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What the Un-Friendly Woman With the Very-Friendly Husband Needs to Know

MsDora, Certified Christian Counselor, has spent three decades empowering young and adult women to pursue positive, productive womanhood.


The unfriendly woman describes herself using terms like "shy", "not talkative", or "busy" depending on the occasion.

To substitute for the words she uses, some people would use words like "proud", "unapproachable" or "cold." If she doesn't smile, they add terms like "sour pus" and "stone face."

Her very friendly husband defends her with “She’s real sweet when you get to know her.”

Aloof: Some might say "proud"?

Osprey by Mike Baird

Osprey by Mike Baird

You bet, he's right; but does anybody really want to know her? His female friends are likely to have one of two reactions to this unfriendly woman.

  • The conscientious women may choose to avoid both man and wife since they feel awkward talking and laughing with him, while his wife hangs around looking like she’d rather be elsewhere.
  • The callous women may interpret the wife’s aloofness coupled with the husband’s charisma to mean lack of fun in the union; they want to vote themselves in as the substitute source of pleasure for the husband.

What Is She Hiding?

In the first place, how did her frosty personality manage to attract such a warmhearted companion? She cannot be as uncaring as she would have other people believe.

  • She has a fair amount of charm.
  • She uses it when she wants to—like when she saw the man she wanted for a husband.
  • At the heart of her unfriendliness are qualities like self-centeredness and indifference which allow her turn her friendliness off and on as she pleases.

That’s her prerogative; but we know—that she knows—that she’s hiding some of her best qualities. Her husband would benefit from her revelation of the magnetism that pulled him to her. He likes it when he can enjoy the company of his friends without having to make excuses for her unfriendliness. His friends also feel more comfortable when they perceive that she is comfortable.

So let's help out the unfriendly woman with some meaningful advice for her own good. Addressing her directly is not intended for confrontation or attack; but more like a heart to heart appeal from a previously un-friendly woman with a very-friendly husband. The author's been there and recommends five proven tips.

(1) Break out of Your Shell

So you’d prefer to stay home alone or with your husband, but he wants to join the crowd. Negotiate. Ask for a limit on the time you’ll be required to spend acting friendly. Then psyche yourself to break out of your shell for that period.

You may have some fear about whether or not his friends will like you. They have the same fear about you. The reasons for fear (on both sides) may soon be disproved when you begin to interact with them.

Give compliments about hairstyles or shoes. Ask questions to keep the talker talking, and pay attention like a good listener. Put in an occasional sentence about something you read or heard on the news. It really doesn’t take much to break your silence. You’ll soon find yourself being friendly without effort, especially if you don’t keep looking at your watch.

Do yourself a favor and join the party

Photo by Arba Hatashi

Photo by Arba Hatashi

(2) Smile Deliberately

Make eye contact and smile. If you keep looking and walking straight ahead, your smile will not register as genuine.

Smile as if a pleasant thought entered your mind as soon as you saw the person.

You have the ability to generate pleasant thoughts. What were you thinking when you realized that your husband picked you over some of his other friendly female interests?

You don’t have to talk to express friendliness. Let a look of affirmation or approval accompany your smile.

(3) Be Courteous

The opposite of courtesy is rudeness. For example, your husband is speaking with an acquaintance you don’t know and don’t care to know. You interrupt the conversation to remind your husband that it is time to leave; and you ignore the other person. Ignoring her is rude.

Say hello. Even introduce yourself if your husband is not mindful to do the introductions. Smile and apologize for interrupting, which you just had to do because your husband is having so much fun and lost track of the time. (Don't mention the real reason for interrupting him when you do).

Regardless of what else his friends think about you, don’t let them prove that you’re rude.

(4) Play for the Team

You and your husband are a social team of two. Display your closeness while you interact with the friends. Make an effort to listen to someone whose speech or humor interests your husband. Show interest if he is telling the story. Laugh at his jokes. Let them see that you admire him.

