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Thread: Jealousy and immense self hatred over not being the "class clown"

  1. #1
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    Jealousy and immense self hatred over not being the "class clown"

    Hey!

    I'm 23 and I was always a quiet kid. Ever since kindergarten (according to my mother) I used to sit alone and only get along with 1-2 people, wouldn't really participate in group games, etc. My grandparents taught me to read and write before 1st grade so I was focused on books while most other kids were focused on playing and having fun. My parents also have always had a very cynical view on most people installed from very early on (as in "don't trust people, people don't care about you, people are not your friends", etc.). My parents forced me to study and would lock me in my room for 3 hours per day. I eventually developed my own interests but since my parents were so focused on school and grades, they never really cared about my social life or other things I was into. My mother used to hit me with a shoe every time I had a bad grade, and she recently admitted she would sometimes hit me when I was a toddler just because.

    Years went by until high school, where I was heavily bullied for my appearance (weak jaw + stick out ears) by strangers and a few groups of other students. I got suicidal and went into a therapist who did more harm than good by diagnosing me with paranoia and getting surprised when my parents witnessed the bullying and confirmed it. This therapist also diagnosed my mother as being bipolar and my father as having anger issues. They both refused help. The thing that got me through was finding a group of friends I keep to this day, and having people from the opposite sex (girls) showing signs of clear attraction, although I never followed up on them sexually because I was way too insecure.

    Got into university, but I was still too insecure from high school that I closed myself off from everyone, and 6 months after dropped out. Got into another university, same thing happened. Then I got into college on my hometown and decided to make an effort to actually find a group of people. Didn't turn out so well. I started hanging out around a group of classmates, but then out of a sudden this guy broke out of his shell with a very obnoxious, constant, humor. He has actually admitted to me he sees himself as a comedian, so he mocks everything and everyone to make other people laugh. In effect, he is the class clown, but he's good at it (by which I mean he makes people laugh). He will interject other people's conversation in an high-pitched, rushed voice, to get a joke in. So I tried to force myself to do that too, and it would come out horribly. It's not that I can't make people laugh, from time to time, it's just that I'm not able to do it that consistently, and I prefer having a passionate conversation on things that interest me. I got into pro-bono CBT therapy at my college around this time.

    The thing is, this guy was getting a lot more positive attention from everyone in our class than I ever had. There were two girls in this group I talked about earlier that agreed with me he was extremely obnoxious,but then would act amazingly around him, and push me around saying things like "Hey can you ask X what he's waiting for to sit down with us?". When I told them I really didn't feel comfortable being around him, they let me go, cut off all contact, and stuck with him. That whole group did that. Slowly, the same thing happened to the entire class. A group of 4-5 people I never found approachable and quite rude were totally open to him and his jokes and played around with him as well. More recently, another group of 3 girls I considered myself close to (they used to play with me in class, invite me out for coffee, we'd laugh together, and didn't seem to much attention to this other guy) turned completely to him as well. They are now constantly making eye contact with him during class and laughing at every single one of his jokes. I feel absolutely alone inside that class. Again.

    It's been years of being constantly mistreated and cast aside and I hate myself a lot for not being able to form connections as easily as everyone around me appears to do it, and I don't know what I'm doing wrong or if I can even correct it.

    CBT therapy has been failing. Sometimes I feel amazing after leaving it, but every prediction my therapist has made so far ends up crashing with reality. which makes me hate myself all the more. "That girl may laugh more when she's with him, but she actually cares more about you". Wrong. "Eventually people will get tired of his type of humor and cast him aside". Wrong. "Yea there are people in your class that like him, but there are also groups that would prefer hanging out with you and don't really care about him". Got proven wrong yesterday. "People only see him as a comedian and don't really care about him as a person" - this is it, this is the one prediction left to be broken. And it's extremely weak because, well, people still want to be around him, they like him, they seek him out. With a girl on the group I talked about earlier, who I considered myself close to back then, he now goes alone to her house to have lunch/a snack and vice-versa, and they have coffee together, alone. She has had a boyfriend for 5 years and it's debatable whether or not they have anything sexual going on (she's still with her boyfriend, invites this guy for dinners with her boyfriend, etc.), but regardless of if they are dating or not, she clearly seeks and enjoys his company. I don't feel sought out or cared for. So who cares if these people only seek him out and show him affection because he makes them laugh? It's better than what I have. And the minute this guy gets into a relationship with any of these people, this prediction is wrong, and it's the fundamental prediction all my therapy has been based on for the past 6 months. I don't know how I would react to that. My therapist has made me see my value on my interests and hobbies and take pride on that (none of these other people have interests apart from school), but I feel so alone and unsupported I simply can't. I'd trade all my interests and hobbies to have the ability to meet people and having them seeking my company.

