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Friends not looking at me

(69 Posts)
booitsme Thu 27-Apr-17 09:33:02

So i come across as very chatty and friendly but im deeply insecure. Im having therapy for anxiety but i think people who im not close to would be very surprised about my private issues.

Ive noticed for a while now people who are talking not looking at me in conversations of more than 2 people. It upsets me and makes me think they probably aren't keen on me and prefer the people they are looking at. But yesterday a friend on the school run (this is all mainly happening on school run) who i chat to a lot one to one did the same when we were in a three. She even said do you know what i mean sandra instead of ladies or boo and sandra. When she left she said she loved our chat and i know she values me as a friend as we get along well amd she looks for me in the morning and is rarely on the school run. The therapist thinks the talking too much has actually developed from feeling too insecure to ask a lot of questions and then gorming a bad habit. Im trying hard and succeeding to rein it in. Maybe I'm a giant bore but i don't think yesterday's friends think that so just trying to figure out what i can do to change this.

Has anyone else experienced this or noticed that they don't make eye contact with certain people as they do something you aren't comfortable with? Im not being paranoid it is happening regularly.

bran Thu 27-Apr-17 09:42:13

Do you think you might be making too much eye contact? I would find that uncomfortable as I'm not great at eye contact and find too much of it difficult.

The way that it usually works is that the person listening watches the face of the person speaking, and the person speaking looks away from the face of the person/people listening and occasionally glances into their face(s). So eye contact is brief. Holding another person's gaze is only for very close relationships like family and partners.

I think if I was talking with someone who kept holding my gaze then I would stop looking at them so much when they're talking, and I probably wouldn't even consciously realise I was doing it.

booitsme Thu 27-Apr-17 09:53:37

Thats interesting Bran, i don't know if i am and will have to think about that more. I do have lots of normal interactions with people in groups it really is just on the school run. I am leaning to thinking theres only a small amount of time and I've got form for talking a lot so maybe not looking at me will discourage me from taking too much conversation time...

Last week one woman approached me and a friend and asked about what was happening that week at school but only looked at my other friend the whole time. It was making me cringe as i just stood there like an observer. she then cheerfully said goodbye to us both. I joined in (only a little) and she thanked me for something i said and made eye contact and then only spoke to my other friend. Other friend and i are very close and i asked her if she noticed. She said she actually had and thought it might be because i wasn't standing in her line of vision - but we both were, she chose to face the other woman. I must be doing something antisocial. Im continuing to work on talking less!

springydaffs Thu 27-Apr-17 09:55:17

Yes I've experienced this. In fact it happened the other day when I was buying fish from an angler from his house in the country: I was buying the fish, he directed the entire conversation to my friend...

There could be a number of factors in this. Some people - a lot of people - are shy and can't cope with direct communication. I happen to be very direct. Nothing wrong with that - but I need to be aware to hold it back when others are not comfortable with it. It's about being aware of the other person and not getting swallowed up with self consciousness.

However, in the situ you describe, your friend was friend hunting, directly making a bid for this other woman. She's already got you, she doesn't have to work for you. Which is a bit cheeky tbf. Perhaps be aware of the dynamics going on and take a step back - it's not only in romantic relationships we need to practise not being too available...

booitsme Thu 27-Apr-17 09:55:18

Ps i don't think anyones consciously doing it. I just know its happening with several different groups so its me not them

booitsme Thu 27-Apr-17 10:01:37

Thanks springydaffs i feel better that I'm not the only one its happened to. I am polite but opinionated and direct and so maybe I'm overpowering. The friend i was talking about that said sandra... Talks even more than me and dominates conversations, shes very likeable though despite this. When she did it it led to me starting to conclude its to shut me down as she knows i also talk too much as we both say we both need to rein it in. Also we both spend a lot of time alone (working from home) so i think for both of us its the first time we've spoken to anyone all day (although my job is also face to face some days with clients) and so it can all flood out.

Dawndonnaagain Thu 27-Apr-17 10:06:52

I don't look at people when I'm talking to them, nor do I make much eye contact (I have an ASC). It doesn't mean I'm not listening/interested, or when I'm talking, it doesn't mean I'm necessarily addressing the person in whose vague direction I'm looking. My intention would be to address all, but I can see that could be difficult to see from somebody else's perspective.

Trustyourself2 Thu 27-Apr-17 10:11:03

This happens to me sometimes as well. The other thing that happens to me so much is people not remembering me. My counsellor told me it's because I choose to hide??

springydaffs Thu 27-Apr-17 10:16:43

I tell you what, the school gates present a lot of women who are experiencing challenging life circs. Yy there are a tiny number of women who are in a bliss zone, earth mother types; or women with no financial /career /husband /kids worries but the majority are struggling hugely on one level or another. You're not the only one. It's a very highly charged sociable setting, not least bcs it's so short and cutthroat

I'm not surprised there's jockying for position with your friend if you are both alpha types. Or extrovert. Or verbose. Etc. Lol. Endless etcs in this high risk social setting.

Phew, you need a lie down after it. Can you cultivate socialising in less high risk/stakes settings? To balance out out. If you're working from home you're going to need it. Think of it like getting your social nutrition: get all the [food] social groups to cover your needs.

booitsme Thu 27-Apr-17 10:19:49

Dawn this doesn't feel like anything to do with asd - as the people are fine making eye contact with others just not me. I have been checking that as to be honest i would feel better if it wasn't just me. Im insecure and my therapist says i don't feel good enough for friendships so this makes me feel worse but i cant be sure what I'm doing to cause the reaction. I want it to be talking too much as thats the leaser of evils i think.

