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I have never been on a date. I have 2 friends. And I have 0 connection to anyone, family or otherwise(meaning, I can go years/forever with no contact and be totally "happy"), so being alone actually "feels good". I have always hated talking to other people or "hanging out" with them, because quite frankly it's boring, and I don't know what I'm supposed to be doing.

I can read/learn/do things that are pretty complex rather easily. And conversation relating to work is actually ok for me. Speaking in front of a group is also like second nature. But having an entertaining conversation that could get a possible friend or a date with someone so far has been virtually impossible. It's like my brain goes blank-so I just repeat an answer from what I've said in past situations matching the current question.

I'm in my late 30s now, and I think it's time to try and fix this? Any suggestions on what to do?

For situations... Going into a bar for the first time, and how to interact? Asking someone out you just met, without getting stood up or rejected?

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    Right now your question feels a little bit too broad. It seems like what you want is to get better at talking to others. That's a fairly broad topic. Could you narrow your goal a bit? Perhaps by specifying a specific outcome you are looking to achieve in your conversations. – Rainbacon Mar 21 '19 at 17:41
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    Welcome to IPS! "what should I do?" questions are not under the scope of interpersonal skills SE, but if you can think of a specific situation where you want to improve your interpersonal skills, please edit your question so we can help you. – ElizB Mar 21 '19 at 17:43
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    Are these things that you actually want for yourself, and so are trying to figure out how to do, or are these things that you feel you should want, and so are trying to force yourself to learn the skills in a more abstract way? – Upper_Case Mar 21 '19 at 18:46
  • I've wanted a family since I was a kid. Found out some years back something is very wrong socially, as I had yet at that point had a single date. that was 8 years ago....I'm trying to understand what to do that makes it so easy for everyone else....even if it's just 1 possible way-still better than none – King of NES Mar 21 '19 at 18:59
  • What's your stance on meeting people through one of the many online services? These have always had an advantage of getting some starter information about who someone is prior to even a first conversation. Helps filter out candidates that don't work out (one side wants kids, or pets, or to be a stay-at-home parent, or smokes, etc.) – Xrylite Mar 21 '19 at 19:47
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Find people that are not "boring" for you.

You're not "supposed" to be doing anything special. Just find someone comfortable. You should be interested, not fake it.

If you are not comfortable in a situation, don't think that you "should" be. Find a situation that FEELS comfortable for you.

Maybe you have trouble to open up? Talk about yourself, what you think. what you want... Don't be afraid of the judgment of others. If they want to judge, it's their problem. Everyone is human and others can relate to you, your stories, your ideas and problems.

Maybe you (wrongly) believe that others have nothing of value for you. If you were smart in your childhood, you might have picked this bad habit of thinking you are more intelligent than others. Realise that everyone is different and people around you actually have a lot of things, ideas, informations to share with you, you can learn a lot from others. You can discover new ideas, new perspectives from them.

First, identify your goals: what do you want from people? Why do you think you should engage socially with others?

Second, a great way to meet interesting people is common interests. Join a social thing: chess club, rock climbing, music concerts, book club, dungeon and dragons, video games, workplace, dog park, gym, even drinking or smoking.. etc it's endless. Talk with the people from that social circle about the social thing that brings you together. (ex: talk about chess) Start with something, and as you interact more with a person, you will find if you are comfortable or not with that person. (not everyone fits with everyone) As you interact more with someone comfortable, your range of discussion topics will increase.

Source: I was a loner in highschool but when I started a computer program in university I was happy to meet a lot of like-minded people and it felt a lot more easy to connect with them since they shared my hobbies and interests. The same thing happened when I got into electronic music. Finding a passion, then connecting with people who share it.

Silence is also ok with someone you are comfortable with. Watch a movie together for example, or play a sport together, that is still interaction.

Groups can also be more easy than one-on-one.

Practice, put yourself out of your comfort zone. The more you do it, the better you will get at it. If you are shy with women, push yourself to interact with women. (friendly) Same with men.

Source: I also did that for many years before I finally became comfortable with women. Just pushing myself to talk with them, even if what I said was completely dumb the first times.

If you feel something is "very wrong", you can consult a psychiatrist or doctor for more personalized advice. You could have something like Asperger's, but that doesn't mean you cannot make friends.

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  • Even those I've met that seemed entertaining quickly bored of me. Either way-I could only keep around for so long before I felt like I was doing something wrong, then just broke all contact. Your mention of aspergers got me researching tho...I do share nearly all of the traits-tho i don't stack things in order or anything like that. But i do keep to routines... – King of NES Mar 21 '19 at 19:53
  • The common interests mentioned-i tried to go play games with people at a local game café. it was about as uncomfortable as being in a room full of naked people, and i love games. When you say open up, what do you mean? how do you go about doing that? – King of NES Mar 21 '19 at 19:54
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    Hello Manuki! Please take a look at our citation expectations. We expect answers to either 'cite' personal experience or external sources, instead of just brainstorming on a possible cause/solution. Have you done this, or is someone else recommending these approaches you describe? Note that the question is now closed as too broad, this is probably also why you had to ask other questions in your answer. To make your participation here enjoyable, please only answer good questions and take note of the citation expectations :) – Tinkeringbell Mar 22 '19 at 8:50
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    Manuki, I did a little research on forms of aspergers, and when I went home I could actually started finding similarities. The not understanding conversations/talking, the vulgar songs/rhymes I sing to myself, the "rudeness" when talking to other people(very direct and usually skipping explanations). I started thinking about the past situations I was in. Then I stopped getting mad when my friend tried to talk to me. I stopped calling myself names. I always thought there was just something retarded about myself-turns out it's not retardation, but at least i'm thinking differently now – King of NES Mar 22 '19 at 14:45
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    I don't forsee dating anyone soon-but i'm not trying end conversations so quickly anymore, and i'm not scared of them at work. and i'm not scared (embarassed)of running into people i've known on the street now. and no-i'm not bsing anyone. I have dealt with this all my life, and psychiatric doctors never got me to come in more than once or twice. thank you good sir!! it really does feel like a whole new universe to me now :D – King of NES Mar 22 '19 at 14:48

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