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Old 01-14-2012, 04:31 PM   #21
 
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Do you read a lot? Is there a character with whom you identify? Maybe putting yourself in that (articulate) character's shoes when you're in a challenging situation would help.
As a child, I had a voracious appetite for reading. It was all I did for fun for much of my childhood. We were poor, lived far from a library and were without a car after a certain point, so I read the same books over and over or I sneaked my mom's books. That's how I amassed a relatively large vocabulary early on. Then, as a teen, I was a black-out drunk, self-medicating myself with whichever mind-altering substances I could get my hands on. This stopped for the most part after about age 18--when I removed myself from that particular toxic atmosphere. Now I drink only on rare special occasions--and very little even then. Many years later, after hearing that excessive alcohol intake can cause atrophy of parts of the brain, I suspected that this may be the culprit, but an MRI last month showed a brain without atrophy--much to my surprise.

These days, I'm battling some depression, so my attention span doesn't allow for much reading. I have terrible difficulty focusing or even feeling interested in reading. It makes me very sad when I think back to how much pleasure I used to derive from reading. It was my escape before I discovered alcohol.
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Old 01-14-2012, 04:38 PM   #22
 
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why not express yourself more here.
practice with us!
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Old 01-14-2012, 04:54 PM   #23
 
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why not express yourself more here.
practice with us!
Why...so you can just ignore me? LOL...I know you "corrected" your "omission." I checked before I commented here.

Haha, I have been since losing my job! I used to be a 100% lurker for years. I have to say that being a member here has definitely increased my vocabulary, so it HAS helped already in that respect. I avoid excessive posting because I don't want to get caught up in too much drama. Have enough of that in my personal life right now. And, I tend not to get anything done around the house if I get too involved in something on the computer.
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Old 01-14-2012, 05:39 PM   #24
 
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Do you read a lot? Is there a character with whom you identify? Maybe putting yourself in that (articulate) character's shoes when you're in a challenging situation would help.
As a child, I had a voracious appetite for reading. It was all I did for fun for much of my childhood. We were poor, lived far from a library and were without a car after a certain point, so I read the same books over and over or I sneaked my mom's books. That's how I amassed a relatively large vocabulary early on. Then, as a teen, I was a black-out drunk, self-medicating myself with whichever mind-altering substances I could get my hands on. This stopped for the most part after about age 18--when I removed myself from that particular toxic atmosphere. Now I drink only on rare special occasions--and very little even then. Many years later, after hearing that excessive alcohol intake can cause atrophy of parts of the brain, I suspected that this may be the culprit, but an MRI last month showed a brain without atrophy--much to my surprise.

These days, I'm battling some depression, so my attention span doesn't allow for much reading. I have terrible difficulty focusing or even feeling interested in reading. It makes me very sad when I think back to how much pleasure I used to derive from reading. It was my escape before I discovered alcohol.
I also read voraciously as a child, including while walking (I'm lucky I had friends to shout "POLE!" for me every once in a while), and even though we did live near a library, I could only get there so often, lol. I was always sneaking whatever books I could reach, because though my parents tried to keep me stocked with reading material, they were fighting a losing battle. I'm sure we learned some interesting stuff that way. I also relate to your last paragraph...I'm dealing with some depression, too, and I hate not even feeling that itch to open a good book. A book I pre-ordered just arrived for me two days ago, so I should be over the moon and halfway through it by now, but it's like I've somehow reverse-metamorphosed and become a caterpillar when I used to be a butterfly. Everything's so heavy and slow. I'm determined to make myself read this book, though, because I know I'll love it and I hope that after I get myself started, I'll be eager to continue like I always was. I at least want reading back! I hope you get your spark back soon, HC.

As for the initial topic of the thread, I'm definitely an introvert - being in large crowds is exhausting for me and conversations with people I don't know, at least when I need to make a good impression, feel like a walk on a tightrope. I'm a work in progress, but in my teen years was when I started really teaching myself how to cover for that. I've found that when I have some focus, like "I must show this person how useful I am so I can do XYZ here," it's no longer about me being uncomfortable; it's about accomplishing a goal, and I am all over that. The tightrope walk becomes an exhibition of skill, like I'm a performer in a circus instead of just some poor sap that got pushed out onto a wobbly rope against her will. Losing words was never a big problem for me, but being and looking anxious certainly was, and this is something that I've found helps. I can also say from experience that after years of doing it, it'll pretty much become second nature, so that's a plus! If the anxiety really builds up to the point of wanting to fidget and maybe distracting yourself with controlling your body (IDK if this is an issue for you at all), I've read that curling your toes in your shoes is a good way to get rid of that nervous energy without anyone being the wiser - I plan to try that myself the next time my buffer's walked away and left me in the middle of a crowd.
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Old 01-14-2012, 05:48 PM   #25
 