Thats interesting trusty. I can understanding it happening more to shy people - my sons very shy (improving) and got very upset as he said he got ignored or friends would say goodbye to everyone but him. His teacher said she felt he was actually universally liked so just wasn't getting noticed sometimes due to shyness. I think thats right as i see its changing as he grows in confidence and he is noticed more now and remembered.

springydaffs Thu 27-Apr-17 10:19:53

*High risk social setting


booitsme Thu 27-Apr-17 10:26:06

Thanks Springy you talk a lot of sense. I think in a nutshell thats why the school run can actually feel so anxiety inducing for some of us - it is a tiny window and if you have social issues it shines a great big light on them. Ive noticed if i take the kids to the park afterwards its better as people have more time so are more forgiving. If I'm honest the school run dredged up lots of insecurities that i thought id left behind, but actually put me in the same setting and I'm not so different from my 15 year old self! The mums who don't understand school gate anxieties i think are much more socially competent

booitsme Thu 27-Apr-17 10:28:18

Daffy my grammar and spelling is all over the place! I know better but I'm lazy on here!

booitsme Thu 27-Apr-17 10:29:14

Daffy lol - springydaffs! 😁

springydaffs Thu 27-Apr-17 10:34:05

S'ok, I can be daffy if that makes you comfortable <avoids eye contact>


Emily7708 Thu 27-Apr-17 10:35:31

I've got two friends I really like but daren't look them in the eye during quick conversations as I know they will lock me in and start to talk incessantly. It makes it impossible to get away. Sometimes I can feel their eyes burning into me but I can't risk looking across.

Countrymilk352 Thu 27-Apr-17 10:36:49

Ohh, interesting. I have this with school mums, makes me feel totally unpopular which I am.

I wonder if you are the one who is subconsciously putting up barriers in conversations due to your social anxiety and therefore your body language suggests that you are not approachable or 'safe' to talk to.

I don't trust anyone 100% and I'm sure this comes across in my social interactions no matter how bubbly and chatty I might act.

I am quite respected at work though because I am good at what I do and get a lot of credit for that. People at work are usually very nice to me and I enjoy small talk with them.

Chit chat with mums at school is harder than with colleagues as it's often really not very interesting. When I join PTA get togethers, for example, I get bored as conversations are all about inane stuff such as booze, fitness, gossip about school and the children at school etc. I was invited to join the local 'school mums' book club. It was a boozy bitch fest and I have to honestly say that I'd rather not go again had the worst hangover ever.

ravenmum Thu 27-Apr-17 10:37:56

You're not a tiny bit cross-eyed or something, by any chance? I know I have trouble looking people in the eye when they are, or just have one eye, that kind of thing. Though I guess you might have already worked that one out if you were smile Or maybe tall, so people just naturally look at others their own height?

springydaffs Thu 27-Apr-17 10:42:02

Countrymilk makes a good point that social interaction is easier, less intense, if you're doing something together, involved in a collective project eg work. Otherwise it's pure, neat socialising and social skills. Aaaargh!

It's a good idea to volunteer in eg the PTA - so you have a role, however tiny, and people relate to you predominantly through that.

RosesShouldBeInTins Thu 27-Apr-17 10:42:29

This happens to me too and it has been really interesting to read people's thoughts on my it happens.

One thing I have considered is that maybe I don't "Oooooh, ummmm, yeah, Ohhhh" etc as much as other people do. So when someone is talking, they get these bits of feedback from other people but not so much from me - so then they start responding, talking and looking at the other people in the group and not me. Even though I was still listening!

springydaffs Thu 27-Apr-17 10:44:50

Also bear in mind the extrovert/introvert thing. Ignore at your peril <shivers>

A lot of antipathy coursing under the surface between these two groups. Just saying.

booitsme Thu 27-Apr-17 10:52:43

Springydaffs/daffy/droopydaffs 👀👀👀👀😜

Emily7708 thats interesting that you are aware you need to do that and i think that might be what this is about with me. Thanks as thats really helpful.

Countrymilk352 i think Something you said struck a chord and seems to apply to both of us - sometimes I'm just not that interested in the subject matters; theres lots of conversation about kids progress that year and what teachers are doing wrong and i think my ds is 8 he will get there and teachers have a tough job and I'm not in a position to criticise. Maybe we are both sometimes giving signals of disinterest.

Ravensmum I'm not but someone I'm close to is blind in one eye and so i know what you mean - i don't know whether to look at both or one sometimes - although i think the answer is look at both! As country indicated in her situation, this doesn't really happen to me outside of the school gate.

Countrymilk352 Thu 27-Apr-17 10:53:41

IME within the school gate social context, and similar to being a child at school, people get 'endorsed' iyswim. When the popular mums who have heaps of social credibility 'recognise' and include you others will do the same and follow the leader.

We have a tight-knit community at my children's primary school, which is lovely but difficult if you are not included. In my personal experience, people at the school gate tolerate me but certainly don't seek me out or extend their helpfulness to us. Having heard their gossiping which is totally harsh I do prefer to be rather out than in.

OP, do you work or are you a SAHM? People also gravitate towards people they have lots in common with. I get on better with mums who work as I work and can relate to their experience.

Countrymilk352 Thu 27-Apr-17 10:56:41

"A lot of antipathy coursing under the surface between these two groups." Daffs can you say more about this? I believe I am an introvert, how would that affect interactions if I 'act' interested and engaged? thanks

booitsme Thu 27-Apr-17 10:58:38

Wow i wish id posted earlier this is really helpful!
RosesShouldBeInTins that resonates with me. I'm not touchy feely at all and feel uncomfortable when a friend hugged another friend but not me to say hello. I don't like being kissed or hugged by friends so why would i expect her to do it to me! Also, i am not someone who will say in conversation i love someone or gush about them, i feel insincere. When others do it it does make me uncomfortable - even though I'm not a jealous person and will give praise too. I think mines just less enthusiatic!

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