"You seemed shaky" (bad encounter) - Social Anxiety Forum
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post #1 of 26 (permalink) Old 09-25-2006, 11:20 AM Thread Starter
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"You seemed shaky" (bad encounter)


Hi - I just had an upsetting encounter at the Western Union depot, and I guess I need to vent. I was standing in line, and when it was my turn, I told the clerk something to the effect that I needed to pick up some money that someone had wired me from overseas. (I didn't say it in that way, but you get the gist.) She immediately started looking at me really funny - and kept staring at me funny as she told me that I needed to fill out a form in order for her to process the transaction. She directed me to a place where the forms were - and I walked to that area to fill out a form. The way this woman had stared at me - and just her overall tone as she helped me - was stuck foremost in my thoughts as I was filling out the form. It bothered me.

Well, immediately after I left her desk to fill out the form, some other people got in line to be helped by her (I lost my place in line). While waiting my turn again, I had the chance to observe her demeanor with other people. She was perfectly friendly and normal with these other people - no weird and probing stares like she did with me. This was really getting under my skin.

Here recently, I've been getting kind-of "bold" in confronting people whenever I feel offended - I've just reached a point where I'm tired of keeping all of my feelings inside and tormenting myself with them - sometimes (definitely not all the time, but sometimes), I do a little "externalizing". I either (in a nice way) ask people what problem they have with me - or - in some way or another - let my negative feelings be known (even if it's just by facial expression, etc.). So I decided to ask her why she stared at me funny when I initially told her what I was there for. I'm "bold" and crazy these days.

So I get up to the desk and ask her the question. (she was nicer to me at this moment - I guess because my body language changed and I seemed "stronger"...) She answered in a nice tone of voice that it was because I seemed "shaky" as I was telling her what I was there for - that I seemed "unsure". (she actually used these words - "shaky" and "unsure") She said she was trying to figure out what I was actually there for so she could give me the proper directions. Her explanation bothered me a lot, because I hate being so transparent. I hate the fact that people pick up on my "shakiness", and that I betray to others signs of my disorder. But I accepted the answer - for the moment.

She started processing my transaction, and as she was busy processing it, I was thinking about what she had just told me. After a few moments of thinking, I started to become skeptical of this answer. Maybe it is a bit of paranoia on my part to doubt her answer, but to me her initial demeanor toward me seemed to be "more" than just observing that I was "unsure" and her genuinely being confused about how to help me. There seemed to be more hostility or negativity behind her stare. I thought that there may have been some underlying jealousy about how I look and how I talk - she felt threatened by my overall look and demeanor. And when she saw that I was timid and unsure, she took the opportunity to express her latent resentment of me, and/or to try to intimidate me. I know it may sound outrageous and "paranoid" to verbalize something like this, but I sense underlying competitiveness and resentment from other women sometimes - especially on days when I "fix up" a little and look decent and presentable.

But anyway, after thinking about this for a few moments - I got "bold" again. She was still busy processing my form, and I spoke up and said, "people are often hostile to 'unsure' and 'shaky' people, aren't they?" (I didn't say it exactly like this, but it's close). As soon as I said this, she immediately slipped into a negative mode again. With a frown, and in a negative tone-of-voice, she said something like, "M'am - I'm friendly with everyone. I never get hostile to customers. I'm sorry if you took it the wrong way. I wasn't being negative." etc. I said, "Well that's how you came across, " - and that was the end of our "words".

This interaction upset me so much that I didn't finish doing the rest of my errands. I was supposed to go to the mall to see about getting some new glasses, but I thought that something similar might happen again - especially since I was so upset (I'd look even more "shaky" to people). I was no longer in a frame-of-mind to be trying to deal with people. I drove to the mall, and ended up turning around and driving home. I was crying in the car - berating myself and cursing God for having this disorder that is so obvious to others. I was bashing myself for being so emotionally-fragile that I would let something "minor" like this upset me to this degree. And I was lamenting the fact that the world is so cruel -- it seems as though the moment you show cracks in your armor and look less that 100% self-assured, people pick up on it and take advantage. They don't treat you as nicely, they stare at you funny, or just take the opportunity to take out their insecurities on you.

Yes, I have the problem that when I approach employees and ask for help - I am initially a little timid and unsure of myself. Much of this is because of s.a.d. (of course), but part of it is also due to "logistical" reasons that are too complicated to get into (this post is already waay long enough). I often pay dearly for this "shakiness", as I did today.

Now that I got actual "feedback" of how I come across, I can look back and remember countless other instances where I bet people were thinking the same thing as this lady - that I seem "shaky". This causes them to respond in such a way that bothers me - I get stared at, people get meaner, etc. I'm such a hypersensitive wreck. Life sucks!!

