, have irregular bowel movement, heart starts pounding, rehearse the phone call over and over, triple-check whether that's what you want so you wouldn't change your mind during the call thus causing another uncomfortable situation [at least this stuff happens to me, as funny as it is :lol: ] --- but after the call, everything becomes fine within minutes.


Exactly sums up ordering food on the phone for me. If they even have to ask for clarification for something, I start panicking.

All your points, PerchloricAcid, are excellent, and I'll keep them in mind and try to apply them when I eventually start university, which still seems a mile away even though it's only a week on Monday.

This might be a bit controversial. If you aren't prone to aggressive behaviour (I cannot stress this enough - because, if you are, just forget this whole suggestion), try having a drink or two during some friendly social interactions. It may help you loosen up a bit, soften your anxiety, and you might find it much easier to communicate with people. Now, it might be a bit weird if you drank before meeting someone and that someone figures it out, but you could go with that someone to a bar and order a beer or something. It used to help me in some situations before. A lot.


I've done this before. I don't think it's possible for me to be less prone to aggressive behaviour. Not physically, at least, and even then I only ever lose my temper if it's OCD-related, and I've even managed to bring that under some control.

Ah! Meeee toooo! I thought I was the only one. I hate talking on phones in general. Thank God for texting.


Same. All my UK friends insisted upon phone conversations if they wanted to be contacted. Then I met the person who would become my best friend, and they said that they would prefer texting as a means of contact, which was excellent.
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Re: Advice needed: Social anxiety and University

Postby PerchloricAcid » Wed Feb 08, 2012 4:18 pm UTC

I'm really glad I helped at least a bit.
I wish you the best of luck when Uni starts. If you like, post here as you encounter social interactions. It might help to receive some feedback from people here if you get confused etc. :)
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Re: Advice needed: Social anxiety and University

Postby Ixtellor » Fri Mar 02, 2012 7:38 pm UTC

I'm unclear on what exactly your asking for help with.

Is it "how do I make friends" or "How can I stop my anti-social behaviors" or "how can I function in a group work environment without coming off like an arsehole.. or something else.

Are you medically(psychologically) unable to control what comes out of your mouth?

Most smart people I know hate group because of slackers and stupid people but we don't tell them that.

If someone wants to group with you and is trying to be friendly and your saying "your too fucking dumb to be in my group"... then clearly you aren't trying to make new friends. Seems to me like group work is a way to make friends... so pleace concisely say what it is you want to accomplish.
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Re: Advice needed: Social anxiety and University

Postby seanmeakin » Wed Mar 14, 2012 10:43 am UTC

Well, I'm in my third week of University now. I intended to post on here sooner, but I have been snowed under with work.

Anyway, an update on the whole "making friends" thing. It started off slowly, but eventually somebody in my Physics unit spoke to me as they'd noticed we get the same trains. This went well, we both have similar backgrounds (both moved from the UK to Aus straight after college) and we get on well. He's also in my Astrophysics unit, so that's handy.

I was having real trouble speaking to people in my Maths and Statistics units, though (which isn't surprising given the stereotype). Eventually, though, I spoke to somebody who was in both my Maths unit and my Physics Lab sessions. It was difficult, though, let me tell you. It was the first time in ages that I've put myself forward to make friends with somebody, luckily for me, I happened to choose somebody with very similar interests, so the whole friendship thing is going well.

I was still terrified, though. Choosing somebody who seemed like a nice person and then just putting myself forward like that. I've never been one for confidence, especially with the whole "Hey, I think I'm worthy of being your friend" thing. I tend to think of me making friends and me inflicting myself on other people, with all the negative connotations associated with the word "inflicted". This causes me to think that they think the same way. I'm pretty sure, though, that these people don't see it that way. I certainly hope not, anyway.
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Re: Advice needed: Social anxiety and University

Postby PerchloricAcid » Fri Mar 16, 2012 2:56 pm UTC

I understand and sympathise with your fears.

However, as far as I can see - things went well. That's wonderful.
You've made a few acquaintances and you'll gradually figure out which of them would make good friends.
I'm half-way through my second year at uni, and I have friendish relationships with only two people. Enough for me (however, to be frank, I do have a partner also, who even enrolled the same faculty, so that does definitely help). These two people are mostly fine, but I find it hard to make the transition from friendish relationship to friends. No need to rush it, try to relax and enjoy whenever possible. Don't pressure yourself. You've made a fine start :D
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Re: Advice needed: Social anxiety and University

Postby freakish777 » Mon Apr 09, 2012 7:48 pm UTC

seanmeakin wrote:when we used to do group work and I didn't want somebody to join, I'd tell them why, which was usually because they were a slacker or I didn't like them.



Not that this is going to be useful now, but stick it in the back of your head for when you join the workforce. Never under any circumstance tell a co-worker this, even if they are a slacker, or a complete jerk that no-one likes. You're all at that company as a team to make a product or deliver a service. Even if they're completely incompetent, have no motivation and want to just look like they were contributing (a slacker), or a total jerk that no one likes will it ever go ever well to be blunt to their face in a professional environment.

"Sorry, we've already got all of the work divvied up, but I'll let you know if end up behind schedule and need your help."

Compare with:

"Sorry, you're a slacker/jerk/idiot, adding you to our project will actually take it from delivering on time, to delivering late."

One of these results in a person now being emotionally wounded (who wouldn't be, they were just told they're awful at their job, the thing they do for a living) and telling their manager (who is maybe also your manager) that you're the worst kind of jerk there is, and that they want you fired (and they'll potentially actually get you fired depending on local law and what constitutes harassment/verbal abuse, etc).

If you find yourself in management, and have to assign work out, and someone consistently asks why they're not put on projects they want to work on, you need to be able to go to "Mr. Smith has more expertise in that area." If that isn't good enough for them (and you're confident they aren't knowledgeable enough), you need to be ready to hand them a "road map" of how they get to the point where you start putting them on those types of projects.

Keep in mind that social dynamics drastically change when there's money involved, in both professional and unprofessional environments.





What will help you now, is figuring out what Hobby Clubs exist on your campus. Just going to meetings and talking about an activity that everyone there enjoys isn't the best way to make new friends, but it's definitely not the worst way either.
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