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Husband's lack of social skills embarrasses me(115 Posts)
Firstly, I know I'm going to come across like a total bitch.
Husband and I went to a baby class and met all of the other couples. I think I am pretty easily to get along with, ask people questions, makes jokes and I'm general a very social person so I have no issue interacting with new groups.
My partner on the other hand is the total opposite, he is a complete introvert, he had friends but they're all childhood or from the gym (where he has been there for a while or part of routine). When he is around new people he cannot think of anything to say and I know people are looking at us as a couple thinking, 'why isn't he saying anything?'.
I really want us to make some parent friends as none of our friends have children and I am going to need some support when on maternity leave.
I have been working with DP for years around his shyness and he really is loads better, but I find myself feeling a bit upset when I can see he isn't fitting in with a group because he just doesn't speak.
But I'm wondering if he knows I'm watching him or paying too much attention to his interactions and he feels pressured?
I know people are who they are and you can't change that, but I was just hoping that he would at least try and join in or talk to people as as knows how important this is to me.
Some people are just introverted and that's fine. I don't particularly like to socialise in new groups like that because I find it awkward and have social anxiety.
My partner does it easily and I'd be really upset if he felt embarrassed by me.
I don't ever feel like people judge me, though. I laugh along at funny things and will speak if I have something relevant and constructive to say, but I don't see the point of speaking for the sake of it.
Why does he need to change? There's nothing wrong with being an introvert, it's just a personality type. I'm not keen on meeting new people, I like seeing a few close friends but I don't like making conversation with people I don't know in general, especially in cases of circumstance rather than affinity.
Is he unhappy as he is?
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Does HE actually want to go to this baby group and meet lots of other couples? I can think of nothing worse, and he might actually be sitting there hating every second and wondering why on earth he let himself be persuaded.
He is who he is - an introvert. Leave the poor man be. If you want to make Mum friends, then crack on.
If being an introvert is his worst failing, then I'd not be over worried.
I don't see the problem. Unless he's actively being rude to people, glowering at them and then turning his back when spoken to etc.
Its just the way he is, my partner is the same. He is just shy, he is also Self employed but in work he is able to talk to complete strangers no problem. I am just used to it now and do the most talking when out with people he doesn't know, but i include him in the conversations like pretending to forget where we went on hols etc and asking him the name of places. That way he has to talk and his confindence starts to grow then a bit so after a while people will talk to him aswell. It takes time you are going through a new situation in your life so it won't happen overnight but don't put pressure on hime either. Know his trigger points and when to stop, But don't worry either about other people think,
and I know people are looking at us as a couple thinking, 'why isn't he saying anything?'.
No, they're really not. Most people understand that different people have different character traits. Unfortunately, some people seem to have that anyone who is introverted is some kind of weirdo - they're the exception, not the norm. As long as your OH answers and talks when people talk to him directly, very few people will think anything about it at all.
>> But I'm wondering if he knows I'm watching him or paying too much attention to his interactions and he feels pressured?
Yes, probably. Value him more for who he is instead of trying to change him. Then he will be more relaxed and feel less judged.
Introversion is a normal character trait, not a fault to be cured. It's just how some people are. Trying to be someone you aren't is a recipe for disaster anyway.
Why would you want to change one of his basic personality traits? This is who he is. Some people are louder, some people are quieter and both are fine.
I think it's your issue to work on, to be honest. Why does it matter to you so much what people think?
Why is try is this bothering you now? Surely he’s always been this way? How did you even get together if he’s so shy?
He sounds really similar to my husband. He's a total introvert and is only really comfortable talking to people he knows well - going to a group and meeting new people would be one of his worst nightmares.
My husband has been that way as long as I've known him, it's just the way he is and, although I do encourage him to go out and chat to friends etc, I'd never try to change him. If your husband has always been this way then I guess that's just his personality. I doubt people are really wondering why he's not saying anything. Surely you just accept that some people are chatty, some people are quiet.
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You dont need parent friends you need mum friends. It might sound awful but you're better off finding mums you get on with because that's who you'll hang out with on mat leave. It doesn't really matter if you're DH is introverted. I meet see my friends partners every few months at most. Why drag him in to social interactions that he doesn't want?
