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Any tips in how to solve communication problems?

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  • #400016
    Eric
    Participant

    Dear anita,

     

    she didn’t intend to hurt your feelings, but she should have been aware that her question was likely to hurt your feelings. And with that awareness, she should have exercised self-control and not ask you how tall you are.

    it is unfortunate that short men suffer discrimination in a variety of contexts. I wish it wasn’t so.

    = I suddenly remembered that i experience this kind of situation back when i was still in high school, it was at the prom night… and at that time there is an event on which male student would win the best suit for the prom night…. and turns out it was my junior who won (chosen by the student council)…. i don’t really care much because i never expect myself to win…..

    Then one of my friends told me “it should be you who won, but i guess maybe it’s because you’re short so it’s kind of hard”

    Well it took me a lot of time to dress nicely as i have my preparations a week before the prom night….. i really wanted to look good but i never intend to win the best suit… i just wanted people to praise how i look…..

    I knew his words are genuine, and he’s really hoping that i should’ve got the best suit…. but then those words really hurt my feelings…. i went home feeling down… at that moment i realized that there’s no hope for short guys to get the best looks in a party…

    Here i notice there are lots of people who don’t realize that their words could hurt other people’s feelings (although they didn’t intend to hurt their feelings)… Besides good communication skills, i guess i’ll also have to learn on how to have a strong mentality to avoid feeling down due to other people’s words…..

     

     

    Also,

    Today i’m going to share my progress in communicating with those people in the gym…. and turns out i still can’t talk to that guy who used to offer me his eggs….. So today after finishing my exercise with my trainer, i sit in the lobby playing with my phone and then that guy sit next to me watching tv while eating his eggs…. but we didnt talk at all…… I’m forcing myself to talk to him but it wont come out….. i still havent dominate this anxiety and also i dont know what words to initiate with him…. He’s sitting there beside me for like 10 minutes and both of us didn’t say a word…. I thought he already labelled me as the “unapproachable” guy…. But then after he finished watching, he asks me “do u want to watch the tv, here’s the remote”…. then i smiled “no thank you”… then he closed the tv……. I was shocked that he still initiate a convo with me…….

    I’m still mad at myself, like how many attemps do i need to succeed……..

     

    #400017
    Eric
    Participant

    Dear Helcat,

    I think the reason why i’m feeling awkward to say hello, because i’ve been living 2 decades without saying hello to other people first….

    Usually i ended up being friends with someone is due to them saying hello first….

    My assumption is that i develop this attitude from my dad, because he’s the serious type of person and never says hello first…. But i really want to improve this attitude of mine…..

    Do u think the only way to stop feeling awkward from saying hello and other small talks is by forcing myself to practice doing it? and no other choice?

     

    #400021
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Eric:

    I knew his words are genuine, and he’s really hoping that I should’ve got the best suit…. but then those words really hurt my feeling… there are lots of people who don’t realize that their words could hurt other people’s feelings (although they didn’t intend to hurt their feelings)” – I agree, it reads like he did not at all mean to hurt your feelings. He was thinking out loud (talking at the same time he was thinking), but we all need to talk after we think (not at the same time), so to have the time to choose our words and avoid saying things that may hurt people’s feelings.

    I went home feeling down… at that moment I realized that there’s no hope for short guys to get the best looks in a party” – I feel sad for the younger Eric at the prom, with his nice suit, being yet again reminded of his height and going home feeling down. I wish you had a good experience during and after prom night!

    Besides good communication skills, I guess I’ll also have to learn on how to have a strong mentality to avoid feeling down due to other people’s words” – it will be difficult to not at all feel down at the mention of your height (or at the mention of other topics that bother you). But you can learn to feel less and less down… and someday in the future, you will no longer feel down. I bet it will feel like a miracle, when that happens!?

    * Wikipedia has an entry on height discrimination, it reads in part: “Height discrimination (also known as heightism) is prejudice or discrimination against individuals based on height… Research indicates that the human brain uses height as one factor to measure social status and fitness”, there other sources of information regarding this unfortunate form of discrimination, which is painful for many, many men.

    Today I’m going to share my progress in communicating with those people n the gym…. and turns out I still can’t talk to that guy who used to offer me his eggs… I’m forcing myself to talk to him but it won’t come out….. I still haven’t dominate this anxiety… But then after he finished watching, he asks me ‘do u want to watch the tv, here’s the remote”…. then I smiled ‘no thank you”… then he closed the tv……. I was shocked that he still initiate a convo with me……. I’m still mad at myself, like how many attempts do I need to succeed” –

    – I appreciate you wanting to share your progress with me!

    Please don’t be mad at yourself. It is clear to me that you suffer from social anxiety. I posted to you about it before. There are many online sources, books and workbooks in regard to managing and healing from social anxiety, and anxiety in general. Maybe those sources can help you!

    anita

    #400022
    Helcat
    Participant

    Hi Eric!

