It would be wise to see a therapist about this issue. I do not suggest therapy because there may be something “wrong” with you. I am suggesting therapy because a therapist could objectively assess your behavior in each of the aforementioned situations. The two of you could analyze exactly what was said in these situations, how you approached these people, and so forth. This type of interaction analysis may be needed to determine what is exactly occurring in these situations.
It may be that you are misjudging your own behavior towards others. It could also be that you are misinterpreting social cues and this hampers the possibility of new relationships. The fact of the matter is that at this point in time, something is amiss and the exact cause of the problem has yet to be found. It is therefore important that you meet with a trained professional who can fully assess your behavior and can instruct you on how to best interact with people. It could be that with a few tweaks, you can begin connecting with others and building new relationships.
According to Psychology Today’s website, they suggest “establishing eye contact and smiling at people. Experiment with clothes, hair, or makeup that might attract more attention? Even venture a nice comment such as, “I love that pin you’re wearing,” or “Is this not the most beautiful weather?” Stranger things have happened than small talk spawning a nice conversation and even a relationship. Also, it might help to remind yourself that you can’t control others but have some measure of control over yourself. So try to replace needing others’ affirmations with your own self-appraisal. How wonderful if our sense of self-worth derived more from whether we feel we’re a good person than how some self-absorbed egotists treat us.”
This article has been updated from the original version, which was originally published here on April 21, 2008.