Been in TRP for almost 2 years.
Worked hard on SMV. Have gotten to an objectively pretty good place. Dress well, I'm 6'5 and muscular. People tend to defer to me usually.
I was straight up unable to make eye contact with people for the longest time because of long term isolation, let alone speak properly.
Got a sales job and quickly came out of my shell. In one on one situations, I can speak to almost anyone. Even attractive females. I can tease people one on one, tell stories and sit around talking about anything.
But for the life of me, I am so fucking cringe when it is a group social scenario.
I was just getting coffee with my friend (who's a prototypical Chad, 6'3 insanely jacked, confident white guy). When we meet, he's literally speaking to every single person in our path. So when I got to the shop, he was already there talking with people, so I go to the line to order.
I open this HB7 behind me and he immediately strolls up, gives me a handshake and introduces himself to her. Then 10 seconds later, we're walking to an open seat and he opens a group of HB6's next to us.
He keeps a dialogue with them open for a few minutes. We all are sitting around doing the bullshit pleasantries, and he's leading the entire interaction with them. Asking them how they all know each other, etc.
Then we split off, and I'm already exhausted because I've met about 7 new girls in the span of 10 minutes. This is coming from a guy who literally couldn't hold eye contact or not stutter with girls less than 2 years ago.
So we're chilling, and these two kids walk by with their parents. Immediately my friend spins into action, talking to the kids in Russian (how the fuck did he learn Russian?) He opens a dialogue with the parents in Russian, and then afterwards explains how he picked up some Russian because he travels there once a year with one of his girls.
Then ten minutes later a group of guys walk in, and he knows them. He introduces me to everyone, and leads the conversation, and announces that all 6 of us need to go get drinks ASAP. Now all of us are going out next weekend.
Most of the time while he's doing all this, I'm in the background, being polite, saying hi, etc. Internally I'm cringing, cuz I am not this social, ever.
For myself, I have made an active effort to improve my social skills, and it's worked. But I absolutely suck if it's a group scenario. I'm not good at jumping into the conversation, and feel awkward, and quickly drained, like I need a nap to recharge.
How do I get better at this?
It's literally so painful/cringe having to endure all this social stimuli.
Edit: to be clear, I love my friend. He's one of the most loyal, chill dudes I've ever met, and has helped me improve tons since we met. No resentment towards him at all. I don't get bitter, I get better. Think it might be best to hang with him alot, cuz he forces me to be better.