Does being antisocial make it more difficult to use/learn a language?

General discussion about learning languages
Marais
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Re: Does being antisocial make it more difficult to use/learn a language?

Postby Marais » Thu Sep 01, 2016 7:43 pm

arthaey wrote:I'm very much an introvert. This means I need time alone to recharge; it doesn't mean I don't like "people at all". I suspect the same is true for many (most?) of the folks replying in this thread.

For example: I have some very fond memories of parties my roommates threw in Mexico last year. The party per se overwhelmed me within half an hour, but by then I'd usually have found someone to have an interesting one-on-one, in-depth conversation with out on the quieter balcony.

And then I'd spend the next day all day at a bookstore to recover. ;)

I'm in the 50/50 boat. Sometimes i want to be around people and love being the centre of attention. Sometimes i don't even like to make a phone call or reply to a message, let alone speak to people. It's not some sort of bipolar thing it's just that sometimes i feel like being quiet. Totally arbitrary and random as to when it happens, depends on the day i guess.

I reckon most people go through periods like this.
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Re: Does being antisocial make it more difficult to use/learn a language?

Postby Retinend » Mon Sep 05, 2016 8:23 pm

Well I feel out of place. I don't have problems talking to people. Most people aren't anything to be bowled over by.

Neither are they boring. How one can be "asocial" or indifferent to them is the same to me as saying you're indifferent to languages. They make up the world.

I used to be more withdrawn but that was because I took myself too seriously and social situations which required me to be more convivial put me out of my comfort zone. I think if you cling too hard to these precious labels (above all "introvert") you will condemn yourself to never escape yours.
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Re: Does being antisocial make it more difficult to use/learn a language?

Postby aokoye » Mon Sep 05, 2016 8:56 pm

Retinend wrote:Well I feel out of place. I don't have problems talking to people. Most people aren't anything to be bowled over by.

Neither are they boring. How one can be "asocial" or indifferent to them is the same to me as saying you're indifferent to languages. They make up the world.

I used to be more withdrawn but that was because I took myself too seriously and social situations which required me to be more convivial put me out of my comfort zone. I think if you cling too hard to these precious labels (above all "introvert") you will condemn yourself to never escape yours.


Everyone has different experiences in life and experiences living differently. Just because you haven't experienced issues with talking to people, social anxiety, challenges that come with being an introvert, etc doesn't mean that a. those things don't exist or b. that those labels and diagnosis make someone somehow "less than". Not everyone who is an introvert or who has trouble talking or relating to people takes themselves too seriously.

That you equate introversion or being asocial with finding someone boring shows just how ill informed you are on this topic.

I think if you cling too hard to these precious labels (above all "introvert") you will condemn yourself to never escape yours.

Not everyone wants to or feels the need to "escape" being an introvert. Also if you were to exchange "introvert" with "depressed" I could most assuredly tell you that not "clinging too hard to this precious label" would do almost nothing to help me escape being depressed.
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Retinend
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Re: Does being antisocial make it more difficult to use/learn a language?

Postby Retinend » Tue Sep 06, 2016 5:29 am

I've experienced these negative behaviors plenty, only I recognized them as such; I didn't develop pride for them.

All the traits I've mentioned are evident in this thread. I won't name names.
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Re: Does being antisocial make it more difficult to use/learn a language?

Postby Iversen » Tue Sep 06, 2016 8:40 am

To me the word "antisocial" suggest crime and drug use and speaking foul language. What we have been discussing here is just introversion, and for me the cure against the consequences of that is to accept that you will be learning languages from other sources than people in the street or in bars.

My personal profile doesn't keep me from speaking to people (on the contrary), but I need a reason, and I need a topic, and I don't want to speak a language to others before I can speak it to myself AND understand the things I hear from native speakers during that phase.
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Re: Does being antisocial make it more difficult to use/learn a language?

Postby reineke » Wed Mar 28, 2018 12:39 am

Language Learning Is Like Dating: It Spurs Anxiety

Can anxiety facilitate communication in a foreign language?
Posted Aug 31, 2016
Post written by Aneta Pavlenko.

