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Old 07-28-2020, 02:52 PM   #1
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Heart I canít talk to people I like, Any Advice?

Hi, this is my first post on psych central forums. Iíve heard this is a helpful and supportive community and thatís what I need right now. I thank anyone who takes the time to read this and reply. It might be a bit long so please be patient.

Iím a young man in college, and I havenít had a girlfriend or dated anyone yet, or admittedly even experienced a first kiss yet. All the romantic milestones Iíve crossed off none, and I have only myself to blame.

Since my first crush nine years ago Iíve developed feelings for dozens of girls over the years for different reasons. Iíve asked out about eleven people in my life but no more.

Iíve always struggled socially and been shy but this is exacerbated with women and because of this I have little to no experience with them and it frustrates and bothers me at this point.

Part of the reason for my shyness and introversion is due to a speech impairment I have. I have a quiet and scratchy sounding voice because of an operation I underwent when I was quite young, which I wonít get into. Despite this, Iíve had quite a few friends over the years who didnít mind and make no mistake some girls have shown me interest but it didnít go anywhere.

The main belief behind my shyness is that I donít want to be rejected. Iím aware rejection and unrequited love is a central part of life everyone experiences but that doesnít reduce the anxiety I feel of what if she dislikes me

What triggered me to make an account here and post is because I had a phone call yesterday with a girl I hit it off with from bumble. We talked on the phone for over an hour, something Iíve only done once before, and I was so damn awkward and nervous. I kept repeating myself, and stammering and taking so many awkward pauses. It was painful. I could tell she thought so too. She seemed confident and composed compared to how I was. I didnít think I was this bad with girls. I was too nervous to compliment her or turn the conversation romantic at all. This call shattered my faith that I can have a relationship the way I currently am. How the hell am I supposed to get anywhere with women if I can barely even flirt or talk calmly with them?

Certain people have given me advice in the past like having a sense of humor, a lot of women like men who can make them laugh. Yesterday I kept wanting to be more playful, as I was over text, but I was paralyzed with nervousness. I was so not tactful.

I really want to experience love, companionship, and romance at least once in my life. My failings have prevented this. I want to get a partner and move on with my life.

Does anyone here have any suggestions or advice for my social issues? I would really appreciate it. Anything would help. Thanks
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Old 07-28-2020, 07:27 PM   #2
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Smile Re: I can’t talk to people I like, Any Advice?

Welcome to Psych Central, JH. One additional forum, here on PC, that may be of interest to you would be the Steps to Better Self-Esteem forum. Here's a link:

The Relationships & Communication forum might also be one to check out:

I don't know as there are any suggestions I can offer with regard to your concern. (Hopefully there will be other PC members who will have advice they can share.) In the meantime, though, here are links to a selection of 9 articles, from Psych Central's archives, that perhaps may be of interest:

Fear of Rejection

Deconstructing the Fear of Rejection: What Are We Really Afraid Of?

4 Strategies to Cope with the Pain of Rejection

I hope you find PC to be of benefit.
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Old 07-29-2020, 05:57 AM   #3
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Default Re: I canít talk to people I like, Any Advice?

are their things that you feel confident to talk about that perhaps you can use?

for example: I hate talking about myself. I hate it because talking about myself is like.. well, a sad tragic story- and I fear that people will be scared of what they here about my illnesses, or my abuse, and decide they no longer want to talk to me.

I keep the conversation on mutual ground: talk about the weather, the places you live, where you've traveled to, etc

I have no experience in relationships, so can't offer any advice re: that, but I hope what I say does help you someway.

welcome to the forum
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Old 07-29-2020, 10:02 AM   #4
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Default Re: I canít talk to people I like, Any Advice?

Iím very sorry for what you have been through, I greatly appreciate the reply, and Iím glad you have mechanisms you feel safe to use to make connections.
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Old 08-01-2020, 01:49 PM   #5
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Default Re: I canít talk to people I like, Any Advice?

Hi JH, great pointers from other posters. I am no expert but when I was younger I also experienced this kind of social anxiety. I actually think it's a lot more common than you realise and many people feel this way at some point.

I would like to say that you seem to be beating yourself up that you got nervous in this initial conversation and interpreting it as meaning you won't be able to develop relationships. Actually the initial conversation such as you had is often the most nerve wracking as you experienced, because you don't know the other person and it is taking a chance. You did the hardest part - well done!

I think experience builds confidence, so the more casual conversations you can have the better, you can practice with just about anyone, you may well find it easier with people you are not romantically interested in. Build your confidence slowly and in steps and try not to tear yourself down - be patient. Good luck!
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Old 08-01-2020, 02:22 PM   #6
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Default Re: I canít talk to people I like, Any Advice?

JH, you sound to me like a delightful young person. Ah, youth!!!

There's a whole lot that goes into conducting relationships and I don't think a person ever stops learning. But it seems to me an initial encounter such as your phone call (granted you had texted before) is sort of an exploratory mission, kind of finding out more about each other, seeing if and where you want to go from there. You will both have reactions to the encounter.

One of the best pieces of advice I ever got is rather than focussing on yourself and how terrified and awkward you feel is to try focussing more on learning about the other person; taking a genuine interest in them, finding out a bit more about them. It's not as if you're going to plow into the really heavy stuff right away. That would neither be appropriate nor realistic at that stage.

Best wishes and let us know how things are going!
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