    That’s a good insight!

    Usually i ended up being friends with someone is due to them saying hello first….

    Exactly! Saying hello is one of the very first communications we have with people and how we begin to build a connection with them. Another way to think of it is like writing Dear X at the beginning of a reply here.

    It’s very clear that you want to work on this and are doing your best. It isn’t easy dealing with anxiety.

    I don’t think it’s the only way. But it is the quickest way. It’s going to take some time regardless because you aren’t used to it.

    The bonus of saying hello is that you don’t immediately have to stop and chat. It is socially acceptable to say hello in passing. Could be a good way to build up to doing something more difficult?

    Any time we do something outside of our comfort zone we feel uncomfortable. Until we get used to doing it and the activity becomes part of our comfort zone.

    That being said I think your idea of researching topics so you can communicate in a way that you are comfortable with is a good one.

    • This reply was modified 1 week, 5 days ago by Helcat.
    • This reply was modified 1 week, 5 days ago by Helcat.
    #400880
    Eric
    Participant

    Thank you anita and helcat for your sharing once again….

     

    Setting aside the topics we discussed above, I wanna share my today’s experience that causes me to feel so deeply sad inside.

    So today is my birthday, and this time none of my friends send me cakes anymore like in the previous years….. I’m not sure that this is just me being overdramatic or i havent understand how the adulthood works…. some of my friends are partly from uni and the other ones are from my highschool…. The ones who text me birthday wishes are only the people who i’m very close with and we text often…

    I was shocked that the only cake that i get is only from my family…..

    I usually get 3 cakes…. Since i graduated i’m not very close with my friends from uni but they still sent me cake (like 8 people purchase a cake for my birthday)…. All my uni friends are from the same country as me, but most of us are scattered on a different provinces..

    I always thought that they’ll still send me a cake till i marry someone, and due to this i’m still close enough to invite them…. but this situation makes me think that it’s quite impossible….

    I have more uni friends than my high school friends… my uni friends that usually purchase the cake for me are 8 people unlike my high school friends (4 people)…

    But today, i only got birthday wishes text from 2 people… and they are the ones that i frequently contact with…..

    Even my parents ask me, why didnt i get any cakes today from my friends……

    Usually me and my uni friends sent cakes to each of our friend every year… but i guess this year that trend is ending….

    But i assume it’s because few of my uni friends now have their girlfriend/boyfriend…so they are busy with themselves

    Today is another gloomy birthday of mine, just like last year…..

    I assume this how the adult life works is it?

     

    It’s not that i’m dwelling on this, it’s just that i feel sad….

    I dont really have many friends in this city, as i dont have many friends in my high school,  but i got quite a lot of friends in uni (unfortunately they dont live in my city)….

     

     

    I feel like anita is right, i’m too alone and too isolated… but i cant really help it…. my family is a lonely family (my dad’s family are not close to each other, therefore i dont have any cousins to contact with)

    whereas in my mom’s family (my mom’s mother divorce with my grandpa, and my mom is an only child)…. hence i dont have any close cousins from my mother..

     

    I guess maybe this is a sign for me to try to find someone so i wont get alone? (like a girlfriend), i’ve tried doing activities like going to the gym but still i still feel alone…..

     

     

     

     

     

    #400881
    Eric
    Participant

    *continuation from my reply above*

    Should i stop dwelling on that kind of situation and start behaving more like an adult?

    #400886
    anita
    Participant

    H A P P Y   B I R T H D A Y    ERIC !!!!

    I can’t send you a cake for your birthday but I can send you a birthday cake poem (from bing. com), so here it is:

    Candles on the birthday cake

    one added every year.

    Each candle holds a memory,

    each flame a thought sincere.

    A single match ignites a flame

    that one swift breath erases.

    Each flicker sparks a memory

    of special times and places.

    And now, to your post: you shared that your friends from uni (living in different provinces from you) used to send you cakes for your birthday. You thought that they will continue to do so until you get married, but this year, they did not send you any cakes and you are very sad about it.

    You are 23 today (Happy Birthday!) and you graduated uni in May 2020, two years ago.

    I (don’t) understand how the adulthood works… I assume it’s because few of my uni friends now have their girlfriend/ boyfriend so they are busy with themselves… I assume this how the adult life works, is it?” – if I remember correctly, your uni friends didn’t send you cakes on your last birthday either. So, if I get it correctly, they sent you cakes when you were still attending uni together, but not since graduation, right?

    I think that the answer to your questions is this: children and teenagers attending school,  and young adults attending college or university are very much inclined to socialize with each other. But after graduating university, the now adults in their 20s are not invested in socializing  with each other (especially when not living close to each other), and instead they focus on their jobs/ careers and romantic relationships.

