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I confided in the world's worst confidant: Advice
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Aug 1st 2013

Last summer, I became friends with a girl that I'd kinda known from working at the local library (but didn't really know her). She was set to move away to Virginia at the end of July, and while I was attracted to her, I was also attracted to someone else (who, long story short, is not into me, as it turns out. My summer this year has sucked as a result of that). So I didn't really put much stock into it, even though I definitely got a vibe that she was interested in me. We stayed in touch for a little while, but after she moved I lost track of her and continued in my ill-fated pursuit of the other girl.

Flash forward to this past weekend, when the girl who was in Virginia posts on her Facebook "see ya (City in Virginia where she's been for a year)" Like I said, things with the other girl never panned out, and I am sorta looking around for someone new (or in the case of this girl from last summer, old). Only thing is, I'm not sure if the "see ya" is forever or just "trip back home, to be followed by quick return" (Facebook has a way of turning you into a creeper without wanting to be; I've seen nothing on her profile about a boyfriend or anything, though that could always be the case). I've seen this girl on a couple of occasions since she moved (once at a birthday party for a mutual friend, again at the wedding of another), and I still think we could have something (provided she forgives me for my obvious idiocy in not pursuing her beforehand). I'm just not sure if she's back for a little while or back for good.

I'm not saying she would still feel any interest in me at this point, but I'd like to see if she might. I think I might send her an email about what her plans are (if she's staying or going back).

Aug 1st 2013

Yes, send the email!

You were looking for advice, right? :)

Aug 2nd 2013

Yes, and I already did send the email ;-)

She was just in town for a visit, but plans to move back. We will see...:-)

Aug 2nd 2013

You know the bush? No, not that one, the proverbial one. Stop beating around it when she gets back.

Nov 8th 2013

So, do most people have a payee in their checkbook register called "?"

Also, how, in the world of online banking and debit cards, could I lose 3 bucks?

Nov 8th 2013

Are you writing checks to the Riddler again?

As to the second question, I'm going to go with "magic."

Nov 8th 2013

I think the Riddler is magic.

Nov 13th 2013

I'm not sure I actually want advice, but I'm upset. And my thing is that I overshare on slowly dying messageboard...so guess what I'm going to do?

An internet friend told me tonight that this other guy thinks I don't like him. Now, it's not thaat I don't like him. It's that I barely know him. He seems nice, and they seem like good friends to each other. And she said that she pretty much smoothed it over when he told her that.

Now, my problem is, that I've gotten this kind of feedback, in real life, before. People I consider acquaintances, who I don't have any real opinion on, think I'm mean, or that I don't like them. They base this opinion of me on nothing - in each case, we've never talked.

I don't know what it is that I do that's so evil or offputting? I can't believe the same real-life problem seems to have followed me into internet relationships. I thought I was somehow "better" online.

And the worst part is, just today, I was thinking to myself that I had made some real progress with being more open towards people - I had to give a sort of phone interview for a project I'm working on at work - it's an authors event downtown, to encourage folks to visit stores, blah blah blah - and instead of just talking about what the event was, I was giving a total stranger info on why I wanted to do it, what the goals are, all this somehow more personal background. And he was just some guy from the next town.

But then, I'm still a huge A-hole who turns people off by, what? breathing? existing?

I've just got bad mojo? Hate vibes? My aura is burned and made of ash?

Nov 13th 2013

I don't get it. I wonder if people are intimidated by you because you're smart and funny and insightful. And I'm not saying that to butter you up or make you feel better. From the very beginning, you were one of the people here I always looked forward to hearing from. I knew your posts would be just that -- smart and funny and insightful. Your sense of humor fits right in here. And now that I've gotten to know you so well, I know that it's not an act or a persona that you put on. You are exactly the same here as you are on facebook and the phone and emails and video chatting and...

You are NOT an asshole. At least, I've never witnessed you being an asshole. Well, maybe to your brother, but he deserves it. So the only thing I can think of is that people are intimidated. I'm hoping somebody else here has better advice about how to deal with that than me. My advice? Smile more. Make eye contact. Initiate conversations. Make sure people feel like they're the only important person in your life at that moment that you're talking to them. You probably do all that anyway. Do it more. Are you uncomfortable with that? Do it anyway.

