How to Identify What's Wrong With You

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How to Identify What's Wrong With You Empty How to Identify What's Wrong With You

Post by reboundstudent on Mon Jul 13, 2015 3:41 pm

Today's Prime article is all about how having a good attitude can lead to social success, alongside skill and presentation. Any time these articles come up, I've always had one question that I've never seen fully addressed: how can you identify why you're failing, whether it's attitude, skill or presentation?

I've spent years and years and years agonizing over why I'm unpopular, trying to pick out why people so predictably dislike me. I've done my best (I think) to be introspective. I've also done my best to solicit feedback, from these forums (hurray pointless, negative threads that make people dislike me even more!), other online forums (where folks really hated me, but had lots of varied reasons for doing so) and in real life. Real life is especially tough, as my friends have come to despise these sorts of conversations, and usually just gently poking at the subject will lead to the inevitable "they dislike me even more" result. If I can nail the sweet-spot of finding a time when it's socially acceptable to ask but they haven't gotten sick of the conversation yet, literally all I get is "I don't know."

I've also tried a number of therapists, whom similarly could help me with my own mental hang-ups, but could never answer why other people seem to hate me so much. Obviously I'm giving them a biased perspective, but I try to relay a social situation as realistically as I can, and at best, there's maybe one or two things to "tweak", but never any flashing signs.

If you have done your best at self-awareness, and you lack bluntly honest friends who don't fear you'll kill the messenger, how do you go about figuring out why you're disliked?
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Post by reboot on Mon Jul 13, 2015 3:50 pm

Maybe you are trying too hard to be liked? And people sense that and it can be off putting? Or maybe you are aiming for widespread popularity when you are better suited to a few close friendships? I am just throwing spaghetti at the wall here. I am someone who is oddly popular and I have no idea why, so cannot give much input into this
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Post by PintsizeBro on Mon Jul 13, 2015 4:28 pm

I have some impressions of you based on our interactions here and on DNL Prime. I don't consider any of them unkind, but some are blunt. How blunt do you want me to be?

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Post by reboundstudent on Mon Jul 13, 2015 4:30 pm

PintsizeBro wrote:I have some impressions of you based on our interactions here and on DNL Prime. I don't consider any of them unkind, but some are blunt. How blunt do you want me to be?

Go nuts.
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Post by Caffeinated on Mon Jul 13, 2015 4:31 pm

Hmm, this makes me wonder if there is such a profession as popularity coach. Or some such. Basically a person who would have maybe some similar training to a therapist, but who would go out and observe you in social situations (maybe shadow you in person, maybe watch video tapes, I don't know), and then use that observation to give you a full workup on what you're doing right, what you're doing wrong, and how to improve.
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Post by reboundstudent on Mon Jul 13, 2015 4:37 pm

Caffeinated wrote:Hmm, this makes me wonder if there is such a profession as popularity coach. Or some such. Basically a person who would have maybe some similar training to a therapist, but who would go out and observe you in social situations (maybe shadow you in person, maybe watch video tapes, I don't know), and then use that observation to give you a full workup on what you're doing right, what you're doing wrong, and how to improve.

That'd be awesome if such a thing existed. :-D
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Post by PintsizeBro on Mon Jul 13, 2015 5:15 pm

Do keep in mind that you and I aren't compatible on paper, but I am a man who likes women and I've been told I'm marriage material (for certain values of marriage material), so I guess that counts for something.

I think where you are right now is you're the dreaded C grade. There's nothing in particular that's wrong with you, but you don't stand out in a crowd. I've seen a couple of pictures of you that you've posted in other threads and you're not ugly, but if I were to look at a group of randomly selected women, odds are someone else in that group would pull my attention away from you. None of your interests are off-putting, either - a lot of my friends knit, and costuming is pretty cool. But I don't knit and I haven't made a costume since I was a teenager, so there's not a lot of conversation potential there (I can't recall any other interests of yours - is DS9 your favorite Trek by any chance? Wink).

