Every friendship I have is based upon me making the effort, AIBU to get upset by this?

(128 Posts)
obtuseone Thu 14-Feb-13 08:33:23

Every friendship that I have is conditional upon me making the bulk of the effort, ie making arrangements, and making contact. Even commenting on Facebook photos and statuses. There have been a few occasions where I've stopped initiating contact in each of those ways and in every single time I've just never heard from the friend again.

It's happening again now with a schoolfriend, whom I've known for around 20 years. She seems to make an effort for lots of other people but not for me. It's always me making contact and suggesting meeting up. I've done her a variety of favours and helped her out a lot but she barely says thanks yet if anyone else does her a favour or she spends time with them she tags them on Facebook and thanks them profusely (yes I know Facebook isn't the be all and end all but she uses it a lot). She takes me for granted. So I've decided to back off a little and see if she makes any effort. Not heard a bean for 3 weeks now, so looks like that friendship will go down the pan too.

AIBU to be highly fed up with it all?

mrclaypolefan Thu 14-Feb-13 09:03:06

I have/had the same issue with friends, so haven't got any advice I'm afraid. It's frustrating and it seems very unfair when people in life that make no effort seem to have others flocking around them and remembering every detail of their life, whilst others that make an effort and try to be a good friend just get walked over.

YellowAndGreenAndRedAndBlue Thu 14-Feb-13 09:10:24

YANBU to feel upset. This must be very hard and hurtful.

But.... sometimes as people we repeat bad patterns over and over, so there is a chance you pick similar people to be friends with, which means you get the same crappy treatment.

Do you see any similarities across your friends, do you have a 'type'? I think just like some people always pick cheating boyfriends, other people pick selfish friends. Which means by understanding who is your type and why, you can make changes and find nicer friends in future.

pictish Thu 14-Feb-13 09:13:51

Yanbu. Perhaps it's time for you to not be quite so available and eager to please eh? When it's always you, people take you for granted. I speak from experience here. In my youth I was a pleaser and an effort maker, yet always felt vaguely ripped off somehow at the lack of effort in return. Well, I don't do it any more, and life is a lot simpler as a result.

Never make someone a priority, if they'll only make you an option.

Stick by that, and you won't go far wrong. wink

obtuseone Thu 14-Feb-13 09:16:47

YellowAndGreen I think you're right that I do pick a certain type each time. I'm not sure how really, they just seem to be the type that gravitate towards me.

pictish I find whenever I make myself not available and not eager to please friends just ditch me like a hot potato. Do you find if you just stop making an effort with everyone that people do or did eventually contact you? In the case of the friend I mentioned in my other post, I know she will make no effort unless I do, and will be happy to let me go as a friend. It was the same when we were at school really.

FallenAngel22 Thu 14-Feb-13 09:18:57

No YANBU. I have exactly the same with my friends. I have backed off and it means some of them I've not heard from for over 6 months. Sad, but there you go

INeedThatForkOff Thu 14-Feb-13 09:21:24

I have the same issue. I wonder if it's partly that very popular people have the likes of me and you doing all the legwork because they're nice to be around, so they just don't have to?

I also know that I've always been a bit unlucky with circumstances, for example my two closest friends left our (small) school to go some distance elsewhere post-16; others didn't return to our hometown after uni, whereas I did; my antenatal friends seem to be in the same situation as SAHMs, whereas I have to go to work and can't be around much; my work friends tend to be much older or younger and in a different position; other mum friends have closer friendships with each other because their DCs were born close together whereas my DD was a few months earlier.

I do keep friendships going though, and know someone else who feels she's always on the periphery too. Actually it works for me because I don't like cliquey politics.

Sorry for threadjacking, it was unintentional. Are you a friend to lots of popular people who don't need you as much as you need them? Or have circumstances prevented you from developing friendships as close as you would like?

obtuseone Thu 14-Feb-13 09:24:14

It's sad isn't it FallenAngel. I hate the way I have to frantically make effort all the time in order to have any kind of social life or any socialising during the day with the DCs. I feel envious of how effortlessly it just seems to happen for some people. One acquaintance in particular seems very much the type to just make no effort at all with people yet I see people are forever writing on her Facebook wall "We must meet up soon"

I can't remember the last time a friend remembered my birthday, or one of my DCs birthdays, yet I remember everyone's.

Sometimes I wonder if I would be better off cutting my losses with all of my so-called friends. At least my life would be easier and simpler, with less chance of being let down

obtuseone Thu 14-Feb-13 09:26:31

Bit of both I'd say Ineedthatforkoff. It often seems as though I view people as a closer friend than they view me. So I'll think I'm close to someone but then they will go and do something thoughtless that makes me think they don't value me.

Adversecamber Thu 14-Feb-13 09:28:13

I feel very sad reading your post, I'm a bit of a people pleaser. I must admit to making a new friend over the lat few months and it seems a lot more balanced than some friendships I have had.

I have had a couple of friendships like the ones you describe, I am going to be far more careful in future.

pictish Thu 14-Feb-13 09:32:07

Obtuse - yes, I precisely did find that they were ok to let things dwindle to nothing...so I deduced they weren't that arsed about having me in their lives and decided it was their loss. Then I learned to hold out for friends that were.
Who wants friends you have to make all the effort for, in order to have them bother with you?
It's a two way street imo.

obtuseone Thu 14-Feb-13 09:35:18

Adverse I'm glad you have made a balanced friendship now. Did you go into the friendship acting differently to how you have acted in previous friendships?

pictish I agree, it should be a two way street. I think inside I am scared of having no one at all if I did that, but then I guess having no one would be better than having friends that don't behave like friends

pictish Thu 14-Feb-13 09:39:06

I'm lucky, after learning the lessons I did in my youth, I went on to become a self contained and choosy adult. I have a good social life with many...but count on and genuinely care about few.

obtuseone Thu 14-Feb-13 09:42:31

I wish I'd learn the lessons in my youth pictish. I'm in my thirties now.

Do you find you have to do much organising in order to have a good social life?

Fishandjam Thu 14-Feb-13 09:51:15

Me too OP, to a certain extent. (YANBU, of course.) And I really know what you mean about being scared you won't have any friends if you don't make the effort.

I've come to the conclusion that friendship is overrated!

I always seem to end up being the fall back friend that gets called on when no one else is available, I'm a nice person and will do anything for anyone within reason but I'm sick of putting myself out.

I'm a loner by nature and I'm honestly not that bothered that I don't have at least one good friend, I enjoy my own company. At least by being this way I don't feel constant disappointment from being let down.

Looks sad written down but I'm ok with it smile

pictish Thu 14-Feb-13 09:54:45

No...it turns out that as a pleasing myself grown up, I'm pretty crap at organising things.
I find that these days, people tend to come to me.

