my ridiculous problem

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by twoton, Nov 3, 2011.

  1. twoton

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    This might seem ridiculous.

    Yes, it is ridiculous. But I'll bitch about it anyway.

    Do any of you guys have the problem that you intimidate people even though you don't want to?

    I exercise a lot. I pack on a lot of muscle, but not the rounded, plump bodybuilder muscles. More of the lean, intense muscle, like an MMA fighter (but I don't train or fight MMA). I tend to have a serious, solemn "look" on my face.

    My wife tells me women in the neighborhood are "intimidated" by me. One of them told her, "Your husband could beat up my husband." This is not good for neighborly relations. Another saw a picture of me and, while I was standing right there, said to her husband, "Make a muscle." He hasn't spoken to me since. Most guys at the gym don't talk to me, even the ones who are bigger and more muscular than I am. My daughter tells me the teenage boys are afraid of me (they walk away when they see me, it's true.)

    I'm a gentle guy who rarely shows his temper. I'm generous. Caring. Sentimental. I like classic Broadway musicals. I go to church. I'd never hurt a fly.

    At work, I'm in a position that's part HR, or employee relations. I keep hearing that some folks (mostly women) won't come to me with problems I can solve because they're afraid to.

    I don't know what the solution is. I'm not going to stop working out, and I can't change the look on my face because I don't even know I'm doing it.

    </self-pitying rant over>
     
  2. ConanTheBarber

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    The apparent power in your body wouldn't instill fear in anyone if you didn't somehow seem threatening in your manner.
    I wonder if you are constantly working over some old situation(s) that made you fearful or angry.
    These can be so much a part of the background "wallpaper" of one's psychic life that they become invisible, like wallpaper.
    One's actions can be kind, one can be responsible in holding in one's impulses, and a model of mature respectful behavior -- at the same time that most people, seeing you approach on the street, would swear you're angry about something and open to being aggressive.
    The only way to change the situation is to bring the troubling situation to conscious awareness and work through the attached emotions.
    This usually requires some kind of counselling.
    I don't know of any quick and easy solution.
    Bioenergetic therapy is probably the classic approach to these sorts of issues.
    Alternatively, meditation ... especially mindfulness meditation ... can bring a lot of these unconscious processes to the surface.
    But both are big undertakings and I don't know if you'd find them worth your doing.
    Alternatively, in some Eastern approaches, especially Zen, it's considered good to go through your day with a very slight smile on your face. If done consciously and subtly, this can change your engagement with the world and lighten you up considerably. But it's hard to remain conscious of the need to smile.
    Good luck, twoton.
     
  3. colday

    colday Member

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    Please provide a pic that will help us decide
     
  4. ConanTheBarber

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    Yeah. A body pic would help.
    But we really need a pic of his face so we can assess his expression.
    And that may not suit twoton.
     
  5. B_lightsup

    B_lightsup New Member

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    Or....you could stop malking what others think about you a PROBLEM. Seems like you keep alot of stuff in your head that does'nt need to be there. Hence the serious face.
    If you truely are'nt an oger then peoplle will get you with your actions not your appearance. Worse case scenerio learn to integrate... make a conscious effort to smile more, welcome people into your personal space, such as, hey jenny from work I'm going on lunch break now, want to join me.
    Muscular people aren't scarey. Scarey muscular people are.
     
  6. ConanTheBarber

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    But twoton says he isn't an ogre and people, for some reason, are afraid of his appearance.

    Yup.
     
  7. hairyversmuscle

    hairyversmuscle Well-Known Member

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    Its behavioral. I am 5'6" and been known to intimidate the fuck out of people. I don't intend to. I grew up in a rough city (though not ghetto) and currently live in a tough part of the city I live in now. I come off rough but like you, I am not. I didn't realize that at work I was nicknamed "Hit Man." Intimidation has nothing to do with your appearance, its all in how you carry yourself. Walk around with a smile and give your self an attitude adjustment a bit. That at least what it is for me.
     
  8. monel

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    Maybe you could make a conscious effort to smile more - as long as you don't have one of those creepy smiles :biggrin1:
     
  9. CUBE

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    I have a buddy with this same problem. When we first met, I was always on him about initiating conversation to show people he is approachable. Basically, he knows now he must make the first move to put people at ease. On the plus side. He is one sexy straight man.
     