    I guess maybe this is a sign for me to try to find someone so I won’t get alone? (like a girlfriend), I’ve tried doing activities like going to the gym but still I feel alone” – you’ve been wanting to have a girlfriend for a long time, but when a person suffers from generalized anxiety and social anxiety, it is very difficult to make friends and to have a romantic relationship.

    Should I stop dwelling on that kind of situation and start behaving more like an adult” – of course, if you can- you should stop dwelling on any painful situation.

    I want to close this post with the Serenity Prayer: “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, The courage to change the things I can, And the wisdom to know the difference”.

    anita

    #400896
    Helcat
    Participant

    Happy birthday Eric!

    I’m sorry that today has been a tough day emotionally for you. Today of all days, you deserve happiness.

    Personally, I have never received birthday cakes from friends. Cherish those memories! You’re right priorities do change for some people as they age. It doesn’t have to be a bad thing though, just a different thing. It sounds like they cherish the memories of being friends with you in high school and university, but as you said have lost touch living in different areas, moving on with their lives.

    I hope that you take extra special care of yourself today to soothe these birthday blues. You do deserve to be happy! Perhaps you could watch a favourite to show or movie?

    It’s good that your close friends reached out to wish you well on your birthday and that you got a birthday cake from your family. I hope you can arrange to do something fun to celebrate with your close friends at some point!

    #400920
    Eric
    Participant

    Dear anita,

    Thank you for the birthday poem !

     

    if I remember correctly, your uni friends didn’t send you cakes on your last birthday either. So, if I get it correctly, they sent you cakes when you were still attending uni together, but not since graduation, right?

    = Nope my uni friends did send me a cake after i graduate (so in 2020 and 2021 i receive cakes)… this is the first year i didnt receive any cake from them….

     

    Due to this situation, as you know how my brain works…

    I felt some sort of regret that i’ve invested so much time with those guys…. like if i find another group of friend in my uni days i could’ve had a different sort of friendship and maybe if i took that path i could even have a girlfriend now…

    Then i remember that i have social anxiety, and also i’m not confident with my body….. no wonder i befriend those group of friends…. because they accepted me… although in the end it ended up like this.

    I always had a mindset that the type of girl who’ll accept me is a girl who’s not confident on herself… that’s why she chose me….. But then i realize that this is a low self confidence thinking… and i need to develop more confidence in me…..

    I thought that i only can chase a girl who’s shorter than me……. and i’m too picky on choosing her face (it doesnt have to be pretty, but i have my own type)….

    Even now with a “more confident” mindset, i’m still not confident in chasing a girl who’s the same height as me…

     

    Also i need to engage in new activities (but my city doesnt offer lots of activities)… as in the last 2 years after graduating i havent met any “new” girls in town, so i dont know which girl to chase… At the same time, sometimes i feel comfortable being alone… watching tv in my room…. but i know i cant be like that, i need to go out an socialize as i wanna experience my first date.

     

     

    #400921
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Eric:

    You are welcome.  “Sometimes I feel comfortable being alone”  – having suffered from social anxiety for so long, I figure that you will always need alone time. Everyone needs alone time, but I figure you will need it more than others: let’s say you are married and have  irl friends- you’d still need lots of time alone:  spending time with others elevates social anxiety, and time alone calms social anxiety.

    you know how my brain works”– yes, I did learn over time, reading and participating in your many threads (in a few separate accounts) how your brain works. Here is key: the more you know how your own brain works, the better your life will be.

    I need to engage in new activities (but my city doesn’t offer lots of activities)” – if your city offered lots of activities, you wouldn’t attend most because of your social anxiety: you need just one activity that will fit you, for now.

    * Regarding you feeling as bad as you do about your short height: I feel very sad when see a taller man tease a shorter man. I see it happening and I see the shorter man’s feelings getting hurt. I wish people did  not tease, and instead treated each other with respect regardless of height!

    Having said it, there is a very famous American comedian by the name Kevin Hart. He  is either 5’2” (157.5 cm) or 5’4” (162.5 cm), or somwhere in between. I am mentioning him because I am wondering: if you watched a few youtubes of him sitting close to/ standing by/  interacting with people who are much taller than him-  maybe it will give you a visual of how it is possible for a much shorter man to feel comfortable being around much taller men. You can google “kevin hart playing basketball”, I think that it will link you to such videos.

    If you have this visual, maybe you will be able to imagine that it is possible for you too- one day in the future- to feel comfortable around taller people, men and women.

    In regard to your uni friends, I understand: they sent you birthday cakes in the last two years, but not this year. Like I mentioned in the last post to you, it is very, very common after high school and/ or after college- for people to lose interest in socializing with their high school/ college peers.

    anita

    #401094
    Eric
    Participant

    Dear helcat,

    Thank you for wishing me a happy birthday ! Sorry for replying late…

     

    Yes i’m cherishing those memories on my uni days… right now i’m still adapting to adult life, which is adapting to a life where everyone has their own goals and friends are no longer a priority…

    I do celebrate the birthday with my close friends… although it’s only the three of them, and turns out they brought me a birthday cake and i blew the birthday candle with those guys beside me…..

