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Question
Posted by: Miss Wannabe | 2004/11/24

Confusing problem

Hi all,
This is actually such an embarasing problem and I have NO idea how on earth to sort it out!!
I have a very serious problem with making friends. People tend not to notice me for some reason.

I'm 27, normal size 10-12 (depending on the weather... ha ha).
Anyway, and I have long dark hair which I wear tied up or loose.
I don't wear make-up very often, but ocassionally.
I look like a normal average person, I don't have a disease or anything and when people have met me they usually say to my husband 'oh, what a pretty wife you have'. I have a round face and my cheeks go rounder when I smile. Kiddies love me, I have a round friendly face - I'm the rounder version of Angelina Jolie to give you an idea (and shorter, with not as round 'upper chest area...). Ok, that's covered.

And I'm generally a cheerful, helpful person. I help people wherever I can. The thing is people at work will invite me for coffee at lunchtime - ONCE. People get to know me once and they kinda back-off, politely, but the hint is clear. I just can't seem to keep anybody's attention. I work as an admin assistant and I'm not threatening to anyone in anyway. I wear normal clothes, not designer cleavage-popping outfits with a mini anything. And I'm a mother of a beautiful boy (who seems to like me, thank goodness).

Now, this problem hasn't just been in my work life, but in my personal life too. People are friends with my husband more than me, he;'s totally cool with any person from any walk of life. He'll make friends with a waiter/tress within seconds of us going to coffee together. He just has a way of putting people at ease and people smile at him, but people hardly even look in my direction...
Help.

Some people say I speak too fast, so I tried to slow down. My conversation topics are normal (fashion / music / movies, industry-stuff, I even remember the odd joke, etc). What on earth is actually wrong with me? I'd love to know so I can start trying to work things out.

I saw a psychologist, but sometimes I think I'm seeing him because I have no other friends to talk to. So I'm embarrassed because the poor guy can see I don't have a life-threatening mental condition, I just need attention - and at R250 / hour, its not cheap.

See why it's such a terribly embarassing sittuation? I feel like a little girl telling my daddy and mommy that nobody wants to play with me.. boo hoo. I know other people have more serious problems, but as I get older I feel that this is getting worse and I don't want to be socially isolated. I absolutely luv people's company, but they don't feel the same way about me
Any ideas would be so much appreciated.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Sounds a bit like that song in Chicago, the guy who sings about being "Mr Cellophane" who nobopdy notices !
You sopund like a very nice person, with a social anziety disorder or shyness problem. Over Christmas or maybe sooner, I hope to finish (if only they can stop asking me to take on other extra duties !) the reviews of the self-help CBT books, and there's what looks like a useful one on shyness and social anxiety, which might help you a lot. Have you thought, meantime, of getting involved part-time with a charity of some sort, helping people with problems ? You're not so likely to feel awkward when being useful and helpful there, and also usually meet nice people among fellow volunteers.
Ms Thang and DG are so right abo ut the value of being a good listener. Too many people feel awkward in social settings, because they can't think of something brilliant to say, not realizing how little other people need to hear something brilliant from you -- but if you're a good listener, and make THEM feel brilliant, they'll love you for it.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

4
Our users say:
Posted by: D nice | 2004/11/25

Hi wannabe,i will be your friend.

Reply to D nice
Posted by: DG | 2004/11/24

Maybe this is a problem of not feeling good enough yourself, that somewhere inside lies a greater part of you that needs to feel accepted. The first thing you have to know, you have to firstly accept yourself, who you are, what you are and in the present moment. Ms Thang is right in saying people like to talk about themselves, ask them questions- light ones at first, you can't dig to deep at first. People will like you if you show an interest in them.
You may need to learn how to be confident around other people, realise that they are probably just thinking about themselves anyway- not what you are thinking or doing. If they do however tend to jugde you- it is just the mirror inside of them, projecting onto you...and it works both ways all the time. The best way to handle people is to put all personal feelings aside- until you are comfortable with them. Then you will see many relationships bloom.
The best I ever heard, was to have a relationship with people like a dog has a relationship with you. When you are angry, the dog keeps out of your way, and returns when it knows it is ok. It does not ask itself- what it has done wrong, because it has done nothing wrong. All it provides is simple love, no strings attached, and you love it, also no strings attached.
I dont know if this may help you, or may not...but sometimes we need to hear different perspectives, and maybe learn a bit from each.
You are as important as everyone around you, we are all unique and lovable beings- and mostly people need to learn that they must see that inside themselves.

Reply to DG
Posted by: Ms Thang | 2004/11/24

Wannabe, are you a good listener? I am asking, because it is a very important point. Don't fade away during the conversation, ask a lot of questions (not too many) and be sincere and genuinely interested in their opinions. People love talking about themselves and you just need to make all the right noises and correct facial expressions and they will love you!

Also, don't be too eager to make a second appointment (while being on the first one) as that will make you seem needy.

Don't gossip about other people you both know.

I know a woman who 'knows everything about everything'. You can not tell this woman one darn thing - she knows it all - or she knows someone who knows someone else whose aunt has gone through the same thing. It is one thing to be able to relate to someone during a conversation, but quite another thing to take over the conversation with unlimited knowledge. (Not saying this is the case with you - just telling you what I experience).

You sound like a lovely woman - hope you get it sorted.

Good luck.

Reply to Ms Thang
Posted by: sunbabe | 2004/11/24

Hi wannabe, first thing u have to do is to find who u are, just check yourself, how do u do things how do u talk with others,

ask yourself where did u go wrong when u grow up, what makes u to be like thsi maybe that u did not have much friends when u were still young,

whatever u do don't hurt people, if u don't find the right answr for all this there's only person who may help u. that GOD. ask god to give u the sprirt of living and having friends and make u to be as good as u others, coz truely there's no angel in thi world, all people have their sam eproblem

so good luck ;lady in trying to change but always be yourself.

Reply to sunbabe

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