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I am realising I am very antisocial, and I don't want to be.

(70 Posts)
Scentia Wed 05-Jun-19 15:52:35

I have just returned from a 10 day trip with my husband and a group of 17 other friends some of which I don't know well but some I have known for years. I spent a lot of the holiday on my own as I didn't want to do what they were all doing and I was fine with this, I enjoy my own company. It was mentioned on more than one occasion that I am antisocial and I think they are right. I tend to be quite rude to people if I think they are just talking shit to fill up time, I will be pleasant if a person is talking to me but I will make comments about things people are saying if I think they are talking rubbish. I will avoid a conversation with people at all costs if I am not in the mood to listen to idle talk. My husband has been used to me for years but he said I shouldn't be putting myself in situations where I don't feel comfortable and end up saying inapropriate things to people who I deem to be an idiot! I am happy to go anywhere and watch things going on and I don't feel I have to engage, but once someone engages with me I become irritated sometimes. Sometimes I can tolerate people better than other times but mostly I will not really be in the mood to engage with them, yet they still keep on trying and that is when I just say something rude to shut them up or get them to go away. As a middle aged woman, why have I only just discovered this and can I change? , how do I change? do i even need to change. I have an example of what happened on holiday, see if you think I am ignorant and rude:

A man was talking about his wife as she wasn't there and he said something derogatory about her, everyone was laughing and I just said , what is so funny about that, why would you say that about someone you are supposed to love. Now if it was truly funny, I can laugh and can understand a joke, it is just that it really wasn't funny and he is a bit of an idiot, people only laughed as he was the main leader of the group and they think they have to. My husband said I would have been better to just not laugh along and say nothing as everyone who was laughing know he is an idiot, but just laugh along with him.

Is it really too late at 55 to change my attitude towards people? It has only just occurred to me that apart from my Husband, Sister and adult children I don't have any friends, that is entirely my choice, people do try to include me, so I can't be that horrible so what is the answer.

gillybob Wed 05-Jun-19 16:04:06

You don't sound antisocial to me to be honest. I wouldn't know one single person (other than DH) to go on holiday with never mind 17 !

I think that maybe you just don't suffer fools. That's it. And why should you? I hate to hear anyone making a fool of themselves (especially if they are making cheap jibes at someone else's expense) it just makes me cringe.

I don't think you do need to change at all (except maybe try to ignore rather than being rude) you seem to be doing okay by spending time alone when you want to and in company some of the time.

HildaW Wed 05-Jun-19 16:13:26

Honestly you sound very like used to be referred to as 'not suffering fool's gladly' and I must admit I find it hard to pretend I like someone if they really annoy me.
I do not have a large circle of friends but over the years DH (who is also a little shy and retiring socially)and I have made good friends and several nice acquaintances with whom we have shared interests. I am much happier in smaller groups as I'd much rather be with people I truly like or at least share a sort of common code of behaviour with. Hence I would have long since dropped any social contact with the 'gentleman' you mention. I would have been one of those people to give him a cold hard stare and probably walk away. I know full well that behind my back he would have said something about a lack of humour or worse....but I'm old enough to know that that's his problem. In my childhood and even up till my 40s I would have been upset....but now I will not waste my time with numpties.
Its taken me a long time to make a couple of close adult friends, I was not set a good example by my parents so I made some wrong choices when younger. Nowadays its about shared interests and shared values - people who I know would help me if I needed it and vice versa.
We are all different, some people make 'friends' with anyone and are happy to have arguments and such, I am not. To be honest the people who I do really now count as friends have seen me at my lowest and have been very supportive - I think being honest with them and them with me has led to real friendships....not just social connections.
DH and I enjoy the odd cruise when we socialise with people we would never normally meet and for a week or two its fun to make the effort and share all sorts of stories....but we are always glad to get home to the quiet of our home (where we can go half a day without even talking to each other).
Perhaps one or two new friends would help you....but they come along when you least expect them and usually in odd circumstances but its only the 'real' you that can form true friendships so I think what I'm saying is that you probably cannot change...just lean towards those who you can respect and ignore the numpties who do not deserve you attention. Then let their silly comments be like the proverbial water of a ducks whatsits. Good luck.

Elvive Wed 05-Jun-19 16:13:35

The man was an idiot. Was alcohol involved?

Sara65 Wed 05-Jun-19 16:14:43

I would definitely have said something to that man who was being rude about his wife, I hate things like that

I don’t think you can consider yourself antisocial if you are prepared to go on holiday with seventeen other people, I would never even consider that! If by some terrible mistake, I found myself in that situation, I’d be the one in the corner with a book!

You are what you are, and you sound perfectly normal to me!

EllanVannin Wed 05-Jun-19 16:32:24

I can relate in lots of ways but only since I lost my very dear friend 18 months ago. I haven't always been this way at all, quite the opposite in fact, so I am only at the beginning of how you've felt for much longer.
There's no easy answer.

Scentia Wed 05-Jun-19 16:48:02

Thanks everybody, I feel a lot more normal now. Glad I posted it now. Ellan I am sorry you have found yourself in your situation, I hope it gets easier for you.

EllanVannin Wed 05-Jun-19 17:00:00

Scentia my friend and myself were so alike and had so much in common, we holidayed and met up regularly and when you've known someone for over 50 years it's bound to affect you when they're no longer here. I just feel as though I can't be bothered with anyone else and in later years now I wouldn't even try to forge a friendship. I suppose in one way I'm fortunate in that I don't mind my own company. I'm quite happy being a hermit smile

Urmstongran Wed 05-Jun-19 17:06:02

Some of the 17 you didn’t really know well. You sound as though you don’t suffer fools nor wish to engage in small talk overly much, which is obviously up to you. You don’t have to. But you sound a bit snippy about it.

