This Is What Changed Everything For Me

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Say hello to old David.

– I worried what others thought of me and that they wouldn’t like me.
– It took me forever to connect and make new friends.
– I felt weirdly incapable of making normal conversation and coming up with things to say.
– I felt like I bored people because I wasn’t interesting enough (and was often ignored in group conversations.).
– Often, just thinking about talking to strangers made my hands sweat.
– And man… don’t get me started about talking to girls. Here’s where I went full weirdo.

And what’s more, I was certain that’s just the way I was.

This didn’t just make my conversations awkward…

It slowly eroded the limited social life I had.

No one wants to experience the pain of talking to an awkward person. I eventually realized that it wasn’t their responsibility to figure out that I was a nice and interesting person.

Friends didn’t want to deal with awkwardness and forced small talk. So they made up excuses. They were often “busy.”

Of course, I didn’t realize that it was only excuses until years later.

I only realized it when I saw how eager people can be to hang out with you when you know how to connect.

How I freed myself from the prison in my head

Think about that awkward conversation you had with someone. Or the date where you didn’t know what to say. Or the job interview where you didn’t come off as “the right candidate” even if you were a perfect fit.

I want to tell you about how I got to where I am today. How I freed myself from thoughts spinning in my head, a racing heart around strangers, and lonely weekends worse than prison.

I was determined to be successful in life because I was sure that once I got successful, things would change.

Maybe you’ve had similar thoughts?

  • “Just wait until I get a new job.”
  • “Just wait until I make more money.”
  • “Just wait until I find the right guy/girl.”
  • “Just wait until I look better.”
  • “Just wait until I succeed with my dream.”

So I worked hard for years.

I started a company that did really well. I moved to a nice house in a great area and could buy myself whatever I wanted. So in the eyes of others, I did become successful.

But I didn’t feel successful, because nothing in my social life had really changed. I was still awkward. My school buddies had all moved to different cities. I still spent most weekends alone.

Nothing that really mattered had changed.

I understood that to be confident and natural around others I needed a new strategy.

It turned out that I’d made a huge mistake:

I thought it was wrong to read books on confidence; that it would make me fake. But I slowly realized that I couldn’t figure it all out on my own.

You know… those who went to school discos when they were kids built their social confidence “the natural way”. But still, they needed a decade or more of practice…

If I did the same thing, it would have taken just as long for me.

And I was already a decade behind in social experience. I needed something quicker – I needed to learn instead of just blindly doing.

So, I read everything I could on confidence and social interaction. I was busy running my company, but I practiced whenever I had a chance. Just a few minutes of practice on some days still made a difference.

I had been so stupid. I threw away 1000$ on a new TV because that’s “normal”. But I started to sweat when a course about social skills capable of changing my life cost a fraction of that.

Finally, I understood how much faster I learned by tapping into other’s knowledge.

And the opportunities my social confidence have given me have returned at least 100X of what I invested in books and courses:

  • All the friends I’ve made since I started my journey
  • The amazing people I’ve met
  • The life I now enjoy in NYC
  • And my company, SocialPro…

I took small steps.

  • Instead of just ignoring the passerby on the street, I nodded (even though it felt super uncomfortable at first).
  • Instead of just nodding to the cashier, I asked how she was.
  • Instead of just exchanging the basic greetings with my coworkers, I asked them how their vacation went and how their kids were doing.

I got all of that thanks to investing in myself.

I took small steps, practicing what I’d learned. I didn’t have to do anything scary.

Here’s an example:

When I met people, I just couldn’t relax and felt insanely awkward.

It came to the point where I would stay in my apartment anxiously watching Netflix instead of meeting people.

In one of the many books or courses I went through, I learned a method called “making friends with your nervosity”. Instead of trying to push nervosity away or avoid it, you can pay attention to it and let it be in your body without trying to fight it. You can even name it. (I named the pressure in my chest Bob.)

Something strange happens: When you stop “fearing the fear”, it loses its grip on you.

Anyway, when I first tried it, it didn’t go well.

There were so many other things to think about when I actually talked to someone.

It was like when I learned to drive. At first, it was impossible to steer, accelerate, and look for pedestrians at the same time.

But I practiced whenever I was around strangers.

One day I talked to someone and realized that I didn’t have that anxiety in my body. I actually enjoyed a conversation with a stranger.

