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Any advice on how to be less socially awkward?

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posted on Feb, 17 2012 @ 01:04 PM
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Originally posted by mossme89
I'm somewhat socially awkward. Nothing too bad, but lots of little things that end up offending people or making them dislike me. I'm not sure how to fix these things. My biggest issues come in my sociology class, which I refer to as my "shady" class, because there's a lot of shady looking people in there and types I wouldn't otherwise affiliate myself with. I don't know why because I'm always nice to them, and my opinions of the class don't change how i treat them, but they seem to find a lot of issues with many of the things I say or my mannerisms and are very quick to judge.

-Today I was working in a group with a few african american people and I said "so what do you people want to do?" They found me saying "you people" offensive. I just don't get how that's offensive. It's one thing if I say a racist name, it's another thing to say something like this. I don't see how the words "you" and "people" are offensive.
-I have ADHD and have a hard time sitting still. Sometimes while working in groups, I'm standing up and walking around when talking to people. That's just me, I work best when I'm moving around and thinking and many times don't even realize i'm doing this. But my group members said they found this intimidating.
-My teacher sometimes gives me a hard time because while she's talking, she says I stare at her. I don't do this intentionally but sometimes stare off when I'm thinking.
-I'm an introvert and my group sometimes gives me a hard time because I'm not constantly talking like they are. They say I'm not contributing. I mean, I do. I'm just not constantly talking.
-There's this one girl in my group who seems to find fault with much of what I do and what I mentioned above, moreso than others. I'm sitting on my chair wrong, I'm not talking enough, I'm standing up too much, etc. I don't know why, but she has an attitude towards me and doesn't like me. Then again, she has an attitude in general so I'm not sure if it's just me.

It's little things like this that make people judge me and dislike me. I'm not sure how to fix these things other than experience, or if I shouldn't worry about people who are so quick to judge. What do you think?


- Ok the first people want to be their click/pack and have problem with people outside their pack/herd. Animal behaviour and very much a daulistic view. We are right and everybody else is wrong.
- The ADHD thing. They are picking on you like the little bullies they are. You have been singled out by the herd. They are finding fault in everything you do. Whatever it is.
- Yeeh because having someone focusing on you when you teach is a bad thing.
- Tell them if you don't have anything to contribute then you do not need to make your voice heard. You do not have to show off your ego but are comfortable in letting others telling their views.
- Probably the pack leader that is a insecure bully. You can either put her in her place with a verbal toungelashing by pushing all her insecurities so far that she will never bother you again because she will know the danger of attacking you. Or you can try to be nice to her and try to help her deal with her insecurities. Or tell her right out that her treatment of you suck and to stop bullying you.

A combination of verbal toungelashing and then building up her insecurites would probably be the best for her mentaly and future behaviour. But it is probably not your job to fix her. Somebody probobly needs to stand up to her bull# to finally get thru to her and make her change. Either way I wish you luck. Some people are screwed up in their head and you can't be nice and polite to them because they do not listen when you are nice and polite. Make sure you keep your boundries against these kind of people and do take what they say with a lot of filtering. After a while you notice this type of persons and stop caring about their views and tantrums. They are like barking dogs. Not much to care about.
edit on 17-2-2012 by apushforenlightment because: spellchecking
edit on 17-2-2012 by apushforenlightment because: spellchecking




posted on Feb, 17 2012 @ 01:08 PM
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Mossme89, your thread really touched me.

Myself I have ADHD as well, and lived through countless situations like you described them.
I always felt "different", struggled in school and did not understand other peoples reaction and other people judged me wrong. I was diagnosed quite late (never wanted to visit / see a psychiater, and in my generation the topic ADHD was not that broad as it is nowadays).

The diagnosis itself helped me very much to understand so many things.
As well, I connected online on different forums on the topic and could not believe how many people experienced the same things as me. there have even been posts, that could have been verbatim from me.

So I started to work on myself, and I hope i can give you some advice from my experience.

First off all: Kudos to you, to come forward with your troubles.
I think it is important to see yourself, as what you are. You have ADHD, you know and you can use that knowledge. It's not per se a bad thing. Most ADHD people have amazing abilities, such as empathy, creativity, being able to process huge amount of informations in very short time (if it is of interest) and as well manage to have a hyperfocus.

So one of the first and most important steps: Start to love yourself.