Maxwell Anderson, the poet advises “If two stand shoulder to shoulder against the gods happy together, the gods themselves are helpless against them while they stand so.”

It is difficult to see an unbreakable bond between two people when one is usually sweet and the other is usually bland. It helps your image of strength and loyalty when your friends see you sharing each other’s interest.

Share each other's interest.

Photo by JunCTionS

Photo by JunCTionS

(5) Be Friendly and Responsible

When the friends finally admit, “You’re really friendlier than we thought,” you can respond with, “Isn’t it funny how much we think alike?” Then release your vulnerability slowly.

To keep the friendships wholesome and happy, set boundaries around the kind and level of interaction you will have with your husband’s friends. Remember that the friends belong to both of you, and that secret sessions with them are never appropriate; neither are private discussions about him or without him. Just a reminder!

Now embrace the new friendships. Greet and entertain the friends with an air of confidence. They will to bring out the best in you and you the best in them. You don’t always have to be available; but when you are, be friendly!

© 2011 Dora Weithers

Comments

Peg Cole from Northeast of Dallas, Texas on February 04, 2014:

Thank you, MsDora, for being so understandig in light of a different perspective. I so admire you and your wise words.

Al Wordlaw from Chicago on February 04, 2014:

Hi PegCole17, Actually your point of view is totally different from where MsDora was coming from. Your ex-husband was besides being friendly. He was perhaps too friendly to the point that he may have neglected you and gave more attention to others so, you have good reason for stating and justifying your unfriendliness case. I thank you for voicing! Cheers.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on February 04, 2014:

Peg, I certainly appreciate your view from the other side. You're not being argumentative; you're teaching by sharing your story. Donna Warner who left a comment yesterday also had a valid point.

It is easy for us writers to zero in a certain perspective when we want to make a point. There's so much more to think about than what we think we know. Now, I have another article to write. Thank you, sincerely.

Peg Cole from Northeast of Dallas, Texas on February 04, 2014:

Hello again, Ms. Dora. My comment yesterday was more than just a passing cliché. I had typed a long winded explanation and deleted it for fear of being argumentative which I do not want to be. Just hoping to be understood if at all possible. There are those who think it's okay to judge or label someone who doesn't fit into their mold of the perfect wife or who doesn't seem friendly enough based on their particular standards. There are always two sides to a story. When my ex husband was busily engaging all the single women at his office, taking them to lunch and gossiping with them, getting late night phone calls from these women who "needed someone to talk to", it was difficult to join in the conversation when we were expected to socialize with them. I was definitely viewed as "unfriendly". One woman boldly called me at my place of work and told me she'd come by and let me know all the reasons why I shouldn't marry him. (How I wish she had done so.) Pasting on a fresh smile and engaging these women would have made me a lot less "stuck up" but frankly, I didn't have the energy at the time. I only said this in case a short walk in someone else's shoes might help turn the eye of condescension in a different direction.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on February 04, 2014:

Word, I appreciate your opinion from a male point of view. It's one thing to be a "stuck up" woman; quite another thing to be a "stuck up" wife. Thank you.

Al Wordlaw from Chicago on February 03, 2014:

Here's another unique display of relationship observations. Just think, a man may want to marry a particular woman but she may have a hang up like the unfriendliness describe herein. Friendlier and openminded ladies usually win the man. We used to use the term, "stuck up" when a girl was unfriendly. There is possibly a profound reason or more of why she's unfriendly but she is not excused, however. Thank you my sister for such a friendly point of view.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on February 03, 2014:

Thanks for your observation, Donna. I appreciate your comment.

Donna Warner on February 03, 2014:

To be an introvert in an extrovert society is difficult enough without other people trying to "fix" you. Aren't the quiet, shy people entitled to their own personalities just as the life-of-the-party types are? https://scontent-b-ord.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-prn1/t...

