Schizophrenia.com

How to be a person...?

Hi peeps,

I’ve noticed I’m super socially-awkward at work.

I never know how long to maintain eye contact with others, or how to jump into conversations in groups.

The people at my job are nice, and I’m good one-on-one with them (minus the “eye contact” thing), but as soon as there’s a group chatting I just panic and don’t know what to do.

Customers I can handle no problem, as the interactions are need-based and I’ve been working retail for years so I can get by.

I feel like this illness has robbed me of my ability to socialize casually.

Can anyone else relate?

Any tips?

Thanks :sunflower:

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Don’t push for eye contact with SZ, just be comfortable. It’s weird to push out of that, people will read your tension and act strangely.

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I can relate but don’t have any tips really.

I’m ok one on one too, but at e.g. an extended family gathering I just give up.

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Thanks for the reply, @naturallycured.

Many years ago, I was told that it’s respectful in conversation to maintain eye contact, as it shows you’re paying full attention… That’s kinda just stuck with me to the point where someone once said I had a staring problem :upside_down_face:.

I’ve been trying to be more casual about it, but I’m like microanalyzing every. single. thing. I do during social interactions to make sure I pass as a “Normie”.

Frankly, it’s exhausting.

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Just try to be present.

It’s easier with less neuroinflammation, the critical faculties are less active, but for the most part just stay in your head and interact on autopilot. Homeostasis.

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I once read somewhere that people normally just focus on someone’s mouth while talking rather than looking straight into their eyes.

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Right, it’s like:

Do you chime in to the conversation?

Who should you look at?

Where do you put your hands?

Are you even included in this conversation to begin with?

…There’s so many social cues that I’m having a hard time with.

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That’s exactly what I’m having trouble with.

It’s not coming naturally anymore.

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Ah, interesting for sure.

Sometimes when I have trouble even making eye contact, I look at the bridge of the person’s nose.

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I see.

That’s the purview of treatment then. Mitigate neuroinflammation, that’s the button you press for relief.

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Don’t stare at the mouth. That’s like inviting a kiss. Look people in the eyes and if you’ve both been looking into each other’s eyes for a while just briefly look away and then look back.

But I’m not good at socializing either so I may not be telling you right

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Been trying the whole “briefly look away” thing and I think it’s going alright so far.

Thanks, @Pianogal.

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That advice seems good to me.

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I relate to the inability to socialize casually. One to one I’m fine, add a few more co-workers and I fall apart. It’s one reason I’ve only taken entry-level jobs despite working over 25 years. Being promoted/ advancing at job just isn’t in the cards and I’m ok with it.

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Socializing in groups is rough, that’s for sure.

Add in office politics and it’s a straight shiitshow.

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I’m about to head into work…

Feeling a little down on myself for being so awkward yesterday.

Hoping today will better.

I might be on the cash register for the whole day, so that’s less chances for awkward interactions with coworkers.

…Whew.

Wishing you all a good day :sunflower:

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Best of luck @Schztuna, hopefully with time these kind situations might get easier for you.

Wish I could give advice, but I myself struggle with social things. So it would be rubbish advice.

Me saying things like, just be yourself. Isn’t exactly helpful necessarily because that can be hard to do.

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Thanks for the well wishes, @Raelyn_Fenn.

Yes, hoping with time it’ll get easier for the both of us.

If they decide to keep me on after the holiday season’s over, I’ll have a chance to make it right.

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Not much to add really, but I wanna wish you good luck. You got this tuna!

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Thanks so much, @Ooorgle.

Hope you’re doing well!

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