Try to find out where your strong points are and develop them.
Mine are in language, when younger i read a book a night and progressed far more than many of my classmates in languages and history. (you don't want to know my math grades though ;-)

A couple of things i realized are so important for me, to keep my emotional balance:

- Food: eating regularly, avoiding to sweets (can't stress that enough!), drinking enough water (no sugary drinks, no coffein)

- Working out regularly. I enjoyed martial arts, as a good way to let off steam, having adrenalin kicks while at the same time learn to control myself.
But not only martial arts, but just moving regularly, even just a short stroll around the block calms my body and mind.
As well I discovered yoga and later meditation which helped me tremendously. (I know, sitting in a lotus pose and concentrate, while letting loose seems to be out of the league for someone whose i constantly energized. But like with everything; start small.)

Two other great things I discovered when dealing with people: Compassion and Self Esteem.
Compassion towards other people works great. In the beginning it might sound strange to give compassion to, for example, a bully. But with the time, even the most stupid bully will realize that a compassionate person is very strong and it makes just no sense in bullying him.

I try to make this little exercice daily:
it’s a five-step exercise to try when you meet friends and strangers. Do it discreetly and try to do all the steps with the same person. With your attention geared to the other person, tell yourself:
Step 1: “Just like me, this person is seeking happiness in his/her life.”
Step 2: “Just like me, this person is trying to avoid suffering in his/her life.”
Step 3: “Just like me, this person has known sadness, loneliness and despair.”
Step 4: “Just like me, this person is seeking to fill his/her needs.”
Step 5: “Just like me, this person is learning about life.”

Source: zenhabits.net... our-life-with-7-practices/ where you can find much more on the subject.

I realized, the more compassion I show towards other people, the more I understand them, and the more I get back.
As well, often i got reactions from people where i felt attacked. Later i realized the power of questions, now i ask everybody with a negative feedback: Why did you say that? Do you think i should not have done that? Why?
And explain them YOUR view on the subject. Be kind while asking/explaining and most often the situation turn to a good one.
For example in your "you people" situation: Say, I am sorry sometimes I talk before I think, I did not mean to be offensive. Why do think it is racist, to say it? Answer will be because..... Then you say, I understand, i did not see it like this, but thanks to your feedback i understand you better now.

Another thing we ADHD's have often problems with; Self Esteem.
There I found this good exercice, which helps when ;


– When you need to be physically strong, to perform a task that
requires an effort.
– When you need to be psychologically strong and assertive, when
negotiating, at an auction for instance. When you need to display
authority, or to resist the authority of a domineering person.
When you need to stand up for yourself, to resist aggressive
people and remain calm at the same time.

It's a simple breathing exercice, well described here on page 243 (the will centre)
www.expozium.com...
feel free to ask me further questions or pm me.



posted on Feb, 17 2012 @ 01:18 PM
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reply to post by svetlana84
 


Excellent reply...............your reply is the reason I return to ATS.

Wow, hope you get some applause because your response was right on target, very wise and helpful.

helpful.

Wow and a free book too!!!! Thanks
edit on 17-2-2012 by ofhumandescent because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 17 2012 @ 01:50 PM
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reply to post by mossme89
 


I echo the suggestion of others: Just be who you are.

You can take the time to let them know of your ADHD, but don't make it an excuse... make it an explanation. "Look, folks, I have to stand up to be focused, I'm sorry that it makes you uncomfortable, but I will be more of an asset to the team if I can be focused."

Those people judging you are doing so because you are making them uncomfortable, not because there is something wrong with you. Instead of harping on you about "being intimidating", they should be trying to figure out what is making them uncomfortable.

I, like you, make people uncomfortable. All the time.

I make direct eye contact. I don't speak unless I have something to say. I don't participate in gossip. I don't dress a certain way. I don't act a certain way. I don't look a certain way. I don't think a certain way.

The list goes on and on and on...

There's nothing I can do about it. I spent a lot of my youth trying to pretend to be like everybody else, but it really only worked superficially. I never felt like I belonged, and all relationships were tenuous because it seems like people LOVE to think the worst of me, even when they have known me for years. It sucks.

Again, though, you can only be you and you are who you are because you are you.



So, don't worry about them.

