Ok, I’ll start with dispelling this misconception once again: “schizoid” is not equal “untalkative”, unable to communicate, shy or anything of this kind. Schizoids are different, and yes there are schizoids who just won’t talk to others no matter what because they don’t care enough to. Or because they are, indeed, shy – probably thanks to having some kind of comorbid condition like avoidant PD or social anxiety (that happens sometimes, yes). I personally am one hell of a blabber. Unfortunately, I’m not good at verbal speech, and there aren’t really many to talk to and not enough reason to do so. But when I get a chance to and have something to say – like, say, in this blog (which you’ll see a nice illustration of just by scrolling down from here, most likely) – yes, I’m rather talkative, to say the least. ^^
Just saying that, all in all, you shouldn’t assume anyone who is a schizoid will not agree to talk to you. Yes, even if by looking on them you think “hmm, that person is so grim and sad, they must hate everyone and I’ll probably get shouted at if I try to talk to them”.
Because that is one of the most prominent reasons why some schizoids aren’t willing to communicate with people around them. They jump to such conclusions, behaving really extra careful around them. As if they’re dealing with some unknown wild creature who can attack them any second without warning. Or as if they might get offended by any random word and will burst in tears the moment they see another human being.
And to be honest, at least for me this always was one of the most disappointing things about humanity. If it wasn’t for this “special treatment” I’m granted instinctively by every single human I encounter, I honestly doubt I would be as uncommunicative as I am. It’s rather amazing I still haven’t forgotten how to speak at all, considering how “much” practice I get. >.>
But ok, let’s leave this bit alone. Next somewhat problematic thing about your message: generally it’s really not a good idea to assume something about another person (especially if you don’t know them well yet) and then acting under that assumption. Yes, it might be that you are correct and this guy is a schizoid. Or maybe he is something else. Asperger’s might look similar from the side, as well as just being socially awkward, shy and/or introverted.
It’s one thing if you just try to analyze this person to develop some social strategy or whatever you social folks usually do (see what I did there? :P). That’s ok, just try to not put disorder labels on people without their knowing. And especially don’t get surprised when your theory comes out wrong. Worst thing that can happen is if you continue going with wrong theory, unable to accept yourself being wrong on their account, and trying to shove the person back into the box you thought they should fit (and suddenly they don’t) by acting as if they are what you initially thought despite the evidences telling you they aren’t.
Trust me, I know what I’m talking about: I’ve been there myself, trying to understand people at least a bit, using all kinds of social/psychological typologies like MBTI/socionics. They aren’t necessary a bad thing, but they are prone to be misused and even harmful at that.
Alright, I guess I should at least try to get to actually answering the question, huh? ^^’ I’ll try.
So, yeah, I wonder it myself sometimes. What would happen should someone I don’t know just approach me with “hey, what’s your name” or something like that? Honestly, I can’t know that. As far as I remember, no one ever did that to me :) For some reason people aren’t likely to do the same thing they do with other people when they want to get to know them.
Maybe I’m not giving some mandatory verbal/non-verbal signals properly. Or maybe I don’t look like someone whom one can just talk to out of the blue. But whatever. Let’s imagine someone actually does.
I guess it happened a few times in my life one way or another. Just mostly those were sort of a mutually unavoidable acquaintances. Like when you walk the same road back from school every day at same time with same kids, sooner or later you’re likely to end up getting their attention and having occasional conversations on the go at least. Same with working collectives or any other regular social stuff.
So, someone says hi. Will I chase them away, yell at them or bite them for saying hi to me? Nope. Will it annoy me? Unlikely. I’ll probably try to do the most expected thing of me to not provoke this unknown being for possibly dangerous response: will return their greetings.
And that’s about it. What happens next (and will anything happen at all) depends completely on that person’s actions. I’ll keep the conversation as long as it is a) is not obviously threatening to my well-being; b) is not overly annoying (and by that I mean the same thing you probably expect of a conversation - civil at least in the most basic politeness sense); and c) I don’t have anything important to do at this time.
