Hello I have a question, any feedback would great

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Navillus

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Hello I have a question, any feedback would great
« on: January 31, 2020, 02:40:00 PM »
Hello, I am new to the forum. I am not sure where to appropriately place my post so I hope this is ok. I have not been able to find an answer to this question anywhere else and it's very frustrating. I have cptsd, I am generally doing much better than I was for the majority of my life...I was a complete mess for a long time. So I'm not sure if this has anything to do with cptsd but it seems like everywhere I go people are very rude to me or completely put off by my presence. This happens all the time. People have suggested it's in my head so I've made it a point to pay very close attention and still it happens. For instance I will stand in a line at a store and watch the cashier smile and laugh and be very positive with the 5 people in front of me...then I walk up and I say "hi how are you"and I watch the smile disappear and the positive attitude go flat and the cashier goes from friendly to short and rude.it may sound crazy but this happens to me every day in all sorts of situations. Dirty looks, unfriendly behavior, people acting like I've wronged them somehow. This even happens at my jobs. I honestly have only 1 friend who also has cptsd.its not from a lack of trying either.I suppose I would just like to know if this is something that anyone else deals with?Why does this happen?is this connected to cptsd? I have to assume at this point that I must put off a vibe of some sort that makes people feel weird or something..I don't know.I appreciate any help, thank you.

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Three Roses

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Re: Hello I have a question, any feedback would great
« Reply #1 on: January 31, 2020, 04:35:37 PM »
Hello, Navillus, welcome to the forum! This has happened to me before, but it's not every time I interact with strangers - still, it's happened enough that I'm careful in my approach (as I'm sure you are, too).

There are so many variables here, I'm not sure it's anything we can nail down over the internet. Can your friend who also has cptsd go with you sometime and stand somewhere he or she isn't seen, to see if they can spot anything that may shed light on this?

Although the percentages are debated, it's a fact that body language accounts for most of what we communicate to others. There are also micro expressions that come into play in face to face communication. Vocal tone also plays a part. Additionally, what we wear and how we smell influences others' reactions to us. For instance, I can be the most gracious person in the world but if I am reeking of cologne or have hateful slogans on my t-shirt, people will be put off.

When looking for an answer for you I found this page of helpful tips. https://www.bustle.com/articles/155526-11-tips-for-being-more-approachable-in-any-situation They suggest smiling, which I can't pull off if I am trying to force a smile (I look more like a frightened chimpanzee than a friendly person); but if I just slightly raise my eyebrows while I greet them, this also conveys friendliness, interest and approachability. Being relaxed also seems to help.

Hopefully this info is helpful. Again, welcome, and thanks for joining!
 :heythere:


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Navillus

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Re: Hello I have a question, any feedback would great
« Reply #2 on: January 31, 2020, 07:34:33 PM »
Wow that was actually super helpful Three Rose's. I really appreciate you taking the time to write that reply. I thought it was possibly due to flattened affect or some kind of disruption in my body language but I mean it has happened so often I was starting to think I look like a criminal or something that frightens people.i am definitely going to check out the link you posted. Thanks again!have a great day

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saylor

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Re: Hello I have a question, any feedback would great
« Reply #3 on: January 31, 2020, 07:37:54 PM »
Welcome, Navillus. Iím glad you found us and joined the forum

I can relate to what you describe to a certain extent, but in my case I wouldnít necessarily say it happens all the time... just seemingly more than what I think I perceive happening to others.

The best analog I can think of in my own life is there seems to be a higher-than-normal tendency for people to decide right off-the-bat that they donít like me, especially as Iíve witnessed with certain coworkers at jobs Iíve had who are immediately cold to me (but friendly with others), before Iíve even had a chance to make an impression on them (I.e., before weíve even had any kind of conversation). It doesnít happen all the time (plenty of ppl have been nice to me), but has happened enough that it seems like it may be a pattern. It has started to feel like Iím wearing a sign on my forehead that says, ďThis person is repugnant, so write her off or be mean to herĒ

In my case, Iím aware that my connection with reality is fragile (and that could definitely be CPTSD), and Iím getting better at realizing that not all that I perceive may be real. I also know that Iím constantly subconsciously on the alert for threats, and I readily read ďthreatĒ in pplís tone of voice and facial expressions (aka, my ďneuroceptionĒ is picking up on the ďprosodyĒ of others with whom I interactóthe polyvagal theory has a lot to say about this, BTW, if youíre interested), and all of that searching and interpretation can be constantly in high gear with CPTSD...

