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I've been told by others who, noticing that I'm so shy, say I'm "afraid of people."

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Louisiana1976 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-13-09 08:51 PM
Original message
I've been told by others who, noticing that I'm so shy, say I'm "afraid of people."
But to me there's nothing further from the truth--when I like being alone in my apartment (except for my cat) and don't like crowds, I like living near people and going places by myself like the library and bookstores.

To me a person who's "afraid of people" is the sort who'd run away to someplace like Montana and build a cabin in the woods like the Unabomber--and that isn't me. That kind of life would bore me.

Has anyone ever told you they thought you were "afraid of people?" Do you think that fits?
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elleng Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-14-09 06:02 PM
Response to Original message
1. Seems to me the sort who'd say that has a 'problem,' or issue,
has to say something negative much of the time. I know some of those, and find it very annoying. Either thoughtless, don't recognize that everyone's different, or can't STAND that THEIR way is not everyone's way. Self-centered?
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Louisiana1976 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-14-09 06:46 PM
Response to Reply #1
4. Well said--someone like that does seem self-centered....
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david13 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-14-09 06:13 PM
Response to Original message
2. People have told me, not 'afraid' but ... rude. Oh you were rude
because you didn't talk enough. But I have to feel like talking, don't we all.
To me, if you start asking me personal questions, I back off.
To me, the best way is to talk a lot about neutral subjects, not the usual "oh, you hate Obammer like we do, don't you ..."
Or another way to turn me off is to talk religion, start out with all kinds of religious prejudice or doctrine, yeah, I don't say a word then.
And I walk away, so it seems rude.
I never heard the afraid of people thing, what I also heard was fear of rejection. And I think we all do have that in the back of our mind, that we will talk to someone, like them, have a good conversation, and then at some point say something they disagree with and they snort and say, I don't like you, and walk away.
In fact, in essence it has happened to me many many times. I just move on to the next person, and say whatever comes into my mind, about them, or what they are doing, but in a neutral way. Or expose myself, in a restaurant, waiting in line, make a recommendation as to what I like there.
Just keep on trying. That's all I can do.
dc
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Louisiana1976 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-14-09 06:42 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. Yep, keep on trying. As for me, while I haven't been called "rude,"
I have been told that my being so shy comes across as "snobbishness."
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david13 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-14-09 09:41 PM
Response to Reply #3
5. Rude, snobbish, you think you're better than everybody, yes,
I have heard it all.
dc
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elleng Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-14-09 09:46 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. Sure, we ARE better than everybody.
Edited on Mon Sep-14-09 09:46 PM by elleng
Proof? We like spending time with ourselves!

(and the crickets, of course!)
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elleng Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-14-09 09:48 PM
Response to Reply #3
7. And you say (or think!) 'So What?'
My kids still, I think, have a hard time understanding that I don't CARE what most people think about me.
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shanti Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-19-10 10:19 PM
Response to Reply #7
21. exactly!
i don't friggin care what others think! :hi: i know this a late reply, but what the hey.
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david13 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-15-09 08:07 PM
Response to Original message
8. I guess the question that wasn't asked is ... "Why are you so shy?"
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Louisiana1976 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 04:43 PM
Response to Reply #8
9. Right--that would have been a good question....
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david13 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 08:07 PM
Response to Reply #9
10. Ergo, it still is. dc
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rrneck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 10:46 PM
Response to Original message
11. Only people that know me well
think I'm taciturn or rude. Around strangers apparently I can be quite charming and entertaining. But every time I do I lose a year off my life.

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eilen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-19-09 01:40 PM
Response to Original message
12. I just enjoy my own company
I like to do things by myself. I get "claustrophobic" at times when some of my more needier friends insist on more and more hanging out. I feel like saying-- I just spent 4 hours with you yesterday, no I don't want to see you today!" but realize that would hurt her feelings and she would not understand as she is a person who hates to be alone. She would interpret it as I don't like her, which is not true. I'm not shy, but soft spoken at times, quiet-- listening to what is going on around me... and I daydream. Sometimes people are very boring.