    Anyway that's the story. Every time I go to class and see everyone pay so much attention to him and none to me, I'm reminded I'm all alone. Again. This is a huge trigger. In the past week it triggered me to cut open my right hand on my steering wheel by punch it repeatedly, yesterday I broke a mirror in my bedroom by punching it. My mother found me in tears wrapped around my hand in the floor and I told her everything. She has offered help. I'm feeling a very deep sense of self-doubt and self-hatred and a social failure. I'm now considering enlisting addition professional help, maybe a trauma therapist. I don't know, who would be the best professional to deal with this? Also, I can't help but feel like I'm the one who's wrong, and that I need help developing my social skills as well, instead of just dealing with my feelings through therapy. Is there any option that would help me with this as well? Any thoughts? Thank you!

  2. #2
    Platinum Member Wiseman2's Avatar
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    Ask your mother to take you to a physician for a checkup and a full workup to determine if any medically treatable underlying issues exist. At that time get a referral to another therapist if all you do is dispute everything this pro bono CBT therapist is trying to help you with.

    By the way the sine qua non of CBT is pointing out and challenging these cognitive distortions and negative self talk. If there are untreated neurochemical problems talking doesn't help much.

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    Originally Posted by Wiseman2
    CBT is pointing out and challenging these cognitive distortions and negative self talk. If there are untreated neurochemical problems talking doesn't help much.
    Yea but those challenges keep failing when compared to reality. This is the thing I never understood about CBT and therapy in general. Some (most!) of it seems like you are simply denying reality and pretending it doesn't happen. Well, it is happening. Like I said, every single prediction and challenge made to my perspective eventually turned out to be wrong, and my perspective turned out to be right. In reality. Which is all that matters. And CBT isn't helping me deal with that at all.

    Regardless, I take your advice on a medical checkup seriously and will consider that. Thank you.

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    I wouldnít want to be the class clown... they are annoying as snot.

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    OK, well, first of all, I am so sorry that all this has happened to you and that your parents were not supportive of you having a social life. And above all that your mother actually used to hit you just because you didn't get a high grade at school! Hitting children is NOT OK, in particular when the reason is not even the child being naughty or misbehaving. I know it really sucks and it's unfair, but unfortunately you can't change the past. You can only change the future. I would like to also just say that if you want to make progress, I don't think it's necessarily useful to blame your parents, blame the therapist and the guy in your class at college. At the end of the day, you are now an adult and it's you that's controlling your life. If you want things to change then it's going to have to be YOU that actually puts the hard work in and has to make those changes. The therapist can help you by using CBT techniques (which to my understanding challenge your negative thought patterns), but they can't go with you to class and make you the most popular kid on the block.

    I think what the therapist is actually doing is trying to challenge your thoughts and attitudes about yourself by making positive statements. It did really come through in your post that you are very insecure and you have low self-esteem and you can't see a silver lining in those dark clouds. Like, when the therapist has made positive comments, you don't think they're true and you are not seeing the world from a positive perspective. E.g. "People will still like you too, even if they like that funny classmate". You think that nothing the therapist is saying is true and I think unfortunately that's where the problem lies. I think for people to like us, we don't have to have some certain type of personality or certain looks. Not everyone is super funny and makes everyone laugh all the time. You don't have to be like that guy or to be someone you're not, but you have to LIKE yourself and be confident that you are worthy and your are enough as you are.

    I don't think that the girls in your class are necessarily really infatuated with that guy or anything, I'm sure not everyone can be adored by everyone. But what I think it is, is that he's confident and he gives off positive vibes. People like people that are positive and comfortable in their own skin and this guy clearly is. I think the key really is to be yourself and not try too hard. Also comparing yourself to other people all the time is a really bad idea. We are all so different and you simply can't be someone else. I'm overweight so I could compare myself to girls that are very slim and look like models, but what would be the point? I find it difficult to lose weight, so I will never be skinny, I'll just be average at best. Sometimes we just have to accept ourselves as we are and realise that we are fine just as we are. They do say "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder". So most people who are not mean or terrible can have at least some people like them. Not everybody gets along with everybody but to think that nobody can like you and you can't have friends is really selling yourself short.

    I think you need to continue with your therapy and really try to take on board what the therapist is saying. They are probably saying those things for a reason. You need to keep working hard to build your self-esteem and believe in yourself. Also keep in mind that the people in your class are not the only people that exist. You could also try to make friends in all sorts of other ways. Meetup groups, social groups, hobby classes, events, online, etc. I think you're trying too hard to be accepted by these particular people but these people are not your only friendship options. If you treat people well and you're nice, then if you don't gel it probably just means they're not meant to be your friends. I've done a few courses before and out of all of them I've made one best friend and that's it. So you really need to keep your options open and try to make friends in other ways too. Don't limit yourself because the people in your class are only a very small amount of people. There are still millions of other people out there for you to meet.

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    Why are you intensely watching some guy who is actively going out of his way to interact with people and expect the same outcome for you?
    His class clown act isnít what gets him coffee dates or meets with others. Itís because he asks them to catch up.