On another level (for me specifically), Iím not a particularly attractive person physically, and I think people can sometimes discriminate (decide how nice they are to you)  based on that. I donít know how realistic this hypothesis is, but it has occurred to me as another reason Iím often not treated well, when I havenít had a chance to actually do anything (yet) that might understandably turn the person against me. It could just be echoes of a lifetime of people (family, ďfriendsĒ, friends/relatives thereof, classmates, coworkers, and perfect strangers) making sure I never forget how ugly I am, so feel free to chalk that one up to paranoia ???

In general, human interactions have always felt fraught for me, and, as much as I can anymore, I just try to avoid ppl IRL. It may not be the best idea in the long run, but Iím not young anymore, and I consider it an allowable form of extreme self care for me

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Navillus

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Re: Hello I have a question, any feedback would great
« Reply #4 on: February 01, 2020, 02:43:36 AM »
Thank you Saylor. I have had the same type of issues at jobs as well. Some worse than others. Years back when I first returned to work after a sort of  "breakdown" I was definitely in a fragile state. I accepted a job that was out of my normal field at a restaurant. Right away every person there was extremely rude. They would out right ignore me when I said hello, started gossiping about me, started blaming me for everything that went wrong and so on. I felt as if I was purposely pushed out. Then I went back to my normal field where the people are a bit more rough around the edges. I still encounter some of the same issues with some of the people but no where near as bad as it was at the restaurant. But I have always had these types of issues with people in just about every situation throughout my entire life.

I understand I am a bit different from the average person and I assume that I may be seeing things not so clearly at times. However I am honest, hardworking and genuinely kind so I kind of dont understand what the deal is I guess. I'm not good at small talk, I'm not good at putting on fake anythings, I watch how alot of people interact and I really do not understand much of it so I know I'm socially awkward or socially different I guess. I absolutely am always scanning for threats. To tell you the truth, after reading your reply and the other kind persons reply as well as a few other posts in the forum I think I may need a little more help than I thought. I mean I think I may have overestimated my own progress quite a bit. I say this because you all seem way more insightful and knowledgeable than myself. I really appreciate it though seriously.

Also before I go, as far as being unattractive there are days I look in the mirror and percieve myself as extremely ugly and other days not ugly at all. These are not minor perception shifts...I mean I really look like a very different person to myself wich I have yet to understand as well. It's all so confusing. I guess that's all I got right now.Thanks so much again!

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woodsgnome

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Re: Hello I have a question, any feedback would great
« Reply #5 on: February 01, 2020, 03:45:10 AM »
My first reaction might be to regard some of this as being typical reactions of people with cptsd having higher degrees of hyper-vigilance. In my case, being super suspicious of everyone else can contribute to what I hear and/or see from interacting with them (albeit my first choice would always be avoidance). This has been noticed and pointed out by my therapist many times, that what I sense from others can be tricky in judging their true reactions to me.

An odd twist to this might be that for years I was a director of an acting troupe. Those who worked for me sometimes were bothered by what they perceived as a wrong perception of our live performances by some audience members. I realized, and pointed out, that what viewers say and what was really happening wasn't always a perfect match. Some audience people just are different -- as were the performers -- in how they respond. I only mention this to show there are variables in how we perceive others. The oddest twist of all is that I ever was an actor at all, but it's a bit complicated to discuss here.

Finally, I've noted something else recently. There's a regular live-streamed event I usually partake in; the live feed is later available in audio-only format and I sometimes find it amazing how different the same speaker's words come across in the different formats.

I guess what I'm tending to notice is that watching is different for me in that I'm super-aware of how the speaker is looking, gesturing, etc. Seems like maybe I'm always alert, as if that speaker could hurt me like my original abusers. Then on the audio-only, while there might be some speech resemblances to those I came to fear, for the most part the message comes across differently -- usually better with more clarity about the topics covered -- than during the livestream videos.

Don't really know what to make of this, but that's my take on it. Hyper-vigilance is a large part of it, and of course can be a direct result following years/decades of cptsd's influence. And, as I learned in acting, can sometimes be a good thing; but all of life shouldn't revert to the stress of always being on stage, as it were.

Welcome  :heythere: to this forum, Navillus!