I have a small handful of friends that I regard to be very good ones, and I tend to put in a bit more effort for them.

Otherwise, I just go with the flow.

CailinDana Thu 14-Feb-13 09:55:28

IME in order to be treated well by friends you need to be secure in yourself, speak your mind, and demand respect to a certain extent. If you're a people pleaser who won't speak up you will get walked all over.

pictish Thu 14-Feb-13 09:57:20

Agree Cailin.

YANBU at all. I used to be the same. I did what you have done, and withdrew a little and stopped making so much effort. I now have 3 or friends that I ca ncall true friends. I may not see them very often, but when I do, nothing has changed. I have 1 friend who I see every day that is lovely. Always willing to help (and me her) I just don't allow selfish people in my life any more, and that includes family

I think it's a good idea to let people go if they are not really good friends. This will open up the space in your life to go out and make new friends.

I do think there is something a little bit off in your logic though. When I think of my friends, they are people that I really enjoy spending time with -- we have good talks, they make me laugh, we do fun things together or have common interests. It's not really about effort or favours. It's not like anyone owes you friendship just because you put effort into it.

I think you should focus on finding new friends who you really connect with, then the friendship will just carry on naturally without you feeling like you really have to nurture it.

CailinDana Thu 14-Feb-13 10:01:37

Agree bohemian, very good point.

obtuseone Thu 14-Feb-13 10:03:51

If I speak my mind people never like it. I'm not someone that can get away with it

Mumsyblouse Thu 14-Feb-13 10:05:01

I don't have the time for endless Facebooking and meet-ups and to be honest, it all sounds a bit intense. I have lots of great friends, but not hearing from them for 3 weeks wouldn't worry me at all, sometimes I only touch base with them every 3/6 months but then we have a 2 hour chat. I have closer friends I talk with weekly, but not every friendship needs to be quite so full on, when we are busy with work/kids/life in general is exhausting.

If I didn't hear from a friend for three weeks, I would just call them for a chat sometime, I wouldn't assume they didn't want to be friends and get all huffy about it. Facebook is responsible here for leading people to think that silly messages are a mark of true friendship, which they are not.

EuphemiaLennox Thu 14-Feb-13 10:05:57

OP you mention 'frantically' trying to stay in contact and arrange things.

Why are you doing this?

Why are you trying to be friends with peoople who you feel would just drop you?

This 'social life' you are working hard to maintain is so superficial and based on sand that it really doesn't sound worth the effort.

My advice to you would be:

Get off Facebook- it advertises people's 'popularity' and 'social lives' and breeds the type of competitive neuroticism you're experiencing. It's doing you no good.

Think about who are really your friends. If you can think of at least 2 you're doing well. Then keep in contact with them off Facebook.

Decide what's important and how you actually want to spend your time. You'll probably find you have been focused on doing things that don't actually make you happy.

Think deeply about why you've got to a position we your are 'frantcially' trying to maintain relationships with people who you feel don't care about you.

Sounds like some time for some reassessment.

CailinDana Thu 14-Feb-13 10:06:06

It depends on how you do it and the nature of the friendship obtuse. You don't have to be a certain type of person but you do have to be able to gauge situations and tell whether the person is "friends" with you because you're convenient and a pushover or because they genuinely like you. If they genuinely like you then speaking your mind (within reason) will not be a problem.

KnittedC Thu 14-Feb-13 10:10:49

YANBU OP, I'm the same as you (and a few of the other posters on this thread). I think I do tend to gravitate towards a certain type of person and I suppose I shouldn't be surprised that things play out the way you've described. For me, favours and kindness and punctuality are really important-I'm always reliable about meeting up, remember birthdays, offer to pay for coffees etc; but often my friends aren't as reciprocal.

I think I'm realising now that it's not worth getting upset over people who don't make the effort. I'm really lucky in that I've got a great family, brilliant partner, and a lovely baby on the way so I'm not apologising for allowing myself to get wrapped up in family life. The friends that continue to make an effort with me (old and new) are the ones I'll bother with.

OP, perhaps you should do the same-back off from your existing friends and let them come to you? Then you know that the ones that do are worth your friendship.

JaneyLiz Thu 14-Feb-13 10:14:01

Can really relate to all of this. In the past I've definitely tried really hard to instigate things often to be blown out at the last minute. I've ended up feeling hurt and rejected. It sounds sad but I've stopped relying on friends to give me a social life. Instead I'm trying to do courses, join things (want to join a choir) and have regular activities that I don't need a friend to do. That also means I meet new people and make new friends.
l have a handful of good friends who I see about every six weeks - not much. I've given up on the idea of having a friend I can see every week.
I think that there are far more people in this position than let on.

ChestyLeRoux Thu 14-Feb-13 10:16:15

I am partly the other way round in this.Its not that I dont want to see or contact certain peope but when you have a lot on its hard to fit it in.

Then when youn meet new people some get really full on and are texting,fbing you all the time or if you go somewhere with a different group of friends they get the hump with it.It really puts me off those people.I dont do it to offend but I have loads of friends,work,kids,family,dh to fit in and if someone keeps getting on my case constantly it winds me up.

However in your case it sounds like some people are using you if I accepted a favour I would be very grateful and would always help you in return.

CailinDana Thu 14-Feb-13 10:18:44

I think there is definitely too much emphasis from some people on favours and reciprocal gestures. Friendship isn't about point scoring and "proving" you're good to each other, it's about a genuine mutual respect and a desire to be around each other because you enjoy each other's company. I am a "popular" person but I am very very cagey about favours because I don't like getting into that sort of mire until I'm very sure about a friendship. That takes time. And even then, if I do do a favour, I do it because I genuinely like that person and want to help them out with something, not because I ever want to be repaid. If someone takes the piss and asks for a lot of favours without ever reciprocating then I just say no and I might reconsider the friendship if I think I'm being taken advantage of. Generally though, my friends and I rarely do each other favours.

As for birthdays and things, I don't really care if friends remember them or not. Some do, some don't, I don't mind. I have no problem saying "it's your turn to get coffee today." Sitting back and expecting certain behaviour from a friend, then getting annoyed when they don't fulfil your ideas is a recipe for disappointment. You have to be clear what you expect. I've talked to friends in the past about their timekeeping, their consideration for me etc and the friendships have always ended up stronger for it.

LadyBigtoes Thu 14-Feb-13 10:19:39

I am a crap friend at the moment, because with work, running the house, 2 small DC who don't sleep well and some health and family issues, and no family support, I'm just too exhausted. DP is lucky if he gets a look-in before I conk out every evening, and he's similarly busy and knackered. There are also loads of other things - household jobs, admin, hobbies etc - queueing up for my time and attention.

