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my weaknesses don't allow my strengths to shine


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Does anyone ever feel like the most frustrating thing about themselves is when their weaknesses don't allow your strengths to shine though?

 

I'm confident I'm good at a lot of things, but because of my social awkwardness and my struggle to feel awake no matter how healthy I keep myself, and on top of that being an introvert and taking a while to warm up to people, I feel like I'm being held back in life. I've had a lot of missed opportunities. Not because I didn't go for it or take a risk, and not because I'm awful at what I do.. but because I suck at connecting with others and maintaining relationships with them. I have a lot of "off" days, and when I'm feeling off, I get extremely quiet, irritable, and tired. I don't feel like engaging with anyone, nor am I interested in what they have to say. All I can think about it wanting to go home to relax and recharge. I feel like I make people uncomfortable, or make people think I don't like them. I feel really tired and it leaves me looking lifeless and feeling emotionless. It often feels like my soul is trapped inside my body screaming to get out. At heart, I enjoy being sociable with friends, traveling, and having fun, and a small handful of people who are close to me see me in that light. It just sucks... because I feel like no one else truly gets to see the real me. I've always been a quiet person. Not shy... just quiet and bad at conversation beyond small talk. But I don't believe I'm boring, I know about a lot of things, it's just when I'm talking to people in the moment, I forget about everything I know and get easily distracted. I wouldn't be surprised if I have ADD as well. Half the time I have no idea what people are talking about, because I zone out, or I can't follow others speech fast enough. So I just stay quiet and pretend I know what's going on instead. I feel like this is preventing my success in life... I need to make relationships in order to be successful with a career. I thought maybe if I just work really hard at something and get really good at something... it would be good enough for someone. But I've realized none of that matters. Relationships matter more than skill, because people would rather work with someone who they enjoy being around.

 

Can anyone relate? What kind of therapy should I look into? On top of possibly being clinically depressed (runs in my family)... because I have nothing traumatic to be sad about... except for what I've written above, which I do cry over from time to time, and I do experience extreme lows and put my self worth down completely because I fail at building relationships and expressing myself and conversing. I know I have it in my to try. Every single day I force myself to be physically active, eat healthy, and be a better person. I cannot force myself to engage with others though... there is some sort of block. I'm so tired of being this person who I'm not. :(

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How old are you?

 

I have exactly the same issue you described. But over time, I got used to it and taught myself how to love myself the way I am. I have friends and people I feel relaxed with, and they are my true friends. Others are here now, and might not be tomorrow so I try not to obssess to much about it. It does make me feel awkward at times, and I have down times too. But i push through it and continue my life the next day. So, people might think im the quiet one. So what? Even with that I am a rockstar at my work and my bosses appreciate me. Its not my job to adjust to others, but only to myself. I dont expect others to be like me, so why would I put such high expectations on myself.

 

Read some books on self-love. Learn to love yourself as you are. From that love you will be surprised how much your life will change.

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I am not sure what you are measuring yourself by.

From what you just shared I can't help but wonder if you weren't so hard on yourself if that might make a difference.

 

So what. You are a little introverted. A great deal of people are. I am somewhat like you, where I have off days, quiet, can't think of anything to share and need to hunker down and recharge my batteries.

 

Life isn't what you see in the media. We come in all shapes and sizes and different temperaments.

It's called being human.

 

Consider embracing yourself and accepting that this is how you are and being alright with it.

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I don't have much to add, just that social anxiety really sucks. I have a couple quick tips that have helped me. First, in any group situation, I try to pay attention to the group and not on how well I am "performing" in the group. Almost every time I have that voice in my head that says "hey, why aren't you saying anything you dummy", I can do a quick check and find at least one other person who is not saying much either. Do I think anything bad about that person because they aren't saying anything? Nah! Why would anyone think those things about me? So often there will be like one or two very engaging people who do most of the heavy lifting, and everyone else just adds a little bit on top of that. If you can accept your place in whatever social groups you are a part of, and stop trying to recast yourself into a role that doesn't suit you, you might be able to be a little more at peace.

 

Second, is to not let the fear of not connecting keep you from trying. "Oh no, this party is going to be awkward!" So what? Go anyway. Be awkward. The more you put yourself out there the more chances you will get to find those people who you can connect with and share more of yourself with. (As for me, finding these people is in fact pretty rare) Considering the speed at speech thing, try to get people one on one more so that you can take a little more time to say what you think you would try to say. Invite people out to coffee and you might have a better shot than dealing with group dynamics all the time.

 

I guess third would be to give yourself a break. You are the most important judge of your own behavior. If you keep only getting C's, you are probably using the wrong rubric to grade yourself. See if you can lower the bar enough that you can achieve whatever progress it is you seek.

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Yes I understand this very well. I tried to deal with it by getting boyfriends who talk more than me so I don't have to. I also thought if I just found someone who would love me I wouldn't have to love myself.

 

This isn't something you can change overnight. If you're like me you have been like this forever. Like toddler forever. I just cope with it through my maladaptive dreaming disorder.

 

It took me a whole year to have a conversation with my co-workers without feeling like I was going to cry. I just did my job and went home. You can try therapy and medication. It may work for you but it's never worked for me. I am currently taking a break from dating and trying to love myself. I'm just here to say that your not alone.

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Does anyone ever feel like the most frustrating thing about themselves is when their weaknesses don't allow your strengths to shine though?

 

I'm confident I'm good at a lot of things, but because of my social awkwardness and my struggle to feel awake no matter how healthy I keep myself, and on top of that being an introvert and taking a while to warm up to people, I feel like I'm being held back in life. I've had a lot of missed opportunities. Not because I didn't go for it or take a risk, and not because I'm awful at what I do.. but because I suck at connecting with others and maintaining relationships with them. I have a lot of "off" days, and when I'm feeling off, I get extremely quiet, irritable, and tired. I don't feel like engaging with anyone, nor am I interested in what they have to say. All I can think about it wanting to go home to relax and recharge. I feel like I make people uncomfortable, or make people think I don't like them. I feel really tired and it leaves me looking lifeless and feeling emotionless. It often feels like my soul is trapped inside my body screaming to get out. At heart, I enjoy being sociable with friends, traveling, and having fun, and a small handful of people who are close to me see me in that light. It just sucks... because I feel like no one else truly gets to see the real me. I've always been a quiet person. Not shy... just quiet and bad at conversation beyond small talk. But I don't believe I'm boring, I know about a lot of things, it's just when I'm talking to people in the moment, I forget about everything I know and get easily distracted. I wouldn't be surprised if I have ADD as well. Half the time I have no idea what people are talking about, because I zone out, or I can't follow others speech fast enough. So I just stay quiet and pretend I know what's going on instead. I feel like this is preventing my success in life... I need to make relationships in order to be successful with a career. I thought maybe if I just work really hard at something and get really good at something... it would be good enough for someone. But I've realized none of that matters. Relationships matter more than skill, because people would rather work with someone who they enjoy being around.

 

Can anyone relate? What kind of therapy should I look into? On top of possibly being clinically depressed (runs in my family)... because I have nothing traumatic to be sad about... except for what I've written above, which I do cry over from time to time, and I do experience extreme lows and put my self worth down completely because I fail at building relationships and expressing myself and conversing. I know I have it in my to try. Every single day I force myself to be physically active, eat healthy, and be a better person. I cannot force myself to engage with others though... there is some sort of block. I'm so tired of being this person who I'm not. :(

I felt like I was reading a post about myself. Very eloquently written, Moon.

 

Heck yeah I can relate. Over the years I've gotten better at small talk, various skills, and connecting with a few people on a deeper level. However, I feel my anxiety and depression (and also recently, I feel like I have ADD because I relate to what you said about pretending to pay attention all the time even though you want to) cause me to slowly lose my shine to people.

 

My whole life I spend making friends, making them sick of me for some reason, and then losing their interest, etc. It happens at work, university, in social circles. Maybe the problem is the paying attention or the anxiety/depression which eventually starts to show. Like I can only keep up the charade for so long until I lose the initial magnetism I seem to have.

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I felt like I was reading a post about myself. Very eloquently written, Moon.

 

Heck yeah I can relate. Over the years I've gotten better at small talk, various skills, and connecting with a few people on a deeper level. However, I feel my anxiety and depression (and also recently, I feel like I have ADD because I relate to what you said about pretending to pay attention all the time even though you want to) cause me to slowly lose my shine to people.

 

My whole life I spend making friends, making them sick of me for some reason, and then losing their interest, etc. It happens at work, university, in social circles. Maybe the problem is the paying attention or the anxiety/depression which eventually starts to show. Like I can only keep up the charade for so long until I lose the initial magnetism I seem to have.

 

Maybe the problem is treating each potential relationship as precious, like if you lose touch it says something bad about you or something bad about that relationship. So you try to hold onto what you have and then watch as it slips away. I am really just hypothesizing here. But if that rings true, perhaps start to think about enjoying the time you have with people rather than having expectations about either trying to make a deeper friendship or having it last a long time.

 

For example, I just got back from a cruise where I was traveling alone. I connected with some of the people there without really trying, because in that environment we basically all understand that we will only see each other for a week. But now I am emailing someone from the trip because we actually connected. It's weird. I didn't even try for it and these things usually take more effort for me.

 

(Disclaimer: This is the third time traveling alone and probably the first that has paid off in this way. I also spent a lot of time on this particular trip watching TV in my stateroom being afraid to go out and see people. So the successes come and go, but I believe if I keep giving myself these kinds of opportunities, that the successes will come and I can focus on those and not dwell on the harder times)

 

Instead of winning people over by trying to charm them and then wondering how to keep their attention, I think you might be better served by the old adage of be yourself. I know - easier said than done. But dang, the charade can be SO exhausting.

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Hi! I know it can be hard to be social some times. I encourage you to keep stretching yourself and trying. That being said the first step is to learn to love yourself. You are made the way you are for a purpose not everyone is as introspective as you are ! That is a good thing! Like yourself first before you can expect others too. People can pick up when you don't like yourself and they can be turned off by that. Learn to like yourself even your quirks! Others will see that and see that you are comfortable with yourself. Learn to laugh at yourself and not take yourself so seriously. I laugh at myself all the time. I say have you met me before? Yep, I am who I am by the grace of God! I hope these suggestions help you and give you some freedom to relax and be you. If people don't want to hang around you it is their loss! The one person you can never get away from is you!!

 

H

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Thanks everyone for the encouraging words

I guess what I'm trying to measure up to is tough because an introvert like me... is working in the entertainment industry, and I have dreams to continue to do so. I love performing. When you are a performer you are constantly surrounded by wild characters and it is very challenging to keep up and sometimes sucks the fun out of it for me. I'm actually taking break from that scene and just working on my skills to rest my mind. I just find I have a hard time making connections because everyone expects me to be more crazy, but I'm more reserved... but more crazy on stage if that makes sense. I have a harder time talking than showing.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I think first step is acceptance, you accept yourself the way you are and as some body very correctly said that you will find friends who will truly love you the way you are, biggest problem is that we always aspire to be best friends with 'super starts' in our class and always craving for their attention that leads to frustration.

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