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to be a really upset by this and want to find out how to change myself?

(31 Posts)
CoochieCoo99 Thu 03-Apr-14 22:09:35


I've moved to a new place about a year ago, and have been struggling to make friends. I'm naturally very shy, but I try my hardest to be more outgoing. I've fallen in with a group of women who all know each other, and have been out to lunch with them about 3 times.

At one of these lunches I agreed to join in with running a half-marathon which is on Sunday. Today you had to go and collect your race pack, and so one of the girls messaged me and another girl to see if we wanted to go together, as we'd agreed at one of the lunches. Being shy I had thought I'd just go on my own, but as I really want to make friends I thought I'd be brave and go along with them, even though I barely know them.

We travelled there by tube together and I chatted with them normally. At the place you had to queue up separately at different desks according to your race number, and as I came back from getting mine they were standing together and one of the actually said 'watch out she's coming back' and the other one said 'oops'. They'd obviously been talking about me in a not nice way, but I just pretended I didn't hear and tried to act normally. They acted nice as pie to my face before and after that incident.

I'm actually pretty upset about it. I barely know these girls and so I wonder what they could have found objectionable about me - how I look? How I act? What I was wearing? This isn't the first time I've put people off, I can sort of tell people are uncomfortable around me (e.g. people don't look me in the eyes, one of the girls today would't, and a girl I used to work with you really really had it in for me wouldn't). I seem to be doing or saying something that's putting people off big time. How on earth do I find out what it is? I'm thinking maybe I'm really eccentric or something and don't realise it myself? Or I look odd? Or I smell? How on earth do I find out what it is? My husband swears blind I'm nice and normal, just a bit shy but that I cover it up well. Maybe my shyness makes me act aloof? I used to have social anxiety and I literally couldn't talk to people without blushing, I'm so much better now but people seem to still not like me.

I used to make friends fine (even with the social anxiety!) and I miss having friends to just have a laugh with so much. How do I work out where I'm going wrong? I feel like I need a course in social skills at the age of 38. Should I see a counsellor or something? And how on earth do you know if people actually like you or loath you if they act nice to your face but bitch about you behind your back? Is this just what happens and i should suck it up?

If you've read this far - thank you!

Joules68 Thu 03-Apr-14 22:12:54

Hey, no advice, but good luck with your half marathon!
You're a runner, there's nothing wrong with you!

ICanSeeTheSun Thu 03-Apr-14 22:14:54

Perhaps trying to hard and appearing false or those women are utter bitches.

well done is trying to overcome this

MidnightHag Thu 03-Apr-14 22:17:26

Well done for going outside your comfort zone to join the others, even though they proved an unfriendly bunch. There's nothing wrong with you, I'm sure. Don't give up. There are nice people out there. I think you deserve some thanks.

SomewhereBeyondTheSea Thu 03-Apr-14 22:19:10

I get the social anxiety OP. I've had similar reactions.
I think the most important thing to remember is that people talk about other people all the time, every minute of the day and night someone is talking about someone else. So firstly you are not the only person they are talking about. It is not a big deal in that sense.

Secondly, maybe you don't want to be friends with them after this and that is totally understandable. But don't let that stop you from being open to other opportunities. I think you have to be more selfish in your approach to friendship - instead of thinking 'how do I know if they actually like me?' Try to focus on 'do I actually like them?'

Finally, I think (and I do this too so I am totally not criticising) it is very easy to read too much into other people's behaviour. Most of the time when you are thinking they don't like me etc, actually they are thinking that they forgot to buy the beans their DH likes, or they left the laundry out and now it is raining, or whatever.

NoodleOodle Thu 03-Apr-14 22:19:20

I'm in a similar situation, I've moved and can't seem to make friends. I don't think there's anything wrong with me though. I just feel like I don't fit in to this area.

magoria Thu 03-Apr-14 22:20:20

Cow bags. I am assuming that you managed to shower, clean your teeth, brush your hair and leave the gore covered axe at home when out with them? Clearly you and them are not meant to be friends.

How about having a look on youtube (silly as it sounds) or similar online at how to act around new people and some body language things you could try and see if they help?

Make sure all they see of you is your arse as you beat them at the marathon thanks

NeonMuffin Thu 03-Apr-14 22:20:30

You don't need to change yourself. They don't sound like very nice people to me. I know it's hard when you want to widen your social circle but do you really want to be friends with people like that.

YouPutYourRightArmIn Thu 03-Apr-14 22:22:40

I think you come across perfectly normal and nice in your post!! If these other women know each other already perhaps they are a bit cliquey. Doesn't make it right though... I would try other ways of making friends or - call them out on it. Ask if there was something they wanted to tell/ask you as you overheard something that made you think this. Making new friends at this age is really tricky though so you have my sympathies. Does your DH have any friends you can get along with?

My DH met a body language expert yesterday and is going to see him for some help with his confidence. Perhaps something like that might help? I think it's an interesting area so even if it was just to learn more about yourself rather than to actually change it might be worth it?

Best of luck smile

Littledidsheknow Thu 03-Apr-14 22:23:06

Bless you, Coochie, I sat nodding through your message as I know what it is to be cripplingly shy and socially anxious. It has been very brave of you to get into a new group, and to go off with these two new 'friends' when being alone would have been easier. I doubt you've done anything wrong or behaved strangely; to have been talking about you like this just shows that these two women are, frankly, bitches. Distance yourself from these two. You've made good friends before and you will again. I did. Good luck with the Run x

Biscuitsneeded Thu 03-Apr-14 22:25:49

Are you sure they were saying not nice things? They might have just been saying how nice you were, or how hard it must be for you trying to break into a pre-existing social circle - they still would have needed to change subject when they saw you approaching. If they don't like you I would think it odd that they bothered to text you to suggest all going together in the first place. I'd be inclined to shrug it off, act as if you heard nothing and see what vibes you get the next time you see them.