WIN! I smiled all the way home.

I started to realize that the voice I had in my head had been wrong the whole time. (You know, that voice telling me, “You don’t have what it takes.”)

I made a realization:

Being able to talk to people in a relaxed way and connect with them is a skill you can learn. It’s not something you have to be born with.

Do you get that? It took me years to really get that.

I could be myself. I didn’t have to pretend to be someone else to fit in.

When I saw how much people liked to be around me, my self-confidence grew.

Here are some recent photos I’ve taken. I included them here because I think that they sum up my social life today. I’ve never been a party person. I always wanted a close circle of friends I can hang out with when I’m up for it.

And it all started with the understanding that being confident, natural, and relaxed around people is a skill you can learn.

Sometimes I think about what my life would be like if this never happened…

According to research, we lose half our friends every seventh year. This means that there would be no way for me to make friends faster than I lost them. For me, that would mean spending more and more nights and weekends in an empty apartment as the years pass by.

Bottom line: Choosing to not do anything is a bad option.

Share your thoughts in the comments below. I’d love to hear what your path has looked like so far and where you would like to go in the future!

David Morin is the founder of SocialPro. He's been writing about social skills since 2012. Follow on Twitter or read more.

Go to Comments (62)

62 thoughts on “This Is What Changed Everything For Me”

  1. Hi David
    I many times think that i should wait till i am succesfull thats when people would want to be around me thinking that lack of possession and fame is the reason i dont have friends but you saying like has really changed my mind,Thanks David for help

  2. Thanks David,Today i was able to join a group of my GCEs classmates and put up two topics and i was not ignored and that has boost my selfesteem.I wish i could improve in conversation with Girls,OFC has worked to my fellow boys and has helped me to get rid of nervousness on everyone including strangers,the point is i run out of things to say when am discussing with girls.

  3. Hi David
    Thnx for every thing
    I had developed a bit but you know…
    Sometimes i think that I don’t have any best friend because my friends always go out together but if I want to go with them they avoid me
    Even sometimes they call me after everyone means if nobody go out with them then……
    They call me to go out with them or they accept my offer to go out and I’m sad (a little) about this pleas say smth to me
    Thnx again

  4. I feel the same way you used to feel. I always avoid going out with people. When I do, I am never asked again, confirming what I already know/think. I am just different; I appear off or odd…it’s humiliating, so I never go out at all.
    I am comfortable with that but I would be much more comfortable if it was because I want to stay in, not because I feel like people will think I am odd, awkward,and/or strange. Sometimes I’m nervous just to go to the grocery store!!

  5. Thank you David for your inspiring words. Reading the messages you send me have changed my life. I mean from awkwardness to awesome. You’ve really empowered me how to build social capital.

  6. Hi David,
    Felt really good reading your story. I feel motivated now. I do have same thoughts like you had, while among a group of friends. I feel like being a very boring person who cannot even respond properly to a question asked, forget about initiating and asking a question seems like a nightmare. But, I am trying to get out of this barrier. I want to grow socially and be like the others. I want to stop staring at the ground when I walk in public. I want to have long talks comfortably with a friend.
    Thanks a lot for those mails… they are very inspiring😊

  7. I can totally relate to u. I have always been this shy and awkward kid since school.i always had this fear that people will not like me.i feared rejection.i had become a people pleaser in order to make new friends.but I have realised that I can’t make everyone like me and wanting to do so itself is nothing but making myself more now I have started to be myself and those who like me the way I am will be my real friends.i don’t want a big gang instead a few trustworthy friends are enough and they are the ones I really want in my life

    • Hello, there is a certain problem with my social life, that is the language barrier! That’s strange I guess, cuz l live in Kazakhstan, it is a post-Soviet country. We have two official languages in our country, Kazakh and Russian. Most of our people who live in south Kazakhstan speak in Kazakh and most of the Northern folks speak in Russian. I am from the Southern region but I moved to the Northern region. I understand Russian and I can speak in Russian and explains things somehow, but this makes me feel nervous all the time when I speak in Russian because I am afraid of making mistakes. In addition I am over all awkward person.

