• Welcome! It’s great to see you.

    Our forum members are people, maybe like yourself, who experience mental health difficulties or who have had them at some point in their life.

    For more features and forums

coping in society

Eleison

Eleison

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 21, 2008
Messages
808
Location
London
It's complicated, but when I walk down the path, and people come the other direction, they don't give me space. Like, people with pushchairs are the worst, or couples, or even groups of three. Noone ever moves to let me pass. I end up walking in the road. Either that or get pushed past. I had a period of time when I dissociated and got very aggressive in response, so the safest option is to walk in the road.

The complication is that every day for over 10 years I was bullied at school, including on the way home from school down the road. I seem to be in a constant hyper-vigilant flashback state to this, as well as being 'invisible'.

I feel so much shame.
Maybe I am seen as the neighbourhood crazy person. I hate that. At least if I don't yell at them, they don't laugh at me. But then I'm still invisible. I don't know what's worse.

I'm working on it in therapy, and slowly changes in my self perception are happening. But I can't change the fact that I'm only 5 foot tall and underweight and people don't see that I exist and have a right to space. And I can't make them. Why do other people get respect and I don't - ever? Can I respect myself? This is hard.

I just don't know what to do, this occurs over and over again. In many situations, not just walking down the road.
Paradoxically, walking on the road feels safer than on the path. At least cars and buses see me. Others, they just don't care.
Am I really so insiginificant? Is it too much to ask to have space to walk down the path?
 
A

Apotheosis

Guest
I am bigger, but I try to walk as confidently as I can - I walk like I am going to walk through people. I think it has an effect of making people respect your space. Try it.
 
W

woosie

Member
Joined
Jun 24, 2008
Messages
6
people and space

Yes, I know what you mean. I notice it in the swimming pool. I will start in one lane and find that people wander onto my lane and swim straight towards me and I have become quite adept at swimming around people all the way to the other end now!

It seems people intuitively know that we are going to move for them. There must be some signal we give that allows them to do this.

It seems daft but if you walk with your head down towards them, they know that you can't see them and they might move aside instead of you?

Like our friend says, walking confidently will probably make a difference. Don't think the height makes a difference.

Let us know how your next walk goes.
 
Yellowcoaching

Yellowcoaching

Active member
Founding Member
Joined
Apr 21, 2008
Messages
37
Location
UK
it's all about body language. Pick your path in advance whenever you can. so move to the left or right of the path and then stay on course. No-one wants to you to be rude here just assertive. If you meet the dreaded 3 in a line scenario (why these folks need to be joined at the hip is a mystery to me!) then stay the course and say "excuse me".

It's unfair to make someone walk in the road! If you have chosen your route to make it easier on others to share the path (pushchairs can be tricky to manouvre in tight turns) then they should allow you the same respect they want for themselves.
 
Last edited:
Aahbut

Aahbut

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 28, 2008
Messages
277
Location
Midlands
I am short, 5'7", for a man that's short. I have learnt that if YOU walk as if you have a purpose and are not going to get out of their way they will move. Stare at their forehead, they think it's eye contact, and smile. Boy does it unnerve some people, they can't wait to get out of your way. Muttering to yourself and dribbling is optional. :LOL:
 
yakuza

yakuza

Well-known member
Founding Member
Joined
Mar 20, 2008
Messages
812
Location
Edinburgh
I agree with the above posts,I think it comes down to assertiveness and body language.
Most times that I'm out and about it's walking with my dog so I tend to be wary of getting in people's way,I think it's wrong for me to just assume people will make space although we don't seem to have much common decency in the society we live in today!
 
Aahbut

Aahbut

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 28, 2008
Messages
277
Location
Midlands
although we don't seem to have much common decency in the society we live in today!
Plenty of respect though. I hear young people (thugs) saying respect to each other all the time. They would not know respect if it grabbed them by the throat and throttled them. . . . . . . I better go lay down in a dark room before I go off on one about kids today :mad:
 
yakuza

yakuza

Well-known member
Founding Member
Joined
Mar 20, 2008
Messages
812
Location
Edinburgh
Plenty of respect though. I hear young people (thugs) saying respect to each other all the time. They would not know respect if it grabbed them by the throat and throttled them.
I agree Aahbut,we cannot allow these people who are just bullies in our society,to intimidate us into never going out can we?
It's alright for me,I'm capable of looking after myself but there are many people who are frightened when they're out and about. :mad:

(rant over)
 
R

ramboghettouk

Well-known member
Founding Member
Joined
Jan 7, 2008
Messages
16,470
Location
london
My greek mind befriender was on about the black people in brent walking in the centre of the street and not giving way, he refused to give way to these youths at a crossing bumped into them, and they beat him up.

