I think people think I'm arrogant. - Social Anxiety Forum
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-29-2009, 09:01 AM Thread Starter
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I think people think I'm arrogant.

I don't know exactly how to word it.. I think people think I believe myself to be better than them or that I can't be bothered or something.

There is a woman in my town whom I see every day when picking up the kids at school.. she has 2 kids around my kids' ages, in the same grades, she's a member of the PTA, she volunteers for all kinds of different things, etc.

Anyway, for the last 5-6 years now she will ask me if I want to help out at the community garden or help out with the art show, etc. etc. and sometimes I just say no, I can't, I have other plans that day, etc. but sometimes I think "This will be good to get involved in." Either because I like the cause, or I think it would be engaging and beneficial for the kids or for whatever reason. But then as the date gets closer, I freak out more and more and I just end up not going or I e-mail her the day OF or the day before and tell her I can't make it.

I know she thinks I'm a flake, at best. That I keep saying I'll do these things (with the best of intentions!) and then I just don't.

Have you guys experienced this?

Lately, I've just been saying NO more often, but it's hard for me. Like, tomorrow I'm supposed to be helping to set up the art show at my daughter's elementary school, and in theory I think it's awesome. I love art, I love it when kids can express themselves through art, I love opening it up for the community to see, I want to support my kids, and on and on and on.

BUT.. there are going to be other moms there ("normal" moms) and I have two very conflicting fears. The first fear is that no one will talk to me, everyone will ignore me, because I seem so "distant" and don't invite conversation. My other fear is that they WILL talk to me, because then I won't know what to say, I'll end up saying something stupid, or I'll just panic.

I'm afraid of not doing something right, of messing something up, of attention being brought upon me for any reason..

I already feel like I am going to just not go.

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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-29-2009, 09:05 AM
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when my mom was younger the church was always asking her to do things, and finally she got tired of it. The next times the church ladies came around she told them she was Catholic.

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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-30-2009, 07:45 PM
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Sometimes Nike's slogan is best: just do it. People don't think you're arrogant; they probably see you as a flake, but obviously they think there's something good about you because they keep asking you to come to things. Perhaps you have strengths that you are not aware of. Give it a chance. What have you got to lose? If it's stupid, you don't have to go back!
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-30-2009, 08:37 PM
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I have had people tell me they thought I was "stuck-up", mean, b****y. So, I know what you mean about people thinking you are something you are not. Geez, I just don't like to talk!!!
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-30-2009, 10:08 PM
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Several times I've heard that people thought that I was stuck-up, not friendly, thought I was better than they were. I was none of those things, I just didn't have anything to say and I was too shy to say it if I did.
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-30-2009, 11:00 PM
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Wow....you and I could be twins seperated at birth or something...I too am asked to do things at school, church, socially (usually via my outgoing husband) but 8 times out of 10 I renig. I go out in public and I am in consstant fear that I am being ignored, judged, talked about, saying something stupid, not saying enough, I look stupid or fat...the list goes on and on. It is exhausting isn't is?

I'm am probably not much of an inspiration, but I CAN tell you this; the 2 times out of 10 that I FORCE myself to participate (as uncomfortable as this is for me, extremely) - I am the better for it. I do feel a sense of accomplishment and success afterwards (if not always during!).

I also try to concentrate on how great it will make my kids feel or how proud my husband will be of me because he knows how hard it is for me...I always feel like a failure if I don't follow through when they know I was committed to doing something for them...

Just my thoughts!

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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-31-2009, 03:56 AM
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Well to slowly start off maybe one time you could try going there in person and telling her you are sorry but can't stay for the whole thing. It'll seem more personal to whoever invited you I think, might be better than just emailing her and avoiding altogether. Though making the initial decision to go in the first place is pretty hard and you kind of have to make up a good excuse lol. I've tried it though and it seems to get a better reaction.

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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-31-2009, 04:12 AM
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Hi tavi! I find myself in similar situations. People at work and uni think I'm arrogant because I don't smile much (I have difficulty controlling my facial expressions) and I'm also very shy. If I make plans, 99% of the time I will try to get out of them, and most of the time I do end up cancelling at not going at all.

But as danstelter said, 'just do it!' Give it a try once! I agree with goldengirl that forcing yourself to stay in the situation may end up being a good thing.

If people don't talk to you, don't worry about it. They might be just as shy about approaching you as you are them, especially if they haven't spoken to you before. If you want to engage someone, you could try giving them a quick smile. If someone comes over and start talking, you could talk about the weather, or ask them questions (like 'is your child in the art show?' 'How often are these held?') as that can make other them feel more at ease.

Good luck!
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-31-2009, 07:06 AM
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I've had this in the past, people mistaking arrogance and rudeness because i've been quiet, it's annoying actually.
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-31-2009, 06:53 PM
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I think that is common for others to think that we are stuck-up. Even when I met my husband in college, he said that when he first saw me he wanted to meet me, but that I had this thing about me that pushed him away, he discribed me as being stuck up and he thought that I was out of his league. Which none of this was true. Far from it! If anything, I felt just the opposite. Because you don't talk much people think you are stuck up. I actually find that some of the time I prefer the quietness. Some people talk too much and drive me nuts. I also hate when you finally get up enough courage to try to join a conversation, you start talking about something and somebody else starts talking over you - it makes you feel so awful, like what you have to say it not important.
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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-01-2009, 07:19 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks, everyone, for the responses.

I actually didn't end up going, but not because of my SA. I had a flare-up in my shoulders (I have rotator cuff issues in both shoulders) and setting up for an art show (repeatedly lifting my arms up) would have SUCKED. When my arms get like this, it's best to just pop ibuprofen and try not to move them at all. I used to get steroid shots but my insurance won't cover it anymore.

ANYWAY.. I got off subject a bit. I like the idea of "Just do it!" and I say that to myself ALL the time. Sometimes I am able to.

The woman that keeps inviting me to things.. she knows I have SA. I talked to her about it once so that she wouldn't think I was being stuck-up. I was hoping that it would mean she would stop asking. But she does. So either she doesn't really GET it or she's trying to get me to come out of my shell. I don't know.

I kind of put myself in these positions though because I could always say no. But in my mind I'm thinking "Well, it's a week from now. I'll be fine" and I want to be "normal" and do "normal" things like I used to be able to do, but when it comes right down to it, I get scared. I should just start saying no.

I love when I am asked to bake, though. I LOVE to bake and several times a year, the PTA volunteer coordinator will call to ask if I can bake something for a bake sale, or a teacher's breakfast, or something of that nature, and I love that. I feel like I am contributing in a meaningful way without being pushed out of my comfort zone.

But then sometimes I wonder if the best thing FOR me would be to be pushed out of my comfort zone?

Thanks again for replying, everyone.
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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-01-2009, 08:58 AM
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A Lot of people think I am better than them. I even try to down play myself by wearing different clothes and not wearing make up and stuff. I guess it must be my demeanor.

If you fall- fall on your back. If you can look up- you can get up. Les Brown
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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-01-2009, 06:24 PM
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I've heard it from a few people who ask "why I hate them" when I'm just too shy and panicing.

No chains on my feet but Im not free- Bob Marley
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