    • Hello, there is a certain problem with my social life, that is the language barrier! That’s strange I guess, cuz l live in Kazakhstan, it is a post-Soviet country. We have two official languages in our country, Kazakh and Russian. Most of our people who live in south Kazakhstan speak in Kazakh and most of the Northern folks speak in Russian. I am from the Southern region but I moved to the Northern region. I understand Russian and I can speak in Russian and explains things somehow, but this makes me feel nervous all the time when I speak in Russian because I am afraid of making mistakes. In addition, I am an overall awkward person. What advice would you give me?? Thank you! Godspeed!

  8. Hello David,

    Thank you for the emails, I started looking forward to them. I thought I was the only one that felt this away, so it’s refreshing to see that we can learn social skills. To come out of my shell, I joined a few dating sites but I get really stressed out over making small talks and conversations with guys fade easily. Still, I wan to keep trying, maybe I’ll read some books like you suggested. Thanks for the encouragement, they are really appreciated.

  9. Hi David

    I really enjoy your work. I have stuttered all my life but have never let it hold me back. Now that I follow your posts I really can identify with a lot of what you say and try to apply your advice in my daily life. When you stutter you are constantly trying to replace words with a word that you won’t stutter on to hide that you stutter. Now not many people even know I stutter. I find myself remembering your advice in my daily life and don’t feel as though I have to hide it. To my surprise I don’t think I stutter anymore.
    I thought I’d share this with you. I’d love to join your upcoming course.

  10. I can relate to you so much. When I end up in a social situation I can feel my hands clam up, my heart race and my brain start to overthink. I’ve always thought that the ‘magic key’ to being a likeable person is all based on looks, and even though the rational parts of my brain disagree it’s like my anxiety takes over and I lose control. I have no idea what I do wrong but I imagine that it’s worse in my head than reality. My goal in life is to be a leader, a charismatic and charming person that has no problems with making friends.


  11. I have read all of your emails especially Awkward to Awesome. All these people are in there 20’s and early 30’s, I can’t relate. I am 58 and not dead! I still want friends but can’t relate to younger people.

  12. And people & friends in social. Always wanted me to hang with them. Or chat. Yet i only do when im ready or feel i can. Thanks always for your tips and shares

  13. Hi old David. I knew where you were going when I saw your old picture. I can understand. Thinking the exact same way. However making friends came a bit natuaral to me. Almost thought i had to say the right thing yet, just asked one question then from there. Making friends were minumal to me small not large. Just a few basically. I do have a questions for you cant wait for you to awnser them. And thanks again.

  14. Hi David, you know I have tried what you do, how do you keep them talking? My mind is really playing tricks on me. I constantly have to keep correcting what is going on up there. Will this happen for the rest of my life? I feel like I am going crazy, constantly correcting what my mind is telling me.

  15. I’ve recently decided to start putting more effort into making conversations with people and keeping them going. I’m not shy, but i can be pretty quiet and not contribute much to group conversations. I’ve been trying to speak up and talk more about my experiences instead of mostly asking questions and expecting the other person to keep the conversation going. I’m proud of myself!

  16. I always got paranoid when I was little , I am still paranoid but not as much . For example, if someone didnt talk in a tone that i am used to hearing, I would make up so many scenarios with ” What if..” or “Did I do something wrong…”

    ,I am a person that notices every single thing about someone , even if I’ve met the person within an hour , I already read the body language , expression on their face.

    I technically know nearly everything about them and how they act.

    This is an advantage , but also an disadvantage… advantage is that I can understand the person by their body language and know when they’re lying or upset .

    But an disadvantage is that.. this got me very paranoid, once a person acts differently after I met them , i start linking things from start to end/now. Like what went wrong for them to act this way? Then they would get all annoyed with me about how I cant understand when they say they are okay, but I also need body language to get assured that they ARE actually okay .

    Now, I am trying to control on how I act or feel, when someone acts differently around me , I wont keep asking the same question over and over again , ask them once and if they reply , I nod and keep talking to them about something else.Yeah, my paranoia will kick in giving me anxiety , but positive thinking and meditation helps me keep that negative thinking under control

  17. I started this journey to helping myself be more social and attempt to be less anxious and awkward after an incident with my boyfriends family almost destroyed my relationship. It has been almost 3 weeks, I am still repairing my relationship, but i feel that the socialpro program and helpful emails have been helping me become more confident and less worried. To the point that i am less anxious when I go to talk to someone I barely know and more secure that the conversation went good instead of thinking negatively.

