I Seem To Offend People...constantly...help!

I, well, the title says my thoughts. I try so hard. I make friends, but as my social group gets wider and I come into contact with more people, I always end up offending someone and then it spreads and a whole clump of people start ignoring me. Now, I don't say anything, I'm not verbally offending people, but I seem to do something with my body language or something. I'm very shy, but apparently my outward appearance makes people think I'm not shy, but just incredibly moody/rude/grumpy etc, whatever negative adjectives they can think about.
This post was inspired by a recent bout of people suddenly ignoring me. I'm living abroad. I've made some good friends. I worked in a company, made vague friends with a few people, when I left that company it was on good terms. I kept bumping into my old colleagues out and about, and they were always pleasant. Always. And then one day I see them and *boof* they blank me. And now, whenever I see any of them out around the city, it's the same reaction. I look at them and smile, they ignore me.
Now I was thinking, racking my brains, but couldn't think of anything.

Eventually I saw one of my old colleagues and asked her if everything was ok. She ended up telling me I'd been rude to the secretary - whom I'd never spoken to in my time at the company. I asked her to elaborate and she said I'd purposefully ignored her. This secretary also has taken on my old role in the company. Something I wasn't aware of at all. Apparently, I'd seen her out and ignored her, leading her to conclude it was because I was angry she now had my job. I mean, I couldn't care less. I left the job so I could do a part time language course, so why would I care? Why would anyone believe her? And if I'd seen her out and about, I really wasn't aware of it. I'm very day dreamy and often walk past people I know without realising.

Anyway, I explained this to my colleague who merely shrugged and they still ignore me. I saw one this evening in a bar and he turned his back on me when I went to say hi.

This is the story of my life. I'm aloof I'll admit, a little weird and introverted, but never nasty, yet I always get this kind of thing. I somehow offend someone without me knowing and they jump to conclusions and a massive group of people end up hating on me. I'm just so fed up. Uni was a mine field. I feel like a depressed Larry David, with no one who feels my pain. My last boyfriend used to at least laugh along at my odd ability to silently offend people or trampled muddy feet across social interaction situations, but my current one just says I'm imagining it.

maomimi maomimi
3 Responses Jul 30, 2010

I know this post is from 2010, but I found it now, 2016 and it helped me so thank you!
I go through the same thing as Maomimi so elegantly described. I have learnt that because of my anxiety, social awkwardness, introverted personality, what ever you want to call it, is mis understood for arrogance, cockiness, snobiness, etc
And actually, if I feel comfortable around you, I am very outgoing and extroverted and happy and goofy! But it is VERY difficult to always feel misunderstood and take everything so personally. I wear my heart on my sleeve and have little control over my emotions but I know this is anxiety. I will think "worst case scenario" all the time, which either invites it as the end result, or my worries never come to pass. usually never happens but the thought/fear feels very real.
I envy people who can make friends and KEEP those friendships with everyone and as I watch how they are with people, it doesn't appear to be any different than how I treat others. However, my sense of humor is not always received well and a lot of times I can cross the line, but I am learning how to have filters. At the end of the day I realize this, All I am in control of is how I treat people and how I manage my emotions. That's it. And I know where I need to improve on how I am around people. Don't need to over do it, or try hard, just be fun, caring, kind, a great listener, smile often, show appreciation, compliment others and enjoy the company of those who enjoy mine. What others chose to do or how they chose to act is out of my control and non of my business. if I simply focus my thoughts on those positive experiences and relationships I have, then my mind will be too full and have no room for worry or anxiety.
There is no RED or BLUE pill to fix things. And chances are the people we "envy" have the same fears, pains and frustrations. They just don't share them with everyone.
Every day I try to remember to "choose joy". Because after all, we are in control of our thoughts, emotions and fears.

I do understand so well. I was told I was rude, condescending, arrogant , pushy, unkind,
And the truth was I was afraid I would be put down laughed at made fun of, ECT the more they treated me this way the more I would withdraw from people.
Please don't ever give up on people or yourself. It's not worth it.
Read every thing you can to help yourself. Show Love and kindness to everyone, love heals the soul. Good luck

No, you are not imagining it, sweetie. Introverts like us tend to bring this out in people. I can't explain or fix it, it's just the way things are. I'm finding that letting go is the best way to cope. Refuse to worry about it and move on. (((hugs)))