Thanks for your reply. I think I need to follow your example and do some research into communication, maybe starting with a book on body language, as I’ve been meaning to do.
I’m quite hopeless at communicating with other women: sometimes I’m too familiar, which offends them, but mostly I think I appear cold and/or nervous - I don’t usually attempt friendship overtures as I dread the inevitable rejection. I know that sometimes I bore people – I ramble on about things that interest me and don’t realise until I notice their eyes glazing over, or the stifled yawn. Sometimes I attempt small talk, to ‘fit in’ but I’m no good at it (when I try, I even bore myself). Sometimes I over-compensate and come across as trying too hard or trying to shock. Whatever it is I get wrong, I can only guess later on. Usually I have no idea I’ve pissed someone off until they either ‘tell me off’ (very humiliating, especially as I’m in my fifties now!) or start avoiding me.
For some reason, men don’t seem to get upset (why is that?) and I can just be myself with them. Consequently I’m relaxed with men and find it easy to be ‘mates’ with them, which seems to be another thing about me that women don’t understand and maybe don’t like (perhaps they see me as some kind of man-eater, who doesn’t like competition with other women. I'm not ‘one of the girls’) but what can I do? If I didn’t have my two current male friends, I would have none at all!
Putting a message on this site is itself quite strange and stressful. As soon as I did it, I wanted to delete it (but couldn’t figure out how). I’m not used to being open about any of this and felt like a mob of NTs would march up my street with flaming torches, and denounce me for being neurotic and self-obsessed.
Thanks for your good wishes, Tanya, it’s encouraging.