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Like others have said, this is a common problem w/introverts... I highly recommend reading "The Introvert Advantage" by Marti Laney... it really changed my life!
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Old 01-14-2012, 06:21 PM   #26
 
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My husband is much the same way. He tends to sort of think out loud, especially when problem solving, which translates to a lot of people as rambling. He's also an introvert and finds being around people all day draining. Oddly, he's a very good public speaker; he says it's because he can prepare in advance and he's in control of the situation. However, he finds conversation (especially in group settings, like dinner parties) very difficult because off-topic thoughts throw him for a loop.
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Old 01-14-2012, 06:39 PM   #27
 
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Yeah, it's a common "I" problem. We're more comfortable alone or, at least, we find being among people draining. I think it's something you can retrain yourself out of, like a stutter.
The "I" part makes sense, but I was surprised by the "NT" part!
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Old 01-14-2012, 07:30 PM   #28
 
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If I thought they couldn't smell the booze on my breath I might try that!
You may want to look into using beta-blockers for anxiety. Unlike sedatives, they won't interfere with your ability to think or remember, and they're not addictive. A beta-blocker is a type of medication for treating high blood pressure. You can just take a dose of beta-blocker before or during stressful situations. It will stop the cycle of anxiety leading to higher blood pressure leading to more anxiety leading to even higher blood pressure, etc. Yeah, I'm totally pimping them. But as someone with an anxiety disorder, I find that they're pretty much the best thing ever.

A good way to become more articulate is to talk to yourself--when you're alone, of course. It's great practice for putting your thoughts into words.
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Old 01-14-2012, 08:24 PM   #29
 
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Oddly, he's a very good public speaker; he says it's because he can prepare in advance and he's in control of the situation.
Public speaking is totally different to me, too. If you're gonna put me in a room with a crowd of strangers, you'd better either put me in a corner or onstage. It's like the energy that just hangs around you to be sapped away becomes a tool you can use, and you're the one deciding where it goes, if that makes any sense. I also love a written or verbal chance to entertain people in general.
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Old 01-14-2012, 09:06 PM   #30
 
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Oddly, he's a very good public speaker; he says it's because he can prepare in advance and he's in control of the situation.
Public speaking is totally different to me, too. If you're gonna put me in a room with a crowd of strangers, you'd better either put me in a corner or onstage. It's like the energy that just hangs around you to be sapped away becomes a tool you can use, and you're the one deciding where it goes, if that makes any sense. I also love a written or verbal chance to entertain people in general.
I'm the same way. I've never done any public speaking, but I have no problems performing. I don't get stage anxiety at all. I worry more about being late, or picking out the perfect outfit then getting up on stage. I don't even care if I make mistakes. I know exactly what I need to do, and have realistic expectations. My goal is to be entertaining, not perfect.

After the performance is a different story. Having a bunch of people approaching me afterwards . . . I appreciate the compliments, but it gets really overwhelming. I feel like I have a hundred people surrounding me, and staring at me and I have no idea what to do. lol
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Old 01-14-2012, 09:14 PM   #31
 
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I so relate to all of that, cympreni! Having done a little of both, I think performing's even better than public speaking in this way, probably because there's even more emphasis on being entertaining over anything else. Makes it kind of a shock walking back down where all the people are, though. lol It's just like what you said, overwhelming. After performing my final scene in my acting class in college, I could feel the muscles in my face and body tensing as I walked offstage. I wish I could just will them to relax. I've sure done a lot of trying!
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Old 01-14-2012, 09:23 PM   #32
 
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Maybe try Toastmasters? It's a great way to work on the problem and build an incredible network of friends.

Toastmasters International - Home
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You could join a social club that specializes in networking, or in speaking, like toastmasters.
I was thinking about Toastmasters, but I thought it was about public speaking. I don't have a problem with public speaking...well, not any more than the average person. But I actually grew to enjoy my public speaking class in college. Great idea, though...that's why I came here!

