Me the Person Repellant
Posted 19 April 2012 - 03:59 AM
Connecting with others has never come easy for me. This brings me a lot of unhappiness because that is probably what brings me the most happiness, making friends, and feeling connected.
My life has changed a lot in the last several months. I feel down a lot and have a lot of body image issues so my way of hiding has usually been through validation from a boyfriend. Now I am newly single and staying single to work on myself, and at a new school working toward my career. Classes are really small and you get to know people because of that, which can be good but when something is weird there is no where to hide.
I really want to feel connected with my new classmates and make new friends. I started talking with a lady who usually would sit next to me, not purposely, but just because humans are creatures of habit. We decided to go out together. We went to dinner and have drinks and over the course of dinner we preceded to share really personal things about ourselves. Too much too soon, it made me a bit uncomfortable but I didn't really think too much of it, we had fun and she even told me how much fun she had with me and how she doesn't want the night to end and how we have to do this again. However when next week rolls around I noticed she didn't sit next to me in the place she usually sat, then the week after that she didn't, and so on. I think she felt uncomfortable with all the info she shared or realized something I had said actually didn't sit right with her. I can't really explain it. We had fun? What went wrong.
Last night I had another incident with an older male classmate occurred. I have a bit difficulty dealing with a teacher in my class who is a bit abrasive (she kind of picked on me in a class the previous week). He send me an email saying not to get discouraged, that is just her nature and she and everyone in the class cares about me and has my best interests in mind. Really sweet of him. Last night we had class together and he told me he wanted to give me some guidance, since the class got out late we went to get a drink. He proceeded to hit on me. I felt really insulted about that because I felt that was really inappropriate. He is much older than me, and what is it about me that made him feel it was ok to be so inappropriate. I was nice when I told him I wasn't interested and the night ended fine but now I feel so awkward and I am not wanting to see him ever again. I know now I shouldn't have gone with the drink idea, but reasoned he is just a classmate and I would go with a female and not feel weird. I would never have imagined he would do that.
Now I feel like every classmate I have attempted to make friends with something has gone wrong and I just feel like giving up. Like I will never be able to make a new friend and what is the point in even trying?
Thanks for reading!
Posted 19 April 2012 - 06:38 AM
I can relate to how you feel about connecting with others, I have Asperger's and, even though I want to socialise and make friends, I don't find it easy at all...the worst part is is I'm clueless as to what I do wrong most of the time. You're not alone.
I think you're doing some really positive things in staying single until you're happy with yourself and working on achieving your goals.
Don't be too hard on yourself, it seems that you're far from repelling people, if anything they're warming to you, even if some of the affection is unwanted, it is still flattering and not a bad reflection on you at all.
You'll probably find that the woman was just embarrassed about the things she'd said after a few drinks and has all the same fears as you and therefore avoided you, it's easy to assume that we're the only ones who worry about these things or feel we've got things wrong but we're not. I think you can be pretty sure that this is the case because she said she had fun on the night and wanted to do it again. It's nice that she felt comfortable enough with you to have such a heart to heart with you so early on, even if maybe she felt a bit uncomfortable about it after.
The thing with the guy wasn't your fault, I'm sure you didn't give him the wrong idea, going out for a drink after class with someone is something anyone would do, it shouldn't matter what sex they are. I know it hurts when you think someone wants to be your friend and then they hit on you, but in a way, just because he hit on you doesn't mean he had ulterior motives - he probably genuinely cares about how you feel in class. It sounds like you handled things really well and have no reason to feel awkward. As long as he didn't overstep the mark, you should be fine to act like nothing happened around him...if you can do that of course.
Don't give up on making friends, you have a lot to offer and it would be a shame!
Posted 20 April 2012 - 01:33 AM
((((((((((((( Marina )))))))))))) (you know those are hugs by the way don't you, the brackets around your name...)
I have to say I think you've actually been doing a really good job. It always takes a while to get settled in to a new environment and to establish new friendships. I wouldn't say that any of what you've described has been unusual or evidence of a lack of social ability on your part. It really just seems like part of the whole uncertainty and awkwardness and feeling your way along, that happens when you're beginning anything new.
