My family of origin was never big on certain areas of teaching/learning/using manners and various social graces. As a young adult I frequently felt like I had been "raised by wolves" or something, compared to other people my age that I met at college, etc. -- I never had the right thing to wear, they more often knew what was expected at certain events than I did, they were better conversationalists, generally more graceful about dealing with life, more sophisticated and worldly and better connected, etc.
So I have worked really hard for like the past 18 or so years to try to "catch up" on these skills I didn't previously have. I think really hard, in advance, about what to say in certain situations, and rehearse things in my head, and generally giving a lot of attention to detail to my interactions to people, and when people do me favors I make doubly-sure to express my thankfulness, etc.
But people seem to get really irritated with me anyhow. Frequently. And I don't know why.
Some things I have been thinking about related to this are: Many of my old college friends are much more affluent than I or my family, and part of me wonders if they are just sometimes irritated to hear about lifestyles that are unfamiliar from their own. I appreciate having a variety of friends from a variety of backgrounds and with a variety of beliefs, but I sense this undercurrent in some conversations/interactions that they just would prefer not to be bothered hearing about something that is out of their well-trodden path, or something. They live in gated communities and go on expensive vacations, and I work temp jobs and get food stamps (I'm wildly generalizing here, but just trying to illustrate). Maybe I am out of their comfort zone just by being unlike them (although I am pretty not-shocking, I'm not into any kind of wild and crazy fringe living or something, nothing that eyebrow-raising). I also have recently been exploring a religion that is very slightly unusual and although I share about if it asked (we don't proselytize, one of the reasons I was appreciate of it), I don't talk about it constantly or anything like that. Yet people perceive it, and my interest in it, as so totally unrelateable somehow.
I am also pretty overweight, I wonder if they just don't want to be seen with me at events or if they think large people are disgusting (some people think this way, I hope people I know don't, but, maybe they secretly do).
Also I guess we are all a product of our experiences and although I care about these people a lot, I guess I just have some different values than some of them, probably also due in part to the extremely different lifestyles we lead.
This is another one of those questions where I am not sure exactly sure what I am asking for. One of those questions about navigating adulthood in general, when you're considered "different." But I have thought about these matters for a long time and I wonder why people I expect to have a positive or neutral reaction to me seem to have a negative one instead, and I'm surprised, or people I never thought would drop me on Facebook suddenly do so, etc. Like I said, I try really hard not to annoy (while also not necessarily doing/saying things just to fit in, I mean I am certainly different from many in my "crowd" in many ways that just can't be altered).
I have a new-ish "crowd" in my life too, and already I feel like some kind of clumsy street urchin in dealing with this new social group, when I go to this organization's events. So it's not just the old friends, the awkwardness/annoyingness I demonstrate to others seems to be chronic...
Despite all my efforts I often still feeling like I'm "doing it wrong" when it comes to social stuff. So, a very unspecific question. But-- any advice or comments?