Mrspoppers, I started on 75 mg daily of Zoloft nearly 2 months ago... Still waiting to see if it's going to be effective. Didn't help yesterday unfortunately. May still be working up to the therapeutic dosage.
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Old 01-14-2012, 09:26 PM   #33
 
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My husband is much the same way. He tends to sort of think out loud, especially when problem solving, which translates to a lot of people as rambling. He's also an introvert and finds being around people all day draining. Oddly, he's a very good public speaker; he says it's because he can prepare in advance and he's in control of the situation. However, he finds conversation (especially in group settings, like dinner parties) very difficult because off-topic thoughts throw him for a loop.
That's me. I always ran into overtime with my speeches in college. If I can prepare, I can talk all day.
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Old 01-14-2012, 09:29 PM   #34
 
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If I thought they couldn't smell the booze on my breath I might try that!
You may want to look into using beta-blockers for anxiety. Unlike sedatives, they won't interfere with your ability to think or remember, and they're not addictive. A beta-blocker is a type of medication for treating high blood pressure. You can just take a dose of beta-blocker before or during stressful situations. It will stop the cycle of anxiety leading to higher blood pressure leading to more anxiety leading to even higher blood pressure, etc. Yeah, I'm totally pimping them. But as someone with an anxiety disorder, I find that they're pretty much the best thing ever.

A good way to become more articulate is to talk to yourself--when you're alone, of course. It's great practice for putting your thoughts into words.
I wonder if those would be contraindicated with the Zoloft. I, too, have social anxiety. I spoke to my dr about this problem when he first prescribed the Zoloft. In fact, I had to write him a note because during my first appointment, I felt very rushed by him, and that's when it's the worst for me. So, I wrote him a note for the next appointment, explaining the problem, so that I would be able to express myself without the struggle. I'm comfortable with him now and don't really have a problem communicating with him anymore. I think his hope is that the Zoloft will help me with this as well.
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Dood, get over it; there's no time limit on lurking.

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Old 01-14-2012, 10:50 PM   #35
 
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INTP here, and I have the same issue. It's part being so in my head as an introvert, part the N thing of pinging off of all the different possibilities and thinking in the abstract, so the concept or feeling comes to me before the word does, and part the P thing of not being able to commit to one answer because I want to keep all options open. And then the other piece of the puzzle is social anxiety from being so self-conscious about all of the above, and assuming no one else has this problem. :-P

I've performed since I was a kid, have no problem with public speaking, and have no problem with speaking about subjects I'm well-versed in--which I have to do in my job as a professor. I'm not saying I never ramble, but the words seem to come more easily in these subjects.

I've also learned to fake being socially confident, but I'm usually pretty anxious, and definitely an introvert. Faking it is sometimes good, and sometimes bites me in the butt, b/c people assume if I'm not interacting with them, I'm a snob, rather than just shy or awkward. Blerg. Something I learned, but often forget, is that it's the judging of the interactions as awkward/a failure that exacerbates the anxiety, rather than the situation itself. I need to stop being so harsh with myself. I think a lot of folks never examine and judge their social interactions as much as I do.
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Old 01-15-2012, 05:16 AM   #36
 
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Maybe try Toastmasters? It's a great way to work on the problem and build an incredible network of friends.

Toastmasters International - Home
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Originally Posted by JewelCurls View Post
You could join a social club that specializes in networking, or in speaking, like toastmasters.
I was thinking about Toastmasters, but I thought it was about public speaking. I don't have a problem with public speaking...well, not any more than the average person. But I actually grew to enjoy my public speaking class in college. Great idea, though...that's why I came here!

Mrspoppers, I started on 75 mg daily of Zoloft nearly 2 months ago... Still waiting to see if it's going to be effective. Didn't help yesterday unfortunately. May still be working up to the therapeutic dosage.
Zoloft doesnt seem to help me with this problem. Ive been on it for a while.

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If I thought they couldn't smell the booze on my breath I might try that!
You may want to look into using beta-blockers for anxiety. Unlike sedatives, they won't interfere with your ability to think or remember, and they're not addictive. A beta-blocker is a type of medication for treating high blood pressure. You can just take a dose of beta-blocker before or during stressful situations. It will stop the cycle of anxiety leading to higher blood pressure leading to more anxiety leading to even higher blood pressure, etc. Yeah, I'm totally pimping them. But as someone with an anxiety disorder, I find that they're pretty much the best thing ever.

