Why doesn't anyone like me?(109 Posts)
NC as feeling a bit sensitive and don't want anyone who knows my usual username knowing this is me.
Not sure this is really a AIBU but unsure where else to post this.
For as long as I can remember lots of people seem to really dislike me. I thought I'd got used to it by now but obviously not.
I'll start at the beginning as don't want to drip feed. Looking back at my childhood (which was generally very happy) I now realise lots of people seemed to really dislike me, even my own Grandmother said I wasn't 'likeable'. When I say people I mean adults and children. I had a small group of close friends but looking back I can distinctly remember some of their parents taking a dislike to me, and one in particular making snidey comments which I used to try and take as a joke but it did really hurt. I was a polite and good natured child (so I'm told, I'm not just saying that myself) but there was just something people couldn't really take to. This has been the same throughout my childhood and into adulthood. I used to put it down to being an only child (I wasn't spoilt but was probably quite grown up and often preferred to spend time with people who were older than me), but now I'm not sure that was the reason and think it's just something 'about me' that makes people dislike me.
I've not got what you could call a 'best friend' and most of my friendships are quite causal, i.e. Nobody I regularly spend time. Throughout my adult life I've worked in a few different places and seem to get the same reaction everywhere.
I've been in counselling over the years and explored different reasons why this may be the case. I've tried lots of different things, such as:
- taking more of an interest in the other person by asking questions and looking interests
- talking less about myself (even though I don't think I really ever did)
- making more of an effort to invite people out
- being more upbeat and 'vibrant' (again don't think I was particularly dull anyway)
However nothing seems to work. It's come to a head today because I've just started taking my baby to baby group. Met a Mum the first week, seemed nice, she added me on Facebook then on my next visit to the group she practically blanks me. Tried not to dwell on it, thought she may be having a bad day or something. Spent next baby group talking to another Mum, again seemed really nice and we got on well. Bumped in to her in town today, I said Hi and tried to start a conversation, she blanked me and rushed off. Saw her a little while later, I was in a shop a and she was looking in the window, she was about to come in and she saw me, put her head down and walked off.
I'm so upset, it's happened, yet again!
I really don't understand why people don't like me. I feel so sad and I'm so worried that my DC will end up with no friends because their parents don't like me.
Are some people just unlikeable for no particular reason?
I've asked people in the past and they can't (or won't) give me an answer.
My family says not to worry about it but I really hate being disliked!
Any thoughts greatly appreciated.
How do you get on with your family? People at work, etc? Partners?
I find socialising at baby groups hard, even though in other situations i can make friends ok. Something about them that can feel very awkward, i find.
IT takes time. These people will have their own friends already perhaps and don't really have much room for more. It takes time. Lots of people don't have best friends they just talk to people in certain situations, like doing the school run.
You just aren't a people pleaser, that's all. Maybe a bit self centred (not a criticism).
It sounds to me as if you are stringing together completely unrelated things, to be honest, OP. Ten thousand people on here have had similar experiences at baby groups where someone who seems initially friendly has blanked them subsequently (many possible reasons, often nothing at all to do with you - baby groups can be strange dynamics, being often full of new mothers finding the whole thing complex - I'm sure I was a total basket case when my son was a newborn because I was struggling), but you are linking it to not having a best friend, casual work friendships, and the fact that you remember, or think you remember, some of your friends' parents disliking you - all fairly ordinary, widespread experiences - and stringing the whole thing together into a narrative of your own dislikeableness.
I don't have a 'best friend' - it's not an issue for me. Lots of people don't. I'm socially isolated where we currently live, but that's because of a mismatch between me and my environment, not my inherent lack of likeability. I had a couple of teachers who viscerally loathed me, but that was more to do with them than me. Do you see what I mean? I'm not linking those things and seeing them as my inner flaw.
Not that your feelings about it aren't serious, but it sounds as if you have created a narrative about your own lack of value as a friend/potential friend, and it's perhaps affecting your self-esteem, and hence how you relate to other people?