"Any time intelligent people make mistakes, they learn from them."

--What a "close friend" of Bill Belichick's said to Sports Illustrated in January 2000, referring to Belichick's first head-coaching job with the Cleveland Browns (which was marred by various troubles).
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post #2 of 26 (permalink) Old 09-25-2006, 11:47 AM
 
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Re: "You seemed shaky" (bad encounter)


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Originally Posted by kintrovert
it seems as though the moment you show cracks in your armor and look less that 100% self-assured, people pick up on it and take advantage. They don't treat you as nicely, they stare at you funny, or just take the opportunity to take out their insecurities on you.


I've noticed this a lot over the years too. I would see people interact with other customers in a line just fine, but when it got to me, you could immediately see the change in people's expressions. I've heard over and over again that most of what you convey is through body language, so I guess even when we make eye contact, smile and try to talk our body language gives us away? I don't know... But there seems to be something about myself that ignites hostility and rudeness in others, even when I try to be nice. But I know what you mean. I always get the impression that I look like I have a flashing sign above my head that says, "naive, stupid and clueless guy right here. Please take advantage of."
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post #3 of 26 (permalink) Old 09-25-2006, 04:44 PM
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First of all CONGRATULATIONS on being able to confront this woman, thats something i think that not a lot of us here would be able to do, i really think you should praise yourself for this it really shows strength of character on your part and hopefully youve really given her something to think about. I would put her behaviour simply down to sheer ignorance and if she has to pick and find fault with people and then SHOW it in her demeanour then it doesnt say much for her character does it? Shes only one person, and probably has her own insecurities as well being that she finds it easy picking this trait in others. Seriously, focus on the positive in this situation you should be proud of yourself!
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post #4 of 26 (permalink) Old 09-25-2006, 09:24 PM
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Wow great job on confronting her! I don't think I'd ever be able to do something like that, though I often find myself in the same situation in which I feel people view me different and negatively due to my intense anxiety. Other people can feel it on me. It hurts a lot because I'm viewed way differently than who I feel I really am. I guess It's hard for people to see past my anxiety. It's great you told her how you felt. Maybe she will adjust her behavior the next time she sees a "shakey" person to avoid coming off wrong and hurting their feelings.
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post #5 of 26 (permalink) Old 09-26-2006, 03:42 AM
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Great, it's good you're being more open. I also see where you're coming from in your speculation that others might find something to feel jealous and threatened about when they deal with you.

I used to get (still do) these strange reactions from people and used to put it down entirely to them thinking I was a freak and weird. However, people I knew started pointing things out to me that made me think there was slightly more to it. When my friends were with me they'd point out I was being checked out by people on the street and I look liked the type of person who could get dates quite easily (I really really can't ). I always thought that if people looked at me they were noticing I was a freak. Probably their interpretations of those glances were being coloured by their own beliefs and insecurities a little. One friend also mentioned how it can be intimidating to people when they see good qualifications etc. and they think that's why some supervisors were out to get me, because they felt threatened. They reckoned my quietness added to the effect enormously and made some people think I was stuck up and so they'd jump on any vulnerability I displayed and use it against me. This does explain some things that have happened. It's very easy to take quiet people as snobs. I'm completely different inside and am often very silly, but they'd never get to see that. I honestly think some people revel in others' vulnerabilities: I was always way too nice and innocent and I'd get attacked and bullied for it.

With SA it's very hard to keep in mind there are other reasons for the way people treat you, and I always forget what my friends told me and just think people are noticing my oddness. I think this is a big part of it because awkwardness can be very visible. I also think we tend to imagine too much what people's reactions mean. Probably, most aren't giving us a second thought. It's understandable you were too upset to do anything after; it's never pleasant being told our nerves are visible because we then start to think about all the other times they must be visible.
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post #6 of 26 (permalink) Old 09-26-2006, 03:57 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by emeraldoceans
First of all CONGRATULATIONS on being able to confront this woman, thats something i think that not a lot of us here would be able to do, i really think you should praise yourself for this it really shows strength of character on your part and hopefully youve really given her something to think about. I would put her behaviour simply down to sheer ignorance and if she has to pick and find fault with people and then SHOW it in her demeanour then it doesnt say much for her character does it? Shes only one person, and probably has her own insecurities as well being that she finds it easy picking this trait in others. Seriously, focus on the positive in this situation you should be proud of yourself!
Thanks and you're right - there were some positives about the situation that I should try to focus on (despite my being so devastated). I "got things off my chest", and was assertive in the situation - and in the end, I felt better than I would have if I hadn't said anything. Yes my "speaking up" invited some more "unpleasantry" on her part, and I didn't like hearing that I was "shaky" - but I should take a little satisfaction in the encounter. Like you said, maybe it made her re-evaluate herself - now she knows that she can't always expect to look at people however she feels like without being called on it. And/or maybe she will become more aware of how she comes across in certain situations.