  10. twoton

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    Sorry lads, no pics.

    I have some anxiety/ADD issues and yes, it's amazing how differently people react to me when my meds are working. The rest of the time it's probably true that I'm lost in my own scattered thoughts that are not usually happy thoughts. Add some shyness, and I might be considered to be unapproachable, or distant, or aloof, or better left alone.

    Which makes me frustrated and sometimes resentful. Which makes me want to not mix in. I know for some folks, it's simply a matter of deciding to be cheerful and outgoing and they (my wife) can't understand why I don't just do it. I wish it were that simple.
     
  11. ConanTheBarber

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    I understand this completely.
    Have you ever been on Paxil, twoton?
    That's supposed to help with social anxiety.
     
  12. Enid

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    My home is wherever reality seems elastic and the
    simple solution: practice smiling more. all you have to do is practice, don't force or anything, just try it in small steps. you have an exercise regimen, try to think of smiling practice like a daily regimen you have to work at just like exercise.

    jinksies! i didn't see yours :biggrin1:
     
    #12 Enid, Nov 3, 2011
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2011
  13. EllieP

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    Twoton, I have a twist on your tale when we moved to Florida. A neighbor came visiting a few days after the movers left and she's been my closest friend in the neighborhood ever since.

    I opened the door to greet her on our first meeting. She looked at me and said "Fucking great. That's all we need in this neighborhood is someone like you giving our husbands hard ons and then WE have to take care of them."

    I was speechless and very embarrassed until she started laughing and introduced herself. It took me a little bit to get used to her but she's a straight shooter with a desert-dry sense of humor, and I love her! I especially love to watch her meet new people and see their reactions!

    She's told me a few times before that a few people in our subdivision will not approach me or talk to me - the husbands are afraid their wives will see them talking to me, and the women just don't want to, period. It's absolutely ludicrous, but there's nothing I care to do to change anyone's mind.

    The people that are really intimidated by me are the roving evangelists that used to come to my door a couple of times a week. I say "used to" because they've learned not to approach the heathen house anymore. I am a Delilah who's doomed for all time. Works for me!
     
  14. twoton

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    Been on just about everything but Paxil. I'm thinking of going back to Celexa.

    The crazy thing is I thought I had it under control even after I stopped taking anxiety meds. Obviously not. :rolleyes:
     
  15. twoton

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    True. And I do try, but it feels forced. THe thing of it is, I'm not even aware. That's one of the problems. If I know, moment by moment that I need to be more friendly etc then I can try to fix it.
    But like with ADD, one usually doesn't realize one isn't paying attention until it's too late.
     
  16. twoton

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    :biggrin1: Love it!

    I have noticed myself that (sometimes) when I'm talking to a wife her hubby usually springs to her side.
     
  17. helgaleena

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    I have gone the meds route, but really there is no substitute for MED-itation... just taking a few minutes alone to sit comfortable, shut out the world, maybe even eyes closed, and take even breaths in and out.

    See how many heartbeats it takes you to breathe in, and how many it takes to breathe out. Gradually adjust them so that the number is the same for in as for out. Then gradually increase the number of beats per breath, so that you are breathing ever more slowly. Your body and mind will take the hint and relax you.

    And counting the breaths will give you something absolutely neutral to concentrate upon, until you are calm enough to guide your thoughts toward whatever you think needs your attention.

    Really, that's all there is to it! And when you are done, it feels like you have shed a huge load.
     
  18. TurkeyWithaSunburn

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    I'm with the others smile more.

    Shake people up, Hey how u doing? to just about everyone you see etc.

    Walk down the hallways bobbing your head to a lighthearted catchy pop song that you have remembered.

    And be willing to share your life with ppl. Those minor incidental conversations DO matter. Hey you know a good restaurant around here? I'm in the mood for something spicy, reminds me of blah blah.

    (oh and u have a teenage daughter... be glad the teenage boys are afraid of ya :biggrin:)
     
  19. twoton

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    Hi Helgaleena--I'm willing to give it another shot. In the past, mediation kind of made me more anxious, not less. I start trying to focus too much on relaxing, and then...:redface:
     
  20. twoton

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    Except for one thing: If the boys who fear you stay away, then you're left with the boys who don't fear you. :rolleyes:
     
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