To think it's IMPOSSIBLE to make friends in some towns...

(172 Posts)
IncaAztec Wed 05-Dec-12 20:29:44

I moved here last year with DC1. Everyone has lived here since the year dot. Its very hard to meet anyone, let alone anyone who wants to go on a playdate/be friends. I won't name the town but I think my experience seems to be common in small provincial ones with few incomers.

I have tried to make friends but am foiled at every turn. An example: At a baby group (dull, but an example), I offered another Mum I had met and chatted to before my seat as she is very heavily upduffed. She took it and went off to talk with her friend, leaving me alone. Not even a Hi!

People are borderline rude at nearly all the playgroups. I go for my DC's sake these days. Anyone else in the same boat or want to name and shame their unfriendly, cliquey, rubbish town?

FunBagFreddie Fri 07-Dec-12 08:00:14

I sympathise with the OP. I'm in a village, but there's no shop or pub and only a few houses. Not really even a village. However, there is nearby small town. I regret ever locating to the area and the people round here are so insular. I've definitely not been accepted despite trying to be sociable. Me and DP have only made friends with one couple in 3.5 years of living here. sad On the good side, DS is at an excellent school.

I'm self employed and work from home, so my plan to stay sane is to work my arse off and then go back home to see my friends normal non-inbred people when ever I can.

This thread makes me wonder if some one else here lives near me.

RubyGates Fri 07-Dec-12 07:44:30

Arkady we're not that far from the Stowe, I'm in Edmonton and having travelled all the way over from Finchley so I'm an "incomer" too. Perhaps we could get an "eastish" London incomers' meetup group going?

RubyGates Fri 07-Dec-12 07:41:02

garlicbaubles, When we were on a river cruise on our honeymoon we moored in Tewkesbury for a day. Never have I seen so much of a "local look". It scared the heck out of me, being a Londoner.

There was a very strange atmosphere about the place as well. But again, there are geographical/flooding reasons for their insularity as well.

I was terribly glad to get back on the boat and sale off to cosmpolitan Hereford :-)

AlienRefucksLooksLikeSnow Fri 07-Dec-12 06:12:08

Oh duffy that sounds shit sad

AlienRefucksLooksLikeSnow Fri 07-Dec-12 06:10:52

I moved from Cambridge, I found it the most unfriendly place on the planet, my family still live there, and when I go,I know why I left. I moved to a very rural village, and it's taken me 3 years,but I have 3 friends, that I would call good friends, and some aquaintancy friends, it's really hard around here, and the old neighbours are unadulterated bastards!!! But the city people (Norwich now) are so lovely and friendly, anyone will talk to you, often think about moving into the city and away from this weird little village smile

DuchessofMalfi Fri 07-Dec-12 06:02:02

We have made some friends where we live but they are mostly outsiders like us who are just glad to find someone else to talk to.

Spinkle Fri 07-Dec-12 06:01:13

I have no friends here at all. I'm not a mad or horrible person but people already have a circle if friends and they don't need me. If they don't know your pedigree (am incomer) they are highly suspicious of you. I used to travel 'home' to see my old mates but it just hurt too much when I came back here. It's been 10 years since I saw them.

I have accepted it now. I have a DS with ASD so going out is tricky in any case. I work but it's not that social there.

Can't see it changing really. But I know I'm not mad, bad or dangerous.

DuchessofMalfi Fri 07-Dec-12 05:55:40

Oh Duffy it's the old single parent thing isn't it? They think secretly you're a predatory female after their blokes, so they're running scared. Be seen with a bloke and they will be all over you. Double standards. Bitches.

Chottie Fri 07-Dec-12 05:37:08

This is just awful, I am definitely going to chat to any young mum at the bus stop now. I usually chat to older ladies as there are a lot of widows around here.

duffybeatmetoit Fri 07-Dec-12 00:44:08

NanBullen don't knock the WI - they were the only group in my village to be genuinely friendly and welcoming, even though most were my mum's age. It has been the only thing that keeps me going. As I work fulltime and am a single parent and am the only person in my situation in the village it's really isolating.

The other mums in the village have been initially friendly but I am always being left out of get togethers and then told about how much fun they were. Followed by a "we must invite you next time" which never happens. I invited a family over for a BBQ which was declined on the grounds that they didn't have enough money to reciprocate and would feel awkward. I suggested a communal party where people brought some food but this was equally beyond their means. Roll forward a couple of weeks and a BBQ is in full swing in their garden hmm.

Resigned to being lonely.

