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Making friends

(7 Posts)
Misselthwaite Sat 09-Apr-16 08:26:23

A thread recently made me realise that I really struggle with friendship. I'm mum to three kids eldest is 9. My social life is not exactly great and I'd really like to improve it but no idea how. I've done myers Briggs personality test and come out as INTJ and while I know these things aren't an exact science it really explains a lot.

I'm not entirely friendless but the friends I have I seem to see in particular situations. So I'm part of a group of school mums who go for a drink once in a while (although folk are very flakey so it often is cancelled and it never seems to be a firm date for anyone else). I'm an active member of a club but again even here I feel left out. No one thinks to tag me in Facebook if an event is on although everyone is very friendly to my face. I do have a couple of local friends but again its mostly quick chats on the school run, now and again we actually meet up properly with or without kids. One of these mates is friends with another two couples who I've known years as well but when they all get together for bbqs etc my family are not invited.

DH goes out socialising a couple of times a week but its very much men only and he does stuff like play snooker so he's socialising with people he's not especially friends with.

We very rarely socialise together. I would love to be friends with a few families who we might go for a walk with or have round for lunch. I've tried getting friends round but usually just end up with mum and kids.

We're a busy family so I'm not expecting stuff all the time just would be nice now and again. God this is probably really long now. Any ideas as to how I make people like me more and actively want to be my friend?

Misselthwaite Sun 10-Apr-16 08:34:15

It feels a bit desperate bumping this but hey ho!

MadSprocker Sun 10-Apr-16 10:52:53

Friendships when you are an adult just seem to become more complicated, don't they? How about organising a charity evening like the Macmillan coffee morning, IYSWIM? The NSPCC are doing a board game day at the end of May, you could invite the school friends over for drinks and a laugh, and all in a good cause. How about the PTA, or do you shudder at the thought?

soisolated Sun 10-Apr-16 10:59:09

Sorry I don't really have any great advice but I do empathise. I also have difficulty making friends. I am very shy and always end up on the outside of groups, at work, school parents, etc... I don't really know how to fix it. I have a small number of great friends who I love and have had for years but making new friends is something I find really difficult.

It does make me sad especially when I see other parents in the school playground talking and laughing, like I am missing out on something. Also i worry this rubs off on my dc not being involved or invited out as much.
So I am just going to invite people over more, and increase contact and amidst the volume hopefully there will be some friends, who are genuine and will see the shyness for what it is rather than as most I am sure do assume I am rude.
Maybe your husband could invite people over involving the whole family not just mums and kids?
Sorry no better advice

Winged Sun 10-Apr-16 12:24:45

I'm sort of in a similar position. I've got a large group of 'friends' who were all very close during our late teens and twenties but everyone has splintered now and I've lost touch with most of them because I've been very ill for the last 18 months (hashimotos so taking a long time to get me on the right level of medication plus extreme exhaustion most of the time). I made some mum friends when my DC were very little, but lost touch with these for the same reason. My youngest started school this academic year and so there are some new people I'm chatting to at the moment but not sure how you convert those to proper friendships.

I was actually going to post something along similar lines but to do with widening my social circle as a couple with my BF. We met online so from different towns/cities and as we both lost most of our 'couple' friends that we had with our exes, neither of us have large social circles. As he's moving to my neck of the woods, I'm trying to think of ways I can increase our friendships with my friends and acquaintances' partners (although I don't like some