In my experience for a relationship to start strong out of the gate, you need either an immediate spark of chemistry or a passionate shared interest. Both is ideal, but one or the other will do in a pinch; if the connection on one is strong enough it's possible for the other to develop. It's easier in the beginning if the connection is physical, but it's easy for things to fizzle if you don't have anything in common. Of course, if there's a shared interest but no chemistry, that's a good recipe for a friendship and those are great and all, but you're still left looking for romance. Though from how you've described your friends, I think you could use some new ones.

Circling back to the C grade concept, the experience I'd expect for a woman in this category is that she'd go on a few dates and maybe even have some short-term relationships. But those dates and relationships would be with guys who are desperate to have a girlfriend, any girlfriend, and treating her as a placeholder while they wait for someone they like better to come along. And there's a good chance, given they aren't especially invested in the relationship, that they'd cheat given the opportunity. Now correct me if I'm wrong but that's also how I'd summarize the posts you've made about your relationship history.

I think you harp on polyamory a little much, but it's a red herring. You conflate polyamory with cheating and you say you're afraid that nobody wants a monogamous relationship anymore, but that's not what's going on. Your real concern, which is not unfounded, is that you find yourself dating guys who aren't especially invested in you or the relationship - that's why they cheat while maintaining that they don't actually want an open relationship. I have no interest in monogamy, but if I somehow found myself in a monogamous relationship, I'd either openly negotiate the terms of the relationship or end it. Or if I were really crazy about the person in question, I might try the monogamy thing. But I wouldn't cheat, because cheating is not really about sex, it's about trust.

Now, that's a lot of commentary on you without a lot of advice, but unfortunately the dreaded C grade is one of the hardest cases to give actionable advice for. There's nothing blatantly wrong with you that would be easy to correct, but "be more interesting!" is kind of a tall order.

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Post by reboundstudent on Mon Jul 13, 2015 5:33 pm

PintsizeBro wrote:
I think where you are right now is you're the dreaded C grade. There's nothing in particular that's wrong with you, but you don't stand out in a crowd. I've seen a couple of pictures of you that you've posted in other threads and you're not ugly, but if I were to look at a group of randomly selected women, odds are someone else in that group would pull my attention away from you. None of your interests are off-putting, either - a lot of my friends knit, and costuming is pretty cool. But I don't knit and I haven't made a costume since I was a teenager, so there's not a lot of conversation potential there (I can't recall any other interests of yours - is DS9 your favorite Trek by any chance? Wink).

In my experience for a relationship to start strong out of the gate, you need either an immediate spark of chemistry or a passionate shared interest. Both is ideal, but one or the other will do in a pinch; if the connection on one is strong enough it's possible for the other to develop. It's easier in the beginning if the connection is physical, but it's easy for things to fizzle if you don't have anything in common. Of course, if there's a shared interest but no chemistry, that's a good recipe for a friendship and those are great and all, but you're still left looking for romance. Though from how you've described your friends, I think you could use some new ones.

Circling back to the C grade concept, the experience I'd expect for a woman in this category is that she'd go on a few dates and maybe even have some short-term relationships. But those dates and relationships would be with guys who are desperate to have a girlfriend, any girlfriend, and treating her as a placeholder while they wait for someone they like better to come along. And there's a good chance, given they aren't especially invested in the relationship, that they'd cheat given the opportunity. Now correct me if I'm wrong but that's also how I'd summarize the posts you've made about your relationship history.

Now, that's a lot of commentary on you without a lot of advice, but unfortunately the dreaded C grade is one of the hardest cases to give actionable advice for. There's nothing blatantly wrong with you that would be easy to correct, but "be more interesting!" is kind of a tall order.

Sounds 'bout right. I've found that if I don't really force myself to stick out, people forget I'm even there. I frequently feel invisible. But if I force myself to really stand out, I seem to stand out in a bad, "too intense" way.