Everything looks more or less the same as it does for any person you know? Well, surprise, it does indeed :) The only important difference here is that I’m probably not quite interested in this conversation, unlike most of those. It doesn’t mean I’m against the idea to talk to you. It only means I won’t really miss it if no one talks to me in years. I’m really, really just don’t get this loaning for communication most people have.
So it all comes down to motivation yet again. Unless I have some specific goal (which is unlikely, generally I don’t do goals), and having to know this specific person gets me closer to that goal, there will be very little point in getting to know them or letting them to know me. Latter is also potentially dangerous, as my experience and common sense tells me.
I might be curious about getting to know someone, thought. If I find that person interesting for some reason. And no, looking good or being of a high social status means next to nothing for me. Why would I be interested in someone? Hmm, let me think…
Maybe we share some interests, for example. Maybe something I can’t really share to 99% of people who surround me daily, like a fandom I like or long boring talks about politics or creating useless systems out of nothing just for fun. Maybe we played the same game and both can understand the joke from it when no one else around will. Maybe this person does or able to do something I once wanted to learn but never bothered to. Maybe I just find this person rather easy to talk to, in comparison to most people. Maybe we share some psychologic traits or otherwise at least a bit compatible and don’t annoy each other.
Still looks like all those basic things that let you distinguish people you like from people you don’t like? Another nice surprise it is :) Who’d think schizoids have all the same basics actual people have, eh?
Sorry if I’m being overly sarcastic, by the way. I don’t mean it personally your way, and you didn’t really said anything offensive. It’s just such a common misconception I encounter on daily basis from everyone around me, and not really something I can realistically ever explain to them.
I am a freaking human, damn it. Weird or not, I am. Whether I like it or not, I am. How do you talk to a schizoid? Same way you talk to any other human being. Be nice and polite, don’t do anything you wouldn’t like going your way. If you end up thinking there must be some special technique, you’re probably thinking wrong way.
Which doesn’t mean there’s nothing special in building friendship with schizoids. Of course not. There’s a heck ton of nuances. But most of them really gets down to this: it’s either you’re motivated enough to get to know that schizoid person despite the fact they’re not quite motivated to get to know you… or not. And then you just walk away and they continue their life the same way they did before you without really looking back much.
You can’t get a schizoid to be interested in you, unless they already are thanks to this and that quality you have (or will become in time, whether you tried to make them interested or not). It’s just more likely to be something most people don’t possess. Are you among those few whom this potentially schizoid fellow would find interesting enough to find your company not just tolerable, but motivational enough to actually care for it, to miss it when it’s off the reach?
Well, it’s a possibility. Just don’t be too surprised if it turns out you aren’t. It doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with you. It doesn’t mean you can’t talk to this person or can’t become their friend (to some extent). But it will, most likely, last only as long as you are willing to sustain it all on your own. Without any kind of confirmation from his side whether he likes it or not – not because he doesn’t, but rather because he doesn’t really know it himself.
I had friends before. In its most common children-to-young-adult variation of ‘friendship’ term as just people you see every once in a while and say hi to more often than to others. Each and every of those ‘friendships’ lasted just as long as the other party wanted for it to. It ended the moment they stopped to come by or we were no longer in same class/group/work/guild/building/etc.
So let’s suppose this guy you want to talk to is actually schizoid. And for some reason he’s not motivated enough to initiate or sustain on his own accord any kind of interaction with you (as well as with 99.9% other people, so don’t take it too personally). Then most likely he’s indifferent by default. Not hostile, not annoyed by your presence or by the very idea to talk to you. Just doesn’t really cares enough to have an opinion. At least, at the moment.
And if for some reason you still want to get to know him, it is up to you to get him interested. Or, if not interested, at least not burdened by your company to the point when it’s no longer tolerable.
You probably heard there are people who are passive in social interactions and those who are active? With former mostly being listeners, waiting patiently for others to initiate conversation, and the latter are up to initiate it themselves. It may or may not be aligned with intro/extraversion as well. Well that’s not all there is, as neither one of those covers what some schizoid are in social situations. Which is best described as indifference.
They are definitely not active, but not passive either. They’re not waiting for others to talk to them, but they can accept the conversation as long as it’s at least benevolent to them. Which usually means they must still have control over the situation.
