Assuming That People Won't Like You - Social Anxiety Forum
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post #1 of 50 (permalink) Old 04-27-2020, 03:28 AM Thread Starter
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Assuming That People Won't Like You


Is it normal or common to reach that point where you just think that everyone who ends up meeting you will dislike you or eventually dislike you?

Example: Lets just say you're a student who's looking for a roommate.......or you've signed up for a homestay and you're about to meet your homestay family.

You immediately think.....well no matter who the family is or what they're like.....they're going to dislike me after they meet me. To the point that even when you walk through the door, you are walking in with that expectation. That they're not going to like you. Like you're anticipating it.

How common is it to feel like this? Why do we feel like this?
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post #2 of 50 (permalink) Old 04-27-2020, 04:24 AM
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Probably a very common anxiety symptom for most. Struggled with this alot growing up. Grew out of it thankfully with maturity with some on/off struggle. Though I should've gotten this resolved much younger than I should have. Oddly the past half a year, this came back to me in a rush. Still baffled at what the trigger is. Maybe I am just getting more aware at obvious cues that people dislike me that I have long been oblivious or in denial to before.

The truth is strictly what the ones in power perceives it to be.

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post #3 of 50 (permalink) Old 04-27-2020, 05:01 AM
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This is very common with the social anxiety. I've been going through this for the longest time and still going through it, I don't have friends because of this, I've ruined what could have been great friendships, because I assume that people won't like me, even if they like me now they will eventually dislike me.
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post #4 of 50 (permalink) Old 04-27-2020, 10:37 AM
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I think people think this way because it's how they see themselves. 'If I find myself boring, then everyone else must think I'm boring', and so on. It's often a reflection of how you see yourself. It works the other way too - people who are full of themselves think that everyone will love them, and get hurt when someone doesn't. It points to some internal issue that you need to address.

I don't think it's a helpful way to think. Unless you're well-known for doing some very bad (e.g. criminal), they have no idea who you are, and you them. So they most likely aren't going into the room disliking you, and you have no idea how they will think of you. Accept that you don't know how people think of you, and that's okay! You're able to handle it no matter what. Don't waste your mental energy worrying about what someone might or might not think of you - you'll know as you talk to them x

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post #5 of 50 (permalink) Old 04-27-2020, 11:27 AM
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Hmmm. I don't know. I don't so much assume that people wouldn't like me. I just don't have much interest and/or sometimes fear that people might like me too much. It has happened occasionally. I used to be OK with hanging out with people from time to time but sometimes people got to the point to where they wanted to hang out all the time. Which was too much for me and put me in the awkward spot of trying to figure out how to tell them nicely that they were overwhelming me.

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post #6 of 50 (permalink) Old 04-27-2020, 11:44 AM
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I feel like this because more often than not, it turns out to be true.

 

I didn't always feel this way. It's only been in my time online, maybe the past 15 years, that it's finally occurred to me that the only common denominator in all my failed friendships and negative social interactions, online and off, has been me. I still clearly recall how enthusiastic and optimistic I felt when embarking on new friendships, and how hurt and confused I felt when the other party decided, either after years of what I'd thought was a good relationship or mere days, that they weren't interested in my friendship after all, and often they were quite spiteful about it.

"You can't always be the sun in everyone else's sky!" one new friend snapped at me after I expressed discouragement when SHE forwarded the same e-mail saying that she no longer had time to e-mail and wanted to switch to snail mail...to over a dozen people. (Interestingly, I soon after came across her again posting on a penpal site soliciting more e-mail pals.)

"I've had to drop a lot of friends from my life!" snapped another person I'd actually been casual friends with for several years, after we reestablished contact and she'd cheerfully promised to soon respond to a long e-mail I sent her. (After I'd waited for weeks, then found her, too, asking in her journal for people to mail her because she was bored/lonely, and reminded her of my e-mail, first her girlfriend, then she herself went off on me for thinking I was so important to deserve a reply, even though she'd said she planned to send one...I wasn't even important enough to be informed I was one of those "friends she'd had to drop," I guess. Yet she was looking for more friends anyway.)