    I really appreciate their effort and are really thankful that i can stil celebrate a birthday with my friends…..

     

     

     

    #401103
    Eric
    Participant

    Dear anita,

    yes, I did learn over time, reading and participating in your many threads (in a few separate accounts) how your brain works. Here is key: the more you know how your own brain works, the better your life will be.

    = Day by day i understand more and more on how my brain works…

    Indeed as you’ve said before, my brain is filled with inferiority…. tbh sometimes i can contain this inferiority, the difficult part is that i’m a person who loves to get praised by someone (as i’ve ever mentioned previously that in my primary school days i always get good grades, and lots of people praised me, also at that time height isnt an issue at all)

    Right now i’m confused on what should i do to get people to praise me, it doesnt have to be a praise actually… but i want people to view me as someone who’s good at something… because no one ever knew what my specialties are…. even my parents….

    If i knew at that time, that they wont praise me for helping their business after graduating….. i wouldnt follow their advice on taking this degree…… And this gives me a mindset that if i have a child one day….. i’ll do a different method of guiding them on choosing their degree…… so he/she wont end up like me…

    Few months ago i keep regretting on why i didnt take a degree in animation (i wanted to take animation that time, but my parents convinced me that it’s better to take business degree and eventually help their business)…. because if i took that degree…. people will label me as “someone who can draw, or someone who specialize in arts”……. Then at that time i bought myself a drawing pad that could be connected to my laptop….. But it’s really hard… i guess i have no talent in drawing… maybe it’s just an interest of mine that i love japanese cartoons (anime) which prompted me to have thoughts of taking animation degree….

    I also consider to take graphic design that time…

    I feel like if i took one of these degrees, i can get lots of positives:

    – People will label me as an art person

    – At least i can do something related to drawing by drawing for other people online…. while doing my parents business….

     

    I consider of taking online classes related to design or animation… but idk if it’s worth it… because along the road i’m a person who easily lost interest if i find it hard….

     

    Nowadays i also go to the gym to gain results which could make other people praising something about me…..

    I really love praises…. and also achievements (if possible)….

     

    The job i’m doing right now in the office is nothing special, like people without a degree could also do that…… that’s why i keep forcing myself to show to people that i have some kind of specialty….

     

    But sometimes laziness controls my mind, therefore making me procrastinate…. i also need to get rid of this….

     

     

    If you have this visual, maybe you will be able to imagine that it is possible for you too- one day in the future- to feel comfortable around taller people, men and women.

    = i’m trying my best to to solve this problem…. because this kind of thoughts gives me dilemma….. e.g. like will i feel uncomfortable/disgrace with girls who has the same height as me (because most girls i’m attracted to has the same height (i guess i used to mention about this))….. or should i lower my demands and chase the shorter ones……

    This may sound funny but i’m a person who’s still keeping my standard although i have inferiority thoughts….

     

    I think social media also play a big part in increasing my struggles, as social media mostly are all about other people’s achievements and happy life….

     

     

    I really like tracking my progress like this….. as i can see that i have made a lot of improvements till now…..

     

     

    #401105
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Eric:

    I am glad to read that you understand more and more how your brain works!

    Right now i’m confused on what should I do to get people to praise me, it doesnt have to be a praise actually… but i want people to view me as someone who’s good at something” –

    – you want to feel that you are a positively valuable human being, that you are equal to others in value… equal, not inferior.

    I am praising you today, in this very post: praising you for being a fellow human being who is not inferior and not superior to me. Although we are different in many ways: age, gender, nationality, and much more, you and I are just the same in value.

    How does this feel, to you?

    anita

    #401195
    Eric
    Participant

    Dear anita,

    Thank you for the effort on praising,

    But i feel like the praise i need is when i have some kind of achievement or something to be proud of… because in my state right now, there isnt something worth praising for…

    #401202
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Eric:

    You are welcome. Believe me when I say: people who feel inferior ever since they were children- none of the usual achievements (educational degrees, prestigious jobs, material success) make them feel any less inferior in the long run. That hurtful, painful feeling of inferiority runs deeper than any external achievement runs. When a person succeeds, he/ she feels good for a while, but any little failure, real or perceived, awakens that painful feeling of inferiority.

    I want to praise you nonetheless for what you did in your recent post: 1) you were polite and gracious (“Dear anita, Thank you for the effort”), 2) you were honest (“But I feel like the praise I need is..“).

    This combination is praiseworthy. In my experience with people, I often get ether 1 or 2, not both. I appreciate you for this!

    anita

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