The fact is, I am obnoxiously average. Average (to bad I'd argue) looks, average intelligence, average hobbies, average everything. The only truly obnoxious things about me are my flaws. In the past, on this forum and others, when I've taken the "average sucks" stance, I've been told that there are lots of average people out there who find love and friendships very easily. I'd argue that if they stood out enough that someone went "Yes, I want to spend precious time and energy on you in particular," there's something unique about them. In a culture that values uniqueness and special-ness almost to the point of fetish*, it can be very disheartening to be so.... not.

I suppose asking what you do when you kind of can't fix what's wrong is another thread all together!




*Separate thread, but seriously, the obsession with prophecies in a lot of media is staggering. I've also been reading a lot of fanfic these days, and it's amazing how many of them make "uniquely special in X" the most desirable trait in their protagonist.
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Post by Enail on Mon Jul 13, 2015 6:34 pm

So, I'm going to risk trying to bridge that gap I often run into between your reality and mine. In my reality, you've started a lot of threads on this sort of topic that have become pointless and negative or even quite hostile and that have caused some people to dislike you, but you've also started some really interesting, intelligent threads about it where you and others have given a lot of thoughtful and sometimes very personal comments, and that have included people expressing their appreciation for you. There've been some that include elements of both.

And even from my version of reality, I can certainly understand why some of the worse threads (or worse portions of mixed threads) would carry more weight, but at the same time, it's a little disconcerting every time you talk about your reality, where what in my universe was a lot of people's real and worthwhile efforts and feelings seem to have meant something very different or didn't count at all in yours.

I don't dislike you in the slightest, and most of the time I find these sorts of threads interesting, so maybe my opinion isn't a great reflection of what's going on - but seeing things that I thought were worth something in my reality be so categorically erased in yours does have a cost, and I wouldn't be surprised if that was making people sometimes sometimes find being around you draining. You're very willing to listen to and consider other people's perceptions when that reality difference is explicitly noted (and I think that's something that you've gotten better about in the time you've been here, and I think it does reduce the cost of these kinds of discussions a lot), but when a difference in peoples' subjective realities is not an explicit topic, you tend to talk about your reality very confidently and without giving any kind of nod to the fact that you know that other people have perceived things differently, which can make people who felt that you understood even if didn't agree with their interpretation, feel that you weren't actually giving any weight to their view at all. Does that make any sense?
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Post by reboundstudent on Mon Jul 13, 2015 6:38 pm

Enail wrote:So, I'm going to risk trying to bridge that gap I often run into between your reality and mine. In my reality, you've started a lot of threads on this sort of topic that have become pointless and negative or even quite hostile and that have caused some people to dislike you, but you've also started some really interesting, intelligent threads about it where you and others have given a lot of thoughtful and sometimes very personal comments, and that have included people expressing their appreciation for you. There've been some that include elements of both.

And even from my version of reality, I can certainly understand why some of the worse threads (or worse portions of mixed threads) would carry more weight, but at the same time, it's a little disconcerting every time you talk about your reality, where what in my universe was a lot of people's real and worthwhile efforts and feelings seem to have meant something very different or didn't count at all in yours.

I don't dislike you in the slightest, and most of the time I find these sorts of threads interesting, so maybe my opinion isn't a great reflection of what's going on - but seeing things that I thought were worth something in my reality be so categorically erased in yours does have a cost, and I wouldn't be surprised if that was making people sometimes sometimes find being around you draining. You're very willing to listen to and consider other people's perceptions when that reality difference is explicitly noted (and I think that's something that you've gotten better about in the time you've been here, and I think it does reduce the cost of these kinds of discussions a lot), but when a difference in peoples' subjective realities is not an explicit topic, you tend to talk about your reality very confidently and without giving any kind of nod to the fact that you know that other people have perceived things differently, which can make people who felt that you understood even if didn't agree with their interpretation, feel that you weren't actually giving any weight to their view at all. Does that make any sense?