I'm aware that my friends often do the running by getting in touch and asking me to do stuff. I try, and I manage once in a blue moon to set something up and see it through, but it's hard. Like so many things, it's something I plan to focus more effort on when both DC are in school, when I can sort out my work/life balance better (I'm freelance), other issues are dealt with and I'm not so tired.

BUT, I do still appreciate my friends, even if I don't see them that much. I think when you have small DC you have to be tolerant with each other about friendships. Also, if someone was making a huge effort to maintain a friendship, and I couldn't reciprocate, I'd just feel guilty and hassled, IYSWIM.

EuphemiaLennox Thu 14-Feb-13 10:22:46

Why would people not 'let on' JaneyLiz? It sounds a perfectly pleasant and normal way to be.

Again I think it's Facebook- where you have to advertise yourself and your life and then you read others 'adverts' and feel inferior, but continue to strive to match their socail whirlwind lifestyles.

Get Off Facebook OP.

And live a real, if quieter life, that you don't have to constantly measure against others.

(am I the only one who still finds it amazing that grown women use Facebook in this way?? I think maybe it's because I'm older but I'm only 40 fgs)

Fishandjam Thu 14-Feb-13 10:28:42

Euphemia, I'm not on FB and I sometimes (not always) feel this way.

pictish Thu 14-Feb-13 10:30:04

I think cailin and I are cosmic friendship handling twins, because I could've written that.
I'm not big on being giving tbh, regards favours and what not...I struggle with meeting the requirements in my own life. I get on with shit myself, and as far as I can tell, so do my other close friends. We are not in and out of each others houses or pockets.

Having said that, my good friend called me at 7am last week and told me she was desperate for a babysitter so she could go to a job interview, as her mum had let her down. It's the first time she has ever asked me for a favour for anything like that, so I knew she needed it. I was delighted to help.

My close friends are that because I enjoy their comapny and I can relax and be myself with them, warts and all.

Everyone else is a nice to know.

LadyBigtoes Thu 14-Feb-13 10:34:59

Oh yes and I can't be arsed with FB. I have one FB friend, DP, so I can see the updates and photos he posts (not in a snoopy way, with his blessing!) and through that vaguely keep in touch with some of our friends, but I would never want to get into a position where I was upset by what someone's post, or lack of, might mean etc. I sooooo don't have time for that.

CailinDana Thu 14-Feb-13 10:35:34

If I have a new friend who is keen to look after my DS for me or do me other favours I find it quite suffocating and I usually turn them down and don't make as much effort to maintain the relationship. The reason being that people who are quick to offer favours are usually two kinds - needy, with a desire to make a "close" friendship very quickly (which just doesn't work IME) or a user who will do one favour and then expect to be repaid forever more. My friends might ask me things as a once off (like your interview example pictish) and I'll always help in those circumstances but people who expect ongoing exchange of service just scream "hard work" to me, I'd much rather get on with my own shit and not have to think about someone else's needs too much - I have enough to deal with from my own family.

CailinDana Thu 14-Feb-13 10:37:39

Oh and I don't get the FB thing either. I'm connected to people I'm interested in, and actually like. Unless they post something directly insulting to me, then I don't care what they say, why would I? It really surprises me that people agonise over posts - makes me wonder if one of my boring updates might have upset someone confused.

CailinDana Thu 14-Feb-13 10:43:23

Basically, for me, friendship is for fun and relaxation, not for service. If a friendship becomes hard work (for reasons other than the friend falling ill or suffering a tragedy) then I just stop bothering with it.

Yep I agree with Cailin and pictish too, it's not really that often that I feel my friends and I are doing each other favours, and I confess I don't really keep track that well in terms of who is putting in more effort.

Why do you feel you can't speak your mind? Can you give examples where that hasn't worked out?

pictish Thu 14-Feb-13 10:48:07

yy to all of that cailin

obtuseone Thu 14-Feb-13 10:48:40

Looks like I am doing a lot of things wrong then sad

I really am shit at this friendship lark

Fishandjam Thu 14-Feb-13 10:50:06

cailin, if you knew that by not bothering with a friendship any more, you'd just not have any friends, would that matter to you? Often I've decided I'd rather be lonely than always be the one putting in the effort, but sometimes it does make me sad.

pictish Thu 14-Feb-13 10:52:32

This is so true.

If I have a new friend who is keen to look after my DS for me or do me other favours I find it quite suffocating and I usually turn them down and don't make as much effort to maintain the relationship. The reason being that people who are quick to offer favours are usually two kinds - needy, with a desire to make a "close" friendship very quickly (which just doesn't work IME) or a user who will do one favour and then expect to be repaid forever more.

Ah yes, the benefit of experience eh? Yep yep and thrice yep.
You live, you learn.

No no, don't get down on yourself!

Yes there are things we can do to have better friends but it's also down to luck a lot too.

Don't beat yourself up, just get rid of the people bringing you down and make a fresh start.

Fishandjam Thu 14-Feb-13 10:55:06

pictish - I must be needy or a user then. Though I thought I was just being kind...

pictish Thu 14-Feb-13 10:57:26

Don't be offended fish - really.
Most of us end up keeping the company that suits us. That's how it is. You gek with those with the same expectations and values.

pictish Thu 14-Feb-13 10:57:47

gek? I meant gel

Fish I've had a couple times in my life where I had practically no friends. Yes it sucked at the time but in hindsight I can see that it gave me space to change my life for the better, to meet new people, to do lots more things for myself, to read and listen to music and be creative.

It's also a bit better now because even if you don't have real-life friends you can at least come on MN or other places and have a wee chat with people.

So I do think better to be alone than hanging onto people, they just make you feel bad in the end.

Pandemoniaa Thu 14-Feb-13 10:58:50

Agree with CailinDana. I'd happily do favours for friends but my friendships are not be based around favours, let alone lived out on Facebook which is always an extremely artificial measure of the good time other people appear to be having.

I'd feel very suffocated indeed if I felt I had to keep a tally of good turns or of who had, or was, organising what. Life's a bit busy, tbh and my group of friends work around much more spontaneous "cup of coffee, this morning?" sort of arrangements.

Also, while I like to think I am a good friend and will always support friends in whatever way I can, I avoid, like the plague, people who want to form cliques or spend their time excluding or backstabbing. I was recently nearly caught out in this respect but luckily, realised that the person who seemed so keen on being a far closer friend than I'd have expected, merely wanted me in her circle of people to play mind games with.

