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Strange friendship behaviour

(43 Posts)
toastedmarshmallow Tue 05-Nov-13 01:18:20

I have a friend who has been acting really strangely for several months and has definitely dropped me (and most of the group who used to see each other a lot.) I was wondering if anyone had any insights into her behaviour.

I have known her for 5 years and we used to see each other very regularly, about twice a week in a group of about 4 or 5 of us. Our DC are similar ages. Then she began to HE her 2 DSs and things have changed since then. She's very sensitive and I worry I might have offended her with a couple of unintentionally tactless comments about this.

As she got into HE she began to not reply to texts or FB messages from any of us. I had a baby a few months ago and she has shown no interest except for a very short FB comment. Anyway, I assumed she was busy/stressed with HE so tried not to be hurt. I have sent her a couple of FB messages over the last few months- no reply.

I had given up on her when my DM ran into her- it was all very friendly and she mentioned how she had lost touch with everyone so thought I'd send her a final message. A couple of days later she replied then I realised she had defriended me on FB! She's also defriended the rest of the original group.

I find it all very strange and quite hurtful. If I had caused some offence why not just tell me? I know the friendship is over but I wish I knew why- should I email/ phone her or just leave it? Sorry this has turned out very long!

BillyBanter Tue 05-Nov-13 01:23:15

Is it possible she has a partner who is isolating her from people?

alternatively maybe she's a bit all or nothing. Having embraced HE and , I'm guessing HE support forums and communities, she's dropped her old life.

BibbleBabbleBobble Tue 05-Nov-13 01:25:51

HE is associated with quite particular views on child rearing. Maybe she disapproves of your parenting but doesn't want to make a big deal about it?

toastedmarshmallow Tue 05-Nov-13 01:30:35

No, her DP very lovely and definitely doesn't isolate her.

She probably is a bit all or nothing I suppose. She hasn't dropped everyone though- just this one group of us. I know she's still close to one non HE friend who she has known for years.

I guess it just shows sometimes you just don't know people as well as you think you did. I really valued our friendship- she obviously felt differently. You don't think I should bother contacting her again ?

toastedmarshmallow Tue 05-Nov-13 01:32:06

That's true as well bibble- could see that she might disapprove of my parenting!

bragmatic Tue 05-Nov-13 03:43:07

Sorry, what is 'HE'?

Youarejustwordsonascreenpeople Tue 05-Nov-13 03:46:13

Home education.

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 05-Nov-13 06:27:49

I wouldn't be surprised if your friend is suffering with some kind of social anxiety. You describe her as 'sensitive'. She's probably chosen HE, not for constructive reasons, but as a way of excluding herself and her kids from the mainstream so that she doesn't have to interact with others and can keep everyone 'safe'. Anyone challenging this decision is instantly dropped because they just confirm that everyone's out to get her or out to bully her kids.

Retroformica Tue 05-Nov-13 07:10:24

Is it possible you offended her choice of lifestyle? HE is really is a big lifestyle choice and if she felt you were being judgemental then she might withdraw? A good friend will discuss the positives and negatives but essentially will support friend in whatever they decide.

There are different types of HE - some times it can be very hands off or very hands on. There are also different HE parenting styles that follow on from this. Some are quite extreme and often boundary- less (let the kids hurt each without punishment and run feral with no structure or attention), others are slightly more mainstream in their approach and may do attachment parenting or structured/relaxed lessons or naughty step etc. It might just be she has found friends who she fits in with or maybe she disapproves of how you parent.

Is it worth phoning her and having a catchup but mentioning you noticed she had de friended you.

Retroformica Tue 05-Nov-13 07:14:02

I expect some HE'ders aim to isolate away from society/people but most don't, they just a different childhood/lifestyle for their kids. One that doesn't involve the sausage machine called school.

CailinDana Tue 05-Nov-13 07:22:47

It is very frustrating and disappointing when a friend does this but she's sent you very strong signals that she's not interested in friendship any more so you'll have to accept it. Chances are you did nothing "wrong," she's just the sort of person to drop friends if she perceives that they don't match up to what she wants.