Yes, i was going to say; later in life (out of teens and early 20s) everyone's lives seem to be set in a pattern they are happy with already, or they are too busy to do anything much about it even if they're not and it's harder to make connections the way you seem to do when you're younger.
I'm an only child also OP
No advice really but please don't worry about your children. They will be their own people and will make their own friends. As they get older you won't feature in their social lives and it won't matter if other kid's parents like you or not.
Sounds tough, I hope you are ok.
Thanks for the replies. I get on brilliantly with my close family but extended family often have the same reaction to me. It's always been the same at workplaces, never really been liked. Have one v good friend who I met at work and he has told me that I'm misunderstood and that if people knew the 'real' me then they'd like me better. My DH doesn't understand it, he says he doesn't know why I get this reaction, although my last partner used to say that before he got to know me properly he disliked me!
Big hugs op , you sound really lovely. You sound really unlucky. I have a few good friends, npwe see each other regularly but don't liv in each other's pockets.
I don't have an answer for you, but I just wanted you to know that I am so sorry that this is your experience.
It probably sounds trite and stupid, but people have all sorts of stuff going on in their lives, so the baby-group Mum could have had anything at all which caused her to not connect to you that day. I know that's hard when it happens over and over again.
The thing is (and I don't expect you to necessarily believe this), if people are confident and friendly and see the world as a welcoming place then, if they get "blanked" they will just say to themselves "Oh, so-and-so is having a bad day. I'll catch up with her next week". It wouldn't even occur to them that the problem might be them. Because your experience has been very different, when the same thing happens it straight away confirms for you what you already believe: that there's something wrong with you that makes you hard to like.
The other thing that I think is (sadly) true is that people who go through life collecting friends and being comfortable in new environments are magnetic to others: they look like they're having a nice time, and people want to be around them. Which, of course, adds up to more of the same.
I'm so sorry that you feel unlikeable and I'm prepared to bet you're not. The reason I can say that so wholeheartedly is because you have the self-awareness to ask the question in the first place. I think that probably makes you the kind of person who cares for others and notices how they are.
Bet the mum today didn't see you on the second occasion - may have been in a rush?
I was like this until fairly recently. I didn't make friends well and people kept their distance. I have had low self esteem and been insecure since I was about 2 (stately home type parents).
I had a lot of counselling too, about other things mainly (my mum) but we did talk a lot about how socially awkward I can be.
These days, I seem to be quite popular and it's nice. I'm not exactly sure what's changed, I am definitely less worried about how people see me, I'm more content with who I am and where I stand in the world. I try to always do the right thing by other people and I try and be kind and accepting.
I don't think anyone will be able to pin point what's going on with you unless they meet you first! You seem pretty well adjusted with what you've written.
I find toddler groups extremely difficult. I am happy to just watch my dc and enjoy the atmosphere. People do try and talk to me but I find it hard to follow group conversations especially in noisy places with the dc distracting me. I probably come across as quite stand offish in these circumstances!!
Do you think you're trying too hard and coming across as a bit needy?
Did you ssk your ex why he disliked you at first?
And what made him change his mind?
Throughthickandthin01 I think you're right, I'm not a people pleaser, but wouldn't describe myself as self centred, I care deeply about the important people in my life and will do anything for them.
cottonfrock You could be right that I'm stringing things together, I guess I just really want to be liked and I'm looking back at all the bad things rather than focussing on the good relationships.
Eponasilddaugter thanks for they reply. You are probably right.
JapansesSlipper thanks for the flowers. I'll try not to worry about my DC, I just don't want them to end up with no friends like me.
I've had loads of people over the years tell me they thought i was 'stuck up', 'snobbish' or 'stand offish' until they got to know me, or saw me often enough to see that i wasn't. And it seemed to be worse when it was at a time or place where i was trying hard to be liked!
