Discussion Uncertain if I am unconsciously repelling peers and friends. Or am I simply overthinking the issue?

Satyrist

Senior member
Dec 11, 2000
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Preface : Not looking for a diagnosis, that's more appropriate for doctors or trained therapists; Simply looking to try and identify the issue, and take appropriate steps afterwards, if it happens to be possible.

I look at attempting to do right by everyone else, though I realize I'm not perfect. I look at attempting to be humble and realize that plenty would not consider me anything special by any means.

Being a cancer, (where it applies at least) I'm more quiet and reserved. I look at giving my all with regards to work and other activities, though I'll admit I'm pretty boring compared to most people...I've been a workaholic in that regard. Perhaps made more friends with those I've worked with, which I've found might not be the greatest idea in every occasion. Proverbial wallflower in a lot of cases socially.

I get the impression that after a point of time, I tend to get forgotten fairly often, by a lot of people. Perhaps I'm not being proactive because I don't want to bother folks with things I might need advice with, or even help; I do realize that everyone has their own life to live however....I try to be conscious of people's space.

I do have a small group of friends, or at least colleagues that I feel comfortable with.

I'm realizing how much I'm going to need to continue to do with networking as I move into a different field (IT) after 20+ years in advertising, it is still rather daunting to me. (Not that this is stopping me by any means!)

This has made getting a better job more challenging, quite aware that lots of places don't want to touch me being over 40, it gets a bit frustrating as I continue to look for work. Not looking for a resume review or coaching so far as this particular post, though I constantly wonder what I'm doing wrong. Maybe working for bad places has put blinders on me, I'm not sure.

Anyway, before this post turns into a novel, I guess the point would be to ask,

Aside from being human, anything that might appear to be wrong from what I've written so far, or am I simply overthinking what goes on in daily life?

Thank you.
 

ImpulsE69

Lifer
Jan 8, 2010
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You sound like me...socially awkward at times, with no real interest for small talk or rapport. I have zero interest in most sports and find them to be a waste of time and money - which puts off many people since that is their 'go to' for conversation starters. I've gotten better as I've gotten older - mostly work has forced me to be, but I've never been a 'good' interviewee. Sometimes wonder how I even landed the jobs I have.

Getting into IT over 40 is going to be tough if you don't have years of experience to bring to the table.
 

Satyrist

Senior member
Dec 11, 2000
458
1
81
You sound like me...socially awkward at times, with no real interest for small talk or rapport. I have zero interest in most sports and find them to be a waste of time and money - which puts off many people since that is their 'go to' for conversation starters. I've gotten better as I've gotten older - mostly work has forced me to be, but I've never been a 'good' interviewee. Sometimes wonder how I even landed the jobs I have.

Getting into IT over 40 is going to be tough if you don't have years of experience to bring to the table.
I do have experience....Though very little of it is from actual work experience. I am working towards certifications at the moment, which I know....Are just paper past a point. But one has to start somewhere!

Catching up with folks is something I try not to use as a manner to get help with something when I can help it....

Folks seem to drift away not long after otherwise it seems. Is appearing aloof and reserved somehow being mistaken for being arrogant or rude?
 

kt

Diamond Member
Apr 1, 2000
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I've learned a long time ago that life is too short to worry about what other people think of you.
 
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snoopy7548

Diamond Member
Jan 1, 2005
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I sometimes still have the same problem. You over-analyze things and worry too much, which causes you to be a pushover and second guess yourself, so you end up doing nothing. Just be yourself; if you don't know what that is, find out. Only you can solve this, unless you want to talk to a shrink.

In short, you're too nice and come off as desperate.
 

interchange

Diamond Member
Oct 10, 1999
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I find astrology to be hocum, but even despite that I don't find anything off-putting about what you presented. Quite the opposite, really. You seem to detail a lot of effort to not be off-putting. Being closer to others isn't merely accomplished by failing to drive people away. I'm sure you've met some pretty offensive people who nonetheless have strong relationships with others.

My suggestion is you try and identify what is important to you to have more of in relationship with others and not be afraid to advocate for it more.
 
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BudAshes

Lifer
Jul 20, 2003
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I find astrology to be hocum, but even despite that I don't find anything off-putting about what you presented. Quite the opposite, really. You seem to detail a lot of effort to not be off-putting. Being closer to others isn't merely accomplished by failing to drive people away. I'm sure you've met some pretty offensive people who nonetheless have strong relationships with others.

My suggestion is you try and identify what is important to you to have more of in relationship with others and not be afraid to advocate for it more.
I think one of the big reasons many people like us(us being the emotionally repressed tech nerds) have trouble making real friends is a fear of showing vulnerability. We overthink things and run situations over and over again in our minds treating life like some sort of simulation that can be solved. The truth is the only way to make a real friend is to be vulnerable with them and to make mistakes and fail and piss them off and have them piss you off. I've found in life that you make another person much happier by having them help you, than you will ever make them by helping them. Obviously this can go too far one way or the other, but I think it's easy to forget that people want to feel needed.
 