Laura0806 Tue 05-Nov-13 11:34:45

Theres another thread on here that ive posted on about a friend blocking them out of their lives. The same thing happened to me but your situation is a bit different as shes blocked a whole group of you which is unusual. MAybe it is because she thinks you all disagree with her HE ing her children and thats offended her, maybe she just simply doesn't need you in her life anymore and so has droppped you ( cold but lots of people do it) or 3rdly as was suggested earlier she has something going on in her life she feels she can't share, social anxiety, depression or something else. Depending on which you think it might be would determine what you should do. I think if you dont mind the knock back or the 'theres nothing wrong' (if its scenario 2) then call her and see if shes ok. If its scenario 3 she could maybe use a good friend. In my case, i contacted the friend and she just said whats the problem and has just continued to blank me and be extra nice to all our mutual friends , v def scenario 2 but at least I know.

toastedmarshmallow Tue 05-Nov-13 20:56:06

I feel I was supportive of her decision but I think there's a good chance she didn't see it that way.

we did discuss positives and negatives and maybe I was just too honest! I don't disapprove of HE though, each to their own and ask that.

I think there could be some kind of social anxiety. I think I'll get in touch one last time, I can't face phoning though what if she didn't want to talk it will be so awkward! I want to say something like-'I'm a bit worried about you since you seem to have cut a lot of friends out of your life, hope all is ok, you know where I am if you want to chat. It would be lovely to catch up and I still really care for you as a friend' what do you think? I don't like the idea of ignoring her of she might need a friend but also don't want to look like an idiot!

cloudskitchen Tue 05-Nov-13 21:04:23

I think if you're brave enough to be that direct you're more likely to get an honest answer. She's lucky to have a friend that cares that much even if she doesn't realise it.

Comfysoft Tue 05-Nov-13 21:04:54

Is there any chance she could be depressed or feeling low.

I didnt go as far as unfriending people but about a year ago I was not depressed but certainly very low due to personal difficult circumstance that no one else would have been aware of and for a few months I did withdraw from people a little bit because I could not face other joviality and didnt want to be the sad misery in the group.

Perhaps cut her some slack and ask if all is OK explain you have missed her etc??

toastedmarshmallow Tue 05-Nov-13 22:01:14

Well I have sent her a message, not brave enough to say everything I wanted but did say how lovely it would be to see her etc. At least I can feel.i've made every effort now and let out go

toastedmarshmallow Tue 05-Nov-13 22:02:12

Let it go obv.!

cloudskitchen Tue 05-Nov-13 22:08:25

You've now done all you can. The ball's in her court thanks

HogFucker Tue 05-Nov-13 22:11:27

Maybe your comments offended her but she was too polite to say?

toastedmarshmallow Tue 05-Nov-13 22:16:06

Maybe, probably who knows? I wouldn't drop a friend for that kind of thing though. it's made me more aware to express my opinions more sensitively though!

knittedknickers Tue 05-Nov-13 23:20:41

Personally I wouldn't say..'I'm a bit worried about since you have cut a lot of friends out of your life..' If she is feeling judged, she might then find that a bit patronising! (Just thinking if she is sensitive, it could be construed that your group of friends have been discussing her. Why not say something about the fact that you miss her company and hope you haven't offended her, would love to meet up for a chat etc?

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 06-Nov-13 06:19:25

If she's the over-sensitive type that drops friends and pulls her kids out of the school system rather than deal with disagreement, an innocent 'Hello, how are you?' has the potential to cause offence, let's face it. hmm

cloudskitchen Wed 06-Nov-13 12:22:39

Did she respond?

toastedmarshmallow Wed 06-Nov-13 12:39:51

Not yet

dawdling Wed 06-Nov-13 14:11:41

All sorts of people HE. It doesn't necessarily follow that she is associationg herself with or adopting "a certain type of parenting".

It might mean that. Or not.

In my experience HE groups are populated by people of strong religious convictions, children with dyslexia/as/adhd/dyspraxia/anxiety/other sen, people who think 4 too young too start school, people uninimpressed with state schools, academically ambitious/gifted families AND the attachment parenting/autonomous edders you allude to.

A lot of homedders are terrified/stressed/exhausted/overwhelmed when they start, though. Maybe even hypersensitive to percieved criticism

I'd be thinking along those lines myself

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