There was a penpal girl I didn't even get the chance to become friends with...I replied to her ad, she replied enthusiastically, I wrote again, but didn't hear back...shortly after, I saw somebody with a different e-mail address post the same penpal ad, still seeking friends ...I contacted her again, "Hi, not sure if you remember me but I mailed you before at a different address and I thought we hit it off, maybe you lost my e-mail, are you still interested in penpalling?"...but again, never heard back...I guess I just wasn't the friend any of these people were looking for. I don't know why they first responded as if I was, though.

Then there was the guy I was good online friends with for years, then he just stopped writing and ignored me when he was online, never even got an explanation...and the guy who told me he couldn't be friends with me anymore because I wasn't spontaneous enough, but then stalked and harassed me online under numerous alt accounts ("You're the one who needs to get laid, you indefatigable crybaby, then you'll REALLY have something worth writing about!") for a year before moving on...and the girl whose e-mails fizzled out after a few years, she said her "social anxiety" prevented her from replying to me, yet I saw her chumming around on Facebook all the time with her other online friends and new IRL friends and the fiance she'd never even told me about...etc....

No different IRL, two people who expressed interest in getting in touch or meeting up with me in person then promptly backed out or outright stood me up, because they were "too busy" or "didn't feel comfortable meeting one on one" (then why did they agree to do so?)...even the best friend I'd ever had did the same, after years out of touch she contacted me on Facebook (I was so thrilled to hear from her again), told me how great her life was now, brushed off my hints that mine wasn't going so well and I'd like us to be friends again, then said she was sorry but she had no time to keep in touch due to job, family...I saw her online every day afterward, busy playing Facebook games with her other friends...etc.

Almost all of my school friends (I had no other type of friend) promptly moved on and moved away after graduation, leaving no way to stay in touch, and not seeming to care. Only one friend expressed interest in getting back in touch long after school ended...and her letters petered out with no explanation, too. The last two or three times we've run into each other in public she insisted (albeit rather awkwardly/uncomfortably) that she wanted us to get back in touch but she never replied to my last letter or two e-mails, so...I give up, don't know what else I could do.

This is just a small sample. Something about me just rubs the vast majority of people the wrong way. Doesn't matter how much we have in common or who contacts whom first. Oddly, I usually contacted likeminded people first, things would start out well, then I wouldn't hear from them anymore; whereas the people who reached out to me first usually had nothing in common with me but said they found me "interesting" (I would warn them I'm actually not), yet they soon realized how boring I am to write to, and communication would fizzle out (often after they expressed some disappointment that I wasn't as interesting and chatty as they'd assumed I was)...with just one exception (I've managed to make and keep ONE online friend, though I don't know what she sees in me), the result was always the same.

For ages I agonized over what I was doing wrong. Obviously I was doing something wrong? I begged to know what. My former therapist, and others, gave advice on how to properly make friends. Thing was, I'd already followed all the steps they suggested. I'd been doing everything right, at least to the best of my ability. They were puzzled when I outlined what I'd done, and had no more advice for me. So I wasn't even necessarily doing it wrong, it was just...something about ME, personally, that must turn everyone off.

I'm not imagining it. It's not just with friendships, either, just people I interact with in general. There have been LOTS of people I really liked and admired, only to learn later on that they've despised me all along. I've even had a couple of people tell me, in all sincerity and without malice (and seeming perplexed by it, themselves), that they hate me without knowing why.



Tl;dr...I don't know why, I'm just a strangely unlikable person. 30+ years of the same experience over and over and over, despite me trying all the friendship techniques suggested by others, and trying every other method I can think of, with scores of different people, proves it's not all in my head. So I've learned to assume what is overwhelmingly likely to be true. People won't like me. At best, they'll feel vague indifference/disinterest, at worst, they'll outright despise me and make it very clear. Even the ones who seem to like me at first will soon change their minds. So it's best for me to warn them I'm not worth the time to get to know because they will be disappointed and may feel like taking it out on me like I misled them somehow, and I keep everyone at arm's length, despite the painful loneliness. It's preferable to the anger people usually express when they realize what a sucky friend I am. I've always tried to be honest, I don't know why anyone might think I'm interesting or anything.