Not particularly, no, sorry. What efforts or feelings am I discounting? I'm not sure I understand what reality or perception I'm not giving a nod to?
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Post by Conreezy on Mon Jul 13, 2015 6:41 pm

The fact is, I am obnoxiously average. Average (to bad I'd argue) looks, average intelligence, average hobbies, average everything. The only truly obnoxious things about me are my flaws. In the past, on this forum and others, when I've taken the "average sucks" stance, I've been told that there are lots of average people out there who find love and friendships very easily. I'd argue that if they stood out enough that someone went "Yes, I want to spend precious time and energy on you in particular," there's something unique about them. In a culture that values uniqueness and special-ness almost to the point of fetish*, it can be very disheartening to be so.... not.

No one is all that special and unique.  You don't know how badly I want to walk through the halls of the Emergency Department and yell that at everyone.

And don't you speak Japanese? How is that not unique?

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Post by reboundstudent on Mon Jul 13, 2015 6:43 pm

Conreezy wrote:

No one is all that special and unique.  You don't know how badly I want to walk through the halls of the Emergency Department and yell that at everyone.

And don't you speak Japanese? How is that not unique?

Emergency Department?

Well, granted, I hang out with nerds, but nearly every nerd I know speaks at least some level of Japanese. Usually much more fluently than me, in fact, as I really struggle with the language. Blame years of anime exposure I suppose.
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Post by reboot on Mon Jul 13, 2015 6:50 pm

RBS, how many people do you think you would need to appeal to to be satisfied? And what depth of appeal would be sufficient? Would an "oh yeah, she is cool" be enough or would it have to be a, "she is so amazing!"?
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Post by reboundstudent on Mon Jul 13, 2015 7:00 pm

reboot wrote:RBS, how many people do you think you would need to appeal to to be satisfied? And what depth of appeal would be sufficient? Would an "oh yeah, she is cool" be enough or would it have to be a, "she is so amazing!"?

I'd just like to walk through the world thinking that if I died tomorrow, I'd have a decent amount of people show up at my funeral. Like, maybe not fill the church, but more than 2 pews (and not just as a gesture of "I have to be here," like family or coworkers, but as a genuine "This makes me sad.") I don't think I care about universal appeal, but I'd like the number of people who like me to outnumber the number of people who hate* me (right now I'd estimate it's about 5 to 95%.) They don't even have to think I'm amazing, just a "Oh yeah she's cool, let's invite her to the party and chat with her a bit!" would be great.

I do feel envious/sad that I don't have the kind of universal love that some other people I see in my social circle do. I have a friend who can literally post anything, no matter how seemingly mundane, and get a dozen "likes." Alternatively, I would like to be known for something, something useful and valuable. Like known as the local person who cosplays this character, or makes that, or has knowledge on this respected subject.    

I don't know that I care about close, emotionally intimate friendships because, frankly, I don't think there is a person alive who should be forced to deal with my emotional self. I've spent the last few years slowly locking away anything too intense or emotional or "real" (ymmv) and come out the better socially for it. Emotional intimacy means revealing those parts of myself, and I don't think anyone lacking the emotional constitution of a literal angel could (or should!) accept or manage it.

So shallow, broad appeal seems more valuable to me.


*Quick edit: I think 95% of people who know me passively hate me. They are not spending a single second on hating me, unless I bumble into their sphere of awareness for some reason, at which time passive hate becomes active hate, and then switches back to not thinking/caring when I wander back out.
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Post by reboot on Mon Jul 13, 2015 7:08 pm

If it makes you feel any better, I have about as many enemies as friends. I make quite a lot of them, but generally they are the people you do not want to like you Smile

OK, so broad based, generally appealing on a less in depth level. That sounds like something that can me somewhat achieved by a little social graces, hostess with the hostess, cocktail party chit chat type skills. I am going to poke around and see if I can find any resources on that. Downside is that it can feel very fake, but it does tend to be broadly appealing.
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Post by Enail on Mon Jul 13, 2015 7:08 pm

reboundstudent wrote:
Not particularly, no, sorry. What efforts or feelings am I discounting? I'm not sure I understand what reality or perception I'm not giving a nod to?  

Oh, sorry, lemme try this again, I've been having an incoherency problem lately (just lately? you ask Razz)

Your version of reality: negative pointless threads that make people dislike you
My version of reality: some negative pointless threads that make people dislike you, some where there's interesting discussion and thoughtful comments and people say things they like about you.  

