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Fear of Private Speaking


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I'm an excellent public speaker, a drama actor, a singer, and I have no "popular" confidence problems that most others have and I actually feel more at ease when I'm in crowds and can speak directly to the heart of the limelight. I can easily guide the mood of an audience by improvising at a cabaret or something like stand-up comedy. I am perfect among the masses.


However, as I wrote on another thread (Relationship Communication subforum to ask without sounding stalkerish"), I am extremely unable to even initiate or go close to conversations that concern more deeper issues, even for simple things such as asking whether a friend broke up, whether someone is angry with me. I cannot confront someone if I feel he or she is lying to me. I just wait and hope that they tell me.


I sometimes try to initiate such conversations with a comic tone, in order not to put too much pressure, but it doesn't work always, and sometimes I guess they think I'm not taking the issue seriously.


I wrote a specific issue on the other thread, but I would appreciate any general advice for overall life situations in which I need to initiate serious/private talk with someone.


I think I become spineless in such situations, and see myself like a needy baby little dog whining with his eyes, looking for the other person to start. But when it doesn't happen, and I'm unable to take the initiative, I get so depressed...


I'd like to overcome this.


EDIT: I thought about what exactly I fear.

That revealing my feelings might cause intense resistance or adversity. Or that the conversation will not develop in a genuine way, and all the time the other person we will say excuses and not the truth.

I'm so tired of keeping them buried inside myself. But what if I get there at the wrong time and say the wrong words?


I also think the difference from public speaking is that when I have a larger audience, or even 4-5 people in a group of friends, there is always an average visual feedback. If 2-3 people don't reveal that what I'm saying is boring or uninteresting, the other 2 will, and I can adapt myself to the situation and try something new.

But with one individual it is too hard to read the true reaction and choose the right words. She may react aloof but in reality be very hurt by what I said. She may talk to me as if she is concerned and wants me to calm down, but in reality she is just... acting.

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The difference between public speaking and private speaking about deeper issues is the issue of emotional intimacy. Public speaking is superficial..you can generate a fan club by acting funny, charming, witty etc. The masses go for that..the superficiality of people. One on one, however, the mask comes off. You are unable to take off that mask because you are afraid of being vulnerable..so you keep your emotional distance by making light of heavy topics when you are one-on-one with someone. You are so afraid of a negative reaction to being emotionally vulnerable to someone that you completely ignore the fact that there could indeed be a positive reaction that would really set you free. A positive reaction that would make things better.

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