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deadlyapp

Diamond Member
Apr 25, 2004
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First thing I notice in your post is that you are characterizing your behavior based on a zodiac sign, essentially putting the blame on astrology vs your own behavior.

With that said, your behavior is probably not that abnormal for someone who is more inwardly focused and at 40 years old you're likely not going to be able to change it in any meaningful amount of time to impact the remainder of your life. Your best bet is to put yourself in social situations where you are comfortable and can open up more - whether or not it is groups of like minded people, continuing education classes with strong group component, etc. It is common and not that strange to drift away from people - I maintain some level of contact with childhood friends, college friends, but I don't talk to them regularly, and I don't think that's uncommon. I have a very small group of acquaintances near me, but generally don't spend a lot of time hanging out with any of them because I'm more focused on my career, my health, and family.

It's all about what you prioritize in life.
 

mindless1

Diamond Member
Aug 11, 2001
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I think you need a new hobby that keeps you busy and puts you around a new group of people.
 

dank69

Lifer
Oct 6, 2009
32,118
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People think of you far less than you think they do.
I think about people I never see anymore all the time. No reason to think others don't do the same. However, yeah, people tend to overestimate how much others think about them, probably by a lot.

OP, I learned recently that the key to being seen as charismatic is to make other people feel good about themselves. It's kind of difficult to describe but as an example, when golfing with someone it's the difference between saying "nice shot" and "you have a great golf swing." Complimenting the action is nowhere near as effective as complimenting the person. Interestingly enough, this is an important distinction when interacting with your own children. It is much more effective to say "you are so good at drawing" than it is to say "that is a great picture you drew."
 

rcpratt

Lifer
Jul 2, 2009
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I don’t even understand what you’re asking. It sounds like you’re just not a very social person. I can certainly relate (I imagine many here can), and it’s the first thing I would change about myself if I could, but it’s not something “wrong” with you. It just means you have to work harder than others to be social and use your other skills to offset that weakness.
 
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Satyrist

Senior member
Dec 11, 2000
458
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Regarding astrology? I look at not placing too much weight with that. After doing (just a tiny bit!) of further thinking, perhaps I should have worded it a bit better :

Does the appearance of looking aloof, reserved, or quiet somehow (sometimes incorrectly) mark people as being an unfriendly asshole? Obviously whether one cares that or not is their choice; It can sometimes make for a hurdle for socializing with new people though I would think - Perhaps that's what I'm seeing, as per rcpratt's point - A direction to consider with socializing. (but not overthink it, as man have mentioned so far. Thank you!)
 
Feb 4, 2009
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Without reading what you typed, yes you are over thinking it
Any time you think you are “over thinking” typically that means you are over thinking.
 

clamum

Lifer
Feb 13, 2003
26,240
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I kinda feel like I repulse females but it's probably just in my head. I feel like they consider me invisible. And they used to show interest in me, like when I was 20-21 (I'm 35 now, fml). I even shower daily and brush my teeth so I don't think it's an odor thing. lol

But like I said it's probably in my head. Plus I'm introverted and kinda shy, so that's probably the reason. KEWL
 

snoopy7548

Diamond Member
Jan 1, 2005
7,286
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I kinda feel like I repulse females but it's probably just in my head. I feel like they consider me invisible. And they used to show interest in me, like when I was 20-21 (I'm 35 now, fml). I even shower daily and brush my teeth so I don't think it's an odor thing. lol

But like I said it's probably in my head. Plus I'm introverted and kinda shy, so that's probably the reason. KEWL
Do you blink while talking to them, or just give that thousand-yard stare?
 

DAPUNISHER

Super Moderator and Elite Member
Moderator
Aug 22, 2001
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"repelling peers and friends"

I am intrigued by your ideas and would like to subscribe to your news letter.
 

interchange

Diamond Member
Oct 10, 1999
7,790
2,477
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Does the appearance of looking aloof, reserved, or quiet somehow (sometimes incorrectly) mark people as being an unfriendly asshole?
Frankly, it actually does. And people aren't assholes for making such attributions. A lot of our body language is simply hard-wired or at least socialized into us unconsciously at a very early age. There is positive feedback from abnormalities in eye contact, etc. and negative cognitions about one's social ability and status. That can exacerbate things by adding embarrassment and fear. You certainly could, even as an experiment to record results if you wished, do intentional practice of making eye contact, smiling, keeping your body position more open and filling more of the available space, gravitating more toward the center of a room instead of the borders, etc.
 

ctbaars

Golden Member
Nov 4, 2009
1,568
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@interchange Sooo, it's okay for me to think you're an asshole? Sure, anyone can attain that attribute. I'm not sure it's okay though.
 

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