"Any time intelligent people make mistakes, they learn from them."

--What a "close friend" of Bill Belichick's said to Sports Illustrated in January 2000, referring to Belichick's first head-coaching job with the Cleveland Browns (which was marred by various troubles).
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post #7 of 26 (permalink) Old 09-26-2006, 04:13 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by carry
Wow great job on confronting her! I don't think I'd ever be able to do something like that, though I often find myself in the same situation in which I feel people view me different and negatively due to my intense anxiety. Other people can feel it on me. It hurts a lot because I'm viewed way differently than who I feel I really am. I guess It's hard for people to see past my anxiety. It's great you told her how you felt. Maybe she will adjust her behavior the next time she sees a "shakey" person to avoid coming off wrong and hurting their feelings.
"Other people can feel it on me" - good way of putting it. I often have this same thought - it's like others can smell my fear. It's like being out in the animal kingdom sometimes - animals "smell" fear, identify a weak target, and then go in for the kill.

As far as my "bravery" in confronting her - I'm not sure how I came across my "guts" these days. A big part of it is just accumulated frustration of years of enduring such reactions - seems like I reached a point where I was just sick and tired of silently enduring strange treatment - then ruminating about it over and over while the "perpetuator" just goes on merrily about his/her life oblivious to the fact that he/she added to someone's inner turmoil.

I am not sure how old you are - but you may find that as you get older, you will get bolder and find yourself able to challenge people. That has what has happened to me - there's something about getting older that brings about a bit more assertiveness. (or maybe in my case, it's just craziness) I'm 33 - 10 years ago, I wouldn't have dared do something like that!

"Any time intelligent people make mistakes, they learn from them."

--What a "close friend" of Bill Belichick's said to Sports Illustrated in January 2000, referring to Belichick's first head-coaching job with the Cleveland Browns (which was marred by various troubles).
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post #8 of 26 (permalink) Old 09-26-2006, 04:44 PM Thread Starter
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Re: "You seemed shaky" (bad encounter)


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Originally Posted by Morningrise
I've noticed this a lot over the years too. I would see people interact with other customers in a line just fine, but when it got to me, you could immediately see the change in people's expressions. I've heard over and over again that most of what you convey is through body language, so I guess even when we make eye contact, smile and try to talk our body language gives us away? I don't know... But there seems to be something about myself that ignites hostility and rudeness in others, even when I try to be nice. But I know what you mean. I always get the impression that I look like I have a flashing sign above my head that says, "naive, stupid and clueless guy right here. Please take advantage of."
Yes - it's a real bummer that body language is such a powerful communicator - and is so hard to control (when you're really anxious, it's extremely hard to account for every single part of your body and facial expression). I believe that people do respond to body language - often without even being really aware of it. They subconsciously process the information and subconsciously respond to it.

And I know what you're talking about re: trying to be nice and only getting disrespect or indifference in return. There have been times when I would smile at people, and they would just look at me weird or something like that - and not return the smile. I guess the lack of assurance I have about smiling (smiling first at someone is very hard for me to do, but I try to force myself sometimes) shows up in a "weak smile"

In recent years I've found myself making a bit of a conscious effort whenever I'm out in public to project confidence, to try to stave off disrespectful treatment. Some days I find it easier to look confident than others, and it seems to work (especially if I look frumpy - as I do on most days - and hence not attracting the scrutiny/resentment of other women). But obviously there are often cracks in my armor - especially if someone tries to talk to me beyond the standard "Hello - may I take your order?".

If you come across as self-assured and positive, people usually treat you well. Maybe you can find a way to fake it out in public, like I often do.

"Any time intelligent people make mistakes, they learn from them."

--What a "close friend" of Bill Belichick's said to Sports Illustrated in January 2000, referring to Belichick's first head-coaching job with the Cleveland Browns (which was marred by various troubles).
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post #9 of 26 (permalink) Old 09-26-2006, 05:18 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by odd_one_out
Great, it's good you're being more open. I also see where you're coming from in your speculation that others might find something to feel jealous and threatened about when they deal with you.