  18. There are so many techniques, pointers, and methods on this website. In a standard social interaction people don’t have time to go through all the information presented on this site when talking to someone. What do you recommend than?

  19. I am Alen from India. I am largely an introvert and have very less experience with the outside world than an average Indian, or Malayali (as people in the southern state of Kerala are called.) has.
    I live at my mother’s house and grew up without much friends at school and in my neighborhood. My mother was afraid of me being spoiled by the company of so kids near my home. So I wasn’t allowed to go out too far. I didn’t make good friends at school as well. Hence, I don’t know many aspects of social life. I did have some friends, bug they were not much close. Finally, I got two boys and a girl as good friends. They had a Liberal outlook and were academically forward. But they are now far away from me studying higher courses. I didn’t move out of my home town and am studying at a state college in my town itself.
    My wishes to have some close friends, especially to have a good girl friend has pained me a lot. My friends don’t mind me much. And I am very unpopular due to my political policies. I want to be friends with a girl whom I studied with in an earlier class. But unfortunately, I didn’t know her then. She studies well and I liked most of her traits. I want her to be a good friend of mine. But she doesn’t talk much to boys. And my efforts to connect with her have somewhat failed to an extent that I think that she considers me as a flirt after she teased me when I tried to give a gift. I don’t know why I fail in such tasks. We meet at college. But I am afraid that other boys would tease me when I talk to a girl and she (my classmate) wouldn’t like to talk to me in our class. Mr. David, I am passing through your earlier stage. I don’t know if I would gain a good girl friend during my college years. Such failures and defeats have impacted my studies and I often turn to undesirable addictive behaviours like surfing the web for the wrong reasons. Can I really succeed?

  20. So, when I was about 14 I had a close group of friends, but one day things just changed. We just entered the Geography class and we were 4 friends who would always stay together.
    But the tables had only 3 chairs and I assumed that the 3 of them wanted to stay together. So I just sat behind to avoid rejection I guess. I didn’t want them to tell me: “ Can you stay somewhere else? We want to stay together.” I basically removed myself from my group of friends. But I didn’t want to. I was so scared that I would lose them that the exact thing happened. You may wonder : How can you lose your friends by not staying next to them in one class? Well, it just happened. I think it was because they thought I didn’t want to be with them anymore and so they avoided me. We stopped talking and became complete strangers.
    Now, just what you said, I meet people I would really like to stay in touch and become close friends but I am afraid to ask them out for the same reason: REJECTION and Embarrassment.

  21. i think theres a sweet spot that sometimes you get to with a person or group. Maybe its an evolutionary advantage even as we are inherently social creatures. I think you can be authentic and interesting but then you might be overly so and become too far ahead of the game. Ive seen folk who are very successful become really lonely and the opposite is also true, although we tend to concentrate on the aspects of weakness rather than strength. I believe the trick is is to take people with your adventures into the unknown. So you become successful as a group. Taking it in turns to lead and be led. Acting is a great example of this. Ive been the non speaking roll, been part of the dance team, been the lead lady and even written my own script. Ive been the baddy and the hero. Ive been the stage manager and the makeup artist. The sound engineer. Worked in this troup and in this other one. Worked on my own and gathered my own theatre around me, giving the audience interactive bit parts. I still suffer from poor social skills in new situations but it only takes the entry of one person who knows me to break the ice and Im joining in with no problem. Its taken me many years to get this far. I cant change the poor social skills but I can change the rest.

  22. So far since receiving your emails I have been practicing the advice you’ve been giving and I’ve seen a lot of progress. At work a lot of my coworkers have been coming up and talking to me just because I look more approachable and ive actually been able to successfully carry out a conversation like a normal person. I still mess up sometimes, say something weird and stutter. But I try very hard not to let that get to me. It’s a work a progress!

  23. Thank you David. As an awkward person, and a boring one, this motivates me to learn connecting with others because I realised that communication skills can take us to many opportunities. All I need is to start, and you’re an inspiration because you once were like me. ^^

    • Thanks David when I hear you explain your situation that you once had about social phobia and how you overcame, I’m encouraged to believe that I too will overcome. I’m not where I used to be a few years ago but I still struggle.

