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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!

CharityFunDay Mon 21-Oct-13 23:02:10

I don't particularly want to live with my parents, but it's the only realistic option in London IM afraid.

Cobblers. Since you're not tied down to a job at the moment, you could live anywhere in London you liked. You're free to move around as you want. I live in London (admittedly as a lodger) and I pay £85 a week, including bills. There are bargains out there, but you have to be looking and ready.

I did used to have various flat mates over the years, some became friends (although drifted away a bit), though others made life hell! so not sure if it's worth it, tbh!

Well, it's a chance you take, living with others. When it's good it's great, and when it's bad it's awful. But surely it's worth a gamble, if you don't want to live with your parents?

SugarMouse1 Mon 21-Oct-13 22:47:41

Charity

No, getting my own house isn't high on my list, I had moved out for 6 years before I moved back in with them.

I had hardly any money when I lived elsewhere. I don't particularly want to live with my parents, but it's the only realistic option in London IM afraid.

I did used to have various flat mates over the years, some became friends (although drifted away a bit), though others made life hell! so not sure if it's worth it, tbh!

SugarMouse1 Mon 21-Oct-13 22:43:43

JustThis

Of course not thank you for your reply

JustThisOnceOrTwiceOrThrice Sun 20-Oct-13 09:52:45

Sorry if that's garbled nonsense!

JustThisOnceOrTwiceOrThrice Sun 20-Oct-13 09:52:20

I think cbt might be a good idea. I get a bit of an impression that you look at your life and the things in it in a more negative way than they deserve. Im not saying that your life is great and you just don't know it, but that the good stuff is being a bit dismissed because of your negativity towards it. Cbt can really help with that.

I didn't have many friends when i was younger either. Like you, a few friends who didn't live that close, that i didn't see that much and had their own lives going on that i wasn't really a part of. As I've got older those friendships are still there and those people seem to appreciate me more now. Its funny how I'll not see them for months and then when i do nothing has changed.

I've also realised that they are the ones who are more inclined to be there for me during difficult times. Its just a shame that they don't all know each other so we can all go out together.

I've made other friends as I've got older because i have children so have met other mums at play groups and things. I was amazed how easy it suddenly was now that there were these ready made groups of people, all at this same stage in life with shared experiences and sleep deprived!

I see them quite a lot so to others it probably looks like i have loads of mates and a good social life, but actually as time has gone on I've realised that its not many that i can say are really friends, some are just company for each other and nothing more. I was quite disappointed with how shallow some of the friendships turned out to be. When i needed help i thought they would offer or be happy to help when i asked but they weren't.

Those original friends are still there for me though. Not on a daily or weekly basis, but are the ones who know me best. Don't dismiss those friendships.

I always am envious of one woman i know who has great circle of friends from her school days. They are all still really close and meet up for special occasions and weekends away. I never really had that and Im starting to think its quite rare.

CharityFunDay Sun 20-Oct-13 01:56:41

Yes, I know I'm only 25, but I feel so pathetic having achieved so little at my age.

So many people feel like this that they ought to call it 'Mozart Syndrome'. Not everyone is a success early in life -- and 25 is early in life.

And I've missed all the milestones that all my peers have had. I've never had an 18 th or 21st, in fact no one is bothered about me at all, I dread birthdays and I dread Christmas because I rarely have anything to go to or anyone to buy for- so nothing to be excited about at all - all pointless.

I'm sure your parents marked your birthdays and Christmas with you. OK, so it would be nice if you had a wide circle of friends -- perhaps: You might realise later in life that you're naturally a loner. Often misery is caused by expectations formed by observing others. Whereas what you want and what you need may be two different things entirely.

As for Christmas, it really is true that it's the 'giving' that's important. I bet that -- if you put your mind to it -- there are about a dozen people you interact with regularly who would be quite touched if you did something as simple but meaningful as gave them a Christmas card.

This sounds silly, but (a) it is good for the 'soul' to give without the expectation of receiving and (b) you never know which casual acquaintance might blossom into a friendship.

And who knows, some of them may be in the same boat as you, and would remember the gesture you made for the rest of their lives.

I'm not sure if theres any point continuing with a future just like this.

Hmmm. If you're toying with the idea of terminating your own life prematurely, then I strongly recommend that you consult your GP. Such thoughts are not healthy or normal.

(If that's not what you were hinting, then of course ignore that remark).

But the future is -- forgive the cliché -- what you make it (not 100 per cent what you make it, though -- outside events are uncontrollable and they can account for a lot of interference in one's life).

