Do people think you are rude, aloof or angry?

topic posted Tue, May 10, 2005 - 9:06 PM by  Chris
Hey, I just joined. It's spooky how much I relate to all of these threads!

Almost every time my girlfriend and I are out with her friends I get this: I step away to get a drink or something, and as soon as I'm gone one of them will ask my girlfriend what's wrong. They always think I'm mad at them, which of course I'm not. It's a scream that I end up being the one who is unaproachable. Politeness and courtesy are actually personal values of mine (from the South and all), but I blow it every chance I get! (ha ha)
posted by:
Los Angeles
  • Unsu...
    i get the "whats wrong" thing...
    and then i actually do get pissed.... i mean wtf....are you suppose to be giggling and making loud conversation 100% of the time to prove that there isnt anything wrong?

    also when drunk i guess i make "bitch face" tilted back head..lids heavy but not closed and i dont know how that equates to bitch...but whatever.
  • Unsu...

    Ooh, and good point about being from the South! I am, too, sorta (Texas), and I think the politeness / courtesy values make it really hard when you're also shy or socially anxious - like I feel all guilty about not being able to live up to those values.

    But as to your question, the thing I get more more than rude is 'mean' or 'scary' - as in, "I thought you were so mean before I met you!"

    And yes, people frequently coming up at bars or parties saying, "Why aren't you smiling!?!"

    Had a really interesting experience last week that I just found out about second hand: I was at a party and in an unusually good mood, feeling strangely outgoing. This friend of my boyfriend who I've never met was there, watching me, and she asked him later, "He's an introvert, isn't he?" She said she saw me going around talking to everyone and smiling, but then in-between this shadow would fall over me. Very perceptive!
    • Unsu...
      It's weird when people pick up on it, truly...because a lot of us shy folks work so hard to hide it. When someone is that perceptive, I think, "Oh, great. He/she is probably reading my thoughts like they're written across my face." I guess that people think I'm aloof, or not very approachable, because they won't start talking to me until they've had a couple of drinks, or they realize that they know someone who knows me.
    • Unsu...
      or 'mean' or 'scary'?


      Not only shy but also quirky and okay with all of it...

      But it intimidates some and after exchanging a few conversational questions they find out I'm retired military and REALLY have nothing to do with me - too bad, they lose!

      Cuz I'm prolly the sweetest most generous non demanding nor judgemental person they'll ever meet...
    • I too tend to get "mean" and "scary." I'll admit that when I was in high school, I worked to cultivate these adjectives because they were a great defense against the rednecks who would have otherwise wanted to fuck with me on a daily basis. Nowadays, it's not so useful.
  • My mom always tells me to stop frowning. I snap back that I'm not frowning. When I am relaxed or thinking, my mouth naturally has a slight dip up so she says I am frowning when I'm not.

    I get told I'm rude when I don't talk. Never have understood that one.
    • i can relate to you on that one ... when i relax my face i look like i'm sad or angry. my ex used to always think i was in a bad mood when i was feeling extremely content .. i have to constantly make a conscious effort to sorta 'pose' my face to seem neutral or just not sad!
  • Unsu...
    I get arrogant a lot, which is strange. I just don't placate very much, I dont like talking to strangers and if i get put in a situation i feel uncomfortable i tend to leave abruptly. Well immediately, mid sentence at times. It's obvious I'm not a fan of casual conversation and people that engage me have told me I'm terse and mean to new people. They just scare me and i don't really know how to react in the correct way or the way in which they want me to.

    Which brings me to another problem, i sometimes spend so much time trying to formulate a completely innocuous comment and by the time i have the courage to say it the person has wandered off...
    • that happens to me all the time. i put so much thought into each thing i'm going to say and ponder whether or not i should even say it that by the time i decide to, it's too late... i watch how other peoples' conversations flows so effortlessly & can't imagine how it would feel to talk without analyzing each thing before it comes out ..
  • Unsu...
    People have told me that I look angry when im walking. I think its my facial structure, something i cant really help
    • Unsu...
      'I yam what I yam' but it pisses me off when I yam not what people accuse me of being.
      Sometimes, when in a group, I just wanna yell, 'stop your yammering, already.'
      I am not rude, aloof or angry by nature but meaningless yammering is so ____. (fill in the blank w/ negative adjective)
      Simply, silly (quotation fingers in the air) bugs the helloutta me. Let's create a bumper sticker that reads, 'I don't do small talk.'
      On second thought, I'll take the earrings.