I'd rather not be beaten up, i just think about when they bump into a plain clothes police offficer, get agressive and end up charged with assaulting a police officer

Also my black neighbour, who i like talks about what he was like when he was young, a lot of young people are a bit touchy
 
KP1

KP1

Well-known member
Founding Member
Joined
Apr 4, 2008
Messages
1,500
As a mum of 3 teenagers I think teenagers get a bad press they are not all thugs. They do like going around in groups and wearing hoodies but it doesn't mean they are out for trouble.
I suppose we are lucky in the area that we live in and mine do avoid trouble.
I will still avoid some situations like a group of teens myself but if I am unable to I will look confident and try a smile. This is when I am ok. I have had times this last year of avoiding going out altogether so it is difficult.

I think though when you are out and feeling insecure about yourself the chances are the people you pass in the street have their own hang ups any way.
 
yakuza

yakuza

Well-known member
Founding Member
Joined
Mar 20, 2008
Messages
812
Location
Edinburgh
I don't believe that all teenagers are thugs nor do I believe that all thugs are teenagers.
I'm fortunate because I have physical training behind me but not all people are in the same position as me.
Society has lost respect for people nowadays,we don't tend to go out as freely as we did years ago because people are intimidated and frightened,and the problem is these idiots know this!
 
honeyquince

honeyquince

Well-known member
Founding Member
Joined
May 27, 2008
Messages
1,719
Location
Yorkshire
Before I got help with my depression I was considering paying one or two of these people to beat me up. Hey ho.

On the radio recently I heard about a research study looking at psychosis and paranoia and how we respond to people in public situations. They ran a computer simulation of an underground train and asked people to report on what they saw. The people on the train were all 'neutral' looking and it was amazing how people's responses differred. One I remember was the response to seeing a person on the tube laughing. Some people felt great about it - warm glow of seeing someone happy while another response was that the person was laughing at them. Needless to say this related to people's level of paranoia. They are also looking at using the programme to work with people with social anxiety issues.

This for me is key to walking along the street having what I guess is a high level of paranoia combined with low self esteem. I always read situations negatively and see people as out to get me. The low self esteem just leads me to believe I deserve it! This inevitably affects my body language and behaviour out and about. I always try to get well out of people's way but then resent it all later.

Anyway - here's a link to the BBC site with info. on the study: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/3251365.stm
 
Last edited:
yakuza

yakuza

Well-known member
Founding Member
Joined
Mar 20, 2008
Messages
812
Location
Edinburgh
Thanks for that link honeyquince,interesting stuff :cool:

Looking at the pictures reminds me of 'The Sims' game!
 
R

ramboghettouk

Well-known member
Founding Member
Joined
Jan 7, 2008
Messages
16,470
Location
london
I tend not to go out at night, i told one social worker that i avoid going out when the kids are coming home from school, he claimed everyone does that, funnny when you mention symptoms as grounds for help(i was after direct payments) they suddenly cease to be symptoms

I find the queue at the supermarket difficult, remember the bishop of london in his christmas message mentioning the sainsburys queue as an ungodly place, all those rules, the strong can bend them and get away with it but if your weak you'll be instantly picked on for the slightest mistake.

I do view myself as disabled now and see it as too stressful standing up for myself, i've heard words like rights but know things aren't that simple
 
Eleison

Eleison

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 21, 2008
Messages
808
Location
London
It's not so much kids and teens that the problem is with. It's older people. Including people my age.

I've tried different body language options, and it doesn't seem to help.

Maybe it's my unattractive appearance.

I also find supermarket queues really hard beyond hard. And people look at me like I've got 2 heads, and laugh, if I ask them to move back a bit to give me some space.

Yes, I do suffer from paranoid symptoms, well more like extreme hyper-vigilance and severe social anxiety.

I bought an MP3 player, and tried that when I walked to and from work yesterday. It did help, although in the hardest part, the busiest road, I can't hear the music because of all the traffic.

I refuse to become totally agoraphobic, avoidant and housebound, but at times I find the constant humiliation and disregard almost too much. It really pushes me close to the edge.
The thing is, when I walk in the road, then the person/people on the path move to the side to make space. After the event. Or they just totally don't acknowledge my presence at all.
 
Top