Perhaps it would help if you drew up a list -- this is a very under-rated exercise IME.

Where would you like to be in a year's time, and what sort of features would make you feel better?

Once you have a clearer idea of how you would like your life to change, then you can start thinking about the steps you might need to get there.

For instance, I bet that getting your own place is high on your list (am I wrong? I bet I'm not).

To do this, you will need money. How do you get money? Well, you can either work, or claim Housing Benefit.

If you claim HB then you are sorted (although I think that being under 25 you could only claim for a room in a shared house -- but that could be good because housemates can become friends!).

If you need/prefer to work, then you have a whole lot of other questions to answer -- such as what work are you REALLY suited to, and how realistic are your expectations?

I wish I could give you simple one-size-fits-all answers, but your situation and your abilities are unique to you.

whethergirl Sun 20-Oct-13 01:22:21

I'm really tired but just wanted to add a few things, hopefully it's coherent!

SugarMouse I really do think that before anyone else can like you, you need to like yourself first. Bit of a cliche, but really very true.

Most people would describe me as funny, confident and gregarious. Truth is, I often feel awkward, shy and boring! However, I don't hate myself for it, in reality, I think most people are too busy thinking about themselves.

Sometimes, when I have found myself getting into the mindset of how likeable I am etc. I stop focusing on me (which can actually be quite self-indulgent), and focus on others. When coming face to face with someone, instead of thinking "what do they think of me? How am I coming across" - which is just the kind of thinking that will get me acting awkwardly - I focus on the other person. I talk to them, about them. I put them in the spotlight and take myself out. I find it useful to shift my thinking in this way, and find people warm to me when I take an interest in them and stop being so self concious.

I'm a mature student at uni, doing a creative course, and it's full of weird people. In fact, sometimes I think people try to outdo each other on the weird front! Nothing wrong with being different, even IF you are. It's celebrated in some circles, maybe you're moving in the wrong circles?!

I'm not sure if theres any point continuing with a future just like this

Your future does not depend on how you are feeling right this minute. My life was very different at 25 to what it is now at 41. It's much better. I'm sorry you're going through such a hard time but this isn't it...you've got SO much living left to do. You really never know what's round the corner. Hang in there.

U2lady1981 Sun 20-Oct-13 00:41:32

I think some parents have to stop putting their expectations on their children or at least get better at helping them get where they want to be. Your well being is top priority. How do you think they'd feel if they knew how bad you were feeling?

SugarMouse1 Sun 20-Oct-13 00:21:25

Hi U2,

I live at home with my parents ATM, I suppose I have a reasonable relationship with them now, didn't in the past, a lot of it probably due to my drinking, and they were disappointed I didn't achieve much academically, I guess. They're quite ashamed that I don't have a good job. They're snobbish in many ways.
I have one brother a well, we never got on, and don't speak at all as adults, he now lives in a different city hundreds of miles away and rarely speaks to our parents either.
That's about it, lots of extended family, but not close to any of them, none live near.

U2lady1981 Sat 19-Oct-13 23:56:41

Can I ask about your family situation? X

SugarMouse1 Sat 19-Oct-13 23:22:12

Thanks for all the replies.

Yes, I know I'm only 25, but I feel so pathetic having achieved so little at my age.

And I've missed all the milestones that all my peers have had. I've never had an 18 th or 21st, in fact no one is bothered about me at all, I dread birthdays and I dread Christmas because I rarely have anything to go to or anyone to buy for- so nothing to be excited about at all - all pointless.

I'm not sure if theres any point continuing with a future just like this.

U2lady1981 Sat 19-Oct-13 13:27:35

How are you doing today Sugarmouse1? X

CharityFunDay Sat 19-Oct-13 01:18:23

I mean job wise I really don't know what I want, I'm very open to suggestions

Oh right -- sorry for the misunderstanding.

Although, in my defence, you do seem to be mixing up the professional with the personal quite a bit. Which is understandable when you're feeling low with bad self-esteem (I know I'm guilty of it myself).

I have had some successful relationships, quite a good one with my mum, but it's not what you want as a 25 year old, I've never been popular anywhere

You're only 25?!? Good Lord, you have years and years and YEARS to find a better way of life for yourself. No comfort in the short term, perhaps, but it's bloody true. As you get older, you generally give less of a damn what other people think about you.

And I'm sure you've had decent friendships during your life to date, too. Even if you didn't necessarily get everything you wanted from them at the time because you weren't ready or for whatever reason.