  24. well, I look forward to be social in these days but also planning to be a good engineer (in work affinity) and to learn kung fu, to learn in concervator intruments of music 😉

    best regards.

  25. Thanks David, i love watching and listening to motivational speeches – makes you feel you can do anything – but after the bustle of the moment, when the hype is gone, am left with the same old me. How can i internalise the feeling?

    You talked about about asking about people’s view on a subject matter, but how can i walk up to a stranger and ask what is YOUR plans for the next five years, or who do YOU see yourself as? Wouldnt i come out as freaky and a weirdo?

  26. Hi David

    I relate so much in your journey. Rejection in social settings is my daily bread, even worse for me my lack of confidence is often seen as lack of intelligence. I have tried turning things around since I can remember but I guess I lack motivation. Thanks for sharing your journey its realy inspiring

  27. Hi David,

    This exactly sums up my thinking and experience so far – What you said about feeling like you’re not interesting, waiting to be ‘successful’. I definitely need a different strategy and I really need to get there fast. Any courses / books you would recommend to help speed-up the process?

  28. Hi. David my name is Margarita and I struggle to have a conversation with people, even more, connect with them. I do have friends but when I’m in a group I feel like I don’t belong because my friends act like i’m not there. I wasn’t like this but things have affected me so bad that my hands get sweaty just thinking of talking to people, when I’m with people or in a classroom, it’s hard for me to express what I feel about things like books, movies, etc. and when I try to explain or talk I begin to stutter and I get the feeling that those around me want me to stop talking or are bored. I hope that in the future I would be able to express myself confidently getting my point across without stuttering and that people would connect with me and love to have conversations with me.

  29. Sometimes I feel like my mind is not with me. It’s like I know what my body is doing but I feel everything from really far away, I’m slow and numb. I call it the cloud because it feels like I’m surrounded by a thick cloud that suffocates the exterior

  30. Many years ago when I was in middle school I wrote an anonymous letter to the guy I secretly liked. I forgot to change the handwriting… I had to leave early for the dentist and when I came back everybody knew it was me. This girl, the cause for most of my insecurity had compared every journal to see who matched the handwriting. I was so embarrassed about it that every time somebody asked me about it I would say I didn’t know what I was thinking. I kept quiet because i was terrified of what they might think of me and I never talked about it with him. I wish I had because I still like him and I haven’t seen him in years.
    After a year in high school, I changed schools there wasn’t really a reason I just did. So it was that same girl’s birthday party and she invited me. When I got there she started bombarding me with questions about my new friends. She knew most people of my new school so I felt intimidated because i didn’t get along with those people. She called me a loser in front of all those people. I was so embarrassed I always felt insecure about myself and my friend choice but I’m glad I didn’t involve myself with them because they are really messed up. And she is the reason for most of my insecurities I still haven’t gotten over all of that and I dont know how to do it

  31. Never had much in the wayof social skills, especially with the girls. Lost the few Skills, since I have been single again. Really need to regain skills, but confidence is lacking

  32. This topic started to haunt me as I got older (40s). In the workplace, social work settings, making friends in an old neighborhood and now a new one. I could say I loathe small talk and prefer a one to one, deeper discussion. Doesn’t need to be too deep, but of some substance. I love my BFs and just being with them, but there’s dinners, and other social things that I’m interested in but loathe the talk. I have friends who are terrific in this area, so I’ve tried to take notes from them but not working.

    My best social experiences are in my hiking group where you walk side by side vs. looking at one another. WHAT? Any insight on this one?! Thanks.

    • Sounds like you might need to simply look in their eyes and learn to enjoy small talk. It also sounds like you feel inferior to the one you are talking to. You might want to look into that more. Do you think you might be expecting too much too soon or with too little effort?

  33. Thanks for this advice, David. It’s so easy for me to get trapped in my head and think being socially awkward is just who I am, but I know it’s not true because it’s not how I am around my brothers. Almost like the awkwardness and nervousness is a mask I put on out of fear when I’m around people I don’t know as well. You mentioned reading books about conversation; what are some of the books that helped you on your journey, David?