So when you just offhand describe those threads here as negative and pointless, it feels like you're discounting those thoughtful comments and people saying positive things about you that I thought were real things. Since we've talked before about this difference between my perception of such threads and yours, the fact that you talk as if your reality is undisputed fact makes me feel like maybe you weren't really listening to those discussions.  

Obviously, even if you've listened to my (or whoever's) version and respect the fact that it's different from yours, you're probably still going to see yours as more true, and that's not unreasonable, but it might make it easier to discuss if you could show a little awareness that there's some dispute,  leave a little space for the possibility that other peoples' realities may also have some truth even if they're not fully correct.

Like when you're writing an essay, if the historians who argue that Smerglop III was a failure of a king whose spendthrift ways drove the kingdom of Fmeep to ruin are dominant, but there is also a well-respected opposing theory that he was actually an underappreciated bureaucratic genius who helped lay the foundations for the great Fmeepian Renaissance, you wouldn't just say "The absolute trainwreck of a king Smerglop III left his daughter a kingdom in utter ruin with absolutely no foundations for anything..." because that makes it sound like you either don't know or don't care about the opposing theory. You'd say something like "Although some argue that Smerglop III did leave an important framework for his daughter's future bureaucratic reforms, the financial ruin caused by his failed projects clearly gave her little hope of...."  

That metaphor got away with me a little, hopefully some part makes sense anyway...
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Post by reboundstudent on Mon Jul 13, 2015 7:24 pm

Enail wrote:

Your version of reality: negative pointless threads that make people dislike you
My version of reality: some negative pointless threads that make people dislike you, some where there's interesting discussion and thoughtful comments and people say things they like about you.  

So when you just offhand describe those threads here as negative and pointless, it feels like you're discounting those thoughtful comments and people saying positive things about you that I thought were real things. Since we've talked before about this difference between my perception of such threads and yours, the fact that you talk as if your reality is undisputed fact makes me feel like maybe you weren't really listening to those discussions.  

Obviously, even if you've listened to my (or whoever's) version and respect the fact that it's different from yours, you're probably still going to see yours as more true, and that's not unreasonable, but it might make it easier to discuss if you could show a little awareness that there's some dispute,  leave a little space for the possibility that other peoples' realities may also have some truth even if they're not fully correct.

I admit I don't get the metaphor. Laughing

I guess I... thought I was acknowledging the other reality? Okay, this will be complicated to explain, so bear with me.

Social expectations are weird things. I've seen people spend a lot of time, energy and thought on people they deeply dislike. The truth-ism is that nobody spends time on folks they don't like, but that hasn't really been born out by my experience. In fact, sometimes it seems like people spend even more time on people they dislike, than those they like. There's also the added, complicated layer that there's an intense pressure to be nice, to always find the positive or compliment, even if on the whole, you find the person really detestable.

On top of that, I've recently decided that I seem to have, like, a pity superpower or something. I seem to have this uncanny ability to force people to acknowledge me or hang out with me, even when I'm actively trying to be as respectful and aware of their "soft no" boundaries. When dating, I had a magical ability that forced guys to date me, even when they're really have preferred to gorge out their own eyes with rusty thumbtacks. Socially, through some combination of unintentional manipulation, creation of feelings of pity/guilt, or abuse of social graces, I can get people to act friend-like even when they really, really don't want to be my friend.

So! I try to keep all of that in mind. In my reality, people giving thoughtful commentary in a thread I made or saying nice things doesn't actually mean they like me, or view me positively. It's not that they're lying, or saying untrue things. It's more like.... I'm forcing people to interact with me, and because folks are genuinely nice and thoughtful beings, when forced to interact with someone, they want to try to find something nice to say.

