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Old December 11th, 2008, 08:15 PM   #1
Jean Poutine
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Default Being extremely introverted sucks.

I don't consider myself as depressed, as I've said numerous times, as I don't consider myself suffering. However, I am annoyed, by my condition and by my very personality. I seem to have a complete inability to seek balance. My life is just a huge rollercoaster. You know what's ironic? Routine is what I value most in life, and physically my life is very stable. Living at the same place for 12 years, getting up at the same hour every day, doing the same things, no real changes in family, etc. Mentally though, I have spikes in numerous things.

Not much that can change though. An example of the longest rollercoaster in the world (takes 18 years atm to get through) :

-social : extreme solitude, equally intense longing for irl friends
-skills : I'm an excellent polyglot with a great memory ; I suck (very very hard) at anything that takes common sense (save programmation, funny stuff). I have no real grey area about skills : I rock, or I blow.
-mood : sometimes way low\sometimes way up in the sky (usually I think I can change then, but I fall flat on my face on the downhill)

As I said, I'm not depressed yet. I don't really have any grave problems. But I still thought this was the right area because even if I'm not clinically depressed, the life I lead is unfulfilling and makes me unhappy. If I keep it up I could very easily slip in the dredges.

The thing I have the most power to change atm are friends. I want 'em. Can't get 'em, though. Tried a lot of times after asking people much of the same stuff I'll ask now. I've tried :

-helping people in what I am skilled. as I said, I'm very black and white in this, thus I have great skills people could use or learn from. Since I am, honestly, beastly in French, I signed up to be a French tutor. I had a student under my charge, which went up to 80% from a failing grade.

I wasn't proud of this. Not that I was unhappy my tutoree upped his grades, probably because of me. I just didn't find any accomplishment. And I hated the job. I hated going, once a week, one hour a day, help someone with his French language skills. People say teaching is a calling, much like priesthood. Well, I ain't got this call (when I was still quite devout though, I DID feel the calling for priesthood. I still think than if maybe, I could find back the faith I had in God before, that I could join the priesthood. But that's another story).

Learning is hard stuff, and he didn't get everything right the first time 'cause I was helping him. It was work from both of us that allowed him to get better. But I hated every mistake he made. I was annoyed easily when we hit some harder stuff. I tried my best to not let it show and I think I succeeded, but I was just so pissed off when he wouldn't catch on the spot what was for me easy stuff. I don't have the call, nor the patience, neither the humility to teach. Never again.

-being "friendlier". That word has a lot of definitions according to the people you ask. It seems to boil down to one common thing, "smile often". I tried this for like, a week, before being disgusted with myself and forgot about that.

Why disgusted? 'cause I'm apparently backwards. I'm a very grim person, usually, and I believe smiles should be given when the person is happy. Since I'm not exactly happy (but not too unhappy), I very rarely smile. I think random, on-the-spot smiles as given everywhere by North Americans are dishonest (and perhaps MORE unfriendly to my eyes than my brand of brutal honesty). I'm not dishonest. So if I find nothing funny or if I'm not particularly happy about anything, no smile. Don't get me wrong, I do smile. Just not very often. When I do though, I mean it.

Since I'm on the subject, a little face reading tip : if the outer brows do not go down and the cheeks don't rise up, it's not a true smile. I learned this in social skills training (which wasn't very useful for me, as conversation is not my problem : first steps are), and it's been pretty useful to distinguish fake North American smiles from true, happyboosted ones.

Since I choose not to delude myself and others, I come as "unfriendly" and "mean-looking". Whatever. I'm not putting on a lie to get friends.

And that's what I tried, although my huge problems are first steps. I've gotten a few acquaintances if they were masochist enough to talk to me first. You know how autistic children sometimes mix up pronouns? That's because they think everyone else thinks like them. I'm kinda that way. I'm annoyed when people talk to me for no reason (I want more friends, yes. But I'm still very introverted and nothing will change that). If I turncoat and go talk to THEM for no reason, won't they take it like I do?

That's the cause of my social anxiety. I may be decent at reading faces 'cause of social skills training (honestly they teach you stuff you don't NEED to know), but I can't read people's feelings very well. I just don't know what to do with THEM, even though I know what to do with their faces. You get my drift?

Anyway, all of this to ask...is there any way to ease first steps aside from what I did? What should I do so I get people to speak to me in a way that won't annoy the fuck out of me? Etc? Any tips aside from what I tried will be great.

Thanks anyone who answers, honestly.

Jean Poutine, LL.B.
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Old December 11th, 2008, 08:59 PM   #2
NightHawksr71
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Default Re: Being extremely introverted sucks.