I used to get (still do) these strange reactions from people and used to put it down entirely to them thinking I was a freak and weird. However, people I knew started pointing things out to me that made me think there was slightly more to it. When my friends were with me they'd point out I was being checked out by people on the street and I look liked the type of person who could get dates quite easily (I really really can't ). I always thought that if people looked at me they were noticing I was a freak. Probably their interpretations of those glances were being coloured by their own beliefs and insecurities a little. One friend also mentioned how it can be intimidating to people when they see good qualifications etc. and they think that's why some supervisors were out to get me, because they felt threatened. They reckoned my quietness added to the effect enormously and made some people think I was stuck up and so they'd jump on any vulnerability I displayed and use it against me. This does explain some things that have happened. It's very easy to take quiet people as snobs. I'm completely different inside and am often very silly, but they'd never get to see that. I honestly think some people revel in others' vulnerabilities: I was always way too nice and innocent and I'd get attacked and bullied for it.

With SA it's very hard to keep in mind there are other reasons for the way people treat you, and I always forget what my friends told me and just think people are noticing my oddness. I think this is a big part of it because awkwardness can be very visible. I also think we tend to imagine too much what people's reactions mean. Probably, most aren't giving us a second thought. It's understandable you were too upset to do anything after; it's never pleasant being told our nerves are visible because we then start to think about all the other times they must be visible.
Yes, yes, yes - I've been in the same boat as you described. What I've learned the hard way over the years is that it is hard enough having social anxiety - but it is even tougher when you have s.a.d. and you excel, or have something outstanding that people covet. I think when you stand out in a positive way, people do get envious and uncomfortable, and they do scrutinize you more. Often they make you feel as though they are looking for some fault or weakness - and taking a sadistic pleasure in exploiting it - as you said. Something that they wouldn't have noticed in another person (like nervousness) they notice big time in you, because it's like they are scrutinizing you. Or even if they notice that another person is nervous, they don't seem to care as much, or they don't hold it against them - like they do you. I've been in this position plenty of times! (or at least I've felt like I have.)

I mean, even yesterday during the incident above - when I had to stand in line to wait my turn again - I was observing this man who was being helped by this woman. The man was a bit scraggly, and to me he seemed jittery and nervous. He wasn't extremely jittery, but he was nervous enough that it was noticable if you took the time to really look. (He was buying cigarettes...probably in need of a nicotine-fix?) But the woman treated him totally normally, and didn't stare at him or do anything to make him feel uncomfortable, like she did to me. In fact she was friendly and kinda talkative with this man. His nervousness didn't matter to her at all, or didn't even register with her. Yet I can't even get five words out of my mouth before she is looking at me like I'm fresh from Mars.

That may be another clue that my "shakiness" wasn't the total story with her - there was probably a "subtext" of her feeling threatened somehow by me. She had less reason to feel competitive toward and resent on sight a scraggly man than she did me.

I wonder what her response would have been if I had rolled in there looking like I usually do - sweatpants, T-shirt, looking frumpy? Or what if I mumbled and spoke horribly? From my experience, something tells me that she would have "cared" at least a little less...

"Any time intelligent people make mistakes, they learn from them."

--What a "close friend" of Bill Belichick's said to Sports Illustrated in January 2000, referring to Belichick's first head-coaching job with the Cleveland Browns (which was marred by various troubles).
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post #10 of 26 (permalink) Old 09-26-2006, 05:47 PM Thread Starter
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Btw, today I did what I intened to do yesterday - I went to Doctor's VisionWorks to get new glasses. To my dismay, the lady there responded oddly to me when I told her what I was there for. I didn't perceive her reaction to me to be quite as negative and tinged with ill-will as the lady's from yesterday - but the fact that she became uptight and weird, as if I were displaying the same "skakiness", bothered me. But as odd_one_out suggested, maybe it wasn't (only) my awkwardness she was noticing. Maybe she was a bit intimidated or threatened by other things about me.

But it was the same story - she was relaxed, breezy, and normal with everyone one else I observed her with - strange toward me. At one point, when I was being helped by another person, I caught her staring at me. She was staring at me so intently that she almost looked like she was in a trance. There may have been a "reason" for her staring at me - as I have a problem with "spacing out" and she was probably noticing this, but the fact that she put herself in a position to catch this, as if she were waiting for the chance to stare at me, is bothersome. (Maybe it goes back to what I said in the previous post, I'm under scrutiny and people notice every little "hiccup" about me.)

Besides, I see other people staring into space sometimes, and I don't ever notice anyone staring at them for it. I'm always the one getting stared at. It sucks.

"Any time intelligent people make mistakes, they learn from them."