A good way to become more articulate is to talk to yourself--when you're alone, of course. It's great practice for putting your thoughts into words.
I wonder if those would be contraindicated with the Zoloft. I, too, have social anxiety. I spoke to my dr about this problem when he first prescribed the Zoloft. In fact, I had to write him a note because during my first appointment, I felt very rushed by him, and that's when it's the worst for me. So, I wrote him a note for the next appointment, explaining the problem, so that I would be able to express myself without the struggle. I'm comfortable with him now and don't really have a problem communicating with him anymore. I think his hope is that the Zoloft will help me with this as well.
Beta blockers are an interesting suggestion. Im on those too (for a heart condition). My problem is in social situations rather than professional. Im very confident when interviewing. I tend to perform very well in interviews, always have. I never thought about how BBs helped me feel emotionally.
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Old 01-15-2012, 07:18 AM   #37
 
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If I thought they couldn't smell the booze on my breath I might try that!
You may want to look into using beta-blockers for anxiety. Unlike sedatives, they won't interfere with your ability to think or remember, and they're not addictive. A beta-blocker is a type of medication for treating high blood pressure. You can just take a dose of beta-blocker before or during stressful situations. It will stop the cycle of anxiety leading to higher blood pressure leading to more anxiety leading to even higher blood pressure, etc. Yeah, I'm totally pimping them. But as someone with an anxiety disorder, I find that they're pretty much the best thing ever.

A good way to become more articulate is to talk to yourself--when you're alone, of course. It's great practice for putting your thoughts into words.

I wonder if those would be contraindicated with the Zoloft
. I, too, have social anxiety. I spoke to my dr about this problem when he first prescribed the Zoloft. In fact, I had to write him a note because during my first appointment, I felt very rushed by him, and that's when it's the worst for me. So, I wrote him a note for the next appointment, explaining the problem, so that I would be able to express myself without the struggle. I'm comfortable with him now and don't really have a problem communicating with him anymore. I think his hope is that the Zoloft will help me with this as well.
I didn't know beta-blockers were being used for anxiety. Very interesting. I was going to post about possible contraindications. I used to be on propranolol (a beta-blocker) for severe cluster headaches and it's one of those meds that does not play well with others. I didn't do well on the therapeutic levels required for headache prophylaxis. I felt sluggish, mildly depressed and the drug made me gain weight. It was hard to get a good workout and reach my THR, since the drug treats hypertension. Definitely talk to your doctor. If there are no potential harmful interactions with Zoloft, beta-blockers could be worth looking into. It also sounds better than taking some of the more habit-forming anti-anxiety drugs.

I wish you all the best, Honeycurls.
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Old 04-26-2012, 11:50 AM   #38
 
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Like others have said, this is a common problem w/introverts... I highly recommend reading "The Introvert Advantage" by Marti Laney... it really changed my life!
Bumping this thread for 2 reasons. One, to thank Katiecurl for recommending this book. I lurked on this thread back in January, finally ordered the book, and wow! I mean, I always knew I was an introvert (INFJ here), but I never really understood that a lot of what I always felt was just my own personal brand of weirdness was as a direct result of being an introvert! The whole way through the book was just "Yep, I do that." "Yeah, that's me" Just very comforting and freeing to read all of that and put a lot of different thing together, so thanks!

Also wanted to check in and see how Honeycurls is doing. And thank you also, Honeycurls, for starting your thread!
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Old 04-26-2012, 12:32 PM   #39
 
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I haven't read this book but, as an INFP, I'm putting it on my list!

Our office did a "team building" day in December where we all took the Myers Briggs. Now we have our "letters" under our names on our doors/cubicles. Knowing somebody's personality type right up front can actually be *really* useful in a work setting!
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Old 04-26-2012, 01:46 PM   #40
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I haven't read this book but, as an INFP, I'm putting it on my list!

Our office did a "team building" day in December where we all took the Myers Briggs. Now we have our "letters" under our names on our doors/cubicles. Knowing somebody's personality type right up front can actually be *really* useful in a work setting!
That is such a good idea! I think people should take advantage of personality typing more than they do... I've been trying to talk the people I volunteer with into doing this, so that we can all figure out how to work together better. They don't seem too open to the idea. Hmph.

I watched this TED video a little while ago about introverts that was awesome: Susan Cain: The power of introverts | Video on TED.com

I'd love to read her book, once I get some free time!
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