Lack Of Social Skills


Due to circumstances I had little control over, namely oppressive parents, my capacity for self-expression is incredibly limited. By that I mean that while I can present information and make speeches, I simply can’t converse. I have no idea of what there is to say, how to say it, how to remain interesting as a conversation, or how to come up with things to say. I suspect that it may be a simple lack of practice and education. That being the case, where can one go to learn conversation? I want to know how to be spontaneous within a group of people. Any suggestions?

This Disclaimer applies to the Answer Below
  • ‘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).
  • Questions submitted to this column are not guaranteed to receive responses.
  • No correspondence takes place.
  • No ongoing relationship of any sort (including but not limited to any form of professional relationship) is implied or offered by ‘Anne’ to people submitting questions.
  • ‘Anne’, Mental Help Net and CenterSite, LLC make no warranties, express or implied, about the information presented in this column. ‘Anne’ and Mental Help Net disclaim any and all merchantability or warranty of fitness for a particular purpose or liability in connection with the use or misuse of this service.
  • Always consult with your psychotherapist, physician, or psychiatrist first before changing any aspect of your treatment regimen. Do not stop your medication or change the dose of your medication without first consulting with your physician.

You are precisely right. The best way to overcome a lack of social skills is with practice. Keep in mind, however, that not everyone can be the life of the party. Some of us are naturally comfortable conversing with others. Many self-help books suggest starting out small; practice talking to just one person. This way you are sure to get a chance to contribute to the conversation. If the thought of socializing with just one individual makes you uncomfortable, then I suggest practicing conversing online. Chats are very convenient ways to communicate with others. Some individuals have an easier time talking with others when they’re not face-to-face. When you’re comfortable with talking to one person, move on to larger groups. Tag along with a couple friends to a party. Parties are great places for meeting new people and socializing. Perhaps you would feel less awkward talking with individuals that you don’t know… Don’t over-examine what you’re saying. If you monitor every little thing you say, then chances are you will miss your opportunity to say what you wanted to say in the first place. There are tons of self-help methods out there for overcoming shyness. You will find that shyness is often equated with lack of social skills. I suggest you check out ‘s listing of self-esteem and shyness resources. Keep practicing, and don’t get discouraged! It’ll take some time, but I’m sure you will see an improvement. Best of luck, – Anne

More "Ask Anne" View Columnists

Myndfulness App

Designed to Help You Feel Better Daily

Myndfuless App Rating

Download Now For Free

Learn More >