--What a "close friend" of Bill Belichick's said to Sports Illustrated in January 2000, referring to Belichick's first head-coaching job with the Cleveland Browns (which was marred by various troubles).
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post #11 of 26 (permalink) Old 09-26-2006, 05:49 PM
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I'm sorry you were in this situation in the first place (I've been there, too), but she's just doing her job and surely didn't mean to offend you. Confronting her about it probably just made her feel worse and even more uneasy. I've worked as a cashier and anything a customer does that's even a little out of the ordinary (shakiness, nervousness, anger, sadness, extreme happiness) automatically made it harder for me to smile at them and interact with them in the same way as other customers. That might be due to my SA, but if one of them had confronted me and asked why I was being unfriendly, there's no way I could interact with them normally after that.

She definitely shouldn't have stared at you... that's really not cool.
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post #12 of 26 (permalink) Old 09-26-2006, 08:29 PM
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i applaud you for having the courage to confront people about your feelings. it seems as though we're always so insecure about the way we feel, that we wouldn't DARE to think of our feelings as the right thing, or being objective.

case in point: have you ever caught yourself saying to someone else "Being there made me uncomfortable" or "Boy, that was awkward"? probably not, right? because we're uncomfortable and awkward constantly, and we assume that other ("normal") people wouldn't find that specific situation awkward. worst of all, even if we do get the courage to say that to someone, we're always afraid of that person saying "What the hell are you talking about" and disagreeing with us, in which case we really have no basis for the argument.

we immediatelly assume that everything we feel is wrong or that it's just the SA talking, when in fact many things happen to us where the way we feel is completely normal, yet we bulk it together with our "wrong" feelings..

anyway, i feel bad that you had to go through all that.. i, too, notice certain behaviour in people that's only directed at me, so i don't know what to tell you.. when i had long hair, i used to think people stared at me because of that.. when i have an old shirt on, or there's something wrong with my clothes, i'd understand to an extent people staring at me.. but when i go out of my way to make sure i look good and presentable, and people still do it, then it ****ing pisses me off, mainly at myself for whatever the hell's wrong with me..
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post #13 of 26 (permalink) Old 09-27-2006, 02:19 AM
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Originally Posted by OneSADClown
we immediatelly assume that everything we feel is wrong or that it's just the SA talking, when in fact many things happen to us where the way we feel is completely normal, yet we bulk it together with our "wrong" feelings..
Yes, this is tricky. I used to try to bring up this point with therapists but they wouldn't have it. I can see why, but they should at least admit that not everything's in our imaginations.

kintrovert, if you were to be served by a male employee, do you think you'd receive a warmer service? Or do they also give you strange looks?

It's very difficult to tell what's behind people's demeanors. Maybe they're having similar trouble with us, and some of the looks we receive are related to them trying to figure us out. When I went to return some library books yesterday, I noticed the lady give me a kind of look, like she wasn't sure what I wanted or couldn't figure me out. I was feeling quite confident at the time so wasn't imagining things.

If it'd been a few weeks ago, it would have upset me because my SA was worse. I'd have interpreted it as her thinking I'm a freak, scary, or despicable in some way. However, what happened was I barely thought these things and considered other reasons for the look; it made me remember this thread. Maybe I hid my intentions until the last moment and she wasn't sure what was coming (I think she expected me to want to take out the books and hadn't noticed I'd just entered the building). Maybe me not smiling or showing any expression added to the mystery. Maybe I did also look slightly unsure of myself (they have those ribbon barriers you have to navigate). Or maybe I look like an intimidating, confident person sometimes!

All of these thoughts came within a few seconds and as soon as I left I couldn't have cared less what the reason was. Whatever it was, it wasn't under my control, and I'll probably never see her again. If I do, I don't mind because these people have no say in my life. Also, I've come to accept more that I AM different, and it might be taken badly or draw curious glances (I have more nervousness than others, I have unusual interests). Probably, it's the CBT kicking in some more, along with discussing these things here.

I'm also very curious to know what would've happened if I'd had the same horrible supervisors this year instead of in the past. I am sure they would have thought twice about messing with me. Some might even have warmed to me a bit more because I'm a little more open and relaxed. I'm not saying their behaviour was excusable; but it really does make a difference how people treat you if you're assertive and relaxed. Some would probably still feel threatened or jealous, but they might not interpret me as a snob, and also might sense I'm not vulnerable enough for them to mess with anyway.
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post #14 of 26 (permalink) Old 09-29-2006, 02:00 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by cat burglar
I'm sorry you were in this situation in the first place (I've been there, too), but she's just doing her job and surely didn't mean to offend you. Confronting her about it probably just made her feel worse and even more uneasy. I've worked as a cashier and anything a customer does that's even a little out of the ordinary (shakiness, nervousness, anger, sadness, extreme happiness) automatically made it harder for me to smile at them and interact with them in the same way as other customers. That might be due to my SA, but if one of them had confronted me and asked why I was being unfriendly, there's no way I could interact with them normally after that.