"Learning a foreign language is a bit like dating: your tongue is tied in knots, as you tiptoe anxiously around the object of your desire, afraid that the smallest transgression could incur enormous costs. In affairs of the heart, this anxiety may be helpful, making you bite your tongue just as you are about to mention the previous love of your life. But what about speaking a foreign language, where habits of the tongue are not as easy to control? In her book, Lost in Translation, Polish-English bilingual Eva Hoffman offers a compelling description of frustrations and loss of face that accompany such communication:

"… it takes all my will to impose any control on the words that emerge from me. I have to form entire sentences before uttering them; otherwise, I too easily get lost in the middle. My speech, I sense, sounds monotonous, deliberate, heavy—an aural mask that doesn’t become or express me at all. … I don’t try to tell jokes too often, I don’t know the slang, I have no cool repartee. I love language too much to maul its beats, and my pride is too quick to risk the incomprehension that greets such forays. I become a very serious young person... I am enraged at the false persona I’m being stuffed into, as into some clumsy and overblown astronaut suit..."

Psychologists studying language learning and use distinguish between two main types of anxiety, trait and state. Trait anxiety is a personality attribute exhibited in persistent and sometimes unrealistic worry about mundane things. This pervasive worry also underpins many excuses we come up with to avoid foreign language learning and use: "I am not good at languages," "I am too old to learn a new language," "My memory is poor," "I do not have a good ear for languages," "I have forgotten everything I learned," and so on.

The other type, state anxiety, is experienced by all of us, triggered by a job interview, a visit to the dentist, a conference presentation or a particularly hard test. Communication in a foreign language – especially one in which we have limited competence – is one such situation. Foreign language anxiety, in this view, involves fears and apprehensions of goofy slips, silly errors and mortifying stumbling and mumbling that trigger sweating, shaking and palpitations, and permanently tie our tongues: "I will sound dim-witted," "Everyone will laugh at me," "I am really ashamed of how poorly I know the language I ought to know much better by now," etc.

To understand the effects of anxiety on language learning and use, University of London professor Jean-Marc Dewaele and his colleagues analyzed responses to foreign language anxiety questionnaires. Their results revealed several groups particularly affected by foreign language fright, including girls, perfectionists, and introverts. Girls experience – or at least report experiencing – foreign language anxiety more intensely than boys. Perfectionists may set impossibly high performance standards and then feel debilitating anxieties that lead them to procrastinate and put off angst-inducing tasks. As for quiet and reserved introverts, they may outperform everyone else on pen-and-pencil tasks but become tongue-tied when required to speak.

At the other end of the anxiety spectrum are a few lucky extroverts who fearlessly ask for directions, order meals and make jokes using a vocabulary of a dozen words. Their exploits show that anxiety also colors our perceptions of how good we are: highly anxious speakers tend to underestimate their language competence, and speakers with low levels of anxiety tend to overestimate it. Research findings also show that some types of foreign language communication are more anxiety-provoking than others. Talking on the phone or speaking with strangers stirs more worries than communication in the same language with friends.

The angst is not limited to the second language (L2). In a study with Turkish immigrants in the Netherlands, Yeşim Sevinç and Jean-Marc Dewaele found that some immigrants may experience anxiety in the slowly deteriorating or incompletely acquired first language (L1) and the non-native L2. These findings suggest that at the heart of anxiety is not the situation itself but our perception of it: if we think that we should have a better mastery of a particular language, we may become tongue tied out of shame and guilt. Future studies in highly multilingual contexts may add an additional twist: foreign language anxiety may turn out to be a uniquely Western construct, triggered by unrealistic expectations of monolingual or native-like language use...

Yet not all is doom and gloom. When they expanded the scope of their studies, Dewaele and his team found that many learners experience both anxiety and enjoyment, and that, in small doses, anxiety doesn’t hurt language learning, as it focuses our attention on the task at hand. The key is to articulate realistic expectations and to strike a constructive balance between foreign language anxiety and positive emotions intrinsic in language learning, including pride in one’s achievements, excitement about new challenges, and confidence that comes with practice."

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog ... rs-anxiety
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