I've no idea why anyone would think this about me but it's happened so often that it must be something i give off. Sometimes i think we just send out weird signals.
I've had it said how nice it is to know someone who's not ''boring and normal'' Nowadays i just be me if and if i'm liked then great and if not - well, i'm starting to care less and less.
It's always been the same at workplaces, never really been liked. Have one v good friend who I met at work and he has told me that I'm misunderstood and that if people knew the 'real' me then they'd like me better
I think you could be so busy analyzing everyone's response to you (are they friendly, do they like me? etc) that you aren't really living life? YOu are letting others decide if you are happy/acceptable/worthy?
FGS instead of thinking about everyone else, what is it you are enjoying yourself? Is the film/ radio/ song/ gym/ car you are driving/ person you are with/ weather/ meal that you are doing at the moment bringing you pleasure???
If someone is offhand with you .................................. you are wasting seconds of your life dwelling on it. Get on with life.
Aeroflotgirl thanks for,the flowers and your kind words, made me smile!
MrsNoraCharles you make a lot of sense! I must admit I am probably attracted to 'Popular' people so I shouldn't be surprised if other people feel the same.
Devillishpyjamas you may be right but got the distinct impression she saw me and avoided me.
RnBrie thanks for your response, it's good to know that there is hope for me. I try not to be needy, if anything people have commented I'm a bit aloof but I've been working on that and try to get a balance now.
gleam yes I did ask him. He said I come across as 'harsh' but couldn't really pinpoint it more than that. Started liking me more when we had to work together more closely and saw a 'different' side to me. He couldn't be more specific than that.
Do you think people get the impression that you don't like them? Do you smile, make eye contact, appear relaxed? Do you go over the top with trying to be "upbeat and vibrant" so it comes across as overwhelming? Do you have a sarcastic sense of humour that some people don't "get"?
Ihatebeinghated I'm in just the same situation really. Reading what you have written is like reading my own thoughts and words.
All I've learned (by asking) is that people can find me a bit aloof or reserved. I don't actually feel that way at all. I think my lack of friendly banter/chit chat gives that impression.
Also I think because I'm conscious of not being liked I try too hard sometimes and that in itself is off-putting since it seems insincere.
I did the Baren Cohen AQ test and found I have a really high score (40) which is think goes some way to explaining why I'm a bit off socially. After that I just kind of decided, "fuck it" -and decided to be myself, not do so much of the trying and that has improved things a bit. I have much friendlier relationships at work now. Never quite succeeded on the mums'n'babies front though.
Like you I have a DH who seems to think I'm great and that's enough (though I secretly live in fear of being alone forever if anything happens to him).
TBH you sound OK on here OP. Likeable n' that.
Maybe it's that you live in a part of the country where people are a bit weird with strangers or something. (Parts of Lincolnshire can be like that, for example).
what's your default expression? how often do you smile? do you show your feelings on your face eg. if you don't like something do you pull a face? i'm guilty of this - my dh says i don't need to open my mouth, my face says it all. not always a good thing!
my sil is lovely, but she doesn't smile. she always looks grumpy but she's not. she just doesn't realise how she comes across.
Hah, "harsh" and "blunt" are descriptions I've heard too. I really don't mean to be at all.
When I was younger I was short sighted but too vain to wear glasses. I used to come across as stand offish (I was told a few times) but I just couldn't SEE people (or much!). One I got contact lenses I was never accused of being stand offish again.
Are you shy?
Also remember it might be about them rather than you. So they're busy or whatever & not really thinking anything (good or bad) about you.
I think you sound quite shy and unsure of yourself, and this is often misinterpreted as aloof and rude. I give off this vibe too sometimes, especially on the school playground at pick up time. Unfortunately it is a vicious circle because no-one approaches me for a chat - so I feel more unliked - so I don't look approachable! I know I do this, but it goes against my natural instinct to be grinning at everyone. It's idiotic really, the barriers we create in our heads.
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