  34. I’m going to meet up with friends. Next Week even in a neighbouring country (South Poland). I haven’t neglected friends I would say but they all need to meet my daughter Sini – of fairly equal age to them and she’s taller than most of them.
    Can’t look by as the social efforts I made last Year and 2016 vain by and they don’t even know anything at all about her existence

  35. My significant other passed last year together unsepaeratble for 21 years.
    I didn’t keep in contact with no one
    left that behind In past had my everything with me and that was gone
    So became isolated low self-esteem didn’t care.Now I got myself into becoming the best me time will tell
    Thank you your info is helping me with my decisions about life

    Thank you

  36. I was not so social during my college days. Got panic attacks on talking to girls and teachers and strangers. But when I got a job, I decided to change that. I practiced giving a speech which helped me in my biz skill sessions. During the training months, the people were really supportive and encouraged me to be more open. I became too open and hurt some people’s feelings.
    Then I got my posting and the people there were also supportive, but that did no help to my sudden anxiety attacks that would cramp up my stomach. I isolated myself. After few months, there were new additions to our team and I thought it as an opportunity to restart my social interactions. I mixed with people, became open in interactions, this time considering other people’s feelings, did not have hate small talks anymore, and everything was going fine.
    But then again something happened and minimalized my interactions with people. Recently I came across your site and subscribed to it. It is really helping me practically. Clearing most of my questions and doubts that were holding me from being socially active. Also many if the techniques like finding common ground and all, I have applied them and seen great results before I read this site. I always wanted someone
    who would mentor me on this. This site was recommended to me by a colleague a year ago but I ignored it saying I will let things happen naturally. I have improved no doubt by doing natural trial and error, but it sometimes costs friendships. This site is great. I will take things slowly this time, without putting too much effort to change my basic self, without allowing too little change to make myself better. thanks David for putting your experiences out here. I look forward to the journey from being awkward to awesome. Speaking of which, how do I join that program?

  37. For about four years ago I started playing basketball and I dared to talk to anyone there, I never became a part of the group so after half a year I left. After that I realised that I have to change my behaviour in new groups, communicate more and dare to be heard. So I challenged myself, I went on a language trip, I started in athletics, I shifted class and so on. Today I’m still the shy one but at a whole new level. Hence, I think it is important for us to challenge ourselves, even if it’s terrifying sometimes. Because otherwise we will miss out on SO many stuff. If I would be the same person I was when I joined the basketball team I wouldn’t even have half as many friends as I have now.

  38. Honestly, I do think I could end up improving my awkwardness and that it’s not just who I am. But what if everyone else that’s seen you thinks that? Everyone at my school has already made up their mind about me and think of me as the quiet shy and boring person with no social skills and I think they would think it would be too weird if I suddenly start to change.

  39. This is so true! But I would argue that even those so-called “social butterflies” have a lot to learn before they can actually connect with just about anybody. Even with experience, they don’t truly understand the specific, psychological principles that underly having a good conversation. Some of them tend to sound very narcissistic and self-centered when they talk with others, and some might have some underlying prejudice against certain types of people. I feel like anybody could learn from a guidebook on social skills to take their own ability to bond and have conversations to the next level. I personally struggle with deciding who I want to be friends with and how to expand my social network, despite having a good understanding of social skills, and I never invited people out to a fun, enjoyable event.

    • Absolutely! Often I find others insistently talk about themselves. The conversation is so one sided and that is where I start to go sideways. I run out of questions. Don’t want to be overly inquisitive. I excuse myself and run. Sometimes I even head to the ladies room just to regroup!

  40. Similar to your story I’ve always just assumed that my awkwardness and nervousness meeting people was just the way I am. I never really questioned it. However I do considered myself to be an excellent learner and hearing you say that these are skills to be learned puts some of my anxiety to ease. Looking forward to more!

  41. Hi David
    Thank you for sharing your story in such a humble and honest way, quite inspiring.

    Anyway I struggle with confidence in Social situations whilst also worrying too much about what others think of me. Therefore I find it difficult to make deeper connections with existing friends and other people.

    • <3

      I've noticed recently many of our readers share that problem with you, I'll try to write more about it in the future.

  42. I never mentioned how much strength It must of taken
    to be where you are today
    being so patient & having the most fantastic belief in your self will not been easy
    Using a strategy propelled you forward
    and helpt you Endure others whilst exercising amazing faith towards your plans.
    You set goals that you desired to achieve and
    you went all out for them and never lost sight of you vision dreams & direction.
    You are amazingly motivated & driven.