      Mis Understood

      • ya whenever i used to meat peaple for the first time after seeing them around camcas a lot they would always say that when they saw me walking around i alwayslooked like i was pissed about somthing and so the hole time they wer afraid to aproche me cals they thot that i was a mean guy ... so then i put my sigeret out in ther fuckin eye hahaha theach them to think i'm fuckin mean!

        to be perfectly clear that was a joke.
  • Yeah, sometimes. I think it's all part of being misunderstood. I HATE being misunderstood & having people guess (or even worse, *suppose*) at what I'm thinking or feeling. But my quiet, reclusive nature pretty much guarantees just that.
    • Unsu...
      I always get accused of being reclusive, and private. but I like small talk when I can do it , I think its a skill Ive had to work on though. I think people have many different ways of communicating verbally. Ive dealt with people who claim to be introverted and like to delve into really personal subjects right off the bat which is thier style of communicating because they say, they hate small talk. I dont know its all relative.
  • Yeah, I've been called a few things, arrogant, snob, bitch, etc... because I don't talk much in group settings!!! Get me alone and I won't stop talking though! :)
    • Unsu...
      yeah. some of my wife's friends have told her they are scared of me. (!) and i get told by close friends that i come across to those who don't know me as aloof. i don't worry about it much anymore. what is much worse is expending the emotional energy required to put on a "social" face so others will think you are happy and friendly. (which i may well be of course, just not expressing it the way our simplistic, monolithic culture requires).
      • Unsu...
        i am so pissed actually. at human culture. particularly that of the u.s. for not allowing room for differences in individual human temperment. everybody in america is supposed to be some loud, bold, confident, sporty, straight-forward, grinning, man (or person) of action. not that there is anything "wrong" with any of those qualities, if they happen to be yours naturally.

        does anyone know anything about other cultures that perhaps have enshrined "shy" qualities as the cultural ideal? since i couldn't find my place in this culture as a kid, i created my own. a one person culture. but it is under constant assault still, even at the age of 41...
    • Re: Do people think you are rude, aloof or angry?
      Yeah, I've been called a few things, arrogant, snob, bitch, etc... because I don't talk much in group settings!!! Get me alone and I won't stop talking though! :)

      me too i can talk for hrs when im not so shy w a person =]]
  • Unsu...
    All the time.It's ironic I just seem to have this doom and gloom thing hanging over me,people assuming I'm sad or upset, when actually I'm fine.I just never once saw the point in pretending to be happy and smiling when I'd rather not.Why waste it?Unfortunitly it puts people off at first.I've learned over the years to be more open but I feel this is just a part of me like it or not.
  • Mo
    offline 8
    Yep. Mostly because I am. That is the normal way I sound and act. I get yelled at often when asking a question of people behind a counter or a cashier. I got yelled at a lot by a professor or two and a dean because I mumbled tersely and with great anxiety. I have loser written all over my face. ANd people treat me accordingly. I don;t make eye contact, and when I do, I lock in and glare. I have superpowers. I can piss ANYONE off in a matter of minutes, often without saying a word.
  • Re: Do people think you are rude, aloof or angry?

    Fri, January 12, 2007 - 11:55 PM
    people think i ditch them all the time when they make me invitation. and in a degree i actually do. but its not because i dont like them. its just that im a lonely person and i dont enjoy social situations, they put me in a certain stress i just avoid many times. many other times i try to make an effort and go. it brings me trouble people think i dont like them or that im rude.
  • Unsu...

    Re: Do people think you are rude, aloof or angry?

    Sun, January 14, 2007 - 4:03 AM
    Oh god yeah, there are sooo many people that think i'm just plain rude, or just not interested...While in fact i'm just too scared to be more 'social'.
    I must say, the anti-depressant's i'm on have made me a lot less anxious on that front, and thats really a huge relief.
    • Re: Do people think you are rude, aloof or angry?

      Sun, January 21, 2007 - 6:15 PM
      I've been called stuck up, arrogant, aloof. Sometimes mean. Oh yeah, and stuck up.