She definitely shouldn't have stared at you... that's really not cool.
I understand where you are coming from, but a lot of your perspective as a cashier, I assume, is from having SA. I would have to assume that this particular woman did not have SA. I think I can pretty much spot the signs of SA or even "simple" shyness (the milder form of SA) in another person, and while I was in her presence, she didn't reveal any signs of either.

You are one tough person for daring to work as a cashier. I haven't ever been able to get even close to considering work as a cashier - having even that level of contact with a high volume of people would be too much.

"Any time intelligent people make mistakes, they learn from them."

--What a "close friend" of Bill Belichick's said to Sports Illustrated in January 2000, referring to Belichick's first head-coaching job with the Cleveland Browns (which was marred by various troubles).
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post #15 of 26 (permalink) Old 09-29-2006, 02:24 PM Thread Starter
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i applaud you for having the courage to confront people about your feelings. it seems as though we're always so insecure about the way we feel, that we wouldn't DARE to think of our feelings as the right thing, or being objective.
Actually, I did get very insecure about my interpretations of this woman's response to me. Right after I said, "people are automatically hostile to 'shaky' people, aren't they?", her reaction to that statement was such that it made me feel like, "o.k., I'm in another one of my 'crazy' episodes, aren't I?" Just her tone as she was responding to this was really adversarial, like I was really offending her or something - and whenever people respond like this, it makes me (momentarily, at least) sort-of regret that I started the argument - like I'm thinking to myself, "Oh, you really went and brought it on yourself again, didn't you?" But I tried to "hang in there" and not let her make me back down from my position.

Even when I "confronted" her for the 2nd time about her initial response to me, she didn't have to get hostile and negative. She could have explained herself in a more neutral tone, if she had been inclined. That's another reason why I think she had something against me other than my "shakiness". But maybe I'm wrong. Maybe.

Quote:
case in point: have you ever caught yourself saying to someone else "Being there made me uncomfortable" or "Boy, that was awkward"? probably not, right? because we're uncomfortable and awkward constantly, and we assume that other ("normal") people wouldn't find that specific situation awkward. worst of all, even if we do get the courage to say that to someone, we're always afraid of that person saying "What the hell are you talking about" and disagreeing with us, in which case we really have no basis for the argument.

we immediatelly assume that everything we feel is wrong or that it's just the SA talking, when in fact many things happen to us where the way we feel is completely normal, yet we bulk it together with our "wrong" feelings..
Yep - you are right about this. In the past, I didn't dare share such feelings with others, because I had the general feeling that they were "invalid" - plus, I had in my mind what everyone else was likely feeling and what I "should" have been feeling...so I kept quiet and tried to put up a facade as best as I could. Even today...although I am a bit more open about my social-anxiety, I still often keep my "invalid" feelings about a situation to myself.

"Any time intelligent people make mistakes, they learn from them."

--What a "close friend" of Bill Belichick's said to Sports Illustrated in January 2000, referring to Belichick's first head-coaching job with the Cleveland Browns (which was marred by various troubles).
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post #16 of 26 (permalink) Old 09-29-2006, 03:04 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by odd_one_out
kintrovert, if you were to be served by a male employee, do you think you'd receive a warmer service? Or do they also give you strange looks?
Interesting question - in general (just thinking over the collective of my experiences), I'd say that I've received more "strange reactions" from women than I have from men in these type of situations. As far as this specific incident is concerned, I do believe that if it had been a male employee, I wouldn't have received that strange reaction. Or the reaction would have been significantly "milder" (if he had even noticed my "shakiness").

Men are more likely to respond to women and their looks in a positive way. I am not saying that I'm this gorgeous creature - not at all (!). I consider myself average (and I'm responded to as such on most days). But there have been times when I've received positive male attention, on "good days". So I know from experience that guys respond to women's looks - the treatment they give you can differ drastically according to whether or not they find you attractive.

However with women, it is often the opposite - a woman can get more sneers and negative vibes from other women on days in which she looks good. I've experienced this before - and these past experiences probably influenced my interpretation of this particular incident.

I remember one night when I was in a grocery store...I noticed a few guys giving me friendly or "interested" looks (you know the type of response you get from guys when they find you attractive...these days, this only happens to me once every blue moon). During this same expedition, a couple of women threw negative vibes my way - gave me negative looks and things like that. These totally different reactions from the sexes happened only moments apart! And I had another "cashier from hell experience" this night: the cashier who rung me up stared at me as I approached (not in a friendly way either), and I felt more judged and scrutinized by her than I do by cashiers on most days (she gave me a funny look as I was putting my bags into the cart).

