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Why don't people like me?

(140 Posts)
jessicagrace1972 Mon 26-Oct-20 11:44:49

Before covid I hosted a client event with another female colleague, the clients were mainly people who we hadn't met previously, mainly female, all about our age- mid to late 30s.

My colleague and I stood by the door of the venue to greet each person as they entered the building, as each person approached us I noticed that they immediately beelined to my colleague, not making eye contact with me, they knew two people were hosting the event and at one point another colleague stood with us, people greeted her too, assuming she was a co-host but again not me.

My colleague and I are both a similar height, fairly attractive but could both probably do with losing a bit over a stone. The big difference in our appearance is that she is blonde, I am mixed race, a quarter African so more Eva Longoria colour than Halle Berry for want of a better comparison, ever so slightly dark skinned.

Looking back throughout my life this is not an isolated experience. If I go out for dinner with a friend a waiter/waitress will always talk to whoever I'm with over me (all my friend are white), at the school gate parents aren't drawn to me etc. etc.

This isn't to do with my personality, people tend to ignore me before I've even spoken, I've racked my brains to think of what I do wrong, whether it's the way I hold myself and body language, facial expressions, my clothes, sexism but it's not, both males and females take the same approach, I dress well, wear makeup and generally take pride in my appearance. It can only be down to the colour of my skin!

Am I alone? Does anyone else of my skin colour experience this? My husband says I look too 'white' to be discriminated against! Can anyone relate? It's really getting me down.

OP’s posts: |
FortunesFave Mon 26-Oct-20 12:00:20

I'm white so not qualified to comment on the race issue OP but have you taken note of your face and what it's doing in general? Are you smiling?

MiddleClassProblem Mon 26-Oct-20 12:05:24

I’m not white but if I’m honest, it sounds more like a body language/facial expression thing in this case, particularly with the frequency.

honeylulu Mon 26-Oct-20 12:15:07

I am white but get this. It really used to upset me. There are a couple of things I realised or puzzled out by asking for the honest opinion of friends. I have a naturally miserable/cross face and apparently some people thought I was giving them dirty looks or that I "looked like a bitch". That was my neutral face when I was perfectly happy! So I learnt to exaggerate my smiling and effusive/ open body language. It was hard work and I'd sometimes forget.

I'm also socially a bit awkward (suspect mild ASD as my son has been diagnosed). I'm just slightly off wavelength a lot of the time - not massively, just a couple of seconds slow at reacting to social cues - and that seems to make people feel uncomfortable and prefer to avoid engaging with me.

I'm not saying either is true of you but there WILL be a reason. I doubt it's your skin colour though (or rather I sincerely hope not as that would be truly horrible of people).

Micsays Mon 26-Oct-20 12:15:30

My sister and I look very similar but when I’m out with her people gravitate to her and ignore me...I think I have resting bitch face

LittleTiger007 Mon 26-Oct-20 12:19:32

I’m white so I guess that means I’m not qualified to comment. However my best friend is black, overweight like me and hugely popular. She is smiley as am I and in my experience that draws people to us. On a recent (a year ago) holiday to Rome with our two friends (one white and one Asian) we were the ones hit on because we have bubbly personalities. (We are also the only two in the group who are married and so we didn’t necessarily appreciate being ‘hit on’)
You may be right, but maybe there’s something more, something ‘other’. Having a chip on your shoulder certainly won’t help.
I have lived in four continents of the world, in black cultures and Latino cultures where at first I knew no one and was on each occasion in a minority as a white woman. Being smiley, open and not easily offended took me far and I know it has done the same for my black best friend. Good luck. Don’t give up.

FabbyChix Mon 26-Oct-20 12:21:48

People are like jigsaw puzzles, some we match with some we don't. Not everyone can like us. Why do you care who likes you and who doesnt? Is that a self esteem issue. Me I dont give a fuck. Take me or leave me

SweetShopSurprise Mon 26-Oct-20 12:22:06

OP I’ve had this my whole life and I’m white. I honestly could’ve written your exact post so I really don’t think it’s anything to do with skin colour.

I DO have a ‘miserable’ looking face when my face is just normal and I’m perfectly happy, I just do! I’ve caught sight of myself a few times and thought god, I look really moody but I’m actually happy! I look fine when I’m smiling/ laughing. I’m not sure if this is why people don’t warm to me (At least straight away anyway) but it probably has something to do with it.

But, on the plus side grin I’m mid 30’s with no wrinkles and people always say I look mid 20’s. I swear it’s from lack of using my facial muscles over the years, I definitely DONT have an expressive face!!

CoalTit Mon 26-Oct-20 12:29:25

The worst experience I had with this was when I used to hang out with a very upfront, confident friend, and I became invisible. In social situations, when I asked a question people would turn to her and direct the answer to her. Another time a lecturer complained about my habit of turning up to class late when she was the one who was doing it; I had always been on time. She was blonde and I'm not, but I think it was about body language, really. Years later, I'm still working on looking amiable, making eye contact, smiling and paying attention. Sometimes it seems to work.