      I'm generally a 'smiler', but of course I have to warm up to you first. Keep in mind that impressions are made in the first ten seconds, so I guess it's usually too late at that point.

      Not that I give a f--- anymore.
      • Re: Do people think you are rude, aloof or angry?

        Tue, January 23, 2007 - 6:45 AM
        I only try my best and take notice within 3 feet of my personal space.
        • Unsu...

          Re: Do people think you are rude, aloof or angry?

          Tue, January 23, 2007 - 7:44 AM
          There are times when I feel like I'm just sending out these hostile vibes and pushing people away,when only all I'm feeling is just wanting to be left alone,not to be bothered at that time.Othertimes it's definitely misinterpeted as being something that I'm simply not feeling at that time towards that person,but they feel that I do.I've been accused of being stuck up and cold in the past,just very distant and remote...I'm working on trying to be more open and approachable but it just isn't that easy.I've been told I'm the queen of emotional armoring,which is funny because I feel too damn vulnerble and over sensitive,mabe it just doesn't show outwardly,mabe it's good defenses.Like a wall I have around myself to keep others out.
          • Re: Do people think you are rude, aloof or angry?

            Tue, January 23, 2007 - 3:05 PM
            Exactly, we do what we want, every minute of our lives, and there are no accidents.
            Freewill and unexpected events, in retrospect happened, because they were meant to happen.
            • Unsu...

              Re: Do people think you are rude, aloof or angry?

              Wed, January 24, 2007 - 7:29 AM
              Yeah I see what you're saying Scott,sometimes it has been conscious or deliberate on my part,and I'd be a fool if I refused to see how that effects how others may see me and approach me,and thus treat me.So yeah it snowballs into a monster if I'm not careful or too stuck in that.So it's a conscious choice to be self aware and realise how I might change my approach or naturally that would attract or repell certain people.
  • Re: Do people think you are rude, aloof or angry?

    Wed, January 31, 2007 - 8:01 PM
    I relate to this thread a whole lot. The same, "are you ok?", "what's wrong?". Sometimes I can be outhere but if I'm intimidated by someone I become meek. Also after being with someone for like two hours I feel drained by the need to make conversation. Silence is sometimes a good thing.
  • UGH I am sick of people judging me because I am not all that talkative before I really get to know someone. People are constantly telling their friends how "stuck up" they think I am - or that I am "mean" or "non approachable" and I have never even had a conversation with them - much less have they come up to chat with me. I know I am one of the most giving and understanding people but for some reason am always taken in this manner at first glance. I honestly don't think I am this way at all - nor do I feel as though I need to make an effort change my perona because it is "bad." I find myself in awkward situations all the time because it seems people are offended that I don't just jump in and talk to them or feel a need to get to know everyone that passes by intimately. It is later when the awkwardness happens when someone is like "so and so thinks you are not a nice person" - and I am confused because I have never even really paid attention - nor tried at all to make anyone feel this way.
    • Unsu...
      Same for me Brian.It's frustrating and depressing,because inwardly I'mgenerally not that way at all,online it's easier to express that side of me.out in the world it's another story,it doesn't matter how nice I am,or how I smile and try to strike up small talk...I feel like I'm wearing and iron mask or something.I always walk away feeling misunderstood at times or ignored.I wonder if it isn't my perception of things,feeling that I'm being ignored or disliked when in actuallity it's not that way at all(when others in my life have set me straight on how they see the situation).It's an odd feeling when I have ran into people that won't look me in the eye and seem nervous,but someone else walks up to me and seems totally comfortable around me,friendly and easygoing.I feel like writting it off as mabe so and so wasn't haveing a good day,or feeling unwell and that I shouldn't take it so personally.Not to mention I myself have run into people I just plain didn't like and couldn't stand to be around,so who's to say others haven't felt that way around me in return?Don't know if that helps at all,just my experience.
  • Unsu...