I'll use "Inside Out" as a good example of this. Especially at the beginning of the film, Joy doesn't like Sadness. Joy in fact would like Sadness to go really, really far away. But she has no choice but to interact with Sadness. So, she does her best to try and be complimentary (Sadness: "I'm annoying" Joy: "Oh, well, um, you can't focus on the negatives!") Joy is a generally happy and engaging person (being?), and does genuinely want Sadness to feel good, but that doesn't mean she likes Sadness.

I think people here are all genuine, thoughtful, good people who want other folks to feel good/have good lives, even if they don't particularly like that individual; in this case, me.

Does that make any sense at all?
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Post by Enail on Mon Jul 13, 2015 7:37 pm

It makes sense, but at the same time, I think it's sort of over-interpreting to fit your existing belief. You're not wrong that if people feel really put on the spot, they're generally going to try to be friendly and nice. But that doesn't mean that that's definitely why they're being friendly and nice, and assuming that that's it for sure can land up making someone who is saying what they genuinely think feel pretty rejected or insulted.

There are some situations where you can't really know for sure how much someone means what they're saying. It seems like sometimes you're trying to err on the safe side and assume positives are just to be nice and don't mean anything, but that's not necessarily any safer than assuming the opposite, because no one likes to have their real opinions discounted, either, or to have to try and convince you that they're true. Sometimes you've just got to accept that there's an element of doubt there.
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Post by Wondering on Mon Jul 13, 2015 9:18 pm

reboundstudent wrote:In my reality, people giving thoughtful commentary in a thread I made or saying nice things doesn't actually mean they like me, or view me positively.

It doesn't mean they don't, either. And you're assuming they dislike you, which discounts the real feelings of the people who do like you, or even just feel neutral toward you. It's telling people what they feel, which is not a cool thing to do.

I'm with enail, here. She's saying how she feels dismissed by a comment you made earlier in the thread. I had a similar experience with you once on the old forum where we'd been PMing briefly about something I don't even remember. And I thought we were having a nice or at least neutral conversation, and you made a comment about how you thought I hated you. I was really taken aback by that. First, I didn't (and don't) hate you. Second, I started wondering what I'd done to make you think I hated you. And both of those things together were energy-sapping. I'd spent time and effort on a conversation that you were taking badly, and I was then having to second guess myself and felt I needed to walk on eggshells around you for you not to take things the wrong way. That's draining.

So, I get what you're saying about how social conventions may make people say nice things they don't mean, but I think you're taking this too far the other way and assuming everyone is interacting with you out of social convention and not real, personal desire. You're discounting how real people really feel when you say everyone hates you. And that sort of emotional dismissal, or worse, telling people what their emotions are, is not pleasant to be around.

As an example, you've commented about how you've been in situations where a guy you've liked, and tried to express that you liked, will say to a group you're a part of that no girls ever like him or, alternately, how now girls ever approach. When you've been doing or been trying to do that. And you've commented about how unpleasant (dismissed, ignored, overlooked, angry) that makes you feel. This is along those lines.

It's a version of the absolute statement -- (all) people hate me, (all) women want movie stars -- that tends to get people defensive. And saying "well, I don't hate you/don't want a movie star" is not something people want to have to keep doing long term.

Does that make sense?

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Post by Perlandra on Mon Jul 13, 2015 11:01 pm

reboundstudent wrote: What efforts or feelings am I discounting? I'm not sure I understand what reality or perception I'm not giving a nod to?  
I can't speak for Enail, but from what I've seen (recently, and when I just lurked before), you keep insisting that you're ugly even when people complimented your photos/outfits.

I used to be incredibly shy and rather un-self-confident, and had a difficult time meeting new people. Some things that helped me and might help you are: find hobbies that I actually like, but that are generally more popular with men than women, find hobbies that I enjoy and that other people *do* think are cool (ie. I do gymnastics on horseback, like in the circus, and have tried aerial silks a couple of times). It gives good conversational starters/pics to share. It doesn't need to be a physical one like that, just something that other people are likely to find cool or ask questions about. Starting up more conversations with people really helped, especially if there is something relatively neutral (not sexual) I can compliment them on). Coming up with a memorable/cute nickname and introducing yourself by it can help you stand out more.

