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Is there a trick to being who you want to be?


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So I thought I would throw this out there and see if anyone else feels this way. I am extremely good talking on the net, I can be funny, charming, everything on an instant messenger. Know exactly what to say and the right time to say it, things just come naturally when I am talking to someone I really like. Same goes for email and text message. So why is it, that when I am face to face with someone, or on the phone, I can't for the life of me talk how I want or hold a bloody conversation. Why do I have to act weird and say wrong things or stumble over words? Why can't I be the person I am online? Is there some trick to letting go, and just being who you want to be?


I met a girl online and we started talking, and then texting, and then calling and talking to each other on the phone. Then we met, and she ended up not liking me because my real life persona didn't match my online persona. Is it because I have less experience dealing with the persona in real life and am more comfortable in an online environment?


I think I understand what the problem is, I am just trying to figure out a way to make the persona's the same, is the only way to get out there and just interact with people? Anyone else have the same issue to a certain extent?

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Unfortunately, I have no advice to offer. However I'd just like to post and say that you are not alone on this. I have a very similar problem. I feel as if I can't express myself in real life as well as I can online. I think it has to do with the fact that my shyness doesn't come accross so much online. I think we probably just need to relax.. i often feel like I'm being put on the spot when i talk to others, and I feel the urge to run away. I'm often scared of talking on the phone, even with my bf which is annoying but he understands.


Either way, I'm not a very social person online or in real life, so it doesn't bother me a whole lot, but it's still an issue


Well, good luck, Tristanlogd! I hope we can figure this out.

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botticelli, I am glad I am not alone! Its weird but I am very sociable online, and after a few years of being alone in real life I am sick of it. However when I am with someone I don't know to well or with total strangers I lock up, and my mind just doesn't work, I avoid eye contact, etc. It's like my body does it automatically and I don't want it to! I am also not very sociable in larger groups of people. On the phone once I run out of stuff to talk about my mind goes blank again. However online I never ever have this problem.


Thanks for the response, and yes hopefully we can figure this out, there has to be a solution somewhere.

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When you're online you can answer on your own time. It is not easy to think of witty things to say in person because you feel that you have to answer them immediately. But you know what? The more you do it, the better you get.


This is true, but I seem to know what to say right away online, and there never seems to be much pressure. Maybe its a unconscious thing that in person I just think nothing will go smoothly so it doesn't. How does one jump out of this shell, its so annoying!

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Y'know, I have based an entire career on the fact that I can connect with people as long as they're not in the same room with me. I was a radio DJ for 25 years. Did real well at it....as long as I never met my listeners face-to-face and only dealt with them over the phone, over the air and (later on) via email. Even now, I use this odd ability I have to connect with people in a once-removed fashion in my freelance voiceover business.


I'm not very good in person, I generally make a lousy first impression...no matter how hard I try. I'm one of those people it takes a while to warm up to, but by God, once they do, they tend to freakin' love me. I will never "win" in a job interview situation against someone who deals well with people face-to-face. I only have the job I have now because the guy who hired me already knew me before he hired me. When I was single, I was rarely (if ever) approached by men. I'm told I give off a strong "Leave me alone" vibe in person....no matter what I do.


I don't know as I have any solid advice as to "how to get over it." Dealing with people in person has become easier as I've had more experience doing it....but it is still not comfortable for me. Seein' as how I'm well into my 40s, I kinda doubt it will ever be.


So, you're not the only person with this sort of issue. You could look at it as the end product of your unique set of personality traits....or you could look at it as a "problem" that must be "solved." I'd vote for the personality trait view, m'self. In the same way a square peg won't fit in a round hole, I find it really difficult to be something I'm not. Oh, I may be able to "fake it" for a couple hours here and there...but it does feel fake, and I don't really want to live like that.


Not surprisingly, I met my husband online. Go figure.

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I just want to say that from experience it can be done.


I used to be very shy when I first met people and I would get frustrated because I would feel like I wasnt really expressing my true personality to people, but rather a dumbed-down version of myself who stumbled over his words.


Online I could easily be very witty and likeable, and people would warm to me. Eventually I realised that this isn't really a healthy way to live and started 'throwing myself in the deep end' so to speak. Just speaking to anybody and everybody, judging reactions and seeing how I could feel comfortable.


Alcohol did help and a few beers would completely loosen up my body language. Once I didnt have my mind on feeling nervous or anxious the jokes and banter would just come naturally. A few years later I am pretty desensitized to feeling nervous in social situations - and probably a little better than most because for so long I paid attention and trained myself to do what comes naturally to most people.


The trick is just find out how you can feel comfortable and not be thinking about what to say next etc but enjoying he moment. Sometimes being with a very close friend helps this. Sorry for the long post!

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I really like the thread you started.. So interesting...Tristan....


I actually think that there is something VERY appealing about the shy mysterious types... Almost everyone has a lot to say... but i definitely notice guys who have a quiet confidence and charm about them... when you get to know them.... it's more interesting and surprising..


There are a lot of guys that are confident.. talk a lot... but have nothing of value to say.. even if you can get ONE witty remark in.. you're already ahead of the crowd in my opinion.. it is the quality of your conversation.. not the quality...


QUIET MYSTERIOUS TYPES ARE HOT.. you're intriguing.. don't sweat it..

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This problem is fixable, it just takes a commitment of time and a willingness to tolerate anxiety.


I would recommend things like: volunteering in a place where you have to talk to people face to face, taking improv classes, joining a public speaking group, basically forcing yourself to get involved in a social group and then sticking with it until you are comfortable interacting face to face with others.


This type of problem can't be fixed by thinking about it or reading about how to fix it. You need to put yourself into face-to-face situations that force you to learn how to relax and interact with other people.

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I used to have that kind of bipolar social difference so to speak, but I have sense conquered that. There isn't one solution. You just have to put yourself in social situations with people of the opposite sex... a LOT.. for starters. I used to be the same way that you are: bold and smooth on the internet and frozen and boring in person. Then I just learned from experience how to start and hold conversations, flirt, tease, make girls/women laugh, et cetera. 95% of the time, the things I say through text messaging or IMing are things I'd say in real life.


Then, after being in a serious relationship with my first girlfriend, I learned how to communicate important topics in person and having the confidence while doing so. You won't get far in an intimate relationship if you can't talk about sex or other big relationship elements face-to-face. This girl I'm seeing right now - we've only been dating for 2 weeks and we've already spent some time talking about sex. Years ago, I would not have IMAGINED being that open. I guess you just learn to be open and realize the importance of non-cyber talking.


Nothing wrong with texting and IMing, but it has it's place. My persona through IMing/texting is pretty much the same as it is in real life. Of course, not IMing for several years made it easier.

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I'm kind of the same way. I work great in groups, but I absolutely suck in one on one stuff. This is slightly different from your problem, but it affects relationships nonetheless. All we can do is practice, practice, practice.


Good luck!

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I got this problem too and to me its ridiculous. My thing is more recent tho say past 6/12 months or whatever.


I really hate being in the office as I totally freeze up and people just end up annoying me.


I always get nervous when calling a girl on the phone even my ex which was nuts!! Of course I never said by the way I'm nervous lol but I just feel that is so tough because no one gives you a chance.


I would say I'm absolutely amazing company once I'm relaxed etc. I know that for a fact and not only that I can be so uplifting and cool to be around but its just a question of like breaking that negative association if you get me.


Have to say its really odd and frustrating at the same time.

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