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Hello everyone......I'm new to this board and need help. I apologize for the long story, but I'm at my wits end. I'm 37 years old and I've always been a fairly quiet person.....I care very much for others and try to always put everyone before me. If someone is talking badly about one someone that has been nice to me, I will generally stick up for them, but no one ever sticks up for me. The general norm as I've experienced pretty much my whole life is that it's so easy for everyone else to jump on the band wagon and either join in or start treating me differently, I think I've only ever had one person stand up and say, now she isn't like that. It wasn't always this way....although, all through school I was always the last to be picked and I was generally a loner, during my twenties I got a good job and seemed to fit it very well. Everyone liked me and I finally felt popular.....until my boss, who was an old family friend of my husband's started to think he could tell me about his sex life (or actually the lack of) with his wife, when we were on a business trip out of the country, he would also ask me for hugs all of the time, and at the time, I felt obligated because after all, he was a family friend and he had done so much for me. It progressed from there with remarks that really made me feel like he wanted more than a casual work relationship. So one day, I made the major mistake of telling him, in his office, that it made me uncomfortable and I just wanted it to stop. That was where I was going to leave it, I just wanted to be able to go to work without him constantly making remarks to me. Well, he decided to take it to his supervisor, and decided to 'enlighten' my coworkers and they took his side. They proceeded to shun me to the extent that I had to change jobs to another department and suffered a nervous breakdown because of their emotional abuse...I left the company and got into a very tight knit department and have never really fit in except with one guy, who I thought was a great friend. They are all really good friends. I was promoted and one of them was a very poor performer and ended up losing his job. I got blamed, not our supervisor....and I found out my friend was stabbing me in the back and saying awful things all along with the others in the department. I've tried to work through it and have changed my attitude, but it is always in the back of my mind. We all recently were combined in with a large group and things have been going really well, but recently, a couple of them started giving me mean looks and acting very different and then I see them talking to this guy who stabbed me in the back, and I automatically think he's made up more lies that they are believing. It's tearing me up inside, because I am a completely different person than I used to be and am nothing but nice to these I just being paranoid????
Justmyself - HI! I feel the same way you do. Except I tend to lash out when people don't respond to me and allow me in their conversations. I get really sarcastic and aggressive LOL! If assertiveness doesn't work then I start getting nastayy! LOL. I know it is funny but some people are so selfish that they don't see how pathetic their behavior is and how it can effect nice and helpful people like us.
I used to get that way, but any more, it just seems easier to withdraw and stay in my cubicle. I just hate feeling this way. But when I am included with some of my coworkers, I don't feel this jealousy that I seem to be feeling all of the time now......maybe I'm depressed, I don't know, but I HATE IT!!!!!!

Things are even going bad at home with my husband's family. My husband's brother just got married a year ago (we'll call her C) and my sister in law, (we'll call her T) and I were really close before. About a month after C and my brother got married, I saw C & T and their husbands at a game and C & T wouldn't even look at me. Now at every family function, it's like I'm the blacksheep and I've done nothing to either one of them. On the contrary, I've went out of my way to help T, she's a stay at home mom and I work 45-50 hours a week. She was wallpapering her kitchen and I went over every night for a week and helped her......

The worst part is my husband won't even ask his brother what's up with all of it and that really upsets me because I've stood up for him and his family on many occasions when someone said something bad about them.......
Hey justmyself:

I am sorry to hear about all that. I can't stand it when people won't look at me or refuse to make eye contact, that is really pathetic thing to do to someone you know and have had experience with. But guess what, most of the time it has to do with raging envy. You might be considered an overachiever and they don't like that about you. If you are attractive and interesting that might be something they feel threatened about. Sometimes it is projection!! They know you will feel bad if you are not getting their acceptance, so they are taking advantage of you which I think is pretty wicked or evil. I am sorry that you feel painful feelings, it isn't fun and I really hope you can get around some nice people for a change.

I am on my search for nice and fun people too!!!

I also wanted to make myself clear that after I try polite assertion combined with empathy and if that doesn't work; I step up the aggression in notches; I don't just lash out with sarcasm and rudeness instantly but it takes time. If I know somebody is passive aggressive I might make intellectual responses to them and what ever alien feelings I have about myself I will project it back into them by saying "you feel...... or "do you feel......?"
Well, I've been told that before....My mom, as mothers usually do, used to say 'oh they're just jealous'. And my therapist, when I was going, used to say about the guy I work with that is the big backstabber....'it sounds as though he is extremely jealous of you. I don't know, I just don't get it, most of the office is nice, but I just don't fit in. I do go to lunch sometimes, but it's one of them that asks me and if she doesn't, they won't.

