More threads by zenith


I've never had great social skills--I have no close friends, so last year I just gave up on being social all together and studied all the time. This year I am a senior in college, and I want to be social again, but I feel my social skills are worse than before.

I am an attractive guy, I don't say this to brag, but because I feel that this is a disadvantage. When people look at me they see a fun, outgoing, guy but I can never live up to this expectation.

Additionally, when I see a girl on campus and make eye contact with her, she'll usually look away in a millisecond before I could smile or say hi. So it's hard to meet new people.

Further, when I attempt to flirt with girls I either say dumb things or accidently say something mean, and it never feels natural. Also, when guys flirt, in a heterosexual way, with me I can never play along. I end up coming off "stuck up" or "aloof", but I don't feel that way. I'm just not good at making friends, I never was. For some reason people don't like to be around me.

I know flirting is supposed to be natural, and part of biology, but it doesn't feel that way.

Thanks for any help

David Baxter PhD

Late Founder
Or maybe they didn't see the thread....

You are caught in a vicious cycle of low social self-confidence -> feeling socially awkward -> behaving in ways which confirm to yourself that you are socially awkward -> fearing being socially awkward the next time you are in a similar situation -> which guarantees that your anxiety will cause you to behave in ways which confirm your fears.

It's not easy to advise you on how to break the cycle in a few words. I can tell you that seeing a counsellor to help you with social skills, dating skills, and social self-confidence would help. In the meantime, there are some sections of David Burns' The Feeling Good Handbook which you might find helpful.

You might also find some information at dating skills and tips - Google Search
i think seeing a counsellor could be very beneficial. i have some different issues than you in dealing with people but having a counsellor is actually very helpful in that we talk about the difficulties i run into, and what i could possibly do different. then i also get encouragement from her to try these things. i find having someone alongside with you as you try to do things differently is really helpful. that support makes quite a difference and also opens you up to different perspectives of the world and your place in it and who you are.

in essence it will take some work to change the feeling of awkwardness but certainly it can be done and it will make quite a difference to your life.

let us know what you think :)


Hey there Zenith. You're just like me. I also feel like I can never live up to people's expectations. And then they seem disappointed when they find it takes me awhile to warm up, and conclude that I'm not any fun. People have no patience anymore, and it can get so lonely for those of us who are kinda shy.
Don't feel so bad about who you are though. I try to defend my shyness sometimes, and tell people that not everyone in the world can be a loudmouth. Someone has to listen to them. From a girl's perspective, an obnoxious man can be intimidating, and quite annoying. You can still be quiet and fun. The trick is getting "out there." Wherever that is. I'm trying to find a circle where I fit in. I want to start having fun again too. And when it comes to flirting, I'm completely oblivious. At least you're trying. Give yourself some credit for that.
I'm totally new at this too, but I've been trying to find places where I'd like to go first, so maybe one day I can invite someone out with me. As a shy person myself, to start, I don't want to go anywhere that is mainly focused on meeting and talking. I was thinking of going to a play, or someplace to listen to some live music. A museum, or anywhere that the focus will be on something else. I figure that way I can slowy introduce myself to the world, and hopefully realize that people aren't so scary. If you come up with ideas for fun things to do, places to go, you'll be considered the creative fun person.
The older I get, the more difficult I find it is to meet new people, and be social. What's your major? Is there any group you can join where others have similar interests? I'm going to try that too. Also, I've been fooled into thinking that I have to be witty, funny, or cute to impress people like that article said. But, they're right, all you have to be at first is nice. I've been told that asking questions about others is a really good way to get someone interested in you. I'm glad that article also mentioned that a decline in face to face communication is taking it's toll on human social interaction. So, it's not that we're defective or something. Societal changes are a major factor too. I've been treating my problem like an experiment, and have been doing research and everything. It seems like a hassle for something that comes so naturally to others, but I think it helps to be prepared wherever we are inexperienced. Keep us updated, K?
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