Schizoid person should not feel like they’re obliged to talk to you. Not even that it’d make you feel bad due to them refusing the conversation. As soon as it becomes an obligation, it must contain some profit to fulfil it – and there is no profit for schizoid in having a social interaction by default. It may or may not change in time, but most likely it won’t ever be any different (don’t count on that).
I’m trying to say, there’s a really thin line between too initiative and not initiative enough (latter being limited mostly by other party’s ability to hold interest). Not saying about other people, but for me personally… not sure many would be able to hold on that line for any long period of time (even if it wasn’t for the fact that no one in their sane mind would speak to me willingly, that is).
I know for sure that I won’t ever be able to provide the feedback most people expect of me in exchange for their attention. Not the kind of feedback they’re used to get from more emotional people, at least. So they have to act blindly.
They don’t get in my line of sight often enough, time passes by, they wait for my reaction, but there won’t be any. Eventually they’ll probably decide I forgot they exist or am opposed to their company – but it’s unlikely I am. It’s more likely I don’t really notice how long it’s been and don’t see any reason for anything to change, probably expecting them to call back sooner or later should they still have any interest in my company (and if not - well, then not).
Or they try too hard to be in my line of sight all the time – and it’s no longer benevolent to me. If it comes at expense to me, I’ll feel the need to withdraw from this relationship. And if there’s no way to do so at zero cost to this relationship and to me – I’ll just pay that price by dropping the relationship at an instant, without really giving it a second thought.
There’s just no way any kind of social bond (with - maybe - a tiny exception of actual family: those who are related to me by DNA close enough for dropping it to be out of list of available options) – that this would be worth any, even a tiny bit of suffering. Even just mere discomfort that comes along with this interaction.
If friendship (or any other kind of relationship) has its expenses and they are not covered by its benefits (which I can’t even think of in most cases) – I’ll do my best to get rid of it as soon as I realise it’s harmful for me. And will likely do so by just refusing any contact until the other party loses their motivation to hold onto it for whatever reason they had so far. It’s either that or I’ll just say it as it is openly in case that wasn’t enough – “I can’t deal with you anymore, sorry”. And no, I still won’t bite you or anything. I’ll just delete your contact, that’s it. Hopefully that shouldn’t really hurt anyone much, and if it does – sorry, but can’t help it either.
And if someone doesn’t have enough motivation to sustain this relationship? Well then it just ends the way it always does. No argues, no fights, no goodbyes, no nothing. Just at some point this person I used to talk to every once in a while no longer calls/messages/visits me. And I forget them rather quickly and with no effort or regrets on my side. No idea what’s going on on the other side, though. Hopefully the same thing, more or less.
To sum it up a bit: be polite, don’t do anything you wouldn’t do to other people expecting them to like you after that, don’t expect any signs of affection in confirmation to your actions, and don’t expect them to miss you if you don’t call for a few months. But otherwise – yes, it is quite possible to be friends with a schizoid person. For as long as you yourself see enough reason to keep it going.
There’s just one last example I wanted to add to this. There is one person who is my friend in its truest sense out of all possible to me. We are friends for over 10 years now. We share lots of interests, we have enough in common to understand each other without words, we can toss walls of text at each other on random subjects and always know the approximate response beforehand. Through all those 10 years without a single misunderstanding along the way.
After all this I said here, how come someone could last this long in my life, you might ask? Well, there’s this tiny reason: he’s also a schizoid. Hence he’s totally fine with, e.g., the fact that in past 3 years we meet in person only 5 times for just a few hours at a time. Or that our skype conversations are sometimes months apart. As long as this relationship has no expire date, as long as it takes no daily/weekly/monthly confirmation “yes, I’m sill your bloody friend, do I really have to say it, ffs” – I can really see this being a life-long friendship. There’s just no reason anything should change over time. Though even if it does at some point – well, we both just move on with no regrets.
And yes, on those terms I am always open to new contacts. But, judging from my experience, it’s highly unlikely those terms would be acceptable for many, if anyone at all due the fact there’s not much worth in this kind of relationship with me to the other side of it, whoever it might’ve been. And I’m fine with that. No, really, I am.