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on February 03, 2014:

LoveDoctor, your Dad is an answer to the question: "Is love enough." sure he loves your mom, but beyond that he is tolerant and understanding. Thank you for sharing.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on February 03, 2014:

Peg, thank you for reading and letting me know that at least, there's something to think about.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on February 03, 2014:

Colleen, both you and your husband are lucky to have each other. Thank you for sharing, and the best in marriage, going forward.

lovedoctor926 on February 03, 2014:

Great hub. I always learn something new when I read your articles.

My dad has been married to my mother for over 40 years. My mother has always been a very cold-hearted person. It's not a very good personality trait; however, my dad is and has always been in love with her. I'm glad that I'm an extrovert. People often tell me that I have a charismatic or charming personality.

Peg Cole from Northeast of Dallas, Texas on February 03, 2014:

This one has given me a lot to think about, Ms. Dora.

Colleen Swan from County Durham on February 03, 2014:

Charm is best controlled and never pretentious. My hubby can rely on me to be his support in company. When we are alone he enjoys hearing what I really think. Nice Hub, voted up.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on December 10, 2012:

Lucky and charming. Remember she knows how to keep her husband interested. She's just stuck up when she chooses to be.

Michelle Dee from Charlotte, NC on December 09, 2012:

Sounds like she's lucky to have a husband who sticks by her...........

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on December 29, 2011:

Thanks to you, Mathira. I appreciate your comment.

mathira from chennai on December 28, 2011:

Good advice,MsDora.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on September 07, 2011:

I agree with you Ania L; and if your husband doesn't always do what you expect him to do, let him in gentle tones what hose expectations are. Thanks for your affirmation.

Ania L from United Kingdom on September 06, 2011:

Great tips - easy to follow yet so powerful :) Still I would expect from my potential husband not only to introduce me to everyone but also help me feel comfortable in such a situation as I would dd the same for him.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on August 13, 2011:

Good idea, Gistng, to start paying attention. I love it when someone figures out what to do. Thanks for stopping by and encouraging me.

GlstngRosePetals from Wouldn't You Like To Know on August 13, 2011:

Great hub sometimes I feel as if I'm rude without trying to be. There's times when my husband is talking to me and I just space out and agree with him not hearing a word of what he was saying. I'll have to keep some of your tips in mind and start paying attention more so I know what I'm agreeing to.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on August 05, 2011:

I could understand why you back down from talking, moonlake. Many people might react the same way. However, I'm gald that you don't back down from courteous, even when other people are. Talking is not the only way to communicate your virtues.

moonlake from America on August 05, 2011:

I get this from people all the time as if they think I'm not friendly. I am shy and sometimes that does make things hard. I will always be friendly to people at check outs and a waitress. I'm never rude when it comes to people who are helping me. Even if their not that great at their job.

What I'm thinking often shows on my face. I've tried talking to people to be nice. I once said to a lady at our son's wedding "Your daughter has such a beautiful voice." She said to me "She's not my daughter." stuck her nose in the air and walked away instead of explaining to me. I found out later it was her niece but she didn't bother to tell me that.

When that kind of thing happens to me it makes me back down from talking with people because I worried I will say the wrong thing.

I enjoyed your hub.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on July 24, 2011:

Ronnie, I posted your comment so my women friends can see your email address. Good to know you're friendly but I may have missed whether or not your single.

ronnie guntalidad on July 24, 2011:

please if you have a woman friend that looking to a simple guy please can you introduce her to me, my email is ronnieguntalidad@yahoo.com, I'm a friendly guy

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on July 02, 2011:

Thanks mattdigiulio! I appreciate you.

mattdigiulio from Los Angeles on July 01, 2011:

Great hub. voting up, awesome.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on July 01, 2011:

What a story GracieLake! Thanks for your affirmation and thanks for sharing.

GracieLake from Arizona on July 01, 2011:

I knew a woman like this who was bound by her shell of diffidence. She made people think she was angry and stand-offish. She was really hiding a soft heartedness, but doing it in a way that ultimately did her in. Last summer, she died unexpectedly of a heart attack in her 40s, and we were all shocked. Attitude, I think, had much to do with this. Thanks for writing about this. Thumbs Up!