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Limited to people's ideas of you?

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    I sometimes, or often, feel somewhat limited to a 'category' people have placed me in. Both my family and friends have many opinions of me being "so and so".
    I have an older sister who looks similar to me, and is actually quite similar personality-wise, although I notice people have different impressions (she comes across as very outgoing, I am more introverted). She has dated many, many guys and have many one night stands. Many of her teenage boyfriends she brought home. Some guys ended up awful and some cheated on her, but still - my parents have seen her around boys a lot. I overheard my father question why she can't find a high quality long term partner now that she's 27 and added "she's got such a good way with the boys". She's had arguments with female friends because she sleeps around and occasionally with guys her friends are interested in. She accused them of jealousy to my family, I said to mum that maybe her friends sometimes were onto something, my mother just said "well she's pretty and very social and flirtatious, of course guys will like her".
    I'm 21 and have never brought a guy home. I'm physically attractive and get a lot of attention from men, I have dated some guys as well but I am more private and also live abroad. I feel labeled as a more boring and anti-social type and I feel like it's affecting my behavior. I feel rude for saying this, but if I slept around or had low standards for boyfriends, I could have had the 'love life' my sister has. I don't mean to criticize her, but I find it irritating that this is what seemingly makes you 'social' and a 'man magnet'.
    My sister has said that she gets much more confident with me by her side, as she takes up more space, I get quiet, and she becomes more outgoing than she usually is.
    She has been falling behind with her grades and started going out more, decorating her house and playing more guitar. She is therefore more known as the 'creative one'. And in a way it is as if there is only room for one. I study business and wanted to do a part-time art course (paid for by myself) and the response from mum and my sister was "I don't think that's really you". It's like I'm limited to being pretty but quiet, a good student and with a small set o interests.

    I don't know if anyone recognize this? I somehow find it hard to 'break free' of people's perception of me. It's like a label which is there no matter what you do..
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    It also annoys me so much that the people who are loud (and dare I say it promiscuous) get labelled as fun. I'm pretty much an introvert so I relate to what you say, I believe that "the empty tin can makes the most noise".
    Just work hard at what you enjoy and want to do and one day your hard work will pay off (you'll be in a successful business raking in the money etc), don't worry about what everyone else is doing.

    Could you explain what you mean by this:
    (Original post by Anonymous)
    I feel labeled as a more boring and anti-social type and I feel like it's affecting my behavior.
    And also explain how your sister is falling behind her grades when she is 27....?
    • Thread Starter
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    (Original post by foolscap)
    It also annoys me so much that the people who are loud (and dare I say it promiscuous) get labelled as fun. I'm pretty much an introvert so I relate to what you say, I believe that "the empty tin can makes the most noise".
    Just work hard at what you enjoy and want to do and one day your hard work will pay off (you'll be in a successful business raking in the money etc), don't worry about what everyone else is doing.

    Could you explain what you mean by this:

    And also explain how your sister is falling behind her grades when she is 27....?
    My sister's had to repeat a couple of years so she's still a student.

    I meant I feel 'labeled' to a type where my parents assume I won't be dating anyone, they assume I'm not good at making friends, they assume I don't go out much, even though I do (of course there are people at school who go out more than me, but I don't aim to be one of the party people).
    Sometimes my mum can give me advice or critique without evening knowing what the status is. It makes me feel like if I do meet a guy, make friends, go out, I do it in spite of who I am, not because of it. I personally believe you need to trust yourself to be a certain person. It's much harder to be outgoing if everybody else is telling you you're not.
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    I personally believe you need to trust yourself to be a certain person.
    I believe you have somewhat answered yourself, at the end of the day do what makes you happy

    You have 3 options really though:
    A) Continue as you have been and ignore/accept your parents and other people's views of you as they currently are.
    B) Confront/talk to people about how they view you.
    C) Do something unprecedented so people change how they view you.

    Personally I would only ever choose A, but you need to be thick skinned. Oh and if anyone ever expresses their limited opinion of you then explain to them exactly how wrong they are. People's opinions shouldn't have any affect on how you life your life.

    Edit: oh and if you are good at making friends etc then the problem is all in your parents/friends minds, be happy in the knowledge that they're simply wrong.

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Updated: June 8, 2012
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