View Full Version : Can't seem to participate in discussions or have great conversations

11-13-16, 01:07 AM
Has anyone had difficulty initiating conversations, going deeper in those conversations, jump topics and have those "normal" social interactions that many people do?

Some background info:

Since I was a kid, I was always the quiet one in the group that just wanted to do stuff. Physical activity was pretty much what I looked forward to everyday in elementary school and lunch time during middle/high school. I could never get the things I did enjoy off my mind so I would have difficulty paying attention in class.

This sort of mentality carried through many aspects of my life including social interactions, events and places where conversations were meant to happen. I loved going to these events because of the environment but I could never really be part of them entirely. I always wanted to do something even if I didn't know what that something is.

My issue arises when a group of people (often friends) are engaged in a conversation/discussion and I could never really participate. Anytime I did talk, I wouldn't sound all that engaging or interesting even though I try hard to be part of these conversations and everyone continues with what they're talking about. As a result of this experience, I'm always the quiet one in the group who could never really articulate his thoughts fast enough to be part of the conversation or really get people engaged.

The most people do now a days is really just acknowledge that I'm there. While everyone can talk and ask each other questions to further the conversation, I could never really participate in any sort of conversation/discussion. I could never really provide input on any topic before the topic changes entirely.

This problem also carries over into things like telling story (which I know lots of great ones) or communicate something effectively because there are always details missing or I can't get people engaged. Networking events are some of my worst experiences because I can't even carry a solid conversation past finding out what someone works as or learning what their role is.

Side note: I actually suck at asking questions as well as asking the right ones because nothing comes to mind to ask until it's too late.

11-13-16, 06:28 AM
Hi, I recognize much of what you say. I'm not very good at chit chatting about the weather and such. I'm not very good in groups. I'm not very good at telling stories or jokes. I'm not very good at quick topic hopping.

A one on one (or two) conversation about something that interests me has the best chance of survival/success. It helps me if the surroundings are right, like a quite cafe or walking through a forest. Picking the kids up from school, or standing at a bus stop, or a full pub, are crowded-noisy-chit-chat-places I hate most (conversation wise).

I think for me it has to do with:
a) Noise: random mental noise, noise from sensory input, noise from things I would like to do instead of talking, noise from things that worry me a lot, and so on.
b) Not being in My Zone: being calm and grounded, thinking good of myself and open to the world around me, I find it much easier to do what I normally s*ck at, like have a chit chat. I always feel people respond/conversate much easier to/with me when I'm like this.

This Zone thing also has to do with self esteem I think, my self esteem has great ups and downs normally. Being grounded and calm helps my self esteem normally. For grounding and getting calm I sometimes meditate (should do that more often) and do Qigong ( (on a daily basis, without it I have no energy and can't function at all).

11-16-16, 12:48 AM
Yeah I can definitely relate to you there. A one on one about an interesting topic (video games, music or sports) are usually what has a chance at survival and this is assuming the other person shares the interest.

The second we move to a different topic, my mind is likely to start drawing blanks and all I can really do is nod and smile without having a clue of what to say. I'm always sacred that a relationship wouldn't work well for me unless this person shares every single interest. Highly unlikely I'll meet someone like that too.

In terms of noise, I could only really engage fully in conversation if it's fairly quiet and there's a little bit of ambient noise. Noisy places usually have me looking around and not being able to fully pay attention. I also have the need to be aware of what's going on around me at all times. My form of keeping self-esteem up is exercise and staying healthy overall which helps significantly.

Since a lot of conversations happen to be in noisy environments for me, it's really finding a way to cope with the issue that I want to work towards. Perhaps qigong might be worth a try since my energy comes in waves throughout the day.

11-16-16, 05:24 AM
I have always been fortunate that I can talk about anything with anyone-especially my dogs. I have a running dialogue all day long. My husband so wants to film me because he said I would be viral. Its quite funny.