    I'm a newbie

    Thu, March 29, 2007 - 6:18 PM
    omg. any tribe that has this thread on it I knew I had to be a part of. NO one I know understands this problem - yeah, people often think I'm rude, aloof, or angry. Or just plain weird. All because I'm shy!
  • My
    offline 0
    These are questions I'm constantly asked(i hate it!).. "Why are you so quiet? Is something wrong? Why don't you smile more?" Once I was talking to a friend, and she told me her friends were scared to approach me because I looked mean/angry/scary when I walked in the hallways of school .. lol. so now I try to be more aware of how I look in public, because I want to seem approachable o.o I don't wanna scare ppl away! I also notice that my quietness really makes other people uncomfortable though.. it just sucks, because sometimes I just don't want to say anything, or don't feel like it(have nothing to say). It feels like I have to force myself to talk just so others don't feel awkward because of me... but I kinda understand also, because when I'm around other quiet people I get nervous too, thinking that they don't like me and aren't interested. I know that isn't true, but I just can't help thinking like that sometimes. Those are some reasons why I just don't bother going out at all because I feel like just by me being there, it kinda ruins the mood for everyone... Everyone else is having fun, and me being quiet spoils it for them all(going out is supposed to be fun, but sometimes it isn't for me, so I rather just stay home than feel pressured). I think my upbringing may have contributed to my shyness also(along with constant bullying of being shy and quiet).. because when I was growing up, I was taught to respect elders, not to talk when others are, and to stay quiet instead of being loud because it was considered rude. But now.. they tell me o.O being quiet is rude... i don't get it sometimes.
    • With 'The Law of Attaction', this can sometimes seem as if a 'niceness' vibe has magnetically attracted all vicimizers, when in fact, this theory and concept merely hypothocizes that if you walk around timid, with shoulders slumped, you may attact some opportunists.
      People, which is the outer environment, can seem rude, crude and indifferent, often without meaning to be.
    • Unsu...

      Re: Do people think you are rude, aloof or angry?

      Wed, August 15, 2007 - 11:08 AM
      "Because when I was growing up I was taught to respect elders,not talk when others are and to stay quiet instead of shouting,now they tell me being quiet is rude,etc" just hit the nail on the head My.I was raised and expected to be that way,always be courtoeus and nice,polite and smile no matter how crappy your day just was...*sigh* and if I wasn't nice and aggreeable,sweet and smiling,if I got snippy or rose my voice as a kid (and into my teens )I was smacked for it,or treated as if I needed to grow up.Yet the same people get upset if I'm too quiet and reserved,if I don't get angry or upset...but if I do I'm rude and labled a bitch.I guess it's because I'm a woman and expected to be and act a certain way,yet ironically put down for being it at other times.It's just hard to be yourself as you are and not allow anyone else to color who you should be or how you're suppossed to be like.
    • Unsu...

      Re: Do people think you are rude, aloof or angry?

      Wed, August 15, 2007 - 5:05 PM
      I think it's good to be selfaware of how one appears to others as being in actuality rather than assuming how others see you and believing that others are being hostile/intimidated when that is simply how you percieve them to be.In fact they may or may not feel or be that way at all and would be shocked or confused if told of it.Yet you brought up a good point My,you were able to realise how people assumed you were being based on how you appeared to act; and acted to change this image,to be more approachable and make others comfortable.Yet I know for myself I can erase my shyness or reserve it's how I am,at least a part of my nature and I can't pretend to be someone I'm not,but knowing the impression unkowingly made on others can make the world of difference in how I see them and feel them to react towards me...could've condensed this down alot but my mind is rambling.Hope it makes sense.
  • Unsu...
    Especially if you live in Berkeley and are from NYC. Back in NY when walking the streets (which we do more than here) the locals tend to have their "mean" face on display. You know, looking for danger, preventing sudden attack, not trying to come across as a tourist and in my case my defense for being so shy in public.

    Though thanks to the hippie folk here, I have been able to relax, some. My friends still think I look like I am part of the cartel when they see me randomly walk the streets.

    Funny thing is, I am considered a nice guy for the most part. So I relate man.
  • Re: Do people think you are rude, aloof or angry?

