Not Really Shy - Just Not Sure What To Say.

I'm not really shy in the normal sense - I'm not afraid if meeting new people and whatnot. In fact, I enjoy it. The problem is that when I meet someone I can't think of anything to say - my mind goes blank. I get a couple of sentences into a conversation and just completely run out of ideas.

In part I think it's because of my profession - I've been programming computers for 30+ years, so naturally I spend my days thinking & talking about things that most other people don't think/talk about, and not thinking/talking about whatever it is that normal people do think/talk about.

I worry that I'm just a boring person. It's easy to say "go out and do some stuff", but even when I've done stuff I find it hard to talk about it - I don't want to seem like I'm bragging, so I don't know how to bring things up, and if the conversation does wander in the direction of something I've done I only have a couple of sentences to say and then I'm done.

Is anyone else like this? Is there a better word for this than "shy"?
OneIsTheLoneliestNbr OneIsTheLoneliestNbr
51-55, M
3 Responses Dec 14, 2012

I'm just like this too. In conversations find it hard to volunteer stories and experiences without being asked about them specifically.

I'm getting better about this - I've been on enough first dates that I can talk for an hour or two with no problems (basically re-hashing the same stories to person after person)... but I'm still afraid my boringness will show through sooner or later.

I heard what happened in America on the internet a couple of hours ago. Terrible news about the shooting. I feel very sorry for everybody involved. If they won't outlaw guns, maybe they should outlaw bullets. Then people can still feel ''macho'' without being dangerous. In britain we have bbc radio 4, I imagine you can get it online. It gives you great information about current affairs, but it is interspersed with stories covering every intellectual interest imaginable. They often have great discussions on books, science, philosophies and politics. I think the news affects everyone but it is hard to digest if you're not feeling up to it. I find that absorbing this information through radio is more tolerable than on tv, because you can process it in your mind without being bombarded with upsetting images.

Maybe I should try BBC radio - TV news bugs me not so much because of the images, but because of the story selection ("if it bleeds, it leads") and the overall pacing ("Could a killer be lurking in your house right now? Find out after the break!"). I just don't feel any more informed after watching it than before.

Besides, as someone pointed out once, you don't really have to worry about anything on the TV news: the definition of "news" is "stuff that hardly ever happens". If people died in schools as often as they die from car wrecks and smoking, it would be boring and it would rarely make the news.

I think I am a bit like this too. I am a freelance worker and I seem to have the most 'confidence' when I first arrive in a new place. After a while I seem to run out of things to talk to other people about. I was very depressed for a large chunk of 2012 and lost interest in all kinds of things that small talk generally requires (latest films/music/news) and I have never been interested in gossiping about other people.

I think I too am very interested in my own work and find it fascinating to talk and learn about, but can't talk about it outside of work. I am currently at a very lonely place in my life and have realised that I need to take some action and broaden and practice my own interests, in order to meet like minded people in different situations. I have decided to take up creative writing, life drawing and possibly learn italian or spanish in night classes. I think perhaps the answer is to develop several social circles where you can talk about the activity that you are all engaged in, rather than just yourselves and what you have done in separate situations.

Despite knowing this I am waiting to put it into practice as I am also prone to chronic anxiety and agoraphobia. But between this everything is great haha. And I still believe that it is worth facing fears and putting yourself into awkward situations to learn new things. 2010 was a fantastic year for me socially. 2012 has been a complete abomination. I am sure that you are not a boring person. Intelligence is admirable and you will find more people who you get on with I am sure :)

I guess I ought to follow culture stuff (movies/tv/news/etc) more closely.

* I like some movies, but I rarely see one in a theater - I mostly wait for them to come in on netflix, so I'm 6 months or more behind everyone else.

* I really can't stand 99% of TV, and at the moment I don't even own a TV, so that's out.

* News is too depressing (did you see the news today?) and it's not like any of it really affects me, so it's hard to get too interested in that.

How can people stand to follow this stuff?