87

I'm a trans woman, and have been (still am, potentially :/) the kind of person you describe in your post. First thing to understand is that you literally can't stop them being nervous or uncomfortable. It's just a fact that shopping for gender affirming clothing is scary, because of the way society treats gender nonconformity (GNC). Especially for people ...


32

I worked as a sales clerk in clothing about 15 years ago and we did have the occasional male presenting person shopping for female branded clothes. One of the things you already picked up on is not asking who they are shopping for. Don’t make an extra fuss about it, just greet them as you would any other customer and tell them you are around if they need ...


27

I've experienced this too when my sister invited me to get-togethers with her college friends (she was also in the arts, in a very tight-knit cohort). The main strategy I used to re-insert myself into the conversation was indeed asking questions. You mentioned that you did ask questions, but usually to clarify. So I hope this doesn't repeat too much of what ...


21

I have a number of trans woman friends who have shopped for women's clothing while still being male-presenting. One important thing, as I think you've realized, is not to be too enthusiastic towards them -- treat them as you would any other (female-presenting) customer. If you start telling them how happy or excited you are for them, that's probably just ...


19

I wil advocate against any welcoming strategy. The best way how to approach "different" people is not to care for their "difference" at all. Treat every customer as anyone else - no matter their skin colour, preferences, clothing, eye colour, hair length. Being oversupportive is as bad as treating "others" as creepy ones. In both cases one is drawing ...


15

Signs of shame Not showing 'shame' is easier if you first understand how shame, and feeling ashamed, is usually communicated. This image shows a typical (but maybe somewhat exaggerated for educational purposes) example of body language usually associated with shame. Wikipedia says about the identification of shame: Nineteenth-century scientist Charles ...


12

I experienced a similar situation when I moved to my husband's home state as a newlywed. "Our" friends were his friends from college and single life, plus a few of their significant others. I found a few things that helped. First, shared activities. When just sitting around, it's tempting for the established friends to fall into in-group jokes and ...


11

I'll start with different people are different, and what works to communicate with one person may not work for others. It's possible you'll need different techniques for one or more of your friends. I also tend to be a direct person. But it's also not always about how direct one is; for some people it's about the apparent potential for confrontation. ...


6

I have been in this situation and situations very similar to this one before, this is how I handle this. Usually when this happens (with friends or very good friends) either me or another of the people in the group will try to divert the conversation. You and others did this, but it did not work. If this still fails after, let's say three tries, then ...


4

I've faced the same problem, but from your wife's position. I've lived in this area for 40 years. I get together about once a month with an old friend for dinner and to catch up, and we often talk about former co-workers and jobs. When my wife joins us, I'm sure it can get a bit tedious for her. There are two separate approaches for dealing with this. ...


3

My way of handling situations similar to this is to excuse myself from the conversation saying something like: This really isn't a topic I feel like discussing right now, can we get back to [insert previous topic]? This is usually enough with my friend group to softly burst the story tellers bubble a bit so to speak, this gives others a chance to ...


3

Though there's already an accepted answer from Kate Gregory, I'd venture my experience because I think that the accepted answer should be Step 2. While Step 1 should be: "Assume good intentions". The person might be thinking that they're being helpful and that you would appreciate their help. In which case starting with a harsh response would be ...


3

Funny enough I have been in both ends of this. I have been the friend that someone else fell for and I had some liking of a friend that was nice to me and I thought he was flirting. So first, don't ever tell her you just see her as a friend. I don't know why but that irks me. And I think it irks other people too. The friend I told you about, was clearly ...


2

I can only say that from my personal experience, I have had salespeople go out of their way to indicate that I was welcome in their store, even though I did not fit the stereotype of the people typically shopping there. Each time I appreciated it. Before they approached me with kindness, I felt out-of-place, awkward, closely watched, afraid, and unsure if ...


2

I think you're actually not asking directly enough. If someone asks me Are you free Thursday night? I don't know what they're actually about to ask - do they want me to meet them for a one hour dinner? A three hour concert? Do they want me to hang out for boardgames with a larger group of their friends that I don't know? I want a way to gracefully ...


1

I have the same problem in the gym with guys who come up to me and tell me I'm doing an exercise wrong. Say Thank you for your advice and get on with your day. You do not owe them an explanation for why you are ignoring their advice. If they press the issue, keep it focused on your right to ignore them, which is absolute: My rights in this matter ...


1

I completely understand what you are talking about, I also need breaks between social interactions. Lets call our introverted girl, Emma. she had two close friends, Kathy and Sharon. Both Kathy and Sharon were very extroverted and the three friends spent many happy times together, but it was much more draining on Emma to socialize for long periods of time ...


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