They Don't Like You

I think my overwhelming feeling in social situations is that they don't like me. I don't hear a voice telling me this, I feel like I can pick up on subtle clues, looks, and gestures and read the meanings behind it. The particulars of the situations aren't important, the overall gist is that they are just being polite, but really my presence is an intrusion into a closed group that I'm not welcome in. I try to remain relatively quiet and unobtrusive, smile a lot, and laugh at appropriate times. I feel like when I am doing this I'm treading water with a heavy weight. I can keep it up for a while, but it's very draining. I might appear to successfully socialize with others but it's only with great strain and effort to keep from sinking. I am far more comfortable avoiding situations where I know I will feel unwelcome to keep them from maintaining the pretense that they accept me when in fact they can barely tolerate me, and mostly to save myself from being so keenly aware of being unwanted there.

I think the worst possible thing that could happen is if I felt comfortable, like a welcome part of the group, and someone shattered that illusion by telling me they really didn't want me around. I don't remember it ever having happened, but I think I can imagine the feeling so vividly that I must have experience it at a vulnerable time in childhood in a very painful way
MechanicalBull MechanicalBull
36-40, M
7 Responses Jul 11, 2010

You have said this with such accuracy! My bf is always asking me why I dont want to go out, or hang out, or do things. I always tell him I'm an anxious person and it's always been hard for me to describe how i feel when im in group gatherings. Unless I know the people very well, or its only one or two of us, I feel that EXACT way. It is so refreshing to actually read your experience and see that someone else is like that too. And the weird part is everyone i know has these misconceptions about me. They think I'm rude or that i dont like them, and its really just because a couple hours out in a group is exhausting!

It's tough to problem is assuming the worst. It's not good, but at least I'm not alone in it.

I had really bad s.a up until a couple months ago. I thought in that way also, picking up on the subtle differences between what people say and how they act, just smiling to be polite. But then it hit me that, when you are smiling and acting social, others could be reading those exact signs of insincerity on you. That may be why they aren't warming up to you so well.

I know I read people well. Always have. I just hate it when I'm told one thing and their body language (as well as what I hear) says the opposite. Other times it's just reading between the lines.

It's nice not to know I'm not the only one who feels this way, but also I'm sorry so many of us feel this way...

I think most jobs working for a company are like that. I'm glad to be self-employed in a field where I can often work completely alone.

I can totally relate- I go through that at work a lot. <br />
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What I don't understand is why hire me or keep me there when they don't like me? I do my work, but it seems its 90% about being liked and 10% about actually getting anything done.