One friend says to me that I should be a hermit and come down from the mountain twice a year.

When I was younger, people just thought I was "weird."
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Louisiana1976 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-23-09 07:20 PM
Response to Reply #12
13. I prefer my own company too.
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Nay Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-28-09 05:06 PM
Response to Original message
14. When I was younger, I WAS afraid of people. It seemed to me that they
Edited on Mon Sep-28-09 05:10 PM by Nay
spent an awful lot of time judging and evaluating everyone else, including me, and I found it intrusive and disturbing. For a long time I didn't even know that others would judge you on the clothes you wear, your hairstyle, etc., and when I realized that, I remember thinking how shallow and awful most people must be. In college, I was astounded at how sexually obsessed men were, even to the point where I and other women had our asses grabbed, breasts 'accidentally' touched on the bus, etc. It was apparent we women were considered to be sex toys first and not people. Obviously, I have always preferred my own company, but now I am not "afraid" of people -- I just don't like or respect them as a group. I am forced to work every day with gobs of people (most of whom are dumbass RWers), so keeping up my cheerful and sociable face is a pretty tough job all by itself. Then, there is the actual job. Sometimes I buy a lottery ticket just to allow myself to dream about being free from all of them.

I also have been considered "aloof" or "stuck up" and only found out about it when friends, in a moment of honesty, told me that when they first met me, that's what they thought, but now that they know me they don't feel that way anymore. So, I have also learned to immediately jump into conversations, do a little mirroring of people's body language, and I haven't heard that comment for many years. However, this whole false persona thing takes a toll on my mental health. I essentially must pretend for at least 8 hours a day that I'm someone I'm not. I do take my lunch hour to sneak off to read or go for a walk outside. But right now I am dreaming of retirement, which is at least 4 (and more likely 7) years away. The day I retire, I will be dancing in the streets. And then I will go back to my nice little house and DO EXACTLY WHAT I WANT WITH NOBODY ELSE AROUND.
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redqueen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-30-09 12:34 PM
Response to Reply #14
15. Just wanted to say...
I love your post.
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raccoon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-16-10 11:01 AM
Response to Reply #14
16. Gosh, could I identify with a lot of things you said in your first paragraph. nt
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iris27 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-23-10 01:39 AM
Response to Original message
17. I greatly enjoy being "around" people in ways that don't involve really interacting with them.
Hanging out in a Panera with a book and a bagel appeals more to me than doing the same in my house with no one else around.

I don't think "afraid of" people fits. "Drained by", or "always mildly annoyed by", or "inevitably disappointed by" people is more like it.
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LWolf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-01-10 09:01 AM
Response to Original message
18. I was considered "shy" as a kid.
Now my mother sighs in resignation and calls me a hermit.

I'm obviously not shy. I am civil for a short time, and then display poor social habits, such as ignoring people around me, or being too blunt, or wandering off to do something else.
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catchnrelease Donating Member (359 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-28-10 02:21 AM
Response to Original message
19. No No No
Not shy, afraid of people, anti social, etc etc. You are probably an introvert. If you haven't read The Introvert Advantage by Marti Olsen Laney do so asap. It's the greatest book for explaining "what" we are and WHY and how introverts act. (There are actually different chemical pathways in the brains of introverts and extroverts.)

Being an introvert is NOT the same as being shy, altho' you can be both. Somewhere farther down on the list of threads is an article called How to care for your introvert. It's really aimed at people that live with introverts, but it will give you an idea of what is in the book mentioned above. Extroverts just don't get us, and want to insist that there is something wrong with the way we are. Sorry, I happen to like the way I am and definitely would NOT want to be like they are!! Ok,that's my post for the year, lol. :hi:
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chillspike Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-09-10 06:42 AM
Response to Original message
20. Has anyone ever told me I was afraid of people?
Yes, you just did. LOL....I actually want to build a cabin in the Catskills because I just like the peace and quiet of the woods. But I'm not afraid of people. I also enjoy going into the city, meeting new people, being in crowds sometimes, etc.
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