It's kinda crushing to think you're a certain way only to find out that people think the exact opposite. I know, I've been there, too. I've found that sometimes it's impossible to make people think one thing about me when they have their minds set on something else. At that point, I just have to tell myself it's their loss and move on. You have to shrug it off and keep being you. As long as "you" isn't an asshole, which you aren't.

Now stop being an idiot and go to bed. ;)

Nov 13th 2013

You are exactly the same here as you are on facebook and the phone and emails and video chatting and...

So, I'm really just a total perv?

Are you uncomfortable with that?

Yes, very. If I don't know someone well, I'm very quiet and usually try to wait them out, or try to get away. That's probably it. I hate feeling stuck. I guess I could work on that. But who would confuse a nervous reaction with a hateful one? And how would that leach into internetting? So confusing.

I've found that sometimes it's impossible to make people think one thing about me when they have their minds set on something else

Yeah, I could see how that would happen to you, but, I'm not a Democrat. :-P

Now stop being an idiot and go to bed. ;)

Thank you, MISS. You're the best. And I am an idiot. I won't get "home" tomorrow night till like 3 or 4 am, and have to get up about 6, and I should have gone to bed hours ago, but I was busy ignoring my laundry and worrying over stupid crap.

Nov 13th 2013

or try to get away

This may be part of the problem. STOP IT!!

Who knows why people misinterpret us? I just know it happens all the time. Maybe part of it is that people are generally so wrapped up in their own worlds that they don't listen and pay attention to others around them. Because of that, they get these preconceived ideas about others that aren't even close to reality. But as you get older, you'll find that the reasons just aren't as important. You are who you are and the ones who don't get that probably aren't worth worrying about. Like I said, it's their loss. You don't want to be off-putting, but at the same time, you can't be phony, either. That isn't as contradictory as it sounds. You said it's not natural for you to be outgoing and not nervous around people you don't know. But that's something you can work on without changing who you are.

And now, I'm going to not be an idiot and go to bed. It's freaking midnight here. You're going to have a great, great weekend with friends who enjoy being with you and don't think you're scary at all. Just enjoy every minute. Take lots of pictures. And if you run into Scott and Seth, tell them Holly says hey. Yeah, I used my real name. I wouldn't expect them to know who MISSterious is. :)

Nov 13th 2013

Maybe it's your "Kill Whitey" t-shirt?

Nov 14th 2013

And if you run into Scott and Seth, tell them Holly says hey.

I was going to say, "But they'll be in Florida when I'm in Charlotte." I forgot about today. I'm going insane.

Maybe it's your "Kill Whitey" t-shirt?

Is that somehow offensive?

Nov 14th 2013

I get the same reaction, Toos. I hate you too.

I mean, other people think I'm angry or don't like them. That's what I meant to say. I keep to myself, don't put on airs of fake friendship, and do not wear my emotions on my sleeve. Several nights ago we all went out to a hockey game, then a fun restaurant, and I had some good conversations with the other couple, and the kids, but usually I was pretty quiet, because the restaurant was loud and I was having a difficult time hearing everything, and my wife was taking up all the "talking opportunities". I had a great time, though. When we got home, my wife said that I was making the other people uncomfortable because I acted like I didn't want to be out with them.

That wasn't it at all. I hate to think that people think that about me. With both of the other couple, I've had deep one on one conversations about politics or life, so I think they know that I like them, and know that I like to talk about things, and will forgive me that I wasn't the life of the party that one night.

I'm never going to be a back-slapping schmoozer. I'm just not. That doesn't mean that I'm not having a good time with you.

Nov 14th 2013

I'm never going to be a back-slapping schmoozer.

Exactly. That stuff just feels so fake!

will forgive me that I wasn't the life of the party that one night.

Surely they will. If they know you and like you at all, they will.

Nov 14th 2013

There is a happy medium between trying to get away from people and being a back-slapping schmoozer. Just find that spot and work it into your dealings with people. You might have to step outside of your comfort zone once in a while, but it gets easier. When I started the job I have, I was easily intimidated by people I didn't know, and large groups, even if I knew them. My job forced me to become a little more outgoing and a lot more assertive, so that's what helped me.

