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Old 03-09-2011
Newtype's Avatar
Expert User
 

In my efforts to overcome my social anxiety, I've started doing the opposite of some things that I used to do. One of those things that I used to do is that I used to put my school bag on the seat next to me in order to prevent someone from sitting beside me. Of course, that's not a nice thing to do, lol.

Anyway, I go to school every day and I have to take the public bus to get there. Every other passenger in the bus are students too. There are more people than there are places available in the bus, so some people are standing sometimes. Since last August, I've been keeping my bag on my legs in order to encourage people to sit beside me. However, I've noticed something really strange.

Even with the seat beside me free, no one is sitting beside me. At first, I thought it was just a coincidence that on many occasions no one sat beside me, but now it's March and nothing's changed! That's when I decided to have a little experiment. Every day, twice a day, I leave the seat next to me free and I check to see if someone will sit beside me. It rarely happens, no matter who the person is. Whether the person is a guy or a girl, whether they are beautiful or not, they all react the same. They just don't sit beside me.

Even when the seat beside me is the last seat available, often they prefer staying up then sitting beside me. Every day it's the same pattern. It doesn't seem like people are trying to avoid me at all cost. They are! How else could I justify this? It's not my SA playing tricks on me, these are facts! Not only that, but there's nothing wrong with me. There's nothing wrong with my face, I don't smell bad either. Some might say that I'm a good-looking guy too.

Tonight, the seat beside me was once again available, and the guy on the other side, the seat beside him was available too. A drop-dead gorgeous girl entered the bus and she sat beside him, not beside me!!! WHY!!!??? This is mystery to me! I know this whole thing sounds funny, but for me it's serious. I want an explanation to this phenomenon.
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Old 03-09-2011
 

That happened to me to, but I'm home schooled now.
I caught a bus last year to school.
Normally there are alot of people standing, but sometimes there are seats left.
If there are seats left, I normally ask if I can sit in the available seat, but I always got a no.
So, to overcome my SA sometimes I would just sit somewhere without asking if I knew it was available. I got told to go away. Even if it was the last seat I got told to move, so sometimes I was the only one standing on the bus.
On the way home, the bus came to my school first (in the morning we get dropped off last) which there are only about 5 people from my school on that bus.
When the bus picks up the students from the other schools, even if the seat next to me was the only one free, no-one would sit there.
Sometimes the junior boys would play dares on one another and say 'i dare you to sit next to that girl', meaning me.
It was a big deal. I used to put my bag on the other seat, but like you did, I started putting my bag on my lap.
Some people sit on one another if there's no seats. But there's always one available seat next to me.
I don't know why no-one wanted to sit next to me.
I have very good hygiene, I get hit on alot so I must not be an incredibly ugly person either (even though it makes me very uncomfortable).
I also tried smiling to people as they get on the bus and pass me.

I would also like to know why these people avoided me at all costs.

You're not alone with this
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Old 03-09-2011
BleedTheFreak's Avatar
Intermediate User
 

This happens to me alot too. Usually the only people who sit next to me are old ladies which I'm fine with, but I'd always wonder why barely anyone would sit next to me. Maybe I look out of place? Nervous? or like I don't want to be bothered? But at the same time, if I get on a bus and there's a seat available next to someone, I always choose to stand rather than sit. I just assume that the person (no matter who it is) would rather not have me sit next to them, so maybe that's what (at least some) people think when they see an empty seat next to me...I don't know. It's funny because even though I'd rather not have anyone sit next to me, I kinda feel bad when they don't
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Old 03-09-2011
 

i did exactly what you did , key for me was to look chilled out and not threatening at all , like a neutral / happy facial expression , have some earphones in your ear , dont stare at anyone just quick glances or just fiddle with your phone pretending your texting someone and ive found people are a lot more likely to sit next to you , if you dont have anyone to text just write out a message like you do and save it to drafts ( done that once or twice to get me out of awkward situations).

Key is not to look agitated or distressed - just normal

also another thing is if this is the same bus you get every day people will get use to you , and think you always look agitated so they wont sit next to you , if you can go on another bus to town or something where people dont know you , and experiment.

