social anxiety

When you're talking a lot and worried about how much space you are taking up

Anonymous asked:

Do you have any advice for how to facilitate participation when you’re a student who does tend to talk a lot?

I have social anxiety but when it doesn’t affect me as badly I tend to talk a lot. I’ve tried waiting for others to speak but they often don’t even if I wait 30+ seconds… And then I feel an intense urge to fill the space.

realsocialskills said:

A couple of things:

It might be ok if you’re talking more than some other students. Very few classes have everyone talking an exactly equal amount.

Different students have different preferences about how much they like to talk in class. It’s ok that some students prefer to talk more and some students prefer to talk less. It’s not always a problem. It becomes a problem if some students are taking up space in a way that prevents others from participating.

I’m not sure how to tell whether you are taking up space in a problematic way. One way might be to ask your teacher after class or in office hours if they think it’s becoming a problem. (If they do think it’s a problem, they’ll probably be glad you asked and that you care.)

Another way might be to watch whether you’re interrupting people. And if you are interrupting people, whether or not they’re shut down by your interruptions. If you’re interrupting people and that’s resulting in them not getting to make their points, that’s a problem. (Interrupting isn’t always a problem – in some cultures it’s normal and expected for people to respectfully interrupt one another and be respectfully interrupted in turn. If the class you’re in doesn’t have that culture, it’s important to be careful about interrupting.)

Here’s one strategy that might work for coping with silences without interjecting to fill them (this can also work for overcoming urges to interrupt people).

Typing or writing out what you’re having an urge to say:

  • If you type or write the reply you have an urge to make, it can calm the urge without you having to say anything
  • While you’re doing this, someone else may start talking
  • Then, if you still want to say the thing, you can take a turn and say it
  • If you don’t want to say a specific thing but are just feeling uncomfortable, typing/writing about how uncomfortable you are might work to fill the space until someone else starts talking (This works for me sometimes; it seriously backfires for other people. Your milage may vary; trust your own judgment about whether it will be helpful or harmful to you).
  • This can work even in a seminar class when not everyone is taking notes
  • (It may be more socially accepted in that context to use an iPad than a laptop, because you’re significantly less likely to be perceived as goofing off on Facebook with an iPad)

tl;dr Talking more than some other students in a class isn’t always a problem in itself. It’s a problem if the way or the amount you talk prevents others from participating. Typing out stuff you’re thinking of saying before you say it can make it easier to refrain from interrupting people and from rushing to fill silences.

Dealing with unwanted blushing

pinkxxkiss:

realsocialskills:

I’m not sure if this falls under social skills, but is there a way to prevent blushing? whenever I talk to people my face gets abnormally red and everyone comments on it (what’s wrong with your face, are you ok, etc) which only makes me blush more. i have social anxiety as it is, so talking to people is hard enough without my face feeling like it’s on fire. thank you
realsocialskills said:
I don’t know of a way to avoid blushing. I’m posting this in hopes that one of y’all does.
One thing that occurs to me is that maybe wearing foundation would help? The basic purpose of foundation is to be opaque enough to hide marks on your face, so maybe it would hide blushing? I haven’t tried that, but it seems like it plausibly might work.
Have any of y’all tried using foundation to hide blushing? Does it work? Do you know other things that work?

pinkxxkiss said:

Another suggestion (to foundation, which can really help, even if it’s just a light layer of powder) is to go to a Doctor. My face is super red a lot of the time and I also have pretty serious long term acne. I’ve found that when my acne is more under control (ie my medication for that is working) my face is usually far less red.

As well as acne there’s rosacea, which can be mistaken for acne, but is also very treatable. It can cause so much facial redness, but actually be treated.

So, basically, if you can go to a GP; do so. They might be able to really help you. (And there might even be other underlying, and treatable, causes they could help you with.)

Good luck! :)