U2lady1981 Sat 19-Oct-13 01:16:16

Sugar mouse, you sound just like me. I really struggle to make friends and don't really understand why. But I do understand how demoralising it can be when people treat you differently for no good reason. I too have had this for most of my life.
Currently, I don't really have close friends despite not fitting into the 'weird' categories you described in your last post - that part really rang true with me. I always seem to go through a mental checklist about what could possibly be so weird about me too. It's caused me a lot of heartache over the years and now I am beginning to realise that I'm the sort of person who needs to 'click' with someone, otherwise friendships don't come naturally. I don't know if any of that rings true with you, but it might. Anyway, feel free to PM me anytime you want to chat and if you're local, we could always meet up sometime for cake! X

SugarMouse1 Sat 19-Oct-13 01:00:19

Charity-

I mean job wise I really don't know what I want, I'm very open to suggestions

I have had some successful relationships, quite a good one with my mum, but it's not what you want as a 25 year old, I've never been popular anywhere

JustTHis-

I know, but I thought it was my fault, so didn't complain, was very ashamed bottled it up, and it is my fault,it must be down to something I did/said I just dont know what. I really don't think I'm weird ( though I know it's not normal to have hardly any friends) but how are you supposed to make any if everyone avoids you for being 'weird'? Viscious circle.

I think I dress normally, not part of a weird religion, hold extreme political views, unusual hobbies, not into alternative culture (star trek, dr who) etc, or goth music ( nothing wrong with it though), nor do I have 3 heads, use a wheelchair and have a strong accent with a speech impediment.

So what else makes people 'weird'?

CharityFunDay Sat 19-Oct-13 00:03:13

Yes, people definitely were sniggering about me, at uni they even started à nasty Facebook group about me, because Im 'weird' apparently. I dropped out over it in thé end. Such à waste.

Yes, it was a waste, although you must have been very upset to have been driven to drop out.

As for 'they', you mean 'some cunts'. Not everyone you ever met.

Unfortunately, a fair number of people you meet in life are cunts. And some are not enough of a cunt to be cunts on their own, but wait for bigger cunts to provide them with the excuse.

I dont really know what i actually want, Im just desperate for people to like me, its stupid i know

It's not stupid at all.

But are you really saying that you haven't had one successful relationship (on whatever level) in your whole life? Honestly?

And i havé to conclude that i must just be unlikeable

No-one is unlikeable. They just haven't found the right people to like them back yet. Sounds like a platitude but it's true -- some platitudes are.

JustThisOnceOrTwiceOrThrice Fri 18-Oct-13 23:41:25

They started a facebook page about you!?! shock sad

That's bullying! What horrible people!

SugarMouse1 Fri 18-Oct-13 22:44:09

I dont really know what i actually want, Im just desperate for people to like me, its stupid i know

And i havé to conclude that i must just be unlikeable

SugarMouse1 Fri 18-Oct-13 15:00:25

Yes, people definitely were sniggering about me, at uni they even started à nasty Facebook group about me, because Im 'weird' apparently. I dropped out over it in thé end. Such à waste.

MotherofBear Fri 18-Oct-13 14:19:14

Ooh, SugerMouse, meant to say - those people who are sniggering at you? They're probably not sniggering at you at all.

MotherofBear Fri 18-Oct-13 13:54:51

EBearhug You have wise words smile

MotherofBear Fri 18-Oct-13 13:53:59

Hi, SugarMouse.

I know what you mean when you say you're of an age when you're not expected to be shy. Although, actually, that isn't really true. It's just your perception smile I'm 34, and it's only in the past few years that I've realised people come in all different shapes and sizes, both physically and emotionally/personality-wise.

I personally don't expect people to be a certain way based on their age, other than the basic I expect adults to be adults and not act like children.

I have a suspicion, and I apologise if I'm wrong, that you often end up on your own because you hold yourself back. I did this. I used to unconsciously draw back or hold myself back in social situations, so people did end up passing over me. If you push yourself forward a little, people will take more notice. Much, much easier said than done, I know.

You do have to be proactive though. Which is bloody hard. Instead of sitting there waiting to be included in a group (secretly hoping both that you'll be 'picked' and that you won't be), attach yourself to someone. Or a couple of people. Courses often encourage a buddy system, so you could ask someone to exchange email addresses or mobile numbers with for this reason. Or even just suggest having a coffee to discuss the work after the next class.