You sound like a very nice person, OP and I suspect that the problem is not with you, it is with the type of friends that you find yourself surrounded by. Friendships are about fun and relaxation, they should not leave you feeling low and doubting your ability to sustain them.

Oh sorry, x-post Fish

I get what you mean, I'm the type of person who will offer to help someone out just after meeting them, I mean why not?

What I've learned though is not to do this with everybody. You can kind of tell when people will like it or not. Where I grew up it would be no big deal, but that's not true of everywhere I lived.

Fishandjam Thu 14-Feb-13 11:09:47

I definitely don't keep a score of who I've done good turns to. Just like I don't give a toss who remembers my birthday or not (as I'm totally bone at remembering other people's!) I offer to help out because I feel that's the kind thing to do; if it gets returned, great, if not, no biggie. Don't like the idea that ulterior motives are being ascribed to it though!

And the memory of being one of the unpopular ones at (horrid, cliquey, all-girls) school is bloody hard to shake off, even at nearly 40.

Ooooh Fish I was also one of the unpopulars at an all-girls school <fist bump>

To this day most of my friends are men.

pictish Thu 14-Feb-13 11:43:57

Fish - can I clarify it for you somehow?

I am friendly with a good few of the nursery mums at school. I have known this lot for two years and I'm fond of them all. I don't drive and often get offered lifts by any one of them. I think they are all very kind.

Another mum I've met twice, briefly, as a friend of one of the above, saw me standing at the bus stop waiting to get the bus round to school - I waved to her. 5 mins later she screeches to a halt beside me having dropped her own kids off at school, and come back to get me! I graciously accept, make chit chat, then bid her cheerio.
Next I get a friends request on fb...which I accept as we have lots of mutuals. She messages me offering to pick me up tomorrow. I feel prickly and decline.

A social night a week or so later, she plants herself firmly next to me and conversationally fixates on the breakdown of her marriage a year ago. She doesn't care that I'm not interested and didn't ask.

There are kind people, and there are needy people. Cailin and I know the difference. Trust us. x

obtuseone Thu 14-Feb-13 12:11:02

Oh gosh no pictish I wouldn't do anything like that. People that act like that make me shudder! There is one mum at my DCs school that tries to foist herself onto anyone and everyone, offering favours, everything from taking their child to brownies each week to free gym day passes at the gym she goes too. I can tell people feel uneasy with her but she is so pushy and so full on that people accept and probably regret it afterwards

In my case, I end up being asked to do favours. I don't tend to offer to do many things these days, purely because I didn't want to get thought of as a needy saddo.

pictish Thu 14-Feb-13 12:29:58

I didn't think you would OP - that's the more extreme end of my reasoning.

I am also wary of kind, favour doing people, simply because I haven't the time (or inclination) to invest in a relationship of swapsies. Even if the person does not expect a damn thing in return, I am not one of life's takers, and I would always feel a debt was owed.

Therefore, I prefer the company of the self sufficient.

ChestyLeRoux Thu 14-Feb-13 12:36:06

I agree with pictish thats who Im on about.I have many of times ended up with these stalker type friends.

obtuseone Thu 14-Feb-13 12:37:21

I think the people I class as friends are probably in the category of life's takers.

pictish Thu 14-Feb-13 12:39:51

Well then OP you have answered your own dilemma. Ditch the takers, and save yourself for those who share your values. It may only be two or three people, but they are worth their weight in gold.

pictish Thu 14-Feb-13 12:40:42

Chesty - I used to, but I see them coming a mile off now and bodyswerve neatly.

ChestyLeRoux Thu 14-Feb-13 12:53:06

Yeah I do now.Before I used to be polite and laid back,and next thing Im trying to avoid their barrage of texts or trying to corner me.Then if you do make an excuse they blank you for small periods of time.

CailinDana Thu 14-Feb-13 13:03:57

Obtuse, the reason you're attracting people like that is probably because they know they can take from you. If you just refuse to do favours they'll soon learn you're not a mug and move onto someone else.

Fish - to answer your question, yes I'd rather not bother than have "friends" who aren't really friends. There's just no point in chasing after people who have no interest. It's better to let that kind of people go and work on cultivating real friendships with people who are genuinely interested.

pictish Thu 14-Feb-13 13:04:45

Point being, the overt givers sometimes turn out to be the ultimate takers.

reallyyummymummy Thu 14-Feb-13 13:21:32

I am surprised how many people are something like me and also the way "popular" people view friendship.

I wish I could have an easy going attitude about friendship but nowadays my automatic default is that if they are interested let them come to me. I don't ask people for coffee anymore - fed up of people pretence of it all.

obtuseone Thu 14-Feb-13 13:47:53

I find I also get my fair share of women being generally nasty to me and doing things that belong in a playground, which doesn't do my confidence a lot of good. Last summer a friend invited me on a night out, and she brought along another friend that I hadn't met before. Anyway, her other friend kept taking the mickey out of me all night, asking me questions about myself and then when I replied she'd repeat things I said in a mocking tone, and both would collapse into peals of laughter. They also both had a lot of private in-jokes it seemed as they would both say something very random and then again collapse with laughter. I felt like I'd only been invited so that they could be catty.

Then another time I got invite to a hen weekend. I only knew about half the women that went and was room sharing with two women that I had not met before but that knew each other very well, and they too were very bitchy to me, doing pathetic things like hiding my make up bag and making nasty comments.

CailinDana Thu 14-Feb-13 13:53:00

That is seriously nasty behaviour obtuse, unusually so. I've never experienced anything like that. I think it was more than likely bad luck that you ended up with such bitches, but out of interest did you object at all to how you were treated? In the first instance you describe I would ask the friend to stop mocking me and if she did it again I would walk out. In the second instance I would never ever share a room with women I didn't know - far too awkward.

obtuseone Thu 14-Feb-13 14:00:21

Yeah I walked out after about an hour and a half, phoned my DH and he collected me. My friend sent me a text and said I was oversensitive but I ignored her and haven't seen her since.

On the hen weekend I just grinned and beared it but definitely wouldn't share with someone I don't know again. I think it was probably bad luck like you say.

Pandemoniaa Thu 14-Feb-13 14:04:15

It's very nasty behaviour, obtuse. How did you meet these unpleasant so-called friends?

obtuseone Thu 14-Feb-13 14:05:37

Friend one I knew from school, although to be fair she did treat me that way at school too. She was only mates with me when she chose to be and then other times would just turn on me, and if ever anyone said anything horrible to me she'd side with them and join in. So I should have known better really.

The other ones I met via a friend on the hen weekend.

Pandemoniaa Thu 14-Feb-13 14:08:04

Certainly she's no friend really, is she? Which is why I'd suggest making new friends who don't come with unpleasant baggage from way back.