Plus, by now I'm so used to not just rejection but the extreme spite and criticism that comes with it, that my anxiety has become overwhelming and I no longer have the courage to try to make friends or to keep in touch. When I first came online 20 years ago I was very outgoing and chatty and excited to make new friends...that's gone by now. I'm lucky if I can respond to one message before avoiding the other person entirely. I'm crippled with fear. I know better. Online is the same as IRL...even worse, in fact. It's much easier to pick someone apart or completely ignore them on the screen as opposed to in person.

So...this isn't pure assumption. It's grounded in cold hard fact. I'm unlikable to the overwhelming majority of people, so it's better for all involved if I try to keep to myself. I don't know/understand WHAT about me is so awful, but obviously it is. Maybe it's just everything...I know I'm selfish and longwinded and overly emotional and needy and exhausting and annoying and boring and a hundred other things. I guess I was just not born to be friend material, and since I'm so dense it took me a few decades of bad experiences to find that out.

This got long so I'll put most of it behind a spoiler, sorry. I don't expect anyone to read through it all.

If I don't reply to you, it's NOTHING PERSONAL. It's my ANXIETY.

***

(Devetko's boyfriend Stan Brooks & Det. Reichert are horsing around.)

Det. Kristeva: "If it were legal you'd marry me, right?"
Det. Devetko: "Definitely."

(It's legal now!! But Kristeva's already married. ;_; )

***

"No canoes...no maple sugar...this place is horribly uncivilized."--Manabozho, Escape From Manitou Island
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post #7 of 50 (permalink) Old 04-27-2020, 03:11 PM
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I think we all feel that way.

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post #8 of 50 (permalink) Old 04-27-2020, 04:21 PM
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I assume that I'm considered "obnoxious and disliked" by all.

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post #9 of 50 (permalink) Old 04-27-2020, 04:34 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Blue Dino View Post
Probably a very common anxiety symptom for most. Struggled with this alot growing up. Grew out of it thankfully with maturity with some on/off struggle. Though I should've gotten this resolved much younger than I should have. Oddly the past half a year, this came back to me in a rush. Still baffled at what the trigger is. Maybe I am just getting more aware at obvious cues that people dislike me that I have long been oblivious or in denial to before.
What I can't understand is, how is this a symptom of anxiety? Wouldn't it be related to self esteem or depression? In my case, whenever anxiety is causing a symptom, the symptom really does feel like anxiety. Some sort of discomfort happening in the moment. Whether its physical or mental. But this doesn't feel like discomfort.....it feels like something else.
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post #10 of 50 (permalink) Old 04-27-2020, 04:38 PM Thread Starter
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This is very common with the social anxiety. I've been going through this for the longest time and still going through it, I don't have friends because of this, I've ruined what could have been great friendships, because I assume that people won't like me, even if they like me now they will eventually dislike me.
If you don't mind me asking, how did this ruin those ruin those potential friendships? Did you withdraw from people? I used to do that because I was scared of losing friends.
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post #11 of 50 (permalink) Old 04-27-2020, 04:43 PM Thread Starter
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I think people think this way because it's how they see themselves. 'If I find myself boring, then everyone else must think I'm boring', and so on. It's often a reflection of how you see yourself. It works the other way too - people who are full of themselves think that everyone will love them, and get hurt when someone doesn't. It points to some internal issue that you need to address.

