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    nrt861's Avatar
    nrt861 Posts: 1, Reputation: 1
    New Member

    Oct 20, 2010, 07:48 PM
    Social Awkwardness and learning disabilities

    I am an individual who has been diagnosed with a working memory learning disability and a high probability of having ADD. Currently I am taking steps to work around them or it, since it's probably the same thing, through ADD coaching. One of my biggest weaknesses deals with social awkwardness. I am quite introspective and analytical, I am also very quiet. I've noticed, especially within this last year and a half, just how unchatty I am. So I got thinking, well, how long has it been since I have been a talkative, never, seriously! Even when I was little I was quiet and shy, also as teen. Through classical conditioning of this behavior, I am now an adult of 23 I am still viewed as quiet, reserved, and still shy. I can march up to anyone and ask for directions, ask a question, or apply to any job without fear of awkwardness. In otherwords, I don't have anxiety when it comes to daily living and dealing with people, except when put on the spot in a group of people to TALK... the seemingly most basic skill to acquire. Through the years I have ventured out to try and overcome this concern of mine by attending a leadership program where I lived with 12 people for 9 months straight, got involved with my church, especially youth group in my teens, travelled and lived in residence in Newfoundland while attending university, and attending endless social and extracurricular events and clubs like Air Cadets, TaekwonDo, Wrestling, etc. A lot of life experiences have passed by because from this behavior because I live daily. Obviously I have friends and have met lots of people throughout my lifetime but lasting relationships never workout... Could this be from growing up not learning and practicing the social skills we are required to know in order to function in society or just from having an learning disability? Tons and tons of negative experiences I have occurred with family relationships, employment, and boyfriends being a little off themselves with needy behavior, low confidence, or just really weird and even innappropriate states of mind. It's a viscious cycle right, so there are a lot of aspects in life affected. Anyway, getting to my question, is there a way to somehow break this pattern of 'quiet syndrome' and be a lot more socially intelligent and 'chatty,' or get better at smalltalk? I've entertained the thought of joining a toastmasters group but can't help to believe, after endless efforts of trying get better at it, that some people have it, and others don't. Let me know what you think.
    simoneaugie's Avatar
    simoneaugie Posts: 2,490, Reputation: 438
    Ultra Member

    Oct 25, 2010, 07:46 PM

    Wow, I think I know exactly what you mean. But maybe not because I don't fully understand the term working memory learning disability.

    In high school I tried my outgoing sister's advise, "just talk, as long as you're not being mean, it doesn't matter what you say." People would hang around me if I did it, so yeah, it worked. But it was so BORING and mechanical!

    In social settings I hear others discussing politically correct things in a politically correct way. They are so careful to not ruffle anyone's feathers, and it seems to come natural to them. Even when I try, I say something "wrong." It's boring too, painfully boring.

    People, to a large extent want to be comforted or accepted in their interchanges with others. Fitting your words into a politically correct recipe can work toward this goal, but I find it somehow empty. Wanting to shock or take risks is not what I want, but how else can a person be themselves without occasionally showing who they really are?

    As a musician, any shyness I had dissolved with stage time. Now I don't care about what the crowd perceives. But it is so very difficult to attend social events. I always end up needing a whole bottle of ketchup to go with my foot.

    Please return with comment. I realize that you asked your question a while ago.
    Wondergirl's Avatar
    Wondergirl Posts: 38,799, Reputation: 5431
    Jobs & Parenting Expert

    Oct 25, 2010, 08:21 PM

    Why do you think you have to talk and be chatty? If everyone was that way, this would be a chaotic world. Be glad you don't always have to be talking and filling the air with empty words. Shyness and quiet are virtues.

    A good friend with a quiet mouth is a rare find. ~Albert Einstein
    kid_vicious's Avatar
    kid_vicious Posts: 21, Reputation: 4
    New Member

    Oct 29, 2010, 05:38 AM
    I think it's a question of courage. You just have to look and see your fear is not you, it's just your fear. You've got to face it, look at it from outside, I mean fully acknowlege it. It's called confession. And when you finally manage to do it right inside the situation when you're being shy and not just after or before, then you'll see clearly that you don't need it at all to communicate. It worked for me. I've realised how brilliant it actually was to just talk to people, to share and to have fun with them and how much easier it was without shyness. And it might not go well at first because the problem could be rooted deeply but keep trying anyway because it's worth it. It took me long.

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