So my most recent negative cashier experience is not without precedent!


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I'm also very curious to know what would've happened if I'd had the same horrible supervisors this year instead of in the past. I am sure they would have thought twice about messing with me. Some might even have warmed to me a bit more because I'm a little more open and relaxed. I'm not saying their behaviour was excusable; but it really does make a difference how people treat you if you're assertive and relaxed. Some would probably still feel threatened or jealous, but they might not interpret me as a snob, and also might sense I'm not vulnerable enough for them to mess with anyway.
You're probably right. I've seen people who seem to have a lot going for them - they could be super intelligent and/or super attractive - and they seem to have no problems with others. Others seem to like them and don't take shots at them. I've noticed that these type of people are more likely to project an aura of strength and invulnerability, while at the same time being positive, friendly, and outgoing. For example: Tyra Banks. She projects strength - while she is outgoing and friendly, she sends vibes that she is not to be messed with! Even when she didn't have the success and the status - I bet she displayed these traits at least somewhat.

"Any time intelligent people make mistakes, they learn from them."

--What a "close friend" of Bill Belichick's said to Sports Illustrated in January 2000, referring to Belichick's first head-coaching job with the Cleveland Browns (which was marred by various troubles).
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post #17 of 26 (permalink) Old 01-14-2007, 09:36 AM
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I had to bring this thread back up because...i experience this alot. I notice that whenever i have my hair looking nice,have on a nice outfit..with some cute boots or something, I get constant stares from males and females. I actually get mostly positive responses when i am "fixed up". People stare like crazy. Eversince i got my hair done...i've been geting hit on by guys like crazy. Its soo uncomfortable for me, because i'm not really good with conversating with guys on an one on one level....unless its with my brother. We went to walmart last night, and i got hit on again by some random dude. I also ran into my ex-boyfriend who seemed very happy to see me eventhough he has moved on with his life. He was like "wow..you look good..you look different". He just kept staring at me. We chated for a bit..exchanged #'s then went on our ways. It seemed like the whole store was watching me. This female even told me she liked the boots i was wearing and said they looked nice. Its just weird the attention you get when you're done up from head to toe. I don't see how beautiful people deal with it everyday....its soo annoying. When i went in Friday to fill out applications at Lowe's and Walmart...i got nothing but smiles and good respones, all because i finally fixed myself up and appeared confident.

On another note....i do notice other females staring me down like..."look at that *****..she think she cute". It just seems like our society is soo competitive and jealous. I even see this in my own family. Like everytime something good happens to me....i wanna share it with them sometimes you know...it just seems like its an underlying jealously factor thats there. Like they dont want me to succed. They don't even wanna hear about all the jobs i applied for. Its crazy because they are suppose to be my support system, but it seems like they love being better than me in life. Expecially my step-mother...i swear the woman is the devil. She can't stand when another woman looks better than her or has more things then her. Females are catty as hell. Thats why i love hanging with men over females sometimes. Me and my brother had a ball last night. We was on bad terms, but we are speaking again now.

We live in a messed up, fake society. I notice that i get treated better when i look good, and i get alot of positive responses from total strangers. When i look like a bum...people treat me like crap sometimes.

....
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post #18 of 26 (permalink) Old 01-14-2007, 02:02 PM
 
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re: "You seemed shaky" (bad encounter)


Interesting topic. I've been put in the same situation, where i'm having an exchange with someone, a clerk or something, and they seem kind of put off by me. Then i'll observe someone else, and see how they interact with them, and it seems to go much more smoothly.

I don't think i'd confront the person and ask them why they were so creeped out by me, because I pretty much know the answer anyway....i'm socially awkward!!!! Us being weirded out by ourselves will ultimately make others weirded out by us as well, no? It just tells me I have some more work to do on myself, I take it as education and move on.
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post #19 of 26 (permalink) Old 01-15-2007, 08:42 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Shauna
I had to bring this thread back up because...i experience this alot. I notice that whenever i have my hair looking nice,have on a nice outfit..with some cute boots or something, I get constant stares from males and females. I actually get mostly positive responses when i am "fixed up". People stare like crazy. Eversince i got my hair done...i've been geting hit on by guys like crazy. Its soo uncomfortable for me, because i'm not really good with conversating with guys on an one on one level....unless its with my brother. We went to walmart last night, and i got hit on again by some random dude. I also ran into my ex-boyfriend who seemed very happy to see me eventhough he has moved on with his life. He was like "wow..you look good..you look different". He just kept staring at me. We chated for a bit..exchanged #'s then went on our ways. It seemed like the whole store was watching me. This female even told me she liked the boots i was wearing and said they looked nice. Its just weird the attention you get when you're done up from head to toe. I don't see how beautiful people deal with it everyday....its soo annoying. When i went in Friday to fill out applications at Lowe's and Walmart...i got nothing but smiles and good respones, all because i finally fixed myself up and appeared confident.

