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Relationship Questions

Please help me with basic social skills

Hello! I am an over 30 year old man, and i have not only never even kissed a girl in my life, but also have no way of creating friendships, that deserve that name. My social skills fell back during kindergarten time, but i was already a teenager, when i identified the problem and started working on it, till now with minor success. I know more or less all literature on dating, small talk, social skills etc. at least to the point, that when i pick up a new book, i can confidently expect it to contain nothing i have not already read somewhere else (Those books have the ugly habit of becoming the more vague, the more important and basic the topic is). Most of those books greatly emphasize practicing but that is pointless, since i cannot create the situation, where i can practice. Even when i am in a group of people, that stays together for a longer time, i find few opportunities to communicate. So the unidentified mistakes i make are likely in the "more basic than basic" region, that book authors find unnecessary to cover, because anyone does that automatically right anyway.

While i cannot expect you to get out your crystal ball and magically see, what i do wrong, i do have some questions, whose answers would help me greatly (especially by making me able to experiment without having to fear serious or lasting consequences).

  1. Most books on the subject emphasize being willing to take the risk of temporary embarrassment. Short of erasing other peoples memories "men in black" style, how do i make embarrassment a temporary thing, or at least a thing that does not spread and gravely and permanently affect other peoples standing with me?


  3. How do i avoid embarrassment in following situations (or make it a temporary thing) a) I approach someone and show the intent to talk, but then run out of things to say. b) For a prolonged time i am the only one in the room who is not talking or doing anything. c) I involuntarily stare at someone in a weird way (which happens often when i am nervous) d) I get visibly nervous in a situation where that is not appropriate and leads to theories and chatter.


  5. My constant loneliness has caused a nervous breakdown in the last few years, and that has forced me to drop out of my job. When the topic of job comes up, how do i change the topic without making it obvious, that there is something to hide?


  7. How can i turn off inappropriate sexual attraction or at least make it invisible? (i reserve dating itself for later, because it makes no sense, unless i have already mastered much simpler social tasks. For now sexuality just gets in the way of what i am trying to do)


  9. Simple: How can i look confident and at ease, when i am not? (You might say, i should rather ask, how i can genuinely BE more confident and at ease, but i know a billion great answers to that question and they all fail in real life)


  11. How do i hide sadness? I often get sad and angry about things, that would be only minor disappointments if i had a normal social life. I think i hide that very good, but sometimes something slips through and makes my loneliness obvious to others. How do i prevent that?

Thank you!



  • 'Anne' is the pseudonym for the individual who writes this relationship advice column.
  • 'Anne' bases her responses on her personal experiences and not on professional training or study. She does not represent herself to be a psychologist, therapist, counselor or professional helper of any sort. Her responses are offered from the perspective of a friend or mentor only.
  • Anne intends her responses to provide general information to the readership of this website; answers should not be understood to be specific advice intended for any particular individual(s).
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  • No correspondence takes place.
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