And, tell that girl who is always nitpicking at you to mind her own business.



posted on Feb, 17 2012 @ 02:49 PM
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reply to post by mossme89
 


I think my worst "politically incorrect" situation was in a college government class.... where I referred to Asians as Orientals..... I quickly found out they do not like being referred to as rugs....

The biggest lesson I learned in life is to not concern yourself with what others think of you... be who you are and love yourself... and you will always unknowingly surround yourself with good people

I was totally an introvert in High School... and the way I improved my social skills in high school and college was by signing up for a drama classes, choir classes and speech classes.... This forced me to open up in front of large crowds and that alone helped me feel more comfortable around strangers and people in general...

After high school I also took a couple jobs as a salesman.... those jobs totally forced me become more social with strangers, although i still suck at sales ; )


Ex

posted on Feb, 17 2012 @ 03:20 PM
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reply to post by mossme89
 


So any advice? I mean, I am very uncomfortable in that class.
There's one guy who has a knife handle sticking out of his pocket and another who gives me
angry looks because I checked out his girlfriend (I didn't know she was his gf). Any advice?

Yes, say " Hi" Talk to him , you never will know why he carries a knife unless you ask.
Maybe one of his brothers or sisters died because they didn't have a knife handy to save their live.
Maybe he carves wood as a hobby.
Maybe the lock on his front door doesn't work , so he unhooks his back door with a knife.

Stop being afraid, ask questions, you may be surprised what the answer is.
Face your fears head on, because you are not the only one with them


Oh , the angry guy.
" Dude, didn't know she was taken, my bad".

Peace
Ex

edit on 2/17/2012 by Ex because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 17 2012 @ 03:25 PM
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post removed for serious violation of ATS Terms & Conditions


Ex

posted on Feb, 17 2012 @ 03:29 PM
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reply to post by Damrod
 



Censored by myself, because the language I want to use for u will be!
edit on 2/17/2012 by Ex because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 17 2012 @ 03:35 PM
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reply to post by Damrod
 


What... are you talking about?


Ex

posted on Feb, 17 2012 @ 03:37 PM
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reply to post by mossme89
 


He doesn't know, just trolling and trying to make trouble!



posted on Feb, 17 2012 @ 03:40 PM
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Originally posted by svetlana84
- Food: eating regularly, avoiding to sweets (can't stress that enough!), drinking enough water (no sugary drinks, no coffein)

- Working out regularly. I enjoyed martial arts, as a good way to let off steam, having adrenalin kicks while at the same time learn to control myself.
But not only martial arts, but just moving regularly, even just a short stroll around the block calms my body and mind.
As well I discovered yoga and later meditation which helped me tremendously. (I know, sitting in a lotus pose and concentrate, while letting loose seems to be out of the league for someone whose i constantly energized. But like with everything; start small.)

Thanks for the reply!

I do try to avoid sugar. Sugar causes me to get really hyper, then crash and get in a bad mood.

And I run 4 miles every day before school. It helps some, but I still have jitters

And as for the other parts, I really do try to be compassionate to others. Guess I'll have to try more
Thanks again!



posted on Feb, 17 2012 @ 04:21 PM
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reply to post by mossme89
 


Have you tried caffeine?

I have worked with kids (ADHD, ADD, other hyperactivity issues) who were jumping off the walls, but then they drink a cup of coffee or have a caffeine pill and are able to sit still and focus very well.

This is also good for days that they don't take meds.

Just a thought.



posted on Feb, 17 2012 @ 04:27 PM
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I went through the same stuff as you OP .

Get out of your head.

Don't take anything negative they say seriously. Crack a joke or two. People find others less intimidating when they can make fun of themselves for some reason. They also will take your accidental "racist" remarks as jokes.

Tell your teacher you grew up in a household were eye contact was very important. They used to tell me I didn't make enough eye contact to give the impression I was paying any attention. Honestly, I wasn't.

Having ADHD will make you friends these days as its the cool disorder to have. They said I had it but I refuse to believe that and think its harder to pay attention to anything these days is because there is MANY more things that can hold your attention than there were 20 years ago before ADHD was mainstream.
edit on 17-2-2012 by oniraug because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 17 2012 @ 04:49 PM
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Starting with 'you people' is going to instantly put people on guard, if I was part of that 'group' you addressed my assumption would be you feel like you are above me, as you did not address me as an individual but part of a 'group', whether that be a racial group or not, and by grouping me you are discriminating, and creating an 'us vs you' situation. You just stereotyped and announced you were above me, whether you meant to or not.