When I was in High School, I had some people I hung out with a lot, but I had the impression it was because they were being nice to me instead of because they actually liked me. I was voted the friendliest girl in my graduating class, when I'd always thought the friendly ones were the bubbly, vivacious cheerleader types. It gave me a huge boost in confidence for going off to college. Obviously, it's tough to have that kind of breakthrough, and it's not the kind of thing you can initiate yourself. However, even in completely new social circles, I was able to turn into a social butterfly in only a few months. So, I think it is doable. Smile

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Post by nearly_takuan on Tue Jul 14, 2015 10:09 pm

While I do generally think I have a trusting disposition and prefer to view people as well-meaning until they demonstrate otherwise (others' versions of reality may disagree), I wouldn't say I like most people. Certainly not random strangers. You, RBS, I specifically like and find likeable.

Perhaps you'll interpret that as a not-genuine attempt to make you feel better. All I can say is it isn't, but I'd probably feel the same way and maybe that's part of why I like you. Wink

Also keep in mind that sometimes people also say mean things they don't mean, and that when people change their opinions about something they sometimes do so very dramatically. Not necessarily in blatant "sour grapes" ways; I'm thinking more of when kids suddenly decide they are much too old and mature to like Sesame Street, even though they liked it very much yesterday and their parents continue to enjoy it. Characters who were fun and cute are now just annoying and pointless. As an atheist with atheist friends, I've definitely met a few people who truly resent the religion they were raised in, and are convinced it's harmful, and often with at least as much conviction as their former belief that it was good and correct. It's not such a stretch for me to imagine that some of those guys might have genuinely liked you at first, and then later changed their minds and wound up having to convince themselves they never liked you in the first place, had only been nice out of pity, and so forth. They're flawed (obviously) and have their own warped "versions of reality" as well.

Given that I often find myself surrounded by people who use some adjective that applies to me as a proxy for more lengthy descriptions of qualities they dislike, but then at other times or in other ways express that they enjoy spending time with me, I can certainly testify that (almost?) nobody is entirely observant or considerate all of the time. (Growing up with a handful of gay friends and cringing every time we overheard passing strangers describe inclement circumstances as "gay" might have something to do with it, too.)

FWIW, Enail, the metaphor made a lot of sense to me. Although...sometimes I feel like when I'm trying to explain my Smerglop-apologist theory, the people I'm talking to will respond to it by writing "although some argue that Smerglop had actually come from the future to secure the Fmeepians' dominance for the following century..." Meh.
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Post by nearly_takuan on Tue Jul 14, 2015 10:46 pm

...So, to clarify the third paragraph of the previous post a bit, while I certainly can't say what did or did not actually occur, I have an alternative explanation for your (decidedly unique and non-average) magical ways of attracting people who seem to only like you temporarily: they (at least some of them, possibly) do genuinely like you and find (parts of) you attractive. For whatever reason there's been a pattern that a lot of them end up changing their minds later, but starting from the assumption that that's what's going on, it's not hard (for me) to further imagine that they'd then try to justify the sunk cost of spending time with someone they ended up not liking so much by retroactively rewriting the past memories. (Human memories are notoriously fickle and don't store emotions very well; "happy" memories become sad, and vice versa.)

Perhaps a tangent: it also occurs to me that among my friends (all of whom are somewhat "nerdy") there is a particular type of nerd (usually male, usually a rabid fan of whatever D&D edition is currently two versions out of date...) who focuses entirely on the states of things when deciding how much they enjoy a thing. If their hardcore Diablo character dies or the market value of the Magic deck they've already played with a bunch drops or their save gets corrupted or their favorite superhero "dies" or Mass Effect fails to explicitly recount every flag that was set during the game a la Marvel: Ultimate Alliance...they'll complain that everything leading up to that event was "pointless" or "didn't matter" or whatever. It is, again, not hard for me to see that same sort of person having their relationship not work out in the end and decide that that means every date since your first meeting was a waste of time and he should've known better (or, "better" yet, did know better but acted against his better judgement because insert-noble-sounding-reason).
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