Doodar Mon 26-Oct-20 12:32:23

I have resting bitch face I think. People comment they didn’t realise how nice I’d be after speaking to me.

I've had this my whole life. I wish I had a solution but I don't. Its just the way people are conditioned to thinking they like or what's more pleasant to their eyes. Life is unfair

JagerPlease Mon 26-Oct-20 12:42:28

I definitely have resting bitch face. To the extent that people (men) in the street tell me to "cheer up it'll never happen"

Poppingnostopping Mon 26-Oct-20 12:47:29

I think unconscious discrimination is certainly one factor that could be playing into this.

Do you feel that once they get to know you at work, though, that clients take you seriously?

I am a very smiley, bubbly person and I find people respond well to me in everyday life, when asking for things in shops, getting doors held open (and no, I'm 50, not a 25 year old stunner). However, once in the workplace, although superficially I find it easy, I've found that doesn't translate to really good working relationships or getting asked to participate in big projects all the time. I don't know, perhaps I'm overthinking it but I feel my persona works well for part of the time but not at the higher levels of my industry. I have also been roundly ignored by senior males in particular.

So frustrating for you.

ScribblingPixie Mon 26-Oct-20 12:49:21

I have that. If I dress in a really feminine way, wear a lot of make-up and am super-smiley the whole time then people like me. Otherwise not. I think it's a combination of height and resting bitch face. I've given up worrying about it.

Mythreeknights Mon 26-Oct-20 12:49:26

Ha OP, I love this post! If it makes you feel better, no-one ever sits next to me on a bus or a train when there's a spare seat, even when I look busy reading and shift my weight so I'm indicating they can sit! I have no idea why.

Mochudubh Mon 26-Oct-20 12:51:52

I have resting bitch-face too. I sometimes catch sight of some random woman in a shop window and think "what a moody-looking cow" then realise it's my own reflection!

PicsInRed Mon 26-Oct-20 12:52:09

It could be RBF combined with a whole lot of "othering" i.e. you dont look like them plus racism informs them that you aren't in charge etc etc.

Seychelles98 Mon 26-Oct-20 12:53:54

@jessicagrace1972 I don't think it's anything to do with your skin colour at all. You sound lovely to me! Do you think you might give off the wrong body language? I'm only asking as I had a colleague some years ago (white btw) who was friendly once you got know her. She was shy so came across as awkward and stand offish with people she didn't know such as in a conference setting. She asked us the same questions as you... in her case, she often stood with her arms folded so came across as defensive and unfriendly and also had a habit of looking people up and down for too long as if she was judging their appearances! We told her this (she didn't like to hear it and was totally unaware of that staring habit she had btw!). She worked on this and came across much better, it did her real favours...

OwlOne Mon 26-Oct-20 12:55:02

Were you the scapegoat in your family of origin? That has a two fold effect, 1) scapegoating narcissists can smell you out and fall in to their family of origin role of excluding you, and 2) any sort of isolation or exclusion or rejection is a major hot button for you.

I think obsessing over your appearance is almost certainly a red herring as we all know beautiful people who are unapproachable and less conventionally attractive people who are always greeted by strangers with a smile.

littlepeas Mon 26-Oct-20 12:56:32

Hard to tell exactly why, but I bet that it’s getting more pronounced because you’re aware of it and your confidence has taken a hit. Standing tall, open body language and being warm and smiley all help with being approachable and will all be diminished by feeling self conscious.

SenorFrog Mon 26-Oct-20 12:57:22

I'm white but have had this my whole life, people just don't take to me. Obviously the common denominator is me and something I'm doing, RBF maybe, I've had people say they were scared of me when we first met but once they know me they weren't. I was very shy as a child but I'm not anymore, I think it's just a holdover of that barrier I erected back in the 70's.

SchrodingersImmigrant Mon 26-Oct-20 13:00:53

How did you dress? It can easily be a combo of things with bit of everything in it.

OwlOne Mon 26-Oct-20 13:00:58

Sorry, I misunderstood what's happening.

I was projecting. I tend to be ignored. I am not the one that strangers want to engage with. I am white. I think it's because I am not deeeply confident. I'm a recently learnt faked confidence person. And the people I'm with have a more innate ''sure why WOULDN'T they want to talk to me/get to know me'' energy.

Vallmo47 Mon 26-Oct-20 13:03:06

I agree with others suggesting it’s a facial expression you make as my daughter and husband get that a lot and I can tell they’re perfectly ‘blank’ faced. We are all white but my son and I never get told this and they get accused of being angry/stand offish. It’s the way they carry themselves in my opinion.
Also, could people think you’re not from around here? When people hear my surname they sometimes assume I won’t be able to carry a fluent conversation. They’re very wrong as my English is better than some natives. ;) But that’s another rant all together.

Another thought I had was that you’re simply stunning and they’re just jealous. So take it and run with it! 🤣

dontdisturbmenow Mon 26-Oct-20 13:03:13

People tend to be attracted to me when I don't feel inviting at all.

When I've asked, I've been told that I have a smiley face but also an air of confidence and people are attracted to confident persons.

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