Why do people act like this around me? How do I become more approachable? - Social Anxiety Forum
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post #1 of 26 (permalink) Old 10-13-2012, 04:43 PM Thread Starter
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Why do people act like this around me? How do I become more approachable?


I thought once I got to college my social life would be better than it was in high school. But now in my sophomore year, I feel more alone than Iíve ever been. I am a shy person, but I try my best to act like I have some confidence. However, Iíve noticed that whenever Iím talking to people (both strangers and people I know), they seem really uneasy around me.

Some recent examples:
I was having a conversation with two guys, and guy #1 blatantly avoided eye contact with me. All three of use were contributing to the conversation, but whenever he replied to my comments he looked straight at the other guy. It wasnít that he was shy (heís a confident, loud person), and he definitely doesnít like me (he has a gf). He looked really uncomfortable, you could tell he didnít want to speak to me.
The other day I was sitting at a table on campus, and since theyíre pretty big, people often have to sit with strangers. Three of my friends, myself, and two girls I donít know were sharing a table. One of the two girls was frequently staring me down with a look of disgust on her face. Even when I made eye contact with her, she didnít look away. I eventually couldnít take it anymore and made up an excuse to leave.

Iím not a girl most people would call ďhotĒ, but I wouldnít go as far as saying Iím ďuglyĒ either. Iím not sure what it is about me that turns people off.

Iíve tried so many things to try and make myself more approachable. These things include initiating the conversation and smiling (I stopped doing this because it just made people feel more uneasy). Iíve tried being involved at school by joining clubs and study groups. People just do not want to talk to me. What should I do?
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post #2 of 26 (permalink) Old 10-13-2012, 04:45 PM Thread Starter
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Sorry for all the errors. I wrote this in a rush and just realized that my post was not well written.
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post #3 of 26 (permalink) Old 10-13-2012, 05:27 PM
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Some people just don't like you and you gotta accept that.
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post #4 of 26 (permalink) Old 10-13-2012, 05:58 PM Thread Starter
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This isn't something that just happens occasionally. MOST people I try to interact with react this way.
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post #5 of 26 (permalink) Old 10-13-2012, 06:10 PM
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I'm a dude and I go through the same things. What I learned is that people can detect negative vibes. Maybe you're putting off a negetive vibe that they do not like.
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post #6 of 26 (permalink) Old 10-13-2012, 06:17 PM
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If your acting awkwardly around people then it will be awkward for them aswell
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post #7 of 26 (permalink) Old 10-13-2012, 06:27 PM
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I have started to notice this over the past few months as well. Some people just seem tense and strange around me. Like, they are not relaxed. They NEVER make or maintain eye contact and sometimes they stutter. Not all people, but i've noticed a few. The thing is, they speak and interact with others just fine. Weird. I do kinda agree with the previous poster about people feeling your negative vibes/uneasiness and reacting to it. I just wonder how I appear to these people to make them behave in that way.
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post #8 of 26 (permalink) Old 10-13-2012, 07:41 PM Thread Starter
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Is there a way to give out positive vibes? I generally try to be optimistic, and my voice is naturally high and cheerful. I don't think I appear as sad as I am..
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post #9 of 26 (permalink) Old 10-13-2012, 09:15 PM
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If you feel uneasy around people, most of them will pick up on that as well (as I've figured out). There are days where I make an effort to go out of my way and talk to people, but then my voice tone may sound more depressed than usual or my body language seems closed off (slouching a bit, not smiling, looking tired, etc.) and they pick up on that no matter how good my intentions are.

It's not enough to contribute to conversations either sometimes. It's also what you say that matters. Maybe you sounded negative? Maybe you were being loud? Being animated helps sometimes or cracking jokes.
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post #10 of 26 (permalink) Old 10-13-2012, 09:20 PM
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welcome to the forum! You'll find alot of college students here with similar complaints, so stick around and browse the forums.

If "MOST people I try to interact with react this way", then you're giving off some sort of negative vibe. If socializing has been a persistent problem for you, have you looked into therapy? Many colleges offer it free to students. You say "I try my best to act like I have some confidence", but clearly it's not working.
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post #11 of 26 (permalink) Old 10-13-2012, 10:41 PM
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Yeah, I intimidate people too. I think it's due to people detecting my anxiety, which is often severe so I expect that. But I think my anxiety comes through as awkward / off body language rather than meek / timid, so people tend to be put off rather than find it endearing. It's mostly stuff that you're not in much control of or don't notice. So consciously changing your facial expressions or voice pitch will probably be of minimal help. I think you'd have to aim for lowering your anxiety. Are you even aware of how you look when you are talking to people? Sometimes I have looked in the mirror right after and realised I was vaguely scowling. I had no idea, I thought I had a different expression on. Maybe the girl who looked disgusted was mirroring you. Either that or perhaps you misread her and exaggerated the negative expressions (common in SA).
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post #12 of 26 (permalink) Old 10-14-2012, 05:46 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wrongnumber View Post
Yeah, I intimidate people too. I think it's due to people detecting my anxiety, which is often severe so I expect that. But I think my anxiety comes through as awkward / off body language rather than meek / timid, so people tend to be put off rather than find it endearing. It's mostly stuff that you're not in much control of or don't notice. So consciously changing your facial expressions or voice pitch will probably be of minimal help. I think you'd have to aim for lowering your anxiety. Are you even aware of how you look when you are talking to people? Sometimes I have looked in the mirror right after and realised I was vaguely scowling. I had no idea, I thought I had a different expression on. Maybe the girl who looked disgusted was mirroring you. Either that or perhaps you misread her and exaggerated the negative expressions (common in SA).
Wow, everything you wrote really hit home. Maybe I have a "chronic *****face" problem.. (http://blog.krisatomic.com/?p=1617)