Also with that drop dead gorgeous girl moment on the bus , it may be because she feels threatened sitting next to a good looking guy because she is insecure , and will choose a less good looking guy to sit next to to make her feel more secure.

sorry if this doesnt make sense its 2 in the morning where im from : D
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Old 03-09-2011
Silentknight's Avatar
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Yea Funtimefrank has got a point, most of the time if you look busy there is a better chance of someone sitting next to you.
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Old 03-09-2011
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as a girl i will say this...

if i was on a bus and i had to choose between sitting next to an attractive guy and an average guy i would most definitely sit next to the average looking guy.

just my 2 cents.
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Old 03-09-2011
coyote's Avatar
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dottie View Post
as a girl i will say this...

if i was on a bus and i had to choose between sitting next to an attractive guy and an average guy i would most definitely sit next to the average looking guy.

just my 2 cents.
can you explain more fully?

why?

thanks
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Old 03-09-2011
eek
 

^ I third that
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Old 03-09-2011
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i would be afraid the hot guy would talk to me and i would start blushing and stammering. my social phobia is exponentially worse in correlation to how attractive a guy is. also, authority figures. total AVPD. i'd rather sit next to an average guy who i don't care so much what he thinks, where it's safe.
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Old 03-09-2011
dottie's Avatar
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guys, so you are all telling me you would sit next to the hot girl if you had to choose between a seat next to a hot girl and an average girl?
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Old 03-09-2011
dottie's Avatar
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but what about SP? doesn't it deter you from sitting next to the hot girl? idgi.
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Old 03-09-2011
Anti Matter's Avatar
666
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dottie View Post
guys, so you are all telling me you would sit next to the hot girl if you had to choose between a seat next to a hot girl and an average girl?
Average girl, fo sho.
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Old 03-09-2011
eek
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dottie View Post
i would be afraid the hot guy would talk to me and i would start blushing and stammering. my social phobia is exponentially worse in correlation to how attractive a guy is. also, authority figures. total AVPD. i'd rather sit next to an average guy who i don't care so much what he thinks, where it's safe.
i may be stereotyping here but only the less attractive one would talk to me in the first place
eek is offline  
Old 03-09-2011
los77's Avatar
Newbie User
 

I would just sit next to whoever looks less angry or mostly i prefer standing... i don't see how one's exterior beauty plays into this
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Old 03-09-2011
dottie's Avatar
Elite User
 

yeah, @los77, so true. whoever looks less aggressive.

to OP, do you have a stern look?
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Old 03-09-2011
dreamgirl's Avatar
Newbie User
 

I think instead of sitting by yourself and waiting for someone to sit next to you, that you should sit next to someone who is sitting by themself. Try that and let us know how that turns out!
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Old 03-09-2011
Anti Matter's Avatar
666
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Quote:
Originally Posted by token_asian_friend View Post
Going by his avatar, I'd say he looks like he's about to joust someone in the face.
Joust, face?

Stern?

Yes.
Anti Matter is offline  
Old 03-09-2011
 

it's weird, really weird. but you are lucky lol Most of time I just want no next to me just to have some space. The weirdest thing about it you are from montreal, my school is in montreal so I go there almost every day and i find that most people will do anything to seat down in the bus compare to laval
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Old 03-09-2011
BlueOysterCultFan96's Avatar
Newbie User
 

It's funny that you mention this because I did this exact same thing not too long ago. I would put my backpack beside me so that people wouldn't sit by me, and I would remove it if somebody asked to sit next to me. A few months ago I stopped doing that and left room on the seat . . usually people will sit in other open seats before they will sit next to me.

Maybe it's because they remember you previously putting your stuff there, and assume that you don't want a person sitting by you.
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Old 03-09-2011
hoddesdon's Avatar
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coyote View Post
can you explain more fully?

why?

thanks
It stems from the same source as the inability to accept compliments - the inaccurate belief that you are not worthy (the "core belief"). In this case not worthy to be around someone with desirable characteristics (not that appearance should be considered so important, but often it is). That is also why many people find it hard to work on themselves - they think that the status quo is in accordance with some sort of law of nature. Hence it is wrong\impossible to fight against it. That is an irrational belief created by social phobia to defend itself. Nonetheless, to the person it seems to be true.

The book on social phobia I am reading makes the point of saying that you do deserve to improve the situation. Superfluouslyme's mother made the same point in her recent post on this website.
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