Nov 14th 2013

You know what's funny...large crowds do not bother me at all. Public speaking to large audiences does not bother me one bit. I would just rather sit and read the newspaper at lunch rather than join a boisterous table and talk the whole time.

My wife has, on occasion, talked so much that she's scared people away. Someone once told her "you exhaust me", which bothered her. I would never want to change her, though. That's who she is. So why do I have to change?

Nov 14th 2013

When we got home, my wife said that I was making the other people uncomfortable because I acted like I didn't want to be out with them.

I'll bet they weren't uncomfortable. It's just that your wife the extrovert perceived that. Extroverts so often think us introverts aren't having fun because we're laying back and observing more than participating and that's just not true (as you guys know).

My wife has, on occasion, talked so much that she's scared people away. Someone once told her "you exhaust me", which bothered her.

I have a friend who I've stopped hanging out with. Not only is he extremely extroverted but he has ADD, and exhausting is the perfect word for being with him, especially at a bar or a party. I just got to the point where I couldn't take it anymore.

Nov 14th 2013

You've just described my mother.

Nov 14th 2013

I don't like talking to large groups. Or small ones. Or to most individuals beyond my family and close friends. Is there a word for that? I'm sure I've never exhausted anyone. I had to give a presentation last week and didn't want it to go over 15 minutes. I was done in 8. I don't even know if I made sense. Didn't care much either. Toos, you're cool. People like you. Not all people - No one likes everyone, and no one's liked by everyone. I think we overestimate people's reactions to ourselves, like thinking they really don't like us or they really do when they might not be having much opinion one way or the other. One thing's true, though: we think way too much about it until we learn better. It just doesn't matter all that much.

Nov 14th 2013

I just want to say, after reading some of the things you all are talking about, that I don't understand a word and that I hate you all equally ;-)

Nah, I know for a fact that sometimes I can rub people the wrong way, either by being too joking-around when I should be serious or by being too serious when I should just let something someone said or implied roll off my back. I think sometimes I can be good in small doses for some people, but you'll have that with anyone you're forced to share space with that you might not otherwise do so (i.e., school or work). Not everyone is going to like you, for sure, but it's always the ones who don't like you that can sting you the most. I just like to think of them as assholes, really :-D

Nov 14th 2013

I don't like talking to large groups. Or small ones. Or to most individuals beyond my family and close friends.

I fall into this subset as well. Unfortunately, one of the requirements of my field is to attend conferences and schmooze with other scientists to develop contacts and collaborations. I invariably spend 15 minutes at the various mixers set up for this and then just head back to my hotel room.

Nov 15th 2013

I'm glad most of us internet people agree that real-life people are the worst. :-)

Nov 15th 2013

one of the requirements of my field is to attend conferences and schmooze with other scientists to develop contacts and collaborations. I invariably spend 15 minutes at the various mixers set up for this and then just head back to my hotel room.

I don't mind giving presentations and or talking to large groups at all, but I am so with you on the hate of schmoozing and networking. Just can't do it.

Nov 26th 2013

So, in our town, in my work, blah blah blah. My brother & I put together this book signing event downtown and it was this past Sat. He contacts the store owners, basically all in person, and I contact authors, basically over email, and we set it up. We had 15 authors in 11 locations in town and the event was still small, but it was the second time we've done it and it's going to grow, everyone who is involved likes the event because it's so easy for them. The store owners just set up a table and a chair, and the authors just visit with people and talk about their projects.

We hosted a sort of registration/reception in the morning before the event and the authors all met each other and a few of the store owners. It was really great.

We sent out a follow up survey and one of the authors said, "I really enjoyed working with Toos-she's very personable and easy to talk to."

:-)

Nov 26th 2013

We sent out a follow up survey and one of the authors said, "I really enjoyed working with Toos-she's very personable and easy to talk to."

No fair sending the survey to your own mom.

Nov 26th 2013

No fair sending the survey to your own mom.

Yeah, and how much did you have to pay her?

Nov 26th 2013

I doubt if your mom would say such nice things about you unless she was paid.

Nov 26th 2013

You know my mom pretty well.

But then, I guess I knew that already.

Nov 26th 2013

I'm impressed that you pulled off a whole event and people seemed to enjoy themselves. But I'd never say that to your face.

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