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Depressed about friendships/social life

(70 Posts)
SugarMouse1 Sun 13-Oct-13 15:53:30

Advice/ hand-holding really appreciated.....

While I have a few friends from various places, recently no-one seems bothered about meeting up and have started more or less ignoring me.

While they are not close friends, I don't understand why so many have done this around the same time, it makes me feel like shit

They are long-term friends from school/uni and various places but not that I see like every weekend or anything anyway. I've never had any for years that I've been that close to. One friend is having a bit of a crisis, but lives in a different town, deleted her FB, her phone and her family wont tell me anything, only that she is 'fine'. I'm still worried though. Another is male and got into a new relationship with a girl who wont allow him to have female friends. Another has been distant since meeting her new boyfriend and spends every minute of the day with him, but wont even answer my texts.

So, if old friends are now ignoring you, how does one make new friends and where? I would like to at work, been there about 6 weeks, but its the kind of place with a high turnover and also have a negative, moody, controlling manager who is also eroding my confidence. So while you are feeling shit about friends and work its probably not the best time to start making new ones.

Nor do I want to come across as desperate. Being like this in the past led me to get into a EA relationship, and I am now older and wiser and have no intention of making the same mistake again!

AndYouCanDance Sun 13-Oct-13 16:11:29

Are you me? I am in the exact position you are in, so will be interested to see the responses.
At the moment I am working too much really, and my role at work doesn't make me very popular, so no chance there.

I know I need to join something. I'm thinking a book club... but it is just a matter of finding the time.

Good luck OP!

VintageLace Sun 13-Oct-13 16:15:45

i feel for you. i'm in the same situation. i'm still building up the courage to ask another mum out for coffee!

EBearhug Sun 13-Oct-13 16:46:42

Dunno what the answer is. I fill my time with evening classes and chatting online and so on, but it's not the same. I also try to go and visit people if I'm going round the country somewhere (as part of the problem is I don't know anyone locally any more), and organise things, but there's no one I could just drop round for a cup of tea and a chat.

It does also get wearing being the one to initiate everything, and makes you fee a bit unwanted, especially if you later hear they were in the area, and you had no idea.

PaulineWhatsername Sun 13-Oct-13 16:55:39

I'd suggest joining something where you're doing an activity with people like a community choir (it doesn't matter if you can't sing); the Ramblers (there are groups for younger people); Meet Up (check their website); or something sporty if that's your thing.

Its difficult, I know (been there too) but if you go along a few times to things you get to know a few faces - they won't be instant friends - but it'll help boost your confidence and self esteem. Give it a try.

SugarMouse1 Sun 13-Oct-13 22:40:55

Thanks everyone

Update: well, been sacked today

My personality wasn't good enough, apparently. I feel like an absolute piece of shit to be honest

I don't even think I'm worthy of anyone else's company or anything like that. I despair, I don't know what to do

I don't know whether to complain at work about my supervisor, might be worth a try, she regularly came in drunk/hungover/had endless fag breaks, and I know my performance was affected by the fact that she made me feel like shit

But its happened like this so many times, I just don't know whats wrong with me, is the only thing to do to go and live in a cave somewhere or something?

PerpendicularVince Sun 13-Oct-13 23:52:15

I don't think there's anything wrong with you, you're going through a tough time.

Can you speak to the company's HR department to express your concerns and get some feedback? Get your CV out to agencies tomorrow, call into the job centre and start making speculative applications to places you'd like to work. Taking control will make you feel better.

Re making friends, I would suggest the gym, fitness classes, enrolling on a course (a new interest may also give you a boost), and joining local groups, such as archaeology, walking, dance - anything you like.

This will mean you're filling your life with good things, friends will come off the back of that smile.

SugarMouse1 Mon 14-Oct-13 00:26:23

No, there has GOT to be a lot wrong with me, honestly

This has happened in three jobs now- never passed probation, just disliked by everyone there

I must be unlikeable and unemployable- I just don't know what to do

SugarMouse1 Mon 14-Oct-13 00:27:28

The thing about classes etc is that don't most people join up with friends or already have lots of friends from elsewhere?