YellowAndGreenAndRedAndBlue Thu 14-Feb-13 14:14:34

i think you need to seriously rethink your deinition of 'friend'. These people sound horrible, I wouldn't have put up with it for more than two minutes.

CailinDana Thu 14-Feb-13 14:19:16

Obtuse - I am extremely picky about who I'm friends with. I meet a lot of people but I only have about 5 good friends, collected from down the years. I have a few other friends that I am in contact with sporadically but for various reasons I don't consider them close friends, just people I care about and like to keep in contact with. I "broke up with" my best friend of ten years when I was about 23 because of her behaviour. My point is, I am very selective, and I don't put up with any shit.

I am "popular" and I do make friends easily but that doesn't mean I have hordes of people around me at all times. I have pretty high standards in what I expect from real friends - otherwise I just consider a person an acquaintance and leave it at that level.

CailinDana Thu 14-Feb-13 14:21:03

My point is, there are plenty of people you will meet in life who might want to be friends with you, but the important thing is whether you want to be friends with them. You should accept "friendship" from someone who doesn't really care about you, or someone who uses you to big themselves up and make themselves feel better.

Fishandjam Thu 14-Feb-13 14:22:22

I get it pictish - I hope I would not behave like that. How embarrassing and frankly creepy! I might offer help once or twice, and then leave it (whether or not accepted) on the basis that the recipient knows where I am if they need anything in the future.

Hehe dreaming, girls-only schools are grim aren't they! Socially at least, if not academically.

Fishandjam Thu 14-Feb-13 14:25:01

OP, those people sound vile. Better to be friendless than put up with that kind of shite.

CailinDana Thu 14-Feb-13 14:26:31

Sorry that should say "you shouldn't accept friendship..."

woozlebear Thu 14-Feb-13 14:29:53

I really sympathise. I have a habit of being drawn to really outgoing, popular people, and so many times it's gone exactly the same way - for a while, years even, you see each other around loads, have mutual friends amd activities, so keeping in touch and arrangins stuff is easy. Then when circumstances change and it requires real effort, they can't cope with not being the centre of attention, and get huffy when one call to me goes unanswered for a few days. When I call back (often after making about 5 attempts which they don't answer!) they make a massive deal about me being rubbish at keeping in touch and basically demand and admission of 100% guilt and an apology from me. In the last few years, when I've just given up - lo and behold I never hear from the again.

A really interesting case happened at least a year after I finally stopped bothering with one friend - I called her by accident, and she called me back within half an hour. It was bizarre - she'd talk to me even after a year, if she thought I'd made the effort, but couldn't be bothered to call me of her own accord in over a year confused. I think some people are pathologically obsessed with feeling wanted and are only interested in people who will do all the running and make them feel adored.

I've lost all my good friends in the last 7 years. 3 in the same way as above, 2 I introduced to each other, they became best friends and no longer had time for me and one who was fab before but has spent a year saying 'I'll call you soon, I promise' and never ever ever ever does. I don't really care day-to-day. But when I think about it it makes me think what's wrong with me?

Sorry for hijack - I was really trying to say I understand and it became quite cathartic!

JaneyLiz Thu 14-Feb-13 15:07:07

Woozle bear - I can so relate. I am also in danger of hi-jacking, but it is very carthartic to post about this.
I have found that often friends don't survive transition phases - its fine when its easy/natural to meet up but when life changes and effort has to be made, then I can feel if I don't make the effort then nothing will happen.
I've come to accept that just because a friendship works for a time in your life but doesn't survive transitions, doesn't mean the friendship was not valid for that particular time(if that makes sense) By thinking that way, I accept that not all friendships last but that's ok.
I also say to myself 'people give what they have to give' By that I mean everyone has limitations. Not everyone is good at initiating things ( or indeed has space in their head to think) Even if I feel I do all the work with arrangements, if I feel my friends are genuinely happy to see me then thats ok ( one friend will thank me for do the organizing cos she knows that with her hectic work/lifestyle she wont get round to it)

obtuseone Thu 14-Feb-13 17:47:01

I've had the friends going off together thing no less than 3 times! Once years ago at college. Once in my early twenties, and once more recently, around 2 years ago. It's hurtful but I've come to expect it now tbh. People just use me as an option or a stop gap and as soon as someone better comes along I don't see them for dust

Pandemoniaa Thu 14-Feb-13 18:02:04

I've come to accept that just because a friendship works for a time in your life but doesn't survive transitions, doesn't mean the friendship was not valid for that particular time

That makes absolute sense. For example, I made several friends when my dcs were babies. What we had in common, in the main, was the fact that we lived in the same town and had children of the same age. Obviously, we shared some broader interests but basically, once the children got older and went to different schools, we drifted apart. There were no fallings-out or any drama at all but the friendships just gradually faded into pleasantries exchanged if we ran into each other in the High Street. But during the time we were all closer, those friendships were valued and valid.

It seems to be obtuse that you've had the misfortune to make friends with people who haven't left the playground behind. Good friends don't use people as stop-gaps and neither do they need to go around in gangs of two.

ProphetOfDoom Thu 14-Feb-13 18:42:49

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

JohnSnowsTie Thu 14-Feb-13 19:12:30

Schmaltz I have the same situation with someone who makes me feel guilty about not being in touch, never mind the fact that I was the last to arrange a meet-up. It's quite wearing and I dread her messages as they tend to be passive-aggressive complaints and insurances that to be a giod friend you have to be in each others' pockets. She's a relatively new friend and all my old ones are the type you pick up where you left off after months and everything is great/no one's got the hump.

I do feel like a crap friend re this girl but I think it's just a matter of conflicting expectations.

JohnSnowsTie Thu 14-Feb-13 19:14:01

*insistences, not insurances.

Ilovexmastime Thu 14-Feb-13 20:56:03

I agree with everything that schmaltz said.

ProphetOfDoom Thu 14-Feb-13 21:17:16

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

gimmecakeandcandy Thu 14-Feb-13 23:07:51

Yanbu op - there seems to be a lot of women out there who like hiding 'power' in friendships - they won't make an effort, post on fb etc as they expect their friends to do the running. I know some peripheral friends like this but just leave them to it as thankfully I have a good group of mates who are always there for me and I for them with no crap!

obtuseone Fri 15-Feb-13 22:42:56

I just seem to know so many people like that, gimmecake

One friend has people literally clamouring to see her and I don't know why. I wouldn't say she's that nice a person, she is quite full of herself and abrupt yet people are always writing on her facebook wall that they want to meet up with her. I met her on a forum and people are always travelling to her town, journeys of up to 100 miles + just to meet her

digibouti Fri 15-Feb-13 23:19:19

I have had experience like yours OP. In fact, I currently have two friends who are exactly like you described. It's sad because when we meet up, we have a good time, but it makes me feel sad that it's always me suggesting to meet up. I've already cut down contact/meet ups with them and now am wondering whether to stop completely.

