Could difficulty socializing be a sign of another problem?

I am a quiet person. When in a social situation I have a hard time keeping up conversation. I notice other people have no difficulty thinking of things to talk about when the conversation trails off. I know all about the "ask questions about them" and "current events" conversation starters, but I either feel like I will seem nosy or boring. I would much rather listen than talk. I feel bad when someone I just met asks a bunch of questions about me because I will usually come up with a short answer and leave it at that. I just don't think I am that interesting. I will often think of a response to something and not say it aloud. I just don't care for chit-chat. I also find that I fail to make eye contact with people. I will look at their face, but I have to consciously make an effort for eye contact. I have read about things like Asperger's and such, but I am nothing like that. Is it just a mild social dysfunction? Is there something specific it could be?

Update:

Social anxiety sounds interesting. I don't recall really feeling anxious though, I can be completely at ease, just watching the scene and thinking.

Self esteem probably does play into it. My parents were the opposite though. I always received so much praise... "Amber can do anything" "Amber is so talented" "Amber is so smart" I always felt like I couldn't live up to any of it though. To keep from disappointing people, I would fail to try/do/finish things unless I was positive that it was perfect.

In that aspect, self-esteem makes sense.

Update 2:

I very much appreciate all the answers presented here. Everybody offered a slightly different perspective while still being similar to the other answers given. Each comment helped me in a uniqe way, and I know it will be a difficult task selecting the "best answer". Thanks, you guys.

19 Answers

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  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    It is not any type of dysfunction but moreover an introverted personality to a higher extreme. There is nothing wrong with that. Your strengths lie in your observatory and listening skills rather than in your speaking skills.

    What you can always do when someone asks a question to you is you can answer it in a different way. For example, after someone asks you how your day was, you can answer back in something besides good, ok, and bad. Something that does not have to be corny, but has something that can leave the other person itching to answer back. It is not a matter of whether or not you are interesting (which, of course, you must be if you would think up of such a good question) but finding people with the same interests.

    Since you thought up of such an elaborate question, perhaps you would be more suited in an environment that was more suited to psychological fostering. What I've done (since I used to be pretty introverted myself) is that I went to places like Coffee Shops where people perform poetry and things. You can meet some people who share similar interests. Not only that, but you can always go alone or with other people (whichever you would prefer).

    Good luck.

    And there is nothing wrong with being introverted.

    Good Question :)

  • Anonymous
    4 years ago

    Difficulty Socializing

  • 1 decade ago

    I know exactly what that's like. It could be a symptom of something, but not necessarily, or it could be the problem itself.

    If you think of a response go ahead and say it. That's my one solid piece of advice. You don't have that much to lose and you're going to need to make that jump at some point.

    If you can find any clubs or social events that are centered around something you're interested in that can help, since whatever the subject is, it will provide something to talk about, and you'll probably be around people more like you. It helps a lot to find people with common interests. Plus, you're on the internet, where you can find a chat room about nearly anything, plus have the relative anonymity that's a little safer than meeting face-to-face. So it's a good way to meet new people, possibly make some lasting friendships, and practice for real-time social interaction.

    Just before I start the next paragraph, there might not be anything really wrong with you, per se. Some people don't like to socialize very much, and if you don't mind spending time alone that's fine, too. But it sounds like you want to change.

    You may have some social anxiety, and talking to a psychologist might help. If it's really severe a psychiatrist might be able to prescribe something to make it a little easier. These may seem a little extreme but I mention them because it's possible you might be depressed as well.

    Feeling like your not interesting, not making eye contact, worrying about Asperger's, these, to me, indicate that you have some self-esteem issues to work out, as well as hypochonria perhaps?

    Obviously, I don't know you well enough to make any solid diagnoses about you, but I would guess your fairly young and pretty smart, since you write better than 99% of the users here, and you're self-aware enough to provide these details about your behavior and how you feel. I really think a psychologist, even just trying for a couple appointments, could do you some good.

  • 1 decade ago

    In a clinical setting, an extreme of your problem may be what is called avoidant personality disorder (in the insulting language of psychiatry). Avoidant personality disorder is an axis 2 diagnosis

    and can be coded as mild, moderate, or severe.

    Without knowing you, it would be impossible to make that diagnosis.

    Chit chat is not for everyone. Maybe you are just introverted, which means you have a style where you think before you speak. Whereas, extroverts tend to speak and think at the same time.

    Practicing better self esteem may help, perhaps using cognitive techniques. Visualizing yourself conversing with people easily and naturally might be good too.

    I doubt that you are boring and I wouldn't worry about being nosey. Socializing with other people is kind of like a muscle.... the more you use it, the stronger you become doing it. Social skills can be learned.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I disagree with everyone else - I think you're just shy.. If you are old enough and you don't have to drive to get home - try having a drink at your next social event.. do you feel more comfortable? Are you able to start a conversation? If not then it might be low self esteem. If you can then you just did not have the confidence to start up a conversation.. let me know if that works for you.

  • A little anxiety is normal in social situations. Learn to be comfortable with your internal dialog. I am a quiet person and prefer to let others do most of the talking, my close friends understand this. I find most "current event" conversations and in general the conversation topics of most people are usually about trivial things that really don't matter in life. If you are not engaged by idle chit chat find someone who is discussing a subject you are passionate about and I guarantee you will have plenty to say and you will gain a lot more from a meaningful conversation.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I AM BIPOLAR AND I AM LIKE THAT SOMETIMES BUT I DIDN'T HAVE FRIENDS FOR A LONG TIME BECAUSE I HAD A FALLING OUT WITH A FRIEND WHEN I WAS LITTLE IT STUCK I WAS TERRIBLE AT TALKING TO PPL BECAUSE I DIDN'T WANT TO BE HURT WHEN THINGS DIDN'T WORK OR I KNEW ONE OF US WERE GOING TO BE MOVING AWAY ( I MOVED A LOT UP TILL THE LAST 13 YRS) THEN I REALIZED ONE DAY WALKING DOWN A STREET PEOPLE WERE ASKING ME FOR DIRECTIONS THE MORE PEOPLE THAT ASKED THE MORE I TALKED THE EASYER IT GOT

    SO I GUESS WHAT I'M SAYING IS IF THEY DON'T LIKE U THATS THEIR PROBLEM NOT URS AND JUST KEEP TRYING STEER THE TALK TO SOMETHING U BELIVE IN AND KNOW ABOUT THAT WAY UR TRUEST INNER SELF WILL SURFACE AND IT TAKES PRACTICE SO DON'T GET DISCOURAGED MAY GOD BLESS U WITH THE GIFT OF GAB AND HELP U BE COMFORTABLE WITH YOURSELF GOOD LUCK FROM PENNY

  • 1 decade ago

    Wow. That's me.

    I've known that I have low self-esteem (socially, not in other areas) for a long time. I've found no remedy for it.

    I observe that I do badly socially, which is a fact. Raising my self-esteem might solve that problem, but being dishonest with myself would create so many more.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I think maybe you have been conditioned to think that you will not get accepted and to avoid being unaccepted you choose not to participate. Perhaps you were teased alot as a child or had parents who made you feel bad about yourself. This has caused a lack of self esteem. That's just my opinion. I'm not a doctor.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Aside from all this social science BS your are getting to your question, it sounds as if you are quite introverted. I have an old Italian proverb for you that addresses your situation. " You can not make a race horse out of a pig, but you can make a very fast pig." If you want to modify your self, let the above guide you; not social science BS.

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