I think you're bloody amazing for having been abroad by yourself, and to be thinking of doing that again. The thought of doing that makes my stomach drop. I wish I had that kind of courage!

No, I haven't seen or heard anyone criticize me for being quiet. The loud ones either don't really bother with me, or they like talking to me because they don't have to listen very much grin. And the quiet people understand the way I am. But then, I work with people who are around my age or older, so they have also learnt to accept people as they are.

Feel free to PM me if you want (you're not obligated to at all!), I have no idea where you live, but if you're anywhere near me then I'd be happy to meet up for a coffee. I'd be the one shaking with nerves in the corner grin

EBearhug Thu 17-Oct-13 21:05:13

People used to patronisingly tell me 'it will all be différent' when Im older, like lack of confidence is something you 'grow out of' like thumb-sucking etc

Erm, I occasionally still suck my thumb when I'm really, really tired and down (didn't realise, till someone else pointed it out!)

But anyway - I think people do grow out of lack of confidence to some extent. Or perhaps you realise that a lot more people also lack confidence - everyone does sometimes. But another thing as you get older is that you realise you've got through various situations, and the world hasn't ended, and that in itself helps. At least, that's how it's been for me. But nearly a decade ago, I was on anti-depressants and I still see a counsellor, so I know none of it's easy. There are still days where I just think I can't do anything, and I'm no good at the things I am doing, and sometimes soon, someone's going to notice I'm just blagging my way through everything. Lots of people think like this, though. It's normal.

I think there are many of us who focus on the things we can't do, and aren't comfortable with, rather than the things we can do, and we ignore the things we find easy, because if they're easy, they can't be that difficult or important. Actually, it might be that we find it easy because we are very good at those things.

One of the best pieces of advice I have been given is, "Don't compare your insides with other people's outsides." We don't know how people are really feeling inside most of the time, and a lot of people present a front that covers all their doubts and incertainties. Sometimes, people come over as really confident because they're putting so much effort into hiding how they really feel from the rest of the world.

As for not caring how people feel about me - I think some of that is down to lack of confidence in itself, because I assume most people just don't notice me. There are some people I care very much about what they think of me, but they're people I know, not random strangers in the street.

Things I do or have done on my own - swimming, going to a yoga class, going to dance classes (that can be a bit rubbish, and I don't do it any more, as I got tired of dancing with the teacher, but I wanted to know how to do it), going to the cinema, theatre, ballet, going to art galleries, going for walks, going to the beach. I've made myself go to parties on my own (not always a great experience, I admit), and I've done a lot of travelling on my own (including the joys of singles supplements and wondering what to do with my bags while I go to the loo.) I'm in my forties. I've been single most of my life - if I didn't do things on my own, I would have done almost nothing. It's hard, it's sometimes very depressing, there are nights when I cry, (but people don't know - I don't go into work and announce I cried myself to sleep because I was having a bad bout of loneliness - so how many others could be like that? You just don't know.) You just have to pick yourself up and carry on - and when you realise the strength you need to do that, that helps your confidence.

i dont havé thé expérience to réalistically get à différent type of job.

No one has experience to start with. It is something which has held me back at times, and it is something a lot of women struggle with. I don't remember the exact stats, but there's something along the lines of, if you've got a job spec, a man will apply if he matches at least 20% of the requirements, but a woman will only apply if she matches about 80%. Many of us do things we don't really think of as useful experience, and if you want to gain more skills, you might be able to do a course (online, evening classes, whatever,) or perhaps gain some experience with voluntary work or something. There are lots of careers books and websites to help you identify your strengths and values and so on, and how to write your CV in different styles to highlight the skills you have for the sort of work you want.

It's not easy, but it can be done, and there are people here to support you. It can happen one step at a time - and sometimes there will be a step back, but as long as the overall progress is forward, you will get there in the end.

SugarMouse1 Thu 17-Oct-13 20:45:46

Hi, MotherofBear, Im 25, Still young I know, but an âge where you certainly arent expected to be shy.

I can do certain things on my own, i just hâte it if people are sniggering about me. Plus, as à female There is too much harrassment if you go to bars/clubs alone. Maybe à gay bar would be alright.

Yes, i Could go abroad alone, Ive done it before, be staying in à hostel. Others will likely be there alone.

À course, id be terrified to do, because i know Everyone else would split into little groups of friends immediately, and id be left alone.

Do you find that people Still criticise you for being quiet?

MotherofBear Thu 17-Oct-13 15:03:24

Good luck!

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