I agree with everything Firkin said. The lady you had dinner with, obviously I'm not in her head but my feeling was the same as Firkin's - that she probably sat down later on and felt embarrassed at having shared more than she felt was appropriate, and she may feel uncomfortable in your presence now. Perhaps she's ashamed and thinks that you will reject her. Or perhaps she feels a little nervous about the instant familiarity that she felt with you, that had her spilling so much of her personal issues on the very first occasion that you both talked, and she doesn't know how to handle it. One thing I like to say to myself is, try to think more about how you feel about the other person, and not so much about how they feel towards you. Did you really like the person she revealed to you? Would you like to pursue this friendship? If you do, then think about how you can work past this 'bump'. You can make a point of just going past her every now and then and giving her a genuine smile and saying hi. You don't have to get into anything more unless it seems appropriate. Just keep letting her know now and then that you still like her and have no problems with her. Over time she'll either get more comfortable with you and start to respond again, or if she really has some reason to want to stay away permanently, you'll sense it. Or, if you feel comfortable to, you can always take her aside at some stage or email her or whatever and ask her - 'I hope you don't mind me writing/saying this, I might just be making up silly stuff in my head, but I've sort of wondered if I said or did anything the night we went out that upset/bothered you? I felt so comfortable with you and really enjoyed our conversation, but I've been wondering if perhaps I made you feel uncomfortable in some way.' *shrug* Something like that. I think the important thing is to be okay with whatever she chooses to say or do in response. If she doesn't want to be friends, it's not really a reflection on you or an indication that something's wrong with you. She just may feel that she needs a different sort of friendship at this time in her life. And if you can let her have that freedom, that makes you a better candidate as a friend - whether it's for her or for anyone else.
As far as the guy who asked you out... I really agree with Firkin there too. If he was just expressing interest in you, in a way that wasn't in itself impolite, then I think you should take it as a compliment and there's no reason you can't keep being friends. I can understand you feeling a little offended and that it was inappropriate because of the age difference, but you know, everyone sees this kind of thing differently. I know a couple, family friends, who are 20 years apart in age and they have the most lovely and thriving relationship. I myself have had a few relationships with guys that were much older, it was almost a preference for me because I often felt I couldn't relate to men in my own age group so well. But I do remember at one point feeling it was inappropriate when I first started university and a guy much older than me made advances. It seemed so ridiculous and I had thought of him rather like a parental figure, so it stunned me and made me uncomfortable. I think it really just depends on the individual circumstances. I ended up having an uneasy friendship with this man for a few years, because I really admired him and wanted his friendship, hoped he would be a mentor/surrogate parent to me - but he thought of me more as an equal and wanted to have a more adult friendship and possibly relationship with me. It never really worked out. Twenty years on I think about him and I'm kind of touched that he was attracted to me, that he saw so much in me and hoped for so much more than I really could give at the time. I wish we were friends again now! But at the time it was just kind of weird and confusing. So I don't know if the situation with this guy you know is something that you could comfortably have as a friendship, or if it's just too uncomfortable to keep going, that's for you to gauge... But oh, don't go thinking it's all a failure and that everything has gone wrong! I think it's all so interesting and that you're embarking on a fascinating new adventure. Going through all these experiences is a natural part of that adventure and your discovery of yourself and of the world, in a new stage of your life. All friendships take time and patience to create, and often the best friendships start off somewhat rockily. That's not to say you should force yourself to keep trying when something really feels wrong - but it is to say, many good things in life just take time and a gentle, relaxed approach. Many things don't work out right the first time, or the second time, or the third time. That's not to say they aren't going well or that they aren't a good thing overall. I know it can be confusing to know when something really is wrong and when it's just 'teething'. But I guess figuring that out is all part of growing up and learning about life - I'm still doing it and I think we all keep doing it all our lives. Honestly, I think your first attempts at making friends have been really good ones, Marina, and I look forward to hearing about more!
Edited by listener, 20 April 2012 - 01:42 AM.
Posted 21 April 2012 - 02:28 AM
I can relate. Just know you're not alone.
Can't really talk now cuz my spring allergies are bugging me.
Posted 22 April 2012 - 08:12 PM