I've really been trying to lower my anxiety via self-treatment, but nothing has worked . I guess it may be time to see a professional like the other user suggested.
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post #13 of 26 (permalink) Old 10-14-2012, 07:52 PM
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I thought this might be a post that I could weigh in on with a theory I came up with several years ago. A lot of people might disagree with it, so it's just my opinion or something I've pondered because throughout my entire life people have always tended to avoid me or act like I don't exist. Even when I've made the best efforts I could to be friendly and try and converse with others and find common ground with people.

So my theory is this: Typically, if something exists on one end of the spectrum, then usually there exists something on the opposite end of that spectrum. For example, if there are people around who are the fastest runners in the world and can run fast, then there must be people around who run very slow. There are people around who are smarter than most people, so obviously there are individuals walking around who are dumber than most people.

Ok, so, have you ever noticed that there tends to be someone in your school or workplace that others always tend to follow, or are always the center of attention? Even in cases where you can't really figure out what it really is about that person that other's like about them so much. There was one guy in my graduate class that everyone elected to be our class representative. However, he made a very poor one, he had no business being our representative. But for some reason, even though this guy wasn't really that outgoing, he was always the center of attention a lot of the times. I couldn't quite figure out why that was or why people elected him to be our "representative" even though he proved to be a crappy one. But people always wanted to be friends with this guy and hang around him. He wasn't that charismatic, but for some reason, everybody liked this guy.

So.....obviously there exist something on the opposite end of the spectrum. Just as there are few individuals in any setting that people tend to follow, there are also few individuals that people gravitate away from. And in a lot of cases, ya can't really put your finger as to why people gravitate away from certain people such as me. They just do. I mean, even rotten crappy individuals that lie cheat and steal, have friends.


In short, for every person that seems to be a "natural leader" that always seem to attract people to be around them no matter where they go, there also exist people who are the exact opposite even though they might be friendly normal looking individuals. I'm that person. I'm a decent looking nice guy, but very few people ever want to be around me. It's a vibe or a frequency, it's unexplainable. Just as it might be unexplainable as to why some people make friends so easily with zero effort in doing so. It's like, they can just sit somewhere still and quiet, and still attract people. I can sit still and quiet someplace, but yet repel people. People just tend to gravitate away from people such as me and there really is no explanation for it, just as I couldn't figure why some individuals that seem to be rather boring and average looking, have people gravitate towards them.
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post #14 of 26 (permalink) Old 03-07-2015, 07:53 PM
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same thing allways happens to me


Hi my name is Miles I have this problem alot I do have depression and anxiety so maybe that's why I'm not sure if that's the reason?
I'm nice to people can some one please tell me what they think it is?
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post #15 of 26 (permalink) Old 03-07-2015, 08:51 PM
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Yea I just basically realized 2 or 3 years ago that this was my problem all along. In my case, I panic if I have to even as much as say hello to someone. So in my panic, they detect hostility. This has basically ruined my life, women to job opportunities, everything. People don't want negative people, I am not really that negative but that is how they see me. I am alone on the computer now completely relaxed, but if I knew I had to go out somewhere, my anxiety would spike to extreme levels.

I am convinced looking back that I have had this problem since if not birth at least 1st grade because even at 6 years old, I had people who wanted to fight me and had no friends. Even as a freaking toddler practically, I have had this problem so 30 Plus years. Have no clue how to solve this and as it stands I am convinced everyone I meet hates my guts even to this day
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post #16 of 26 (permalink) Old 03-08-2015, 10:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GhstRider View Post
I'm a decent looking nice guy, but very few people ever want to be around me. It's a vibe or a frequency, it's unexplainable.
I actually think you are very attractive. Just messing around haha
Agree completely, I have really bad aura, and no matter how friendly
I speak or what kind or polite words, you can't fake the inner energy you
give off.

I think it is that deep down I hate people or humanity, I am a misanthrope, but even some misanthropes have friends, very hard to explain how I ended up like this, maybe inner demons or past bad experiences, or maybe even something I did in a past life I am paying some penance for.
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post #17 of 26 (permalink) Old 03-08-2015, 10:59 PM
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Story of my life. I just have this "aura" that repels people. I'm pretty sure that most people even hate me to some degree (introverts and extroverts alike).
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post #18 of 26 (permalink) Old 03-08-2015, 11:03 PM
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You're either imagining it or you give off awkward vibes. IDK how to fix it. I have this problem myself.
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post #19 of 26 (permalink) Old 03-08-2015, 11:03 PM
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People have always irrationally hated me. No matter what. I have to assume that some manner of religion is true and I've been cursed somehow by the gods.

No one's special

I'm a dull boy, work all day
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post #20 of 26 (permalink) Old 03-08-2015, 11:14 PM
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This is a 2012 thread ...

- I now issue the call, are you ready to fight
Fight all together as one for the right to be free once again
Tonight we will win

I can see by the look that you have in your eyes
You came here for metal, to fight and to die
Defenders of Steel now we are home

Fight for the kingdom bound for glory
Armed with a heart of steel
I swear by the Brothers who stand before me
To no man shall I kneel
Their blood is upon my steel
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