Is there a reason for my inability to connect with guys and what can I do to be more at ease with them?
September 1, 2011 11:01 PM Subscribe
I’ve been trying to figure out why I can’t communicate with guys at a more personal level. I’m wondering if it’s just shyness or something more.
posted by the borneo kid to Human Relations (24 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
A bit of background info (Okay, it is long).
I’m 21, female, at uni. I live in a dorm. The kitchen is where most of socializing is done. I don’t usually talk to random guys who are cooking beside me. If one walked up and said hi or asked a question, I’d have no problem answering. The ones that I know and do talk to regularly, our conversations are mostly polite and formal: how are classes, what are you cooking. And there are a couple whom I have tried being friendly with. They seem uninterested to talk so we are now on ignoring terms whenever we walk pass each other. Ok, basically I gave up trying with these dudes. But I want to improve. I want to talk about movies, music and other more interesting things.
I’ve never had a boyfriend. Don’t think there was/is anyone interested in me. It takes a while for me to open up to people. Maybe it’s partly due to me being an introvert. I’m much more comfortable around girls. Most if not all of my closest friends are girls. But I’m okay with the more feminine guys. And I’m also okay with guys at a professional level, say working on a school project together or being in a position of authority.
Maybe my family background has to do with it. I’m an only child. I have a good relationship with both my parents, but much closer to my dad as my mum often worked long hours. My dad suffers from depression and I guess he’s just a naturally angry person. I grew up in a not so peaceful household, always exposed to my parent’s bitter arguments, things breaking in the house, my dad screaming his head off at my mum and me, calling us ‘stupid’, ‘useless’ and worse names in my mum’s case. It’s she who is frequently targeted. He has hit her a few times too. Could witnessing all these abuse have left some sort of impact on me? Am I wary of guys without realizing it?
Also, I notice girls who have male siblings (and not forgetting those who are generally bubbly and outgoing) are very much at ease in their interactions with guys, like touching, teasing, playfully hitting and getting the boys to do things for them. I don’t really feel comfortable doing those things (I pride myself in thinking I’m independent enough, don’t need a guy to carry my books). I’m just not used to it I guess. But I don’t mind the occasional physical contact. You won’t believe how touched I get when a guy pats me on the shoulder. I feel like I’m acknowledged as a homie. The word that comes to mind is ‘stiff’. Yeah, I’m ‘stiffer’ compared to these girls. Maybe having a brother or male relatives my age would have given me more insight about the male species?
It is possible the root of the problem is simpler than that. I just need to socialize more? I’m usually quiet but loud around people I’m comfortable with. I can spend long periods (days even) alone in my room watching movies and reading AskMe posts happily without getting bored. I don’t have a big gang of friends to hang out with. I have 2 that I’m pretty close to but I can’t expect them to want to spend all their time with me. They have other social circles and stuff to do. Or maybe I don’t have the right body language? When I enter a crowded room, the only thought in my head is to choose a less crowded area to pass through and stare directly ahead... makes me unapproachable, I know. Hell, I even avoid the kitchen at peak hours. I’ve never liked crowds really.
Or is it just plain self-esteem issues? There are days when I do feel miserable and lonely after beating myself up mentally for not having many friends (or a gang to be exact). But that’s rare now as I’ve started embracing the idea that it’s alright to go out and do things by myself without dragging the entire village along.
I’m worried this silly problem will lead to me never meeting the love of my life in the long run. I would be really grateful for any experience/insight/advice!