them that we tend to isolate when we’re in a heavily alcohol/drug dependent state and when we try to break away from it, that it’s extremely important to try and establish connections with the outside world and the people in it.
She said something to the effect of, “nobody likes me anyway, so why bother?”
My heart sank a beat because that is such a sad, self-fulfilling and most likely untrue statement; and if it is true, then we need to explore why that might be so.
I posed a question to her to get her to start thinking a bit outside the box on that statement. I asked her, “Let’s just say that for whatever reason, you were forced or chose to relocate to a place where you have
never been before and where not one soul knows a single thing about you. Would all of these new people simply automatically NOT like you? How would that even be possible?” She answered all too quickly that once they got to know her that that would be the case.
She wasn’t nearly as quick to answer when I asked her why she thought that that would automatically be everybody’s response.
She made the observation that she never knows what to say, is afraid to say the wrong thing or that people will think that her opinion is wrong or stupid, that she is boring and brings nothing to the table, etc…..
There are things you can do help with all of these issues. I used to suffer from the same self-defeating thoughts but came up with some strategies to combat them.
1-One of the problems is that you are so self-conscious about your contribution to the conversation that you lose focus on what the other person is saying which automatically limits your ability to add meaningfully to the discussion. If you are not listening to the other person and are stuck in your own head, your ability to follow along and contribute, goes right out the window. If you truly don’t know that much about the subject matter and therefore don’t have much to add, you can still be an active part of the conversation by asking questions so that you show interest and actually gain knowledge of the subject matter. It shows that you care about the other person’s interest and experience regarding the subject.
If you have nothing to add and don’t ask questions, then the awkward silence is bound to ensue!
2-On the issue of being boring, you have to ask yourself why you think that is, as well. Most people don’t know everything about everything but have at least a little bit of knowledge about a lot of things. Read the paper, watch the news. Personally, I for the most part find pop-culture boring as sin and I just don’t care who George Clooney is boinking this week. However, when my Yahoo or AOL homepage opens up, that kind of useless information is always present so I sometimes take a peak for about a minute.
There are times where you are going to be LOST in conversations but again you can mitigate that somewhat by listening well and asking questions. It’s also OK to say “I couldn't care less about that” and either try and change the subject, endure it, end it, or find someone else to talk to.
3-This may sound a bit cold, but it’s OK if not everybody likes you! No, it’s not cool if nobody likes you but the more you obsess over it, the bigger a problem you create. Your opinions and takes matter and if somebody else doesn’t like you as a result, too bad. Stop caring so much what other people think; stop being a people pleaser. If you feel good about yourself, it will show in how you interact with others.
So, listen more attentively, ask questions and always be furthering your knowledge base and you will find that by that process, you will make yourself more interesting and others will therefore want to talk to you, be your friend and ultimately decide that they “like” you :->