Dirtybadger Mon 14-Oct-13 00:48:36

Volunteer work? After a few years of having left education I realised I no longer had 'friends'. I am a lower level manager at work so I get on well with colleagues but it's inappropriate for me to buddy up too much with people I might piss off some days when I plead them to work overtime, etc. I started back in education but everyone has their own cliques ("mature" student v "young" students and I don't fit in either). I now volunteer with an animal shelter. Socially awkward as I am I manage great and have made friends in the last year. Not people to confide in but maybe a light hearted moan. There's never an awkward silence because we have animals around us (who help when you feel down!) and there are opportunities to go fundraise in the community, attend seminars, workshops, help organise events, even a craft club at one point in order to raise funds. The only thing I don't attend is the 'socials' as I'm still too panicky for that 'forced' socialising.

I highly recommend something similar where the presse is off to 'make friends'.

CharityFunDay Mon 14-Oct-13 01:06:50

This has happened in three jobs now- never passed probation, just disliked by everyone there

I must be unlikeable and unemployable- I just don't know what to do

Well, for a start, you're obviously not unemployable -- you've managed to land three job interviews and get taken on! That's more than some people manage in a lifetime.

All it means is that you haven't found the job that fits your personality.

Just a hunch, but are you by any chance quite introverted, but applying for jobs that require outgoing types?

SugarMouse1 Mon 14-Oct-13 03:35:51

Hmm, I used to do all the volunteering and attending socials and trying my best to be friendly and sociable at uni when I wanted to make friends

I didn't really work, I only ever made about 2 or 3 friends, and most people just sneered at me for arriving on my own, moved their chairs away from me, its hard to go through the heartache

Charity:
Yes, but there were always others who weren't very outgoing either and weren't sacked from the same job. Besides, as a consumer I regularly encounter really crap customer service in one form or another- yet these people somehow manage to keep jobs?! So this makes me think it cant just be that. Besides, I wouldn't realistically get a totally different type of job that I had no experience in sad

CharityFunDay Mon 14-Oct-13 03:49:47

there were always others who weren't very outgoing either and weren't sacked from the same job.

Some people are better at faking it than others. Some get on well with their manager, so avoid the bullet. Some people are just bullshitters. I've met all three types btw. There are lots of reasons why people manage to get and hold down jobs they aren't suited to.

Besides, as a consumer I regularly encounter really crap customer service in one form or another- yet these people somehow manage to keep jobs?!

See above.

So this makes me think it cant just be that.

Well, what else could it be? Realistically? Just because you feel like you hate yourself doesn't mean everyone else does.

Besides, I wouldn't realistically get a totally different type of job that I had no experience in

There are lots of options open to you, including (but not limited to) retraining. I know you are at a low ebb, but -- if you put your mind to it -- you'll probably have more ways forward than you currently believe.

SugarMouse1 Mon 14-Oct-13 04:33:43

Aargh! I really, really hate myself at the moment!

That's the real problem

I don't know, I really want to make myself good at jobs I'm not suited to

Are we just born with our personalities as much as our eye colour?
Or can I change and how? Why isn't it illegal to discimminate then? I didn't fucking ask for this dreadful quiet boring personality that gets on peoples nerves- any more than a person in a wheelchair asked to be that way, FFS!

sorry, just ranting

CharityFunDay Mon 14-Oct-13 04:56:06

I don't think you can change your personality, but you can be in situations in which different facets of your personality come to the fore.

Like the chemistry you feel with a decent partner, for example -- it changes you subtly, but you remain the same. Difficult to explain.

Of course, this goes for the negative aspects of your personality too -- and if you're in a situation that doesn't allow show to show yourself at your best, then the wisest thing to do is get out of it quickly.

So I'd say it's really a question of looking honestly at your personal characteristics, deciding which ones form your 'strongest hand' and then going after situations which will allow you to 'show and grow'.

What do you think would be your ideal job, for instance? Based on how well you currently understand yourself?

Would sitting down with a trusted friend/your partner/a career guidance officer help you draw up a profile that is more suited to you than the one you currently uphold?

CharityFunDay Mon 14-Oct-13 04:56:57

"allow show to show yourself" = "Allow you to show yourself".

Not sure why I typed 'show' twice.

havatry Mon 14-Oct-13 10:32:09

I don't know what the answer is. Things that have helped me are finding a job that suits me. I found I'm better at sitting in a corner with a specialism rather than being all things to all people. I did a short book-keeping course. Then gradually did more and more. I now work in mainly accounts. I now work from home, because it suits my family. But I also enjoyed working in an office before this. Colleagues occasionally needed figures and things from me - as such they were pleasant and friendly. I felt respected because I was suited to what I was doing. Unlike the times where I worked as a PA feeling overwhelmed and having to put on a brave face every day.