Interestingly, I once had a friend who was really bad at keeping in contact (we lived in different places so didn't meet often face-to-face). I hadn't heard from her (despite sending a couple of texts and emails) for about 6 months, so I figured she probably didn't want to keep in touch anymore. Around the same time, I met up with a couple of other mutual friends, and didn't invite her. Surprisingly she was quite upset when she found out we had met up without her! I really don't understand some people - I think they live in a different world to me.

Jomato Sat 16-Feb-13 05:46:13

This thread makes me feel like a really terrible friend. I don't try as hard as a lot of people seem to and it seems that is interpreted by a lot of you as being self centred. I would never think that if I didn't contact a friend for three weeks they would interpret that as a lack of interest and feel hurt. I'd feel awful if they did but it would also be a sign to me that I not have the emotional energy to maintain that friendship. I have a stressful, emotionally draining job that sucks the life out of me at times, I have a 1 year old and a husband, some weeks I don't have time for much else. I have lots of friends, some I am in touch with more regularly than others, some I see more than others, that is usually related to stage of life rather than how much I value the friendship. I can not speak to my best friend for months without it having any impact on the relationship, it doesn't mean I don't care and wouldn't prioritise her if she needed me.

Tertius Sat 16-Feb-13 06:55:52

Others have said it but I would find 3 weeks no time at all not to hear from friends. I don't keep in constant contact with mine - and I know some of my more intense friends have let me slip into the mental group of being 'an ongoing friend but low maintenance'.

A lot of this is just about different expectations. I have a big family and they have always fulfilled the daily leaning on part. I love my friends dearly but see them rarely.

So I see myself as more like the friends you are feeling let down by than like the op.

Tertius Sat 16-Feb-13 07:12:14

To add to this - my DH has got masses of friends. Most if the really old friendships. He makes no effort at all but considers them ALzl to be really great friends. All so easy and uncomplicated. They also seem to feel the same. They do meet up every now and then and take each other for granted. And that seems to me to be a sign of a proper confident friendship.

goinnowhere Sat 16-Feb-13 07:38:14

I have lots of old friends. We too don't worry if a couple of months go by without contact. Everyone is busy.
Another very old friend wants to chat on the phone once a month and it drives me mad. She refuses to believe I really have to work in the evening and that time is precious. A quick text or email until we meet is fine.

Lollybrolly Sat 16-Feb-13 08:13:35

How weird I should see this thread this morning. I was up crying (pathetic I know) last night until very late and feeling generallyb very very down about my lack of friends.

I had a moment whilst unloading the dishwasher last night where I suddenly realised I have no friends. My best friend of 28 years has moreless dumoed me so she can have an affair - she does not have time for me anymore as she has to keep every spare moment free in case he can"escape his wife" for a quick shag. We live miles away and she cannot risk being on the phone to me unless he calls or is passing or she has to doing other stuff at home to cover her tracks - so simply has no time for me any more.

I left it for several months and not once did she get intouch. I called her a little while ago and told her it was ridiculous. We have always had the type of friendship where we may not call for 3 months etc if life was busy but then make up for it by meeting for the day or at least setting a date. I said we needed to organise a day and could she let me know what dates she was free and I would do my best to be free then too. Followed up with a few texts and fb messages over 3 or 4 weeks saying "Do you know what Saturdays/Mondays you are free yet?" and I still have not had a response. I am devestated. This was my last ditch attempt at this friendship. 28 years - gone!!

So for the past 8/9 months I have been making effort with lots of other friendships, more local but no one returns my calls or when they do they cancel at the last minute. I am always OK when there is nothing better going on but if a better offer comes up I am always the 1st person to get dumped. Since Xmas I have been rather low and unwell and not made any effort in keeping intouch and no-one has been in touch with me. Not txt, not FB message, no emails, no invites, certainly no calls and no knocks on the door . Nothing.

It was my 40th birthday last year and I organised a girls night out to celebrate. Meal a restaurant and then perhaps a few pubs/bars. I had to cancel because despite everyone saying they were coming the week before they all had something better come up and cancelled. DH was away and the kids away too. I spent the day on my own instead.

Sorry to go on - its kind of nice to let it out because I just soldier on and on but it does bloody hurt. I dont think I am clingy or possessive or anything weird but there must be something wrong with me because frankly I feel so bloody alone in the world.

So no OP, you are not alone and yanbu to feel hurt.

Yakshemash Sat 16-Feb-13 08:26:34

See, this is where introverts like me have it easy. Friends are bloody hard work. A quick coffee once a month is more than enough maintenance for my tiny handful of friendships. All this playground power-play on Facebook is a bit childish, no?

Yakshemash Sat 16-Feb-13 08:31:10

Lollybrolly sorry to hear about your 40th. But I really don't think you can expect friends to fill the place of your DH and children. If they were away, that's sad, but honestly, having big get-togethers for 'landmark' birthdays is not universal, really. I think a lot of people would struggle to drum up a big gang of friends after the age of about 28.

Oblomov Sat 16-Feb-13 08:55:35

I too seem to make all the effort. And if i don't it just disintergrates into nothing.
My best friend lives 3 hs away.
Everyone mum I speak to is going for coffee. I'm not, though.
I want to be able to have a close friendship, where people can come round to my house for wine or coffee and have a good moan and a giggle to me about thier........ nursery/bt/dh/ anything they want to. But no one seems to want to share those kind of things, that I (maybe wrongly) seem to think binds a friendship and creates closeness - sharing.
You would think at 40, I have fathomed this all out, but it continues to be a total mystery!!

dimsum123 Sat 16-Feb-13 09:25:38

I also seem to have no friends. I had to let go a long standing friend recently because I felt she was taking the mick in agreeing to meet at a certain time and place and then simply not bothering to get there even remotely on time.

She is one if those people who has loads of friends and people will travel miles to see her. It must make her feel like she can do anything and she will still have loads of friends so doesn't need to bother being on time etc.

I used to have more friends a while ago when I was depressed and ill. People would call me to meet up, come round to see me etc. But since I have got better and am in good health they all seem to have lost interest. I suppose i should be grateful that i had people there for me when i was very ill, but why do they not want to know now that I'm better?

Tulahoob Sat 16-Feb-13 10:02:44

I do think the key to being very popular/sought after as a friend is being selfish and self centred. People like that always seem to come up smelling of roses, with people desperate to ingratiate themselves with them.