The new guy is a real male-chauvenist and smart mouth and I work in an office with about 35 women and about 5 guys and they all just love him. The one lady even said that he really made her mad on a recent trip, but she still stops over to talk to him all of the time. He's always included in their after hours get-togethers at the local pub and I'm never included unless it is for a whole floor invite. He did invite me one time and I went, but didn't feel like I clicked with anyone. It's almost like I'm afraid to tell jokes because I may offend someone, and I don't want to join in the gossip and talking bad about others, because I know how it feels to be on the other end (and it usually isn't true). I actually stick up for someone if I feel they are saying something incorrect or haven't seen both sides. Maybe they see me as weird and don't think I'm real because I try to be nice to everyone......

We have approx. 6 groups of teams on this floor and my group seems to be the only one that actively shuns one member of the team. I saw them all leaving the other night together and we had several sales reps in. The next day I could overhear them all laughing and saying things about the night before. I asked the new guy if he was invited and he said really quick that he didn't hear anything and then turned around and wouldn't look at me. I swear, it's like high school, and I don't want to stoop to their level, but I want so bad to be included, accepted, and not do I get over this and survive in this job. My health is really starting to go down hill.....and I cry almost every!!!!
Justmyself you sound very like me. i've spent my life wanting people to like me and running around with my tail wagging begging to do them favours so they'll like me. It sickens me that I was like that but I was so desperate for approval. My family was a bit dysfunctional too, but not that bad, but I kinda took a bit more responsibility than I should have and stopped being a child at about 11.

It's time for you to let go of wanting to be liked. I know it's easier said than done but you need to do it. Be the person you want to be, and learn to like yourself. Look after your own needs first. Going round to someone's house after work every night to help them wall paper when you've been working a 45-50 hour week does not sound like putting your own needs first. It's all right to help someone but not to your own detriment. Learn to love yourself. Do nice things for yourself, pamper yourself. Because you deserve it. ]

We all have to work with unpleasant people, unfortunately it's part of work. You don't get a choice in the matter. No matter where we work there'll be someone who we don't get along with.

Are you working with a therapist of any kind because maybe you should be. You need to start letting go of seeking the world's approval and work on yourself. Finding out who you are and what your needs/likes are. You can't be yourself if you're trying to please everyone else. And while I'm saying this I know how hard it is because i've been down this road myself, all my life. I'm 38 and I've accepted now that I don't have many friends but I have the friends that I want and feel comfortable around. And if I've got my friends and I've got my family then if no one else likes me then it doesn't matter. And my self esteem has been chronically low. Especially during my teenage years. Some people feel the need to be extroverted because that's what's recognised as 'desirable' in our western culture. But the world needs introverts too. I've read the book about the Highly Sensitive Person. It's worth reading.

But most important of all - find out who you are, and what you enjoy and what you want. And try to be that person.

And re your sister/brother in law whatever. Try asking them in a non-aggressive way if they've got a problem. Their behaviour is very immature but tackling it head on might make you feel more at ease. At least you'll know 'what you've done' if indeed you've done anything.

Feel free to get back to me because I so relate to all that you're saying.
I've started reading the Co-dependency no more book and I definitely have a connection with it. I cried when I read the symptoms, because it is soooo me!!

I know what you are saying about letting go....I know I need to, but just don't know how to yet....I think this book will help. I've also started going back to church and, for right now, feel better. I'm just taking it one day at a time.....I will know when I'm getting better, because I won't dislike myself as much.

As far as working with a therapist, I'm not currently, but would like to again. The last one I went to told me I was a perfectionist, which now I see as a characteristic of co-dependency. I didn't feel like our sessions were that useful other than that. It was mostly a med checkup. For the past ten years, until about 2 years ago, I was on almost every anti-depressant there was. They kept switching because none of them worked that well. I went off of them and really don't feel any worse off than I did on them. I think once I get this whole co-dependency thing under control, I will be much better off. I'm going to try to find a support group. The hard part is what I've read, to a large part, is for either alcoholic and/or chem. dependent families, and that's not me. My main issue was my parents, my father was emotionally abusive and my mother (now I believe to be a co-dependent as well) wasn't very nuturing, there weren't hugs or open caring, or too many words of encouragement, it was and still is mostly sarcasm.

But I do recommend the book, it is very interesting. And at least now I know I'm not crazy......

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