MamaPingu Thu 03-Apr-14 22:31:00

I think I agree with biscuitsneeded (about the post aswell as the need for biscuits) and that it'd be odd of them to ask you out if they didn't like you.

Maybe they were on about something else that they didn't want you to hear that may not necessarily be nasty!

Depending how you feel about it I'd be tempted to see them once more and see how they are with you then

purpleroses Thu 03-Apr-14 22:33:16

Perhaps the conversation went:
"I'm dreading this race, I'm so unfit"
"Me too, I've not been training at all. Coochie looks like she's really fit though - I reckon she'll show us both up!"
"Look out she's coming back"....

Or I could come up with 101 other innocent things they might have been saying. People do talk about one another. I think if you're not sure whether people like you or not it's a really good tactic just to behave as if you think they do like you, and you like them unless you're given strong reasons to think differently.

PeacesOfAte Thu 03-Apr-14 22:34:03

I've done that before but not been saying mean things at all, just felt like I shouldn't keep the convo going about the other person. Hopefully I was more discreet than your new friends though! I suppose the alternative is to wait for them (you) to join you, then 'hi X, we were just talking about your house extension/job/children/whatever'. Don't assume they were being mean about you just because they were talking about you, they could have been discussing any aspect of your life!

MamaPingu Thu 03-Apr-14 22:36:14

I think if you can pull it off a false confidence can really help. Convince yourself all is well and ask accordingly.

That's what I did when some people I knew came into my work and I was extremely nervous and embarrassed. I pretended I didn't give a shit and acted confident and after a while I felt a lot better and wasn't nervous smile

justtoomessy Thu 03-Apr-14 22:37:09

You sure they weren't just messing about? This is something me and my friends/work colleagues say all the time to each other. Never means we are actually slagging them off its just a joke especially if they said it loud enough for you to hear.

atos35 Thu 03-Apr-14 22:37:24

Part of me wants to say fuck 'em, sounds like the kind of behaviour that should have been left behind at the school gates years ago, why bother? But then I also think you only heard those two lines of conversation, they could have been saying anything, if you don't know them very well maybe they were discussing whether you would be ok to run a marathon? If they are old friends maybe they were discussing social plans that they had that for whatever reason didn't include you and they didn't want to upset you? Could be anything, if they didn't like you I'm sure they wouldn't have asked you to go along with them? Maybe just don't make the first move for a while - if they persevere with maintaining the friendship perhaps they are ok? :-)

oddsocksmostly Thu 03-Apr-14 22:45:07

Some people do this in a jokey way, some people at my work do. They probably would be mortified if they knew you had taken them seriously and been upset by it.

stackablegoatbearingcheesecake Thu 03-Apr-14 22:48:31

I'm hoping this is just a misunderstanding.
Look at the facts. You grouped up with people and you've had lunch together. There was an idea to run this event and you were included. Someone texted you to travel with them when you assumed you'd go alone, so you were included. Your DH says you're fine and he married you to boot so no problems there then.

It's always difficult to integrate into established groups but face it, people don't have to include newcomers if they don't want to, they'd just not mention lunch or the race. Some people will be nice to your face and not so nice behind your back, but that's just life and it's the same for all of us, it's not specific to you.

I don't have any friends where we live, but actually that's mostly because I haven't gelled with the type of women who were available to be friendly with and because I wouldn't want to change to fit in with them.

Being more comfortable in your own skin is actually an attractive quality, so perhaps, if anything, just work on relaxing a bit more and enjoying what you've been included in. Good luck with the race smile

126sticks Thu 03-Apr-14 22:51:41

Could you ask them?
Takes lots of courage, and they might be even ruder. But I think if it was me, I would want to know.

dollymixedup Thu 03-Apr-14 22:56:01

Coochie - I think people do mistake shyness for aloofness sometimes(I've heard it said about myself). I don't think you should give up on this group of women just yet, as others have said what you heard might not have been that negative or such a big deal.

Good luck with the marathon and the rest.

callamia Thu 03-Apr-14 22:57:02

I think they were joking, and it's a misunderstanding. I know friends who would definitely say something like this, and I'm pretty sure they don't dislike me. It's not the funniest of jokes, but it's not meant to offend or upset either.

I wonder whether you can just keep an eye on things, but try to let it go as a misunderstanding for now? Maybe you don't need to change at all - just need a bit more faith in yourself and your ability to make friends.

Backtobedlam Thu 03-Apr-14 23:03:13

I'm sure they do like you, if they didn't they would have gone on their own and not text you to join them. Perhaps if they know each other a bit better one was confiding something in the other, or perhaps talking about someone else...there are so many things it could be. They obviously wanted you to be there, and want to do this race with you, so forget about today and enjoy your training!

NoodleOodle Thu 03-Apr-14 23:31:07

Actually, some of the responses here have reminded me of something that happened to me beginning a college course. Two girls I later became friends with were obviously talking about me on the first day. I discovered once we became friends that they'd been being very complimentary about me, just hadn't wanted me to overhear until they'd sussed out what kind of a person I was and that it wouldn't make me big headed or act 'up myself'.

Could be what happened here. They're inviting you to things, you're not just foisting yourself upon them, so I'd be more inclined to believe something similar to the above was going on, they were talking about you, but in a positive way.

Mimishimi Thu 03-Apr-14 23:36:42

Coochie, I could have written your post. I'm almost 38 too. People talk crap... even about others they hardly or don't even know at all. It doesn't reflect badly on you.

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