As for friends. I still haven't really mastered that one too well. I think I'll always be the type to have a few close friends rather than the packs of friends my dh has. But people seem to do it by joining things - choirs, book clubs, running clubs - where you go every week and get to know people gradually.

Low self esteem is a horrible thing. I often wonder how you're meant to get more of it. Apart from having a job I like, exercise is probably quite good for me.

Sorry you're feeling like this. One thing I do think though is that everybody is annoying in one respect or another. You are probably just lacking in confidence and feeling self conscious. You sound entirely likeable to me.

PerpendicularVince Mon 14-Oct-13 11:32:11

Have you ever considered CBT, SugarMouse? It would certainly help you relook at your perception of yourself and how others see you.

Can you approach the 3 HR departments and request detailed feedback to see if there is a pattern? I would also see if you can do a work related personality test like Myers Briggs online. I never used to believe in them but mine was scarily accurate about how I work with others and what makes me tick.

In answer to your earlier question, lots of people join classes and courses on their own. I've taken up language and exercise classes and made friends. It may be nervewracking but it's worth it.

Matildathecat Mon 14-Oct-13 11:38:13

Would you consider life coaching? You seem adamant that you are somehow wrong or at fault. Well, maybe you could try to unravel that and pinpoint if or where any problems lie and try to work out what kind of jobs and social settings are right for you.

Most friendships are slow burn things. They evolve gradually, wax and wane. Some last, others don't. Some friends we go for long periods without seeing but it's still good.when the friend with the new man comes down to earth you'll be there, pleased to see her.

Some friendships, like those made on holiday are temporary. Just fun at the time.

There are friends and jobs for everyone. Good luck.

sugarman Mon 14-Oct-13 11:58:09

I feel sorry for you because that is a really horrid way to lose a job and I defy anyone to come away with their self esteem intact.

I am guessing that yours is pretty low anyway. See, if your self confidence is good, it makes not a blind bit of difference whether or not someone texts back or invites you out.

So I would suggest starting with that.

Most people feel good when they are eating well, sleeping well and getting a good amount of exercise. I know that doesn't sound like a very interesting plan of attack but you might consider focusing on your physical wellbeing as a stepping stone to emotional strength. Maybe?

The other thing I will say is that it is important not to be around people who criticise or complain. That is very toxic. If you have anyne in your life like this, reduce your contact with them.

If you find yourself wanting to complain or criticise frequently, you might pause for thought as it is bad for your soul and won't help your social life. Not to suggest you are moany and critical though! Just that it is worth considering.

When you are physically strong and healthy, your confidence will soar and you may feel motivated to join a walking group or an art class or a choir, gee I don't know, just some sort of activity you may enjoy alongside others.

PerpendicularVince Mon 14-Oct-13 20:39:04

How are you feeling today, SugarMouse? Did you start job hunting? I hope you're ok and feeling better.

HongkongDreamer Mon 14-Oct-13 20:55:50

I used to feel like this till I had CBT, you should try it. It totally changes your perspective on things!

HongkongDreamer Mon 14-Oct-13 20:57:18

The situation with your friends is more a reflection on themselves than you, you should join meetup there is loads of groups that you can attend and they are really mixed. I have started learning Italian because of it!

Varya Mon 14-Oct-13 21:02:46

Friends melted away when my husband had severe mental health problems. He became antis-social, among other things. Other friends have moved away and no longer bother to keep in touch. One person died. Friends are very few and far between now. Feel for others who have few friends. XX

SugarMouse1 Tue 15-Oct-13 14:06:09

Thanks for all your repliés theyve kept me going.
Though last day or so Ive just been binge drinking, but anything to take away thé pain, i dont know what else to do. I used to havé à really bad drink problem when i was younger because of confidence; now I honestly regret NOT going to work drunk, as they sacked me anyway, so it may have been worth à try, I do definitely feel more confident and am louder etc, but addictions get out of control, and it never ends well. It was hard to give up.

WRT CBT was it expensive or on NHS?

Nô, i dont think Im à really çritical person, but i know some exceptionally moany people who havé lots of friends!?

Will look into Myers BRiggs

Does anyone know who i should complain to at work regarding m'y supervisor? I dont think There is an HR person on site, so would it be thé boss there?

Should i write à letter or ring up and ask for à meeting?

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