I dare say it doesn’t matter. But now you’ve been made aware of it you might like to dial it back a bit. Smile pleasantly maybe rather than comment? Your husband might be used to your ways but the fact that he’s commented on how you might like to do social interaction a bit differently might indicate he’d be relieved. When you leave before him he may feel a little awkward.

ginny Wed 05-Jun-19 17:15:23

I always say that I am not anti social but I am selectively social.
Maybe being rude is not a good idea, best just to ignore.
I can enjoy the company of others but am happy to say when I don’t want to join in and then I will go off and do my own thing.
Hasn’t always been that way. It’s taken me until I’m in my 60s to realise that other than on a few occasions I don’t have to do what others think I should .

Sara65 Wed 05-Jun-19 17:22:12


Don’t try and be something you’re not, probably lots of the group thought that man was vile, but unlike you, didn’t have the courage to say so

Grannyknot Wed 05-Jun-19 17:23:13

Hm ... I don't think you are ignorant or rude, however smile I have a close family member who "doesn't suffer fools" and they are just as much a pain in the backside to be around as some of the fools they refuse to suffer (as you concede too in your post).

I agree the man in your group sounds like an idiot, but in that situation, I'm inclined to agree with your husband's suggestion to show how you feel by simply not laughing. People then get the message anyway.

I sometimes think (about my family member) that the "I don't suffer fools" stance is a bit of a licence for being rude to people. And I let him know that! grin

Aren't relationships complex!?

love0c Wed 05-Jun-19 17:31:30

I know how you feel! At 60 years of age I now prefer to have a few friends who I like and trust rather than a lot who I neither trust or like! If that means I am anti social, then so be it.

Jane10 Wed 05-Jun-19 17:49:51

Brave of you to go away with 17 others! I recently had to accompany DH to a large residential week away with about 100+ people. I hated it! I was happy chatting to the one or two people I knew but, faced with a crowd in the bar, I just wanted to hide. DH and I have life well organised to suit us both and I'm happy to be doing my own thing and him doing his own. It means we've always got something to chat about and we enjoy our weekly days out.
Cruising suited us well as there was the opportunity to socialise or not depending on how we felt.
It sounds like the OP was a bit snippy but maybe sorely tried in such company.

M0nica Wed 05-Jun-19 17:51:38

I think you sound very rude and arrogant. I am someone who is very self contained and prefers people singly to groups, but, I would never speak to anyone the way you do.

I either sit quietly or quietly absent myself from the group to do my own thing, being unsocialble is no excuse for rudeness. Have you ever thought what other people think of you, but are courteous enough not to tell you.

ffinnochio Wed 05-Jun-19 18:16:00

I don’t think you’re antisocial but unsociable. A subtle difference but an important one.

I’ve always thought being antisocial is a way of going against the normal and accepted ways of society in an extreme way which impacts on others to their detriment.

Perhaps you just can’t be bothered with groups. There’s an easy answer to that.

As for ‘not suffering fools gladly’ .... I think that’s just an excuse to be unnecessarily rude.

Gonegirl Wed 05-Jun-19 18:20:33

How on earth did you come to go on holiday with 17 others?! And why?

Gonegirl Wed 05-Jun-19 18:21:25

You must have known you would hate it.

Gonegirl Wed 05-Jun-19 18:22:14

I think I might have phrased the remark to the man a bit differently.

Sara65 Wed 05-Jun-19 18:38:34

Well I too must be unnecessarily rude, because I can’t stand that awful laddish, let’s have a laugh at the little wife’s expense, humour!

I think I may have said something, it’s not like they’re strangers is it, they must all be friends or they wouldn’t have gone on holiday together, it’s also impossible to know how it was said, or how it was taken, because we weren’t there

M0nica Wed 05-Jun-19 18:40:15

It never occurs to people who describe themselves as not suffering fools gladly, that they may be the fool.

Ginny42 Wed 05-Jun-19 18:50:48

Your thread title says you're anti-social and you don't want to be. Then you describe going on holiday with quite a large group of people and your behaviour. You spent quite a lot of time doing your own thing, which you enjoy. Does your husband enjoy being alone or trudging along with the others? Yes, the man was rude and I don't blame you for commenting, although it depends how you said it I think.

Next you wish us to comment on whether it's too late to change. You've noticed than apart from very close family and friends you don't have many friends, but you're quite happy about that. Where's the dilemma? You're happy with few friends.

It's not my experience of why friends are important in our lives. We have fun together, we support each other, we go to the cinema, theatre etc to painting/poetry/ book clubs all manner of shared experiences, like special celebrations and holidays. If you don't need any of that kind of contact with others, you don't need any more friends.

I don't know where I'd be without my friends. I hit absolute rock bottom following my divorce and my friends kept me sane.

Gonegirl Wed 05-Jun-19 18:52:38

Good point Monica.

annep1 Wed 05-Jun-19 18:53:10

Oh dear, I had to smile. My husband is like this. I love him but tbh I have been so embarrassed a couple of times when he has spoken his mind. He has been rude to our best friends. I have long thought he has some Aspergers traits. But perhaps hee is just more honest than most of us. He doesn't do "small talk". Thinks it's nonsense.
You have to be yourself but perhaps try to say nothing rather than be rude.

Alima Wed 05-Jun-19 19:16:06

Must admit a ten day trip with 17 other friends/acquaintances would strike me with horror. Think you did well not lamping anyone to be honest. I loathe the blokey “little wife” stuff but generally keep my trap shut whilst silently vowing to avoid the person at all costs. (Very good point about fools).