On another note....i do notice other females staring me down like..."look at that *****..she think she cute". It just seems like our society is soo competitive and jealous. I even see this in my own family. Like everytime something good happens to me....i wanna share it with them sometimes you know...it just seems like its an underlying jealously factor thats there. Like they dont want me to succed. They don't even wanna hear about all the jobs i applied for. Its crazy because they are suppose to be my support system, but it seems like they love being better than me in life. Expecially my step-mother...i swear the woman is the devil. She can't stand when another woman looks better than her or has more things then her. Females are catty as hell. Thats why i love hanging with men over females sometimes. Me and my brother had a ball last night. We was on bad terms, but we are speaking again now.

We live in a messed up, fake society. I notice that i get treated better when i look good, and i get alot of positive responses from total strangers. When i look like a bum...people treat me like crap sometimes.
You seem to be so right about us living in a fake, superficial (and jealous/competitive) society! I've experienced the total turn-around in treatment based on what I happened to look like that day. On the one hand - you can get treated better in a lot of situations...you're "respected" more. (Although, I must say - I've been "followed" by store employees even when I was relatively "fixed up". So I'm not sure if the way I'm dressed makes much of a difference in that regard.)

On the other hand - if you're exceptionally, head-turning pretty and/or look exceptionally, head-turning nice - the attention can be overwhelming for shy, s.a.d.-afflicted people such as ourselves. I can relate to your feeling uncomfortable and even annoyed. (Don't get me wrong - I don't get much of that type of attention these days and it didn't happen all that much in the past, either - but I have been in these situations at times in the past.) It imagine that it would almost make you contemplate "playing down" your appearance - b/c in a lot of ways being out in public would be easier then. You can just "go about your business" w/o guys bothering you trying to "holla", lol.

I can also relate to your feeling some underlying jealousy/competitiveness from your own family. Maybe not my immediate family so much - but I definitely feel it among members of my extended family. Especially my female cousins! I've gotten some "vibes" from them over the years. (And on my father's side of the family, I've even gotten some "cattiness" from an aunt.) I don't think they were too crazy about me during the time when I appeared to them to be doing well, and appeared to be on a promising track. I think they have gotten some satisfaction from my "breakdown" - my struggles and total "flame out" in life have made them feel better. I even think they loved it when I gained weight and got fat - they took pleasure in seeing this person who was at one time "health conscious" get overweight.

I have a much better relationship with some of my male cousins. I think a big reason for this is the whole female-competitiveness-cattiness thing.

"Any time intelligent people make mistakes, they learn from them."

--What a "close friend" of Bill Belichick's said to Sports Illustrated in January 2000, referring to Belichick's first head-coaching job with the Cleveland Browns (which was marred by various troubles).
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post #20 of 26 (permalink) Old 01-15-2007, 09:03 AM Thread Starter
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Re: re: "You seemed shaky" (bad encounter)


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Originally Posted by zengirl
Interesting topic. I've been put in the same situation, where i'm having an exchange with someone, a clerk or something, and they seem kind of put off by me. Then i'll observe someone else, and see how they interact with them, and it seems to go much more smoothly.

I don't think i'd confront the person and ask them why they were so creeped out by me, because I pretty much know the answer anyway....i'm socially awkward!!!! Us being weirded out by ourselves will ultimately make others weirded out by us as well, no? It just tells me I have some more work to do on myself, I take it as education and move on.
I can see where you're coming from. I think on some level, I knew, or at least had some idea, of why the cashier reacted to me that way. My question to her had a lot to do with just getting my frustration out about being responded to in that manner. Instead of 100% internalizing things as I have done time after time in the past, when these kinds of things would happen to me over and over again and I would just "absorb" their behavior toward me and ruminate over things in silence...I've reached a point where I just want to "externalize" some of the frustration I feel.

Besides - I don't think it was only the social awkwardness she was responding to (as I've explained). Some of her response may have had to do with her own problems and "issues".

And from your post, you seem have a "peaceful" way of accepting the treatment you receive. I have a difficult time accepting this part of myself (my s.a.), and I have a difficult time accepting the fact that people treat me in a certain way because of it. So my lack of peaceful acceptance is bound to "boil over" at times.

"Any time intelligent people make mistakes, they learn from them."

--What a "close friend" of Bill Belichick's said to Sports Illustrated in January 2000, referring to Belichick's first head-coaching job with the Cleveland Browns (which was marred by various troubles).
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