  43. Thank you David for sharing your story. I recognice myself in most of it. I can still feel the pain and shame when I think back at some occations way back. For me, shame came along with the feeling of beeing a social failure. Then my fright got me to be a bit suspicious to new people and I can now , years after se that I acted in a way that most likely made people avoid me. Also, I avoided and said no to many things because of my social “imparement”.
    I belive I gradually “got better” as years gone by but still I feel at ease only with a few. I really would like to make new friends but I still find it SO SO hard! Well, I`m glad I got my eyes on your letters, gave me some hope!:) In one of your earlier e-mail you said something that made me SO happy and that made me feel that FINALLY! Here is someone who knows what he is actually talking about. It was the word about skipping the self-help ideas about “just throw youreself out there, -talk to 10 new strangers every day! Instead you said something about expanding your comfortzone in small steps..Thank you!! Look forward reading your next e-mail:) // Ingrid

  44. Hi David and team social pro!

    I think that your story is amazing David! ? And as I writen before I think that what you’ll doing here at socialPro is amazing. ??

    I think I alreaddy shared my story; I like my ponytail ? doing my best to get out in that social life again (not as god at talking as at writing). But more to my story is that I meet a guy who was narcissist. So my shame over what he did to me keeping me from my social life (and my old friends) sometime. So you and your team are my inspiration right now! ??

    • Thank you so much Camilla! That means a lot to me 😀

      I’m glad we can be a part of your process to heal and be yourself again. Narcissists are the worst… I have friends with narcissistic parents so I know what kind of damage people like that can do and how tough it is to heal 🙁 I can recommend this forum for people who share your experience with a narcissistic partner:

      People like you inspire me to keep doing this!

  45. Hello David,

    thank you very much for sharing your story and giving us helpful advice.

    So here’s my story:

    Before I started working on my social skills, I had a bad case of social anxiety. During that period I was actively avoiding people due to my lack of social skills and fear of getting into conversations. When I had to talk to people, our conversations quickly came to a halt and i felt like a wall or a drain – people talked to me, but my responses were basic at best.

    Several months ago I realized I needed to change so I started working on my confidence to get rid of my social anxiety. I’ve succeeded in getting rid of my fear of entering conversations and I do okay in one-on-one conversations.
    Howewer, my mind still goes blank when I’m in a group setting because I don’t know what to say. I also sometimes get interrupted while speaking and in those situations I just go silent and let that person speak.

    So to wrap this up, I’ve made some progress thanks to some self-help books, videos and websites (including your blog), but i know there’s still a lot to learn when it comes to social skills.

    Best regards, Onurb

  46. I am so fed up I don’t know what direction to take anymore
    What can i do about cruel jealous people who stop me from advancing to the next level because of my successes working with vulnerable people and being popular with people.
    These are people who I thought weren’t close friends I am withdrawing into myself , I am been overlooked for promotion to full time work from volunteering the last year radio stations invited me to tell my amazing story for mental awareness with what am i to do

  47. Hello David, I really need help, I don’t know what to say to people, after the occasional hello, I go blank, I would think and think and nothing comes to mind, eventually I would just give up and think “why do I have to start the conversation anyway”

    Please help

  48. I appreciate you sharing this information with us. I also have difficulty with conversations. I am shy, and usually don’t know what to say to people after hello. I would also like to feel confident when meeting or entertaining people.


    • Thanks Debra, just knowing where your difficulties lie is the first step towards dealing with them. Many people never even have the courage to admit they’re not perfect. Look out for my next mail, I think it might give you a push in the right direction. Thank you so much for sharing!

  49. Thank you so much for sharing David! To be honest I feel like my path has just started. I have a couple of friends but I don’t really feel I can share everything with them, I want to get closer with my friends and to be more relaxed meeting new friends. So far I feel like I have taken the “safe” path in life. I have always been so afraid of people not liking me.

  50. Hey David,

    That’s an awesome honest story.
    My realization is similar,… often there is this thought, that what you think is what you are. But what you DO is what you are. So doing social, makes you social.

    I started off as a geeky college student, but through trial and error. Going to parties of strangers, studying abroad and stepping up to new people, I learned to be social. And see me as socially versed.

    Best, Timon


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