View Full Version : Has your shyness or anxiety

21-07-06, 18:12
ever been mistaken as you being stuck up or arrogant by other people?

I've recently been informed that I come off that way sometimes because I don't participate in conversations or activities at social events.

Now I'm thinking, that's just great, about the time I start to believe that everyone doesn't really dislike me and it's all in my head, they actually do dislike me, only for the wrong reasons.

Should I wear a badge that states "Social Phobic Here!"

21-07-06, 19:25
Hi Lugoman,

Me too;
stuck up, arrogant, aloof, cold, uncaring, selfish (that's a common one), inconsiderate, thoughtless, bad tempered, bad mannered, difficult, strange.....in fact just about everything that does a persons self esteem the world of good when they find it hard to express or explain themselves openly.
I'm aware that some of these words have the same meaning but it's a selection from over the years....at least I've had a bit of variety in my life!!!!:D
However hurtful or embarrassing it is to be thought of in these ways though - they are only words.
My consolation is that if people are happy to make these assumptions then my life's no poorer for it and theirs is no richer.
This may sound bitter and I do agree with Nigel's post but inevitably it's down to us to put in all the effort to prove ourselves and it does get wearing.


21-07-06, 21:45
Hi Lugoman

I have social phobia and have now learned that this sometimes means I give off the wrong signals to people when, it isn't that I'm not interested, it is my anxiety and worry getting the better of me. This can be interpreted by others as me not wanting to know them, or being 'stuck up'

Although I wouldn't go as far as suggesting you wear a badge :D, what I have found can help is to actually tell people that you are anxious. I started doing this instead of running for the nearest door, or keeping my head down to avoid eye contact, and most people are sympathetic. It could be worth giving it a go.


Happiness is not a state to arrive at but a manner of travelling.

You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough ~ Christine Cagney, Cagney & Lacey

11-08-06, 07:10
Actually I have had some people say I am antisocial. Or they seem to be intimidated by me. And my friends have had a few people tell them I'm intimidating. How? This is beyond me I am 5'1 on a good tall day and not fat and I definetly don't look muscular. I"m confused but secretly happy that no one knows I really panic in these situations. Irony makes the world go round.[Sigh...]

If nothing else...I will survive.

To: SSJHSMH-U are light and my heart and strength. I will protect you in this life or the next always.

22-10-06, 12:44
I find it hard to participate in conversations so I think people probably feel that I'm not bothered with them or that I don't like them and so they don't bother with me.

30-10-06, 10:55
I am sure I come across that way too. I feel guilty when our names are read out at work to be in groups for discussion etc as I feel sure the people who are with me must be disappointed that they have me as I dont really speak up too well in group discussions. Some people are good about it and will direct questions at me so at least I am a little involved and feel a bit better in that way...

I once had to work with a colleague I hadnt spent much time with before and we started chatting and I said about how hard it was being shy and that I didnt want to come across as aloof, snobbish etc. After that it was like a huge barrier had come down between us and we built up a working friendship. I think before that she was one of those who had me down as stuck up and it took my explanation to give her a chance to look at me in a different way.

04-11-06, 09:54
Hi Lugoman,

I too have been told I come across as stand offish or stuck up and I was absolutely gutted. I am constantly afraid of making people dislike me so to find that they actually dont really got to me. I find speaking to people socially very difficult so usually just stay quiet for fear of saying or doing the wrong thing. Or if I pass someone in the street I think that either they wont remember me or probably wont want to talk to me anyway....I suppose this may give off the wrong signals lol!

Its hard just now as Ive just started in my new job and there are lots of social events coming up, all of which I probably wont go to (even the thought makes me feel sick) so then my new workmates will think Im really weird. Strange cos I manage to get through the day at work with them, though still dont really 'fit in'.

missacorah, I can so identify with what you said about contributing to groups....in the past Ive been called a wallflower and shrinking violet by colleagues. How to change? Havent a clue so if anyone knows will they let me in on the secret lol!

take care

Coni X

05-11-06, 12:41
I know and its a horrible feeling. You know you are doing it yourself but are almost powerless to stop it. I sometimes clam up and cant think of anything to say and then when I eventually do the moment has passed and its no longer relevant.