I don't think it's a helpful way to think. Unless you're well-known for doing some very bad (e.g. criminal), they have no idea who you are, and you them. So they most likely aren't going into the room disliking you, and you have no idea how they will think of you. Accept that you don't know how people think of you, and that's okay! You're able to handle it no matter what. Don't waste your mental energy worrying about what someone might or might not think of you - you'll know as you talk to them x
Well I definitely don't find myself boring lol. That's a rather strange idea to get around too....a person finding themselves boring. Is it possible? You have the traits and interests that you have because you are a certain way. You can only find other people boring when their interests and views don't match with yours. But if you find yourself boring because of the traits/interests you have......why would you have those interests in the first place?
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post #12 of 50 (permalink) Old 04-28-2020, 02:26 AM Thread Starter
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Hmmm. I don't know. I don't so much assume that people wouldn't like me. I just don't have much interest and/or sometimes fear that people might like me too much. It has happened occasionally. I used to be OK with hanging out with people from time to time but sometimes people got to the point to where they wanted to hang out all the time. Which was too much for me and put me in the awkward spot of trying to figure out how to tell them nicely that they were overwhelming me.
I have experienced this rarely, and usually in that situation I find the other person boring lol.

But I have had one friend where the same amount of interest was reciprocated....good times.
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post #13 of 50 (permalink) Old 04-28-2020, 02:48 AM
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What I can't understand is, how is this a symptom of anxiety? Wouldn't it be related to self esteem or depression? In my case, whenever anxiety is causing a symptom, the symptom really does feel like anxiety. Some sort of discomfort happening in the moment. Whether its physical or mental. But this doesn't feel like discomfort...……..it feels like something else.

Things like anxiety, self esteem issues and depression commonly are linked hand in hand with each other. Especially the first two.

Everyone's cases are probably different. And we probably won't know much without diving into deeper context for you and respectively for each of us with these problems.


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If you don't mind me asking, how did this ruin those ruin those potential friendships? Did you withdraw from people? I used to do that because I was scared of losing friends.
I can't answer for OP. But for me, I relate alot to this too. More like apprehension that those friends actually dislikes me all along and are just putting up with me and thus that has been the basis of the so-called friendship (a reluctant friendship they see of me in their part). Me being convinced of this, I started withdrawing from them, grow apart as a result and thus those friendships get ruined. A big no no of mine is, if I know someone doesn't like me, I will go out of my way to let them know I am aware that you don't like me. Thus I show it by cutting off from them or being very distant from them. <Pretty sure that's a concept to describe this.

The truth is strictly what the ones in power perceives it to be.

Enjoy any good things, even the little and menial ones, as you will never know what impending distresses could descend upon you in a moment.
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post #14 of 50 (permalink) Old 04-28-2020, 09:13 AM
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Well I definitely don't find myself boring lol. That's a rather strange idea to get around too....a person finding themselves boring. Is it possible? You have the traits and interests that you have because you are a certain way. You can only find other people boring when their interests and views don't match with yours. But if you find yourself boring because of the traits/interests you have......why would you have those interests in the first place?
You missed my point entirely - being 'boring' isn't the focus. The idea is, if you're worried that someone will see you as X, it's very possible that you think that because you see yourself as that, and then extrapolate that to what everyone must think of you as well. Coming off as 'boring' was an example x

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post #15 of 50 (permalink) Old 04-28-2020, 11:37 AM
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If you don't mind me asking, how did this ruin those ruin those potential friendships? Did you withdraw from people? I used to do that because I was scared of losing friends.
For example, I'd often reject invites from friends to the point where they stopped inviting me. I am very afraid of answering calls and calling is out of the question.