I have a number of people like this on my Facebook friends list. They are all on various groups that I'm on, they are all top dog of the group that they are on, with everyone desperate to be their friend. It's sickening

dimsum123 Sat 16-Feb-13 10:23:59

Yes I agree. My friend is totally selfish and self centred. She has loads of friends but they change all the time. Many people have dumped her but she always blames them for whatever issues they had and just moves on.

I just can't be like that. I do actually care about people. She only cares about herself. And she is not choosy about who she spends time with. Some of her friends I thought were awful but she doesn't seem to care as long as she is surrounded by people and feels wanted and popular.

ProphetOfDoom Sat 16-Feb-13 17:10:22

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Ilovexmastime Sat 16-Feb-13 18:08:58

I'm amazed by the way some of you are talking about your friends. You sound likeyou don't like them at all and that you may even be jealous of them. I pick up on this with certain 'friends' and then start distancing myself from them. Maybe this is what is happening to some of you? (Not all of you)

dimsum123 Sat 16-Feb-13 18:52:40

I'm not jealous of my friend. I feel sorry for her mostly. But yes recently I feel I have lost respect for her because of her behaviour (eg trying to trick her various boyfriends into getting her pregnant because she was getting older and time was running out).

Ilovexmastime Sat 16-Feb-13 20:12:18

Fair enough!

Ilovexmastime Sat 16-Feb-13 20:12:53

(You, not her! )

Fishandjam Sat 16-Feb-13 20:20:48

Well, I think it's kinda cool that all us Billy No-Mates can get together on MN and share a kvetch.

Ilovexmastime Sat 16-Feb-13 20:24:21

I think it shows that there are friends out there that you can make, it's a numbers game really.

Joiningthegang Sat 16-Feb-13 20:54:14

I worked with someone who once said "you have friends for a reason, a season, or for life"

This was 14 years ago and makes absolute sense to me.

Some friendships need maintenance, some don't, some people are the initiators for doing things (me included), just because others dont make the effort doesnt mean they dont like you,

Your op sounds like what my mum would call "cutting your nose off to spite your face"

loobloo Sat 16-Feb-13 20:55:17

So pleased I found this thread. I've been feeling the same too lately, I always text people to see if they want to join us when we go out. But very rarely get texts from others if they are planning things. The other day 3 out of 4 people replied with 'busy on play dates elsewhere'. Why do we never get invited to any ones house for a play date? I believe I am pretty well house trained and my child is well behaved. We just get forgotten about.

Joiningthegang Sat 16-Feb-13 20:55:26

Also - some people are takers - they dont deserve you xxxx

loobloo Sat 16-Feb-13 21:00:04

It makes me really sad that people forget me. But I feel even sadder for my DS, who's missing out on activities and socialising because I'm so forgettable.

i do think you're picking the wrong friends op.

the good friends i have have taken a while to make. no swapping favours or doing things for them (although obviously i'd try to help people in need. just that you can spot the users). and i definitely speak my mind although i think there is a nice way to do this - which i'm still learning but much better at than i used to be!

you'll start to sort the needies and the bullshitters from the genuines. then hold onto them because they'll stay with you for life.

i reckon out of 20 people i know i might get on with 1. and for every 5 i get on with, 1 will become a really good friend. i'm happy with that and find that i have enough friends.

about 5 years ago i found that i was lonely and didn't have good friends so i made it a priority to have coffee with lots of different people. that also yielded results and i got a couple of good friends from that.

also, after trying a couple of times with someone, if they have excuses and it doesn't work out i don't pursue it. and most importantly don't take offence. there might be a myriad of reasons why they don't want to meet up.

thinking the best of people is another helpful trick. no-one likes someone who's bitter or resentful. just let it go. think of a good reason why someone has let you down and move on.

i've even been de-coffee'd! someone asked me for coffee and then effectively withdrew the invitation. i guess she realised she didn't really want to get to know me better. perhaps i remind her of someone she knows and doesn't like.

it's none of my business what people think of me.

Ilovexmastime Sat 16-Feb-13 21:31:21

Well said.

Tulahoob Sat 16-Feb-13 21:46:22

Don't mean to hijack the OP's thread but how do you speak your mind nicely Claudedebussey? I find however nicely I speak my mind, or try to, someone takes offence!

i guess i say 'in my experience' or 'what i've found is'. 'sometimes it seems'.

i think the spirit in which it's said is actually the most important. this will sound cheesy, but if you say something with love and goodwill in your heart it will generally be ok. if you say something for the right reasons, and not to hurt or put down or just be plain argumentative then i do think it comes across better.

of course a lot of some people don't like me. that's ok. i'm not that easy to get along with because i don't go along for an easy life.

i feel more comfortable with that than going along with the crowd just to fit in.

BooCanary Sat 16-Feb-13 22:14:59

I don't spend much time 'investing' in friendships. I have a handful of old friends and a few mum friends. Enough friends to have the odd evening out or weekend away with - friends I have a shared history with and who I care a lot about.

However, I like my own space and can't be bothered with trying to be popular. I have decided against a night out tonight with some mums from school who are really just acquaintances and quite cliquey, and am chilling out in my PJs instead.

I expect I seem to some like I don't make an effort. I am rarely the one who organises things, and don't tend to exchange favours, although I am more than happy to help a friend in need.

Now and again I get upset that I haven't got stacks of friends, and have to remind myself that I kind of like it that way.

It's been said before but isn't all about expectation?

For me a true friendship is not about how often you see each other but that relationship when you are together. And giving your friend space to live their lives, respecting that we all have our own families and responsibilities and ways of dealing with those.

Friendships also take time to build. They don't happen overnight. I think the slow burners are the best ones.

Also, I think that it's really important not to make your friends responsible for your happiness. That's your job. You need to find out exactly what you want from your life and make sure it happens.

It's really unfair to burden your friends with that responsibility.

Tulahoob Sat 16-Feb-13 23:41:37

Great post iusedtobefun2! Definitely food for thought for lots of us!!

Murtette Sun 17-Feb-13 00:45:15

I love the phrase about a friend being for a reason, a season or life. That rings so true to me.