The other thing I have noticed is that other people will talk at breaktimes about any little thing - whatever comes into their heads infact whereas I would probably only speak in front of a group aboput something quite important to me. Sometimes someone can tell a 'story' about the rush they were in to leave the house that morning for example, when I would never dream of wasting peoples time with that kind of stiry as I wouldnt feel it important enough. As it is I sit and listen and enjoy the silly little stories! lol. I guess my point is that social anxiety can make you feel that what you have to say other people will find uninteresting and thats a horrible feeling too.

05-11-06, 13:03
I have gone from one extreme to the other!!I was always called aloof and snobbish,,who does she think she is...kinda thing:( horrible as i knew i was not how people perceived me.Now tho,i gabble ,a nervous rant that irritates people and they see me as some what eccentric!I get to the stage where i dont know who the real me is ,or was meant to be!?When you wear masks for most of your life it is hard to peel them all off and reveal who is the true person underneath..i think i would have been quiet ,and yet friendly .Just sort of done things in the backgroundI was painfully shy as a child and was told i needed to come out of my shell..i was quite content in there thanks!!We arewhat our lives have moulded us into i guess!?Love mary rose.xxxxxxxxxxxx

we are all in the same boat and can guide each other ashore

05-12-08, 14:33
Hi everyone,

I'm glad I came across this post because I'm exactly the same. People often mistake my shyness for being unfriendly and stuck up. It can make things really difficult and especially meeting new people can become very daunting.

Recently I was talking to some friends about when we all first met, and they were joking about how they didn't like me when they first met me cos they couldn't work me out (without realising this kind of talk still effects me even though we're best friends now, cos I'm thinking- aah that's the kind of first impressions I give off!) I don't think people realise how hard it can be, as they probably don't think so much about things like this.

I can relate to group discussions too. I often think of something to say but by the time I work up courage to say it, the conversation has moved on and it's too late! I suppose it's just that people who think that way don't know the real us- they are just forming false initial judgements. But can completely relate to what Magz says that it can be exhausting trying to prove these judgements wrong!

love Helen x

05-12-08, 14:55
Coincidentally this struck me just yesterday.

I was on a date with someone from an Internet dating site. This was our third date, and the second time we'd been to the cinema. Each time I spent the entire film in a state of abject paranoia that I was making her feel uncomfortable, and at the end, I left my seat and waited for her in the aisle without saying anything, flustered and stricken with dejection.

Yesterday I confessed my phobia to her (I no longer really cared whether we met again, I just wanted to explain) and she said she hadn't felt uncomfortable, but she'd thought I was rude for just getting up without saying anything. In fact she'd wondered if it was something /she'd/ done.

I was taken aback. I tend to take it for granted that people realise I'm shy and nervous, but sometimes I'm reminded that many people don't know what shyness and nervousness are, or recognise them in others.

Also, the other week my counsellor said to me that she found it odd that when she opened the front door, I would walk straight past her after saying hello, then wait for her to lead me into her room. It had never once struck me that this was odd; I just don't feel comfortable, physically or psychologically, standing chatting to someone in an open doorway. But I suppose that is what most people do.


Diane O'Brien
05-12-08, 19:59
I can totally relate to this. I get very nervous when I,m talking to people, always thinking about wat I,m saying and worried I,ve said something to upset someone. I then worry if they like me, I'm pertrified of rejection and suffer from extreme paranoia.

I try to be friendly and smile to cover my anxieties. It's difficult to overcome this. I sometimes tell the truth and say I'm really nervous, this sometimes works and I do be myself.

If your yourself and treat people with the way you would want to be treated then hold your head up high hun. Big Hugs:bighug1: :bighug1:

05-12-08, 20:50
Hiya, I don't suffer from this myself, but my other half is really shy & a lot of people mistake him for being arrogant and up his own backside. It is awful, but people do judge when they don't understand and I hate having to defend him as he is the sweetest most loving person I have ever known. xxx

06-12-08, 02:36
I do feel like people assume Im quite cold because I dont like talking to people for long, or I avoid eye contact.

06-12-08, 03:25
I have always been shy :(
People always thought I was snobbish and 'up-it' (which means my nose is in the air 'literary')
I just was always shy and never know what to say to people. I still have it and my grandmother labels me as 'mental' and says 'whats wrong with THAT girl"
She doesnt understand I just dont talk much. I can sit for hours not saying a thing. Thats just me!
My mum gets angry im soo scared of facing people. I just find I cant look anyone in the eye but my mum. I have tried to look at people in the eye but I just cant stand looking at people it just scares the heck out my me when they are talking to me. I can look at their eyes when they arent looking at me but as soon as they look at me I look down. I cant even order food I just panic and get really frightened :(
so someone else has to do it. I feel soo childish and immature. But I guess other people are like this too.
I have soo many fears I dont even know where to start!
I know I have a massive fear of spiders, heart attacks, dying, sharp objects..just lots of things!
Plus I have lots of personal things have happened to me and im now a emotional wreck!
The only thing I do is try to breathe deeply and think happy thoughts and say things like 'you can overcome this' 'this will pass' 'others are just like you'. It does calm me down a bit.

06-12-08, 20:03
I've also been called arrogant and a snob.

People always dismiss things they don't understand. Social Phobia is not like other personality disorders. In that it is not so well known, so therefore misunderstood. There was a time when OCD was unknown to the general public. Now most people would be able to recognise a sufferer.

For me the more people understand the disorder. The more they will understand us.

07-12-08, 10:48
If you try to explain to people what's wrong with you, it can go either way. Some people are quite understanding but more often than not they look at you as if you have just told them that you are a serial killer.
Yes. I regret mentioning it to my date the other day (not that I really had a choice). I feel if I'd not mentioned it she might have got back to me which, needless to say, she didn't. She actually said to me on the day, "You're weird." It was in a slightly playful way but it told me all I needed to know. For most people, social anxiety isn't "a problem", it's weirdness.

07-12-08, 10:51
I've also been called arrogant and a snob.

People always dismiss things they don't understand. Social Phobia is not like other personality disorders. In that it is not so well known, so therefore misunderstood. There was a time when OCD was unknown to the general public. Now most people would be able to recognise a sufferer.

For me the more people understand the disorder. The more they will understand us.
I hate the idea of needing to "be understood". I don't want special treatment. I'd rather nurture my resentment at being rejected, which at least makes me feel superior, even though I'm not :)

08-12-08, 00:36
I've had this at work "you were snooty at first"

or freinds saying "you are abit abrupt on the telephone"

08-12-08, 12:36
I've recently been called 'passive-aggressive' and I can sort of see how I come across that way. I may not have been feeling very anxious at the times I've come across this way recently, but it almost certainly all comes from anxiety ultimately. In conversations where I feel very out of control of things, I'm not looking fed up/sighing/going quiet because things aren't going my way. It's because I'm worried I'm not really good enough and don't really understand and life doesn't work for me like it does for other people.
Sorry that's all a bit babbled.
But basically I have been told once or twice on my course that I have displayed inappropriate/unprofessional behaviour (particularly non-verbal) in groups. (And it's an issue I'm expecting to be raised at a meeting this Friday.) They do know I have SA but I'm not sure they make the connection and so it just feeds my SA when they single me out and make a big deal out of how I'm behaving (and I do think, or hope, they make a far bigger deal than they need to.) Hmph. :weep:

09-12-08, 00:45
Hey :)

*Joins the club*!!! I'm constantly being mistaken for being really aloof and unfriendly, quite hostile etc, when I am actually just really shy & always have been!! I'm not someone who can just interact well with others on a first meeting- I have to really get to know someone well before I feel comfortable enough to have proper conversations etc.

I sometimes don't say things in a group discussion because I just think "Oh no, that sounds stupid & everyone will jus look at me blankly..." :S How weird is that?! Lol!!

When I'm in my group of friends though, I'm really confident and my friends always say I'm kind & funny... but people who don't know me on a deeper level always think I'm stuck up, boring, aloof etc!! It's really awkward & one of the things that scares me most about going to uni next year!!!