Quote:
More like apprehension that those friends actually dislikes me all along and are just putting up with me and thus that has been the basis of the so-called friendship (a reluctant friendship they see of me in their part). Me being convinced of this, I started withdrawing from them, grow apart as a result and thus those friendships get ruined.
I couldn't have said it better.
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post #16 of 50 (permalink) Old 04-28-2020, 06:21 PM
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You immediately think.....well no matter who the family is or what they're like.....they're going to dislike me after they meet me. To the point that even when you walk through the door, you are walking in with that expectation. That they're not going to like you. Like you're anticipating it.
It's true that someone meeting you for the first time may find something undesirable about you but I wouldn't translate that to outright dislike. We all have our quirks and some people may or may not tolerate them. It could be a particular trait about you that is a turn off - not you as a whole person. After you get to know the person and feel comfortable with them, it may help to bring up the "quirk" that you think is bothersome and see if they're thinking about it as much as you are. It could be that they were paying no mind to it. But if the "quirk" is a problem having it pointed out can help to address it. And by quirk I don't just mean social anxiety - that's too broad. I think focusing in on a specific action/behavior is better.

There's a sort of syncing process that happens when getting to know someone to see how you will best get along. I tend to think things like "Do they have similar life experiences? What are their interests? How is their temperament coming across?". At some point everyone will have a feel for what the other person is like and what to expect or not expect.

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I've ruined what could have been great friendships, because I assume that people won't like me, even if they like me now they will eventually dislike me.
To me, everything in the universe has a finite nature to it. Things come into and out of existence whether it is human life, the duration of a product or a happy moment. Our desire to hold onto what brings joy is natural and it can be disappointing when what we want disappears. But what is always here is the present moment. What do I have right now? If I concern myself with how it could vanish tomorrow or how I didn't have as much as I did in the past then it robs what I currently have in my grasp.

Also life is so unpredictable. We cannot guarantee that what we obtain will last forever. For this reason I tend to view potential friendships as experiments - let me go all out with being myself with these people and see what happens. If it doesn't work out, no need for me to take it personal (although there probably are some small things I could learn from it). If it does - great! I can now be my vulnerable self with the group. And what if the new group doesn't last? That's fine too - there is always another group to join if I keep searching and am persistent and motivated.

Life is an experiment where there are many trials. It only does harm to assume trial 1 will produce the miracle drug that cures all.

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I'm unlikable to the overwhelming majority of people, so it's better for all involved if I try to keep to myself. I don't know/understand WHAT about me is so awful, but obviously it is. Maybe it's just everything...I know I'm selfish and longwinded and overly emotional and needy and exhausting and annoying and boring and a hundred other things. I guess I was just not born to be friend material, and since I'm so dense it took me a few decades of bad experiences to find that out.
I think you're an awesome person tehuti88! Each thoughtful, supportive post you create shows you are friend material!! If someone says that you're boring go tell them to entertain themselves - people are not gaming consoles . I am sad to hear that you feel this way when you have given your all to this forum and made the website a better place.

Know and believe in yourself, and what others think won't disturb you (William Feather)
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post #17 of 50 (permalink) Old 04-28-2020, 07:00 PM
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I think I feel this way because I'm aware of traits that I'm lacking. I assume the lack of these traits makes me unlikable
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post #18 of 50 (permalink) Old 04-28-2020, 08:54 PM Thread Starter
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I can't answer for OP. But for me, I relate alot to this too. More like apprehension that those friends actually dislikes me all along and are just putting up with me and thus that has been the basis of the so-called friendship (a reluctant friendship they see of me in their part). Me being convinced of this, I started withdrawing from them, grow apart as a result and thus those friendships get ruined. A big no no of mine is, if I know someone doesn't like me, I will go out of my way to let them know I am aware that you don't like me. Thus I show it by cutting off from them or being very distant from them. <Pretty sure that's a concept to describe this.
I have this fear too. Even more so since the last 5 years. I'm also scared of talking to people because I sometimes wonder, do they really want me to talk to them?
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post #19 of 50 (permalink) Old 04-28-2020, 09:07 PM
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I felt this way all my life and I'm usually right on point.
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post #20 of 50 (permalink) Old 04-28-2020, 11:25 PM
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I felt this way all my life and I'm usually right on point.
Saaame, omg. I even had a kid in elementary school who I thought was my friend, he told me "I never liked you to begin with".

In retrospect, that was quite devastating for my self-esteem.
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