I do value him, he is my entire life.
I guess I just really have needed some friends in my life that have children. None of my friends have had children before, so I've been really lonely. I want them to like us as a couple, but when we had breaks in the group, I went to talk to some ladies and enjoying the conversation but I was just so aware that my partner was standing by himself just looking around, so I'm then not invested in the conversation as I'm worried about him just standing there looking awkward.
I didn't force him to come, he booked it before I even knew about it (like I said we don't know anyone with children so I needed to go).
You're all totally right, I need to stop putting pressure on him and just let him do his thing and I can branch off and talk to people when I want to.
Also, I post on Mumsnet to get advise, I do not come on here to be abused. We are not all perfect in life and we make mistakes - please do not abuse me, you're then no different to how you obviously think I'm being and no one likes hypocrites.
My partner has social anxiety too but it manifests by him taking over a discussion / arguing over people. Baby classes are so embarrassing because he dominates the discussion then wonders why people think he’s controlling
I went to baby group like you to meet new friends. Husband sucked it up but did bare minimum in terms of speaking to others - wouldn't go on partner nights out or meet them in the pub etc.....definitely impacted on our social standing. However, I eventually met other mum friends. My husband hasn't changed still doesn't want to do social things. I think it's a shame that we miss out on stuff.....but, he is who he is. I can either stay with him or not. And his good points by far outweigh the frustration over his social skills. (he would argue he has great social skills he just chooses not to use them!!!) - And I have no issues with childcare when I want to go out!! Just align your expectations with who he is, he won't change because he's becoming a dad.
You don’t need to make friends with those people as a couple. The mums, who’ll be on mat leave the same time as you, are the ones that matter, and vice versa.
I went to 'mum' groups - still never really made any friends - DS is 5 now and will always be an only child - I never really made mum friends - you will all survive - I've got one mum from school I now get on with but we don't go out or anything. It doesn't work if you force it.
Plus I'll swop you my DH he never bloody shuts up and we can never get away from anywhere.
I’m sorry but I think you’re being harsh. My husband is an introvert and I am an extrovert no personality type is better than the other... just different. You are with him knowing his personality and you should not try and change him. When pregnant my DH came to various classes with me (i.e. feeding classes etc) But he didn’t spend ages talking to other people, he was polite but not overly chatty. He saw these classes as educational and was there to support me which I appreciated given I know its not in his comfort zone. It does not bother me he’s not the most talkative person in the room, the classes are full of both types of personalities and no one bats an eyelid either way.
I am naturally introverted, with social anxiety added into the mix for good measure. I struggle to make conversation with people, and often end up standing there smiling and nodding when we're out with people my partner knows and I don't. Sometimes I end up crying afterwards because I find it exhausting, whereas he'd happily stay all evening.
I would be absolutely mortified if he said he was embarrassed of me. I don't think people notice, to be honest, anyway. He always apologises and tells me that I should tell him when I want to leave, but then I point out that would be approximately 30 seconds after arriving ha ha.
Incidentally, I'm fine with my friends, and people I've known a while - and if people give me a chance, I can get to know them and be a fantastic friend. It's just getting past the line of them being a stranger!
Most baby groups I have been to usually only have one parent there anyway, it’s not like they’re all based around couples socialising and you won’t make friends if your husband doesn’t join in? Just let him do his thing and you go off and chat to people if you want to.
Don’t worry about how your DH is coming across. You do you and make friends and ensure you have some other parents to socialise with when your little one arrives. He will naturally slot into that. It’s far better people see the real shy him then some awkward version of himself that he wouldn’t be able to sustain anyway.
I don't think one personality type is better than the other. We all have different strengths and my husband has plenty of strengths that I do not have (one of them obviously being tact).
I am going to not put any pressure on him moving forward. I love my partner and his personality, I think the reaction from me is being a first time mum and not wanting to be lonely. I was just putting all of my anxiety about that onto him, which isn't fair to him at all, I see that now and will work on it moving forward.
I have some mum groups lined up when the baby is born and will be going whilst DP is at work to try and socialise.
I have not discussed how I have been feeling with my partner as I was somewhat aware that I was being irrational and I will not discuss with him as like said above, it's not fair and it's just who he is.
Thanks for your advice all.
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