In a class you should all be just part of the class, not further broken down into racial, or other, group dynamics.

You should have just asked 'what do you think?' to a single person, or addressed the whole class.

You have to realise that people are generally looking for ways to not like you, rather than like you. You have to work much harder to get people to like you than hate you. People might have already perceived you as stuck up for whatever reason, the way you dress, the way you look at people, your race, even if it's subtle people pick up on it, look for it even. I have that same problem cause I'm clean-cut, and dress casual but conservatively. So watch your words very carefully, as soon as you open your mouth you set your fate.

It's much easier to win people over one by one than a whole group at once, so sometimes it's best to keep your mouth shut until you gain some friends in the group/class first.



posted on Feb, 17 2012 @ 05:25 PM
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Originally posted by ottobot
reply to post by mossme89
 


Have you tried caffeine?

I have worked with kids (ADHD, ADD, other hyperactivity issues) who were jumping off the walls, but then they drink a cup of coffee or have a caffeine pill and are able to sit still and focus very well.

This is also good for days that they don't take meds.

Just a thought.

It actually helps me to focus well, but makes me very hyper and feel wired so not sure if it's worth it. I drank some diet coke earlier today and am literally bouncing off the walls.



posted on Feb, 17 2012 @ 05:28 PM
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reply to post by mossme89
 



Sounds like the people you are talking about are more socially awkward then you are. You seem perfectly fine to me. And "you people" is definately not offensive, and just another reason for people to pull the race card and further their agenda.



posted on Feb, 17 2012 @ 05:29 PM
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Originally posted by ANOK
Starting with 'you people' is going to instantly put people on guard, if I was part of that 'group' you addressed my assumption would be you feel like you are above me, as you did not address me as an individual but part of a 'group', whether that be a racial group or not, and by grouping me you are discriminating, and creating an 'us vs you' situation. You just stereotyped and announced you were above me, whether you meant to or not.

In a class you should all be just part of the class, not further broken down into racial, or other, group dynamics.

You should have just asked 'what do you think?' to a single person, or addressed the whole class.

You have to realise that people are generally looking for ways to not like you, rather than like you. You have to work much harder to get people to like you than hate you. People might have already perceived you as stuck up for whatever reason, the way you dress, the way you look at people, your race, even if it's subtle people pick up on it, look for it even. I have that same problem cause I'm clean-cut, and dress casual but conservatively. So watch your words very carefully, as soon as you open your mouth you set your fate.

It's much easier to win people over one by one than a whole group at once, so sometimes it's best to keep your mouth shut until you gain some friends in the group/class first.


Nope you've just perceived it that way. As nothing to do with him, everything to do with you.



posted on Feb, 17 2012 @ 05:30 PM
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Originally posted by ANOK
You have to realise that people are generally looking for ways to not like you, rather than like you. You have to work much harder to get people to like you than hate you. People might have already perceived you as stuck up for whatever reason, the way you dress, the way you look at people, your race, even if it's subtle people pick up on it, look for it even. I have that same problem cause I'm clean-cut, and dress casual but conservatively. So watch your words very carefully, as soon as you open your mouth you set your fate.

Actually, you made me think of something. I'm at a community college to save money, and the school is only a few miles from my high school. My high school has a reputation for being very preppy and rich and stuck up. There are indeed kids who drive Ford Mustang GT's to school. So in many ways it is, but there were a lot of people (myself included) who aren't. My family got in before house prices went through the roof. As with any stereotype, it isn't always true.

But I have a lanyard with my keys on it that is usually hanging from my pocket. The lanyard says my high school name on it and has the logo. I probably should have changed it, but I still have friends who go there, and the lanyard reminds me of them, if that makes any sense. Anyway, they might have seen it and developed an opinion on me based on the stereotype.
edit on 17-2-2012 by mossme89 because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 17 2012 @ 05:35 PM
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reply to post by mossme89
 


I'd keep the lanyard, and anyone who is judging you before they know you, let them do as they wish, just don't help them in anyway, and don't create any kind of relationship with those kind of people.



posted on Feb, 17 2012 @ 06:05 PM
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Society sucks just be yourself! Don't conform to what they think is normal their normal is brainwashed media induced plastic perfection. People talk to much anyway! People like us have character, when we do talk People know to listen





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