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Social phobia? Or just unpopular??

(11 Posts)
Anonymum40 Thu 10-Mar-16 13:01:25

I'm sitting here feeling all teary and sad and on the face of it I have nothing to feel sad about... still, where to start..?

I have friends, I have a nice family, I have a skill and a job, a house and enough money and yet... I feel so miserable.

I always feel a 'bit apart'. Like people don't really like me. I think I'm friends with people and then realise they've had a party and not invited me and DH. This seems to happen a lot. Not that DH and I are particularly party people, it would be nice to be at least invited once in a while. Or if I'm friends with someone there always seems to be someone else they are more friendly with which always makes me feel 2nd best.

I am quite an anxious person (though I think only my mum sees that, not even my husband) and have had CBT for OCD and emetephobia before - which was very successful. At the moment I am feeling a bit run down with a lot going on (ill elderly parents, teenage daughter changing school etc) and my anxiety is starting to take over again. I'm also giving up work to go self-employed soon and my lack of self-confidence is really debilitating.

I have a friend who seems to be forever having dinner parties and going to parties of other people we both know through school - but DH & I never get invited. Whenever I hear of yet another event we haven't been to I feel really down and wonder what I'm doing wrong.

If I could just accept myself as I am - quite content to have a few friends (I'm better at 1:1's) and not a party type then I could go about my life a lot more happily but I'm always judging myself and feel like I come up short.

So, is this just me or can anyone else relate???

Quityabitchen Thu 10-Mar-16 21:30:41

If you aren't a party person and your friends know that, maybe that's enough for you and DH to be missed off the invitation list.

I'd start by inviting one or two people round for coffee and show them you are a sociable person. Maybe your anxiety makes you seem unapproachable?

Or maybe you need new friends? Perhaps you could widen your social circle, join a book club, take up dancing/running/cycling/walking etc and meet different people.

Try not to get into the negative mindset of thinking you are at fault, or unlikeable.

mugginsalert Thu 10-Mar-16 22:11:39

I don't have an answer for you, but just wanted to say of course you're not alone - being left out feels rubbish, and we've all felt it, some more than others, whether it's real or just how we're perceiving things. Sorry you're feeling like that.

It does sound a bit though that you are keener on being invited than on the events themselves, from what you've written. Could you identify a few things that you would really like to do yourself, and maybe ask just one or two people to do those with you? Or do them yourself? Sorry if I'm misreading, but maybe the key is in the last thing you said, about accepting yourself as a starting point and then other people's invitations (or not) will matter less to you (and probably come flooding in…just when you don't need them!)

Anonymum40 Fri 11-Mar-16 12:14:54

Thank you, I feel a bit more together today. I know a lot of it is in my head as I've had these panics at other times of my life.

Mind you there is a real clique of mums, like the 'populars' at my daughters secondary school, who hold all the parties and each person invites the same crowd each time (because they have been to the others parties etc...) And we're just not in that circuit.

I've tried being sociable, I was the class rep. I still organise nights in the pub - and people come! But still I don't seem to cut it on the party invite list. I don't get it...

I am a bit shy, I suppose that might come across as stand-offish. It takes me a while to warm up with people. But I don't feel confident enough to put myself out there at the moment...

hefzi Fri 11-Mar-16 12:17:26

Have you held dinner parties and invited people over to your house? Often these things work a bit on reciprocity - but someone has to issue the first invite! If your invitations aren't being returned, that's something different (and means you know rude people!) but it sounds from your OP that you are feeling left out for another reason.

Or how about a general drinks party? Two hours early evening at the weekend - you could invite people you know less well and want to know better: and again, it will often lead to a flurry of return invites.

ChaostheCat Fri 11-Mar-16 21:08:37

Oh OP, this is me. I'm going through exactly the same at the moment. Suffer with anxiety & depression, every time I think I have it under control it sneaks up on me, I get teary & upset. I feel the friends I have aren't really friends but just people I know. We don't get invited out much but then we don't entertain much either. I also know that I'm the one that needs to sort it out but.....
I know I can unwittingly push people away, I just sort of go into myself. I feel for you.

Anonymum40 Mon 14-Mar-16 12:31:06

Chaos - I'm so glad it's not just me... I started planning a party at our house in my head at the weekend, who I'd invite etc and that made me feel a bit better, but I do wonder why I am plagued by this insecurity. I knkow what you mean about pushing people away too.

Do you have treatment for your anxiety and depression? Because I'm wondering about going to the doctor. This latest episode could be PMT related, but is a recurring issue...

spacegirl555 Wed 16-Mar-16 22:34:33

Hi Anonymum, I totally relate to all you've said, and feel the same. 'I'm feeling like it now and just googled here, so please know that you have given me warmth that I am not alone and that you are not either. I'll write more as tired now and off to bed but I am so glad I googled and found your post.

ProfessorPreciseaBug Thu 17-Mar-16 07:54:33

My mum used to say, an empty vessel makes the most noise... Given that she is my mum and as we all know parents don't know anything ... I always thought it was a pearl of wisdom..

People who go to lots of parties and spend all their time being larger than life often turn out to have nothing to say other than repeating verbatum what someone else said. If you can bear it, watch a bit of Big Brother.. Everyone is trying to be funny, witty, more interesting than everyone else. But listen to what they are actually talking about and try to see if they are actually saying anything interesting.

RockUnit Thu 17-Mar-16 23:48:22

It's not just you smile I'd rather see friends individually than go out with a big group. But it seems hard to meet others of a similar mind IRL.

KateInKorea Fri 18-Mar-16 00:38:21

I think you are being rather unfair on both yourself and the others too.

Generally people gravitate towards those who are like-minded. We can make judgements about the degree to which someone is outgoing, and how much they prefer 1 to 1 or small groups or large groups and organise social interaction with them on that basis. And people do that without any value judgement on those that prefer something different to themselves.

Even as a confident social me person it takes time to make friends several months at least.

My shy and introverted Husband wants to be invited to all the "things" that his workmates organise. He doesn't actually want to go and would never ever reciprocate by having something in our home. It has taken a long time for him to realise that he is being unreasonable about this, and is still prone to the same thinking unless I guide him through it. He has to be careful about giving in to paranoid thinking.

This is going to sound mean spirited, but to an extent we all have to sing for our supper at party/dinner party type things. Everyone wants guests who are witty and who can contribute to the "sparkling conversation", if you are more of a wall flower or take a while to warm up then maybe other social scenes show you at your best.

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