JingleBellsRawSharkSmells Thu 06-Dec-12 23:08:37

I would move if I were you OP

Hobbitation Thu 06-Dec-12 22:50:36

When I was 17/18 and applying to university, I thought any large town city would be like Manchester (where I'm from) so it didn't matter too much where I went. Ha ha ha ha ha, oh dear. shock

Osmiornica Thu 06-Dec-12 22:18:46

<Waves> to NanBullen and Borednotboring smile

I don't think it's about not making enough effort. I'm not the shyest of people but I've really struggled round here. I think being out of work and not having that group of like minded people around you makes it more difficult.

garlicbaubles Thu 06-Dec-12 21:39:35

Agree about Brighton! I've always found London friendly. It helps that I'm a talker-at-bus-stops; for every suspicious Londoner there's another one who's happy to chat back. There's never any shortage of things to join, if you need to extend your circles, and the population's very transient, meaning most people know what it's like to be new.

Here - well, exactly as Creamtea quoted above. I hid my atheism and tried to join the choir and/or bell ringers. They hold auditions for both and charge a hefty annual fee. The one campanologist who spoke to me said she'd joined to meet people, eleven years back, and still had no interaction with the others outside of the bell tower. I put a notice up in the least stuffy bar/café, proposing a book club. No-one came.

It doesn't help that most people live in outlying villages or on farms. Just popping anywhere isn't an option for them. The villages are extremely weird!

happybubblebrain Thu 06-Dec-12 21:18:17

GreenandwhitePenguin - I agree Leicester is pretty friendly, although most of the friends I've made aren't from Leicester originally. I've heard the villages can be quite unfriendly though.

Brighton is the best place in the UK that I've lived, maybe not the friendliest but I loved living there. If the southeast propery market ever takes a nose dive I will be moving back.

Liverpool is a very friendly place, you only have to sit down for 5 minutes and someone will start talking to you. Whether you want them to or not.

The most unfriendly places I've lived were London, Sheffield and Banbury - in that order.

amillionyears Thu 06-Dec-12 21:18:16

Interesting thread this. I think when people come on to MN and say that they have difficulty making friends, we need to remember that sometimes it at least partly be because of the area they live in.

Creamtea1 Thu 06-Dec-12 21:12:23

The thing is, these people who aren't friendly have no idea, as they would never have dreamed of moving away from their roots in the first place. They can't empathise, as they have no experience of being "the outsider".


I wonder why all this happens? It's as though some people regard those who want to make friends as weak in some way, and therefore they assume the upper hand? It's like a power thing.

absolutely hits the nail on the head. I have been wondering if I am a freak for 10 yrs since living here, crying to my DH once about it and missing my best friend (who lives miles away) a lot. But the 2 paragraphs above exactly sum up what the problem is but also, sadly, explain the reason why I will never be able to change things. I will have to be glad of my acquaintances and accept this is it.

And I have never shifted the feeling they don't actually like me that much..

Chottie Thu 06-Dec-12 21:04:26

There are some really sad posts on this thread. What a load of narrow minded, unfriendly people there are around. When I was pushing a pram (that gives my age away straightaway!!) people always used to stop and talk to me. Obviously that doesn't happen now.

Perhaps we all should look and if we see someone new joining our class, group or whatever take a moment to say hello and welcome them.

NanBullen Thu 06-Dec-12 21:03:40

hello borednotboring

<offers gin>

NanBullen Thu 06-Dec-12 21:02:34

Osmiornica I'm north west of cambridge, have been in this village for 5 years. made "acquaintances" at baby group a few years ago but they all seem to already have existing friendship groups outside of this and they seem to have just gone back to those now our 1st dcs are at school now. No one i really clicked with.

i'm from up north and i think i just seem to be a bit more working class than people round here! not that people are really posh but quite a few meet up at church (i'm an atheist) and regard having more than one drink as "a bit naughty" confused

I'd just like to go out on the lash occasionally with some girlfriends and not talk about the kids for once! I'm perhaps to lowbrow for this part of the country wink

to be fair, before having kids me and dh were away most weekends either on our own or visiting uni friends or old friends from home so i never really noticed that i didn't have friends here. it's just now that i'm more restricted in time and money that i've realised <dim>

Hobbitation Thu 06-Dec-12 20:57:38

I live in a village, but there are a lot of incomers, and people are very friendly. Probably very few people who live here now grew up here.

borednotboring Thu 06-Dec-12 20:53:28

Another Cambridge village incomer here, it's definitely slightly odd here. We've not been here long, although the neighbours seem nice, definitely difficult make friends.

Nan Bullen and Osmiornica hello - (tries not to look too desperate and needy)

charlottehere Thu 06-Dec-12 20:50:15

YANBU. I lived in a lancashire village for five years, only started to make friends 3 years in and that was mostly other people who hadn't lived there for three generations. hmm Now live down saff, been here a year, in a village, people so friendly.

Agree with noddy, Brighton is awesome, best place I've lived smile I've lived in loads of places too.

Most humorously named was Badger's Mount though grin

Horsemad Thu 06-Dec-12 20:38:52

I hated Oxford when I worked there, have never met such unfriendly people!

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