Having felt that I was always the one making an effort with friendship, I've made a real effort to become wiser in forming friendships and more realistic as to what to expect to them. This has lead to me not initiating contact with a couple of friends who I felt were takers, realising that some of my friends are simply busier than me (full time job, more children, caring for eldery relatives, voluntary work on top of full time job etc) so don't have as much time for me as I do for them and so I can't expect them to be free when I am, realising that some friends aren't as busy as I am so will be more available without being "needy", realising that some people (such as the lady two doors away) isn't someone I'd necessarily pick to be a friend but our DC are in the same school year & (at the moment anyway) seem to get on well so this other lady & I are bound to see a lot of each other & call on each other for favours so I may as well do my best to get on with each other and that other friends are what I consider to be true friends who I may sometimes call or email two or three times a week but then not speak to for a month depending on what else is going on in our lives but who I know will be there for me if I need it. I've also learned that what gives me pleasure may not give the same degree of pleasure to someone else - I enjoy cooking and hosting so often invite people over for lunch. I've realised that a friend who hates cooking & is very house proud but feels she never has the time to get the house to the right standard is never going to invite us over for Sunday lunch. On reflection, I've decided that I find Sunday lunch at ours such a relaxing affair, especially as they tend to bring a couple of bottles of nice wine, that I'll keep inviting them even though the invite is unlikely to be reciprocated. On the other hand, it does bother me if I spend ages choosing a birthday present for a friend only for them to forget my birthday and then for this to be repeated the following year & the one after that. So I now take my steer for whether I buy gifts for friends and their DC from my friends, if they buy for me/my DC, I buy for them; if they don't, I don't.

I've also learned to listen more.

JohnSnowsTie Sun 17-Feb-13 02:44:43

I think one of my main problems (as someone who would be perceived as making little effort) is that I'm an introvert, and not a big talker. If I see someone too regularly, I find I have nothing to say and it feels awkward.

When my friends from school and I get together, we always have a brilliant time and at some point in the evening someone will inevitably say "we should do this more often" (I've said it myself) - but we all go on to agree that it's precisely because we don't do it too often that we have such a good time.

Lessthanaballpark Sun 17-Feb-13 08:03:24


Some of your friends sound very juvenile and i sense that that they treat you this way because you are a people pleaser. Which frankly isn't very nice of them.

So, stop being so nice, get in touch with your inner "don't give a fuck" person. Start posting some boastful pictures of yourself and your brilliant DH and DC. The fact that you have a great DH makes you luckier than a lot of people believe me. Don't leave comments for them. See if they start making an effort and if after a month they havent, screw'm! It'll ruin your self-esteem to keep chasing people that don't reciprocate.

Just make yourself happy! Join a new club where you can have acquaintances not friends, because that way you won't feel socially isolated.

Besides you'll always have Mumsnet smile

Losingexcessweight Sun 17-Feb-13 08:39:15

What area are you in op?

I have the same problem. I dont bother with friends anymore

MoodyDidIt Sun 17-Feb-13 11:11:51

I have/had the same issue with friends, so haven't got any advice I'm afraid. It's frustrating and it seems very unfair when people in life that make no effort seem to have others flocking around them and remembering every detail of their life, whilst others that make an effort and try to be a good friend just get walked over.

^ came on this thread to say this!

its so annoying and soul destroying sad

MoodyDidIt Mon 18-Feb-13 11:56:08

oh yeah and there is a Mumsnet group on the dreaded Fb for making friends, someone on here set it up months ago, there are 100s of mners on there looking for friends locally to them (hope that doesn't sound sad or owt, it really isn't!)

i for one met a couple of lovely ladies on there (ok that actually does sound quite dodgy grin )

so if any one would like to join pm me!!

shewhowines Mon 18-Feb-13 13:34:14

I have old friends that I don't see for month and months but when I do it is immediately comfortable.

I have friends that I don't see so much of, now that we are at a different life stage, but I value their friendship even though i no longer put in much effort.

I have friends that I see more often now, because it is easier both logistically and is less effort. We just seem to naturally "click".

I have found that as I have got older I have got lazier and am not prepared to put in the effort that I would have done when i was younger. It does not mean that there is anything wrong with people, but they may feel the same as the op if they are feeling sensitive.

I have suffered angst in the past when people do not seem to particularly want to keep in contact with me but what I have come to realise is, that you need to take friendships for what they are. What will be will be. I wouldn't say I was popular but I wouldn't say I was unpopular. I am not a people "pleaser" or a "taker".

I think that sometimes you 'blame yourself" as the op has, when actually it is nothing to do with you at all. It is the type of person and what they need/are prepared to invest in a friendship. Maybe consider friends who are not your "usual type" and look outside your comfort zone or in new places for people with similar interests/ life stages.

I also think it is very difficult to break into established friendship groups. I am very resistant to people joining in on close friend get togethers - not because i probably wouldn't like them but because I don't want to change the dynamics of our group which is easy and no effort. (i don't worry for more casual mum get togethers). I'm not proud of this but I think it could explain some friendship issues that people on here seem to have.

In essence don't take things personally. I like lots of people but have no time or energy to develop new friendships . You are probably well liked Op. You just haven't been lucky enough to meet people who can offer you what you want. I think I would really struggle if I had to start completely afresh with friends. I think most people would.

shewhowines Mon 18-Feb-13 13:45:29

i also think it is about respect. A true friendship is where friends respect each others efforts and limitations. You need to respect yourself though and not accept "inferior" friendships.

A true friendship is balanced with give and take, both of which may change at various times but if you find yourself always "giving" then it is not a true friendship. One person may make more of the effort in arranging meet ups/ telephone call which is ok if it is balanced in other areas of the relationship.

shewhowines Mon 18-Feb-13 14:39:44

Spent too long thinking about this in the shower.

Not everybody is as confident as they appear. If you have always done the running then you suddenly stop making the effort, then many people would take that as you not being interested anymore. (eg the poster whose friend rang back immediately after she misdialed her but didn't/couldn't get in touch of her own accord. ) It may be wise to have a jokey conversation such as "it's always me calling you - you need to call me next time". Then at least if they don't call then you know where you stand completely. Don't make all the running in any future new friendships and don't be too keen to offer your help. That will naturally evolve as you get to know each other. It would put me off as other posters have said. Don't appear needy.

Also its always the "nice guys' who get shat on in romantic relationships. You need to do a very watered down version of "treat them mean to keep them keen". People unconciously sp? need to feel they have to work to get something worthwhile. They won't value you as much as they would, if they had to actually invest something into the relationship. Again if they're not prepared to invest in your friendship then you know where you stand quickly.

One of my best friends was only an acquaintance for many years. She is not naturally bubbly which attracts people and makes people feel at ease with them. It took a long time to actually get to know her well, but how many people are missing out on a great friend because of it. Again not a reflection on her, but probably a source of frustration for her as far as friendships go.

shewhowines Mon 18-Feb-13 14:45:07

And if i knew there was an expectation that I had to be in contact frequently then that would scare me off too. I don't want to feel pressure or feel guilty when being someones friend. It needs to be easy.

Ilovexmastime Mon 18-Feb-13 15:05:29

shewhowines is talking a lot of sense!

This thread has really got me thinking about friendship, thanks OP!

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