Schizophrenia.com

Any tips for socializing more?

I am doing better and progressed in many areas, but I am struggling in other areas. I really want to better myself in the socializing dept especially. You know go to support groups, hang out in a coffee shop or in town more among people.
Many of you guys are doing well socially. I suffer from negative symptoms, depression and anxiety so its a bit tough going. Instead of focusing on my struggles, I would like to know if anyone doing well socially has a tip or two for thier success. Im trying to focus on the future as opposed to the present or past - thanks

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I also have a rough time with negative symptoms, depression,anxiety. The activity center staff gave me a reprimand two months ago. They said if i’m not going to be sociable when I arrive then don’t even bother coming back. They are used to chatty bipolar people over there but not SZ people with negative symptoms.

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My therapist wanted to stick me into a support group mainly for people suffering from exclusively bipolar. I mean there might be some people with depression, but my dx is schizoaffective - I have a bunch of symptoms including bipolar and depression, but I don’t know if Ill fit in there.

I was pushed in to AA and my SZ group. I was mad about it at the time but it did help. My sis brings all manner of people into our day. That wasn’t really by my own effort.

Stuff I did on my own… I started small. I went to the library and talked to one librarian when I went in each time. Just a question here or there. But I observed which one was patient first and I went to her. I used to go to community centers when I didn’t work and sit there and talk to a few people.

I also volunteered at a small food bank packing groceries. There was only 5 of us and it was 3 hours a week (1.5 each time) and I got a bag of food at the end of the week.

NON-chain, small used book shops usually has a person under a stack of books willing to talk about books only.

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Those are all good ideas J, thanks. Taking smaller steps would feel more comfortable for me. Maybe Ill go to a local coffee shop and just hang out with a drink. J, I was wondering do you have Negative symptoms?

I try the library also. It seems like the people there are just in a better mood than some other places that I have tried talking to people. My doctors office is another good place to talk to people but not much of a place to find a mate. One crazy person in a relationship is enough but two. Boy ol’ boy that’s just asking for trouble.

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Negative symptoms make it extra difficult for me to socialize. It’s hard to come up with conversation topics when your mind is moving slowly due to negative symptoms.

Thankfully, my friends are very talkative and lead the conversations most of the time. I just try to follow along. One thing that helps me be more social is to ask people questions about themselves. People generally like it when you show an interest in their lives.

Plus, this takes the focus off of you for a while and helps you forget some of your problems for a bit. That’s what I enjoy about socializing. It changes my perspective for a few hours, at least.

Blessings,

Anthony

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I used to. I had wax build-up to the point where I wasn’t functional. I was in my head nearly all the time and it took a lot for me to just get up and walk outside for anything. I lost hours just gazing at the air in front of me.
I would go days without saying a word to my sister. Everything felt rust brown.

These days I still get lack of motivation and apathy and I feel my WANT start to fade. But it’s no where near as bad as it used to be. It’s a lot more fleeting. Plus I have someone living with me who manages to help snap me out of it in her own odd voodoo way.

As far as poverty of speech, well… I have always written better then I talk. So that one has never left me. I listen a lot and I write stuff down for people but I’m only now getting used to small chat.

I on the same page as Redmedtech. I don’t start a lot of conversation and I just follow along. I have a sis with me too and that helps sort of bring in a buffer or someone who can help me out.
@Wave Do you ever go out with your brother?

I don’t have friends, but I am reaching out to others, like saying hi and thank you to cashiers, opening a door for someone, trying to make eye contact and smiling more. Now that Im on an antidepressant Im slowly starting to feel a bit more elevated and a bit more social, Im going to have to test it out more, thanks Anthony

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I swear to you, I think that SZ has a huge connection to Autism, more than scientists know. My big issue is making small talk with strangers, poor eye contact, social withdraw etc… But I have gone forward some, I see this as progress.

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I’m sorry you don’t have friends right now. But you’re nice and I think you’ll definitely make some!

Have you thought about trying to make friends online? Like through nolongerlonely or match.com? I met 2 great friends on match.

Best wishes to you!

Blessings,

Anthony

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I have been thinking about this the other day, but I told my therapist that Im not quite ready to meet friends. but I will soon be there

I can not do small talk. That was why I really like book shops and libraries. They are talking about a specific interest. chatting about the weather and stuff… No, can NOT do it.

I got CBT to help with the eye contact and verbal cues.

I have a lot of social withdraw. It hard to gear up and call someone. It takes me a week to call a person. I always think… nah, they don’t want to really hang out with me, they just feel sorry for me. My brain will start all the sneaky thinking.

I agree with that. I have the same social problems you are talking about. I have a brother similar to me who they have diagnosed with autism. If it weren’t for some obvious sz symptoms, I would think I had autism.

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Poor communication skills, with me its with strangers, Poor eye contact, social withdraw, transient psychotic thinking and paranoia when anxious or stressed, these are Autistic traits, very similar to SZ. My nephew has autism. It all makes me wonder. The genetics are similar as well, Im pretty sure.

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@SurprisedJ Unfortunately my brother has very little time, even with his own family, but he does manage to come over once in a while, and he calls up frequently. We are starting to get closer again. My one Aunt is pretty cool as well

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I always had my sis attracting people into our day. But I did work to hang out with a few of my cousins who were cool. Not all at once but just 1 hour coffee here and a quick bite at the deli there. I would definitely encourage hanging out with family you like. I told my cousin straight up, “I’m trying to get out more and beat this thing, can we make this a bi-weekly deal?”

It turned in to a weekly deal quickly. Getting out with people I trusted help me be a little more open to strangers.

Maybe Ill spend more time with my Aunt. She is a bit older than me, but is very cool and modern. She gets SZ, that is a big plus - Thanks J

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I always thought it was interesting that the paranoia stuff isn’t consistent. For example, it gets worse in situations where I have to be part of a group, anxiety also. I’ve been like that since a was a child, before the sz stuff showed up. It makes having a job a living hell.

I can have paranoia separate from anxiety or when not in crowds or among certain social situations, but it is worse for me when Im anxious or stressed.