    You can act the class clown all you want but until you ask people to catch up it wonít happen?

    Iím sorry but you can no longer as an adult blame your grandparents for encouraging you to read or your upbringing.
    As an adult , you might realise that you didnít have much teaching with regards to social skills. But as an adult , you can practise and self learn.

    Your therapist can only try to provide insight.
    But you have to put in the effort on a day to day basis to get results.
    What are you actively doing about it?

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    Originally Posted by Billie28
    Why are you intensely watching some guy who is actively going out of his way to interact with people and expect the same outcome for you?
    His class clown act isnít what gets him coffee dates or meets with others. Itís because he asks them to catch up.

    You can act the class clown all you want but until you ask people to catch up it wonít happen?

    Iím sorry but you can no longer as an adult blame your grandparents for encouraging you to read or your upbringing.
    As an adult , you might realise that you didnít have much teaching with regards to social skills. But as an adult , you can practise and self learn.

    Your therapist can only try to provide insight.
    But you have to put in the effort on a day to day basis to get results.
    What are you actively doing about it?
    Because every time I interact with people they don't react to me as well as they react to him

    When this all started I was hanging around these two girls often. But still when he was around they would leave me ALONE, literally alone, to go talk to him. Despite the fact that he made no effort at all to invite them out for stuff and would only go to classes and make jokes. THEY were the one catching up, not him.

    I was the one inviting them out and hanging out with them constantly. And still being left behind. Constantly. And being told stuff like "Hey can you ask X what he is waiting for to sit down with us?" Without them ever inviting me to sit down myself

    I'm sorry but this actively pissed me off. I am trying. I just can't do it. And if I try to be the extroverted clown it falls flat and people get annoyed with me, they don't find me funny at all

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    Originally Posted by ilostmynewun
    Because every time I interact with people they don't react to me as well as they react to him

    When this all started I was hanging around these two girls often. But still when he was around they would leave me ALONE, literally alone, to go talk to him. Despite the fact that he made no effort at all to invite them out for stuff and would only go to classes and make jokes. THEY were the one catching up, not him.

    I was the one inviting them out and hanging out with them constantly. And still being left behind. Constantly. And being told stuff like "Hey can you ask X what he is waiting for to sit down with us?" Without them ever inviting me to sit down myself

    I'm sorry but this actively pissed me off. I am trying. I just can't do it. And if I try to be the extroverted clown it falls flat and people get annoyed with me, they don't find me funny at all
    I get it, it would be annoying, but you can't really do anything about the fact that you're not a "class clown" and that you are a more reserved and introverted. You can't just wave a magic wand and change your whole personality! I think that you need to know when to cut your losses. The thing is that not everyone likes us. I'm a really outgoing, friendly and social person and I have lots of friends. But I've still had people that didn't like me or fobbed me off when I tried to hang out with them. All you can really do is try to be a nice guy and be friendly to people. Try to make conversation and ask people things about themselves and seem interested in what you're saying. If people like someone else more than you then that probably just means that you don't have a true connection with those people. If you see that people are leaving you behind, just let them. This guy is not the problem here, I think the issue is that those girls are not your true friends. True friends don't just ditch you. You need to stop ruminating why they like him more than you and what you can do to change. You don't have to change, you just have to forget about those girls and start trying to make new friends.

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    Originally Posted by ilostmynewun
    Because every time I interact with people they don't react to me as well as they react to him

    When this all started I was hanging around these two girls often. But still when he was around they would leave me ALONE, literally alone, to go talk to him. Despite the fact that he made no effort at all to invite them out for stuff and would only go to classes and make jokes. THEY were the one catching up, not him.

    I was the one inviting them out and hanging out with them constantly. And still being left behind. Constantly. And being told stuff like "Hey can you ask X what he is waiting for to sit down with us?" Without them ever inviting me to sit down myself

    I'm sorry but this actively pissed me off. I am trying. I just can't do it. And if I try to be the extroverted clown it falls flat and people get annoyed with me, they don't find me funny at all
    Why are you trying to be someone you arenít?
    What is it about this guy that you find so interesting? And why berate others for feeling the same way? As in the girls that find him interesting?

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    Originally Posted by Billie28
    Why are you trying to be someone you arenít?
    What is it about this guy that you find so interesting? And why berate others for feeling the same way? As in the girls that find him interesting?
    Nothing about him is interesting. He has no hobbies or interests. He's just constantly firing out jokes. Also he studies a lot of useless things (to me) like make-up techniques, only so that it will give him more jokes to make around girls

    And why do you say I'm berating the girls? I feel self-hatred for not being able to connect with people as well as he does. Most of my hatred is directed INWARDS, to myself. The only problem I have with the girls is that they pay so much more attention and affection to him while they are often rude and inconsiderate to me.

    This doesn't mean I berate them. Again. It makes me berate MYSELF mostly, and it makes me feel inferior and unworthy

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