You have to remember that if you do go upto someone and talk to them most people won't be bothered by it. Or a better idea is to just say "hi" to someone every so often when you see them, eventually you might find some way of connecting with them and becoming friends.

It kinda sounds like I have aspergers I know I don't. But I do have quite a few personality traits of it. Which might be why I get along with people with it well. I know I have come upto a few people with Aspergers to be their friend. At first they were suspicous/annoyed, As I can understand they would be and they as we got talking we became friends. I have 3 good friends. 2 of which have aspergers.

You really need to remember that not everyone thinks the same way you do, and that people don't know always know how you think. So they may do something you don't like without knowing it.

Friends can be every where you just need to find them.

Good luck.
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Old December 11th, 2008, 09:43 PM   #3
IAMSAM
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Default Re: Being extremely introverted sucks.

hi Jason,
Anyone who actually knows what the word 'polyglot' means and can also use it correctly in a sentence not only needs to be saved, but probably can do this quite well for themselves, too. So, what's your problem?

I think you might think too much, or maybe, you think too much alone. Consider the possibility of either suspending thought (something that is truly antithetical for me to even contemplate offering as advice, nevertheless actually suggesting!), or at the very least, share these thoughts and the process you go thru inside your head to get them with a really good therapist. Whatever you're doing up there doesn't sound like it's working for you. For many people, thinking allows them to process stuff and understand it better, and as a result, see the choices more clearly that can help them out. In your case, it sounds like that process is a rather grinding one that results in your feeling really bad about yourself and your life. This is not good.

You're 18, and I have to assume that college is on the horizon for you, yes? That will give you a change in environ and people, which can also give you the opportunity to make new connections and find what you seek. But to do that, you might need to stop thinking so much about things and give it a chance, see what happens. People aren't as bad or scary or unpredictable (or whatever it is you've convinced yourself you need to protect yourself from) as they really are.
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Old December 11th, 2008, 10:48 PM   #4
Jean Poutine
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Default Re: Being extremely introverted sucks.

Hey.

Thanks for the kind words. However, book smarts do not always translate exactly to life smarts. I like asking other people what they think first ; that way I can benefit from another point of view that I may not see outright, and learn by the same occasion. That being said, I always try to solve my problems alone first, but this particular one is beyond my power to fix.

I've actually been told that I think too much. I've tried to stop thinking multiple times, but it's very hard to do. I just can't stop the flow of thoughts voluntarily.

To be honest, if you can pardon the crude language, talking to people scares the shit out of me. The social game isn't innate in me ; so I have to learn it by trial or error. There are some situations to which I learned to react normally, there are many others on which I have no idea how to. In a way, yes, I feel people unpredictable, and yes, I am scared of this, since I am someone who doesn't like change or surprises. I'm also scared of failing in all points of life : school, people, etc. I hate failing. I was raised to be performant and always expect the best, that means that if I fail, I always feel extremely bad with myself. I'd rather not try at all than try and fail (unless I'm in a good mood). I know one mostly learns by failing but even if I know this, doing anything I know that I have chances to fail, such as exams, or talking to others, causes a lot of anxiety in me (there's a term for that in French, "anxiété de performance", that when directly translated unfortunately means something very different in English >_>).

As an example, I had mustered the courage last year to talk to 1 or 2 people on my own in college (as per the rollercoaster mind theory, I was in a good mood that day). It was nearly the end of the year so everyone knew me pretty well as their classmate. I was talking to this girl that I knew pretty well as a classmate too and suddenly she reaches out and touches my arm slightly. I was left puzzled about this gesture for weeks. What was the goal of that? What was the message, the connotation, attached to it? Was it simply innocent (I suppose some people must touch others), or was it something else? To this day I don't know what she meant by it.

Is there anything particular I can try to stop thinking? Like, I suppose, thinking but not about the situation at hand?

Jean Poutine, LL.B.
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Old December 12th, 2008, 12:16 PM   #5
IAMSAM
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Default Re: Being extremely introverted sucks.

I'm glad you can relate to some of the points I made and see them as valid, Jason.

We learn primarily from doing, not necessarily from error (or success, ftm). I think you'd benefit from just doing, get out there and force yourself to do. Eventhough your head might be on that roller coaster, keep doing. Maybe you just need more expsure to life and people without necessarily getting into your own head so much.

Also, if you are in college, you might do very well to scheck into the counselling center to get some help wit this. You're right aboiut change being difficult. It's easier when you have a pro with you to guide and reassure you.
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