    Sun, January 3, 2010 - 9:23 PM
    I used to be really shy and socially awkward. I didn't understand the bar scenes or any social scene that wasn't exclusive to my interests, it also affected my romantic relationships negatively! But I'm definitely more of a social butterfly ever since I got hit with OCD and Anxiety. I have no choice but to express what I'm feeling or else I get very anxious if I hold it in. Part of me wants to be aloof again just so I can feel as if I'm getting an upperhand by being mysterious but then I think of all the trouble that went with it because ultimately I felt out of control by not expressing myself and pretending to be cool. I do, however, have an angry face when I walk the streets and have been told to smile plenty of times! I smile all the time, but not when someone tells me to. If I feel it, then I will. I sometimes will yawn at a live concert. I'm actually enjoying the hell out of myself. And usually I wont laugh at the funniest comedians but I'm really enjoying myself!
  • Unsu...

    Re: Do people think you are rude, aloof or angry?

    Mon, February 8, 2010 - 5:02 PM
    I'm new here and yes I can relate to this. With me it was always people asking me why I don't SMILE more. It gets really annoying because in my observation of other people I don't find that anybody goes about their day like POLLYANNA smiling like their face will brake....but I'm just saying.

    I've struggle with Social Anxiety Disorder since I was a teenager. I've been on a few prescriptions that didn't work so I gave up and decided that if people didn't like me the way that I was they can go to hell. Ha who needs friends anyway....I'm also a female that cannot bond with other females. I don't understand this one either. I will fit in this life where I belong and that's settled I guess. I do find myself being not really rude but distant and just uncaring towards some. I also feel that people don't really listen. Which is something that really pisses me off because I take the time to listen to other people stories whether they bore the hell out of me or not. Alas........
    • Unsu...

      Re: Do people think you are rude, aloof or angry?

      Tue, February 9, 2010 - 8:49 AM
      Don't feel bad Danielle, I never have felt a strong bond with other women, I don't understand why, I just feel like their on a different planet or speaking a different language I don't get. The funny thing is I love being a woman and wouldn't trade it for the world, and don't feel a confusion there. I just for some reason have always felt a stronger liking, respect for and longer friendships with guys. I don't hate other women as much as I feel alienated from them... The pollyanna types of people scare me to death, Nobody can be that happy all the time unless they're on something or flatout crazy. Or lying.
      • Unsu...

        Re: Do people think you are rude, aloof or angry?

        Tue, February 9, 2010 - 11:23 AM
        Very true. I find that people who are overly friendly and overly approachable are using hiding who they truly are, want something from me (I hate sale people with a passion) or the first ones to turn around and stab me in the back. Not saying that all extroverted people are like that which I'm sure some are very lovely people. It has just been my experience that's all. I believe that the world needs the shy and recluse to balance the world out.....that's my excuse I do feel sad sometimes because I have had many a missed opportunity to get close to people who I thought were interesting because of how I am and I feel it handicaps me in some ways in career situations and actively promoting myself. I mean who would get the job between the quiet woman who can't make eye contact or the upbeat, perky woman who has all the confidence in the world. Sigh.......I just wish I could get through one social situation without my hands shaking or my face turning beat red....
        • Re: Do people think you are rude, aloof or angry?

          Thu, February 11, 2010 - 8:15 PM
          I relate. Since I can remember I have struggled. I still don't feel like I fit in in most situations or with most people and especially females...I mean after reading your posts I don't feel alone in that aspect.
          • Unsu...

            Re: Do people think you are rude, aloof or angry?

            Fri, February 12, 2010 - 7:56 PM
            It's best not to be bitter but yeah I don't really get along with other women. It's just that I find them to be manipulative and fake. I have met some really sweet people though I can't bring myself towards the whole female bonding thing. I'd rather be with the boys doing shots at the bar instead of hiding in the bathroom, powdering my nose, gossiping about some chic's nasty outfit?! I know how this makes me sound. That's really just the tip of the problem :)
  • Re: Do people think you are rude, aloof or angry?

    Sun, January 8, 2012 - 2:36 PM
    I am 43 years old now and have been told how shy I am since about the age of 5. If I am to be honest I like people and meet and work with people who I really believe are nice and well meaning people. However I am usually met with quick remarks of "smile", or "why are you so serious"? In my mind I am attempting to come across as interested in who they are and not trying to "hog" the spotlight because if you ask about me I will tend to go on and it sounds like boasting. Now I try to just keep to myself so I neither have to "smile" which isn't the most easy task for me. Nor hog the spotlight which afterwards embarrasses me. It happens so much that I believe in my head that the problem is me. But in my heart I do not actually know "what" I am doing wrong so I can fix this.

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