Help with overcoming online shyness

Hello Waypoint community! I have a very difficult time trying to socialize on the internet. I never post anything on social media and I never try to engage in conversation with strangers. It also sucks that none of my friends really use anything but Facebook, which I really don’t like and have stopped using it. Any of y’all ever been in this position and was able to improve? This community seems real cool and felt like a comfortable place to ask. Thanks!

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I think most people go through this at first.

It’s like joining a new club. You “lurk” for a bit to get a feel then you slowly engage over time.

Also personally if you aren’t on main stream social media at this point I would maybe advise just ignoring it. It’s informative but incredibly stressful.

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Sounds like I’m on the right track then haha

I’m definitely the same way, I am a chronic lurker and am always hesitant to engage with forums, social media comments, threads, etc. Waypoint is one of my first times actually posting anything in a public discussion, and that was only because they were topics I was really into. But this community doesn’t feel toxic or obsessed with internet clout (which I’m definitely self-conscious about) so that really helps me. All this to say I’m still getting my feet wet as far as online discussion with strangers, but scrolling through the forums every now and then to post a thought or two on interesting topics has certainly helped me. What you’re doing now is definitely a good start, and I would second being ok with avoiding the dumpster fire that mainstream social media can be.

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Totally the same way. I’ve joined a few groups in the past but never felt like I could safely contribute without fear of judgement or unsolicited critique.

Hoping that changes now that I’m here!

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i have a terrible time with engaging with communities online or with people in person. I have been active in some embarrassing communities online in the past. I just don’t know how have conversations in a meaningful way

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A good place to start with this is to focus on your communication in itself. Ultimately, how we choose to present and carry ourselves online is up to us. Being mindful about that is important, as is the impact it has on the community. It can only take one person being snide and putting other people down to make a mess of a community, especially if there isn’t a built-in mechanism for encouraging better communication standards.

If you’d like to look at improving your communication online, I’d (generally) recommend focusing on your listening skills and assertive communication (in contrast with passive, aggressive, and passive-aggressive communication styles). I don’t necessarily have go-to books for this (I’d love recommendations or guides if people have them), but I think that’s a good place to start.

Listening skills can help with reading other folks’ posts too. Actually being attentive to what people write and considerate in-the-moment can help you approach conversations through a better lens, which will give you more confidence and help you come across better.

Ultimately, being a pleasant conversationalist is a mix of being attentive to your fellow speakers and volunteering points of your own. Being good at only one either puts the entire weight of the conversation on the other person or not caring about what other people have to say (which is lousy).

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