Please help me become a more likable, better person.
July 22, 2014 4:33 PM Subscribe
I'm unlikable. This is undeniable. Help me fix that.
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (46 answers total) 41 users marked this as a favorite
I know I'm unlikable because many people make me feel unwelcome in social interactions. This concerns me. I would prefer to be a more likable person, whatever that means. (I tried to organize this, but it might be a bit rantlike in structure.)
I have "friends", but not really. I don't know anyone who actively invites me to do things with them. I play Magic and board games at the game store regularly, and there are people I say "hi" to, but there's nobody who says "hi" to me first.
I am only very rarely invited to events. I invited 20 people I'd consider friends to a board game night and not a single person showed up. A few of them said they were sorry they couldn't make it, so I held another one tonight and again nobody came, which is why I started writing this.
I'm prone to saying stupid things, and I'll know they're stupid the second they come out of my mouth. This spans the gamut from "trivial, banal observation" to "mildly insulting".
In fact, I'm not very good at insightful discussion on topics I'm not well-versed in. On dates (via OkCupid) and at social gatherings, I can maintain a pleasant chit-chat, but I can never seem to muster the sort of connection I've felt with good friends in the past. And maybe that's just because they're first dates and all, but I've been told several times now that the person in question wasn't interested in a second date or relationship, and I'm thinking it's got to be some quality in me, since I'm the common link. I'm meandering a bit here, but hopefully this helps.
I'm not particularly well-groomed. I try to look decent, and I hope I have a decent enough wardrobe, but the fact of the matter is, I don't pay as much attention to my appearance as other people do; and when I take the time to do as much as comb my hair in the morning, it still ends up a mess within an hour by some forces unbeknownst to myself.
I isolate these qualities in myself not to put myself down - but because these are qualities I specifically want to change about myself. I'm at a point in life where I have the opportunity to change large parts of my personality, what I do, and who I interact with, and I would like to take advantage of that instead of being stuck in a loop and being alone against my preferences. (I do like having opportunities to be alone by choice, of course.)
However, there are also many parts of myself that are difficult to pin down or describe that are holding me back much more. Please don't limit yourself to advice that specifically addresses those, because I am almost positive I'm missing the forest for the trees here. There's definitely a je ne sais quoi about myself that I only wish I could isolate - I only wish I could describe it well enough to ask for help here.
I work at a local community college, so I have a month off starting very soon between the summer and fall sessions. I'd like to take advantage of that month as best as I can.
Since I've just spent a few paragraphs describing myself in an extremely negative light, here's what I do have going for me:
I don't have depression - at least, I don't think so. I've had some friends with clinical depression and I definitely don't experience anything like that.
I have a job. I'm poor but I can pay for rent, food, and internet. I wish I had more money, but I have enough to make the day-to-day happen.
I live in a large city with many events and places of interest within biking and public transit distance.
I'm not unfit. I jog pretty regularly and ride a bicycle as my primary mode of transportation.
I've had friends in the past. In high school, and college, and even a bit after college, I've had people I considered close friends, who I frequently spend time with and did activities with. I've never had very many at a time, though. (I'm pretty sure this isn't just "oh, everyone only has a few close friends" - I've gone to parties and seen folks with easily 10, 15 people in their friend groups.)
Any advice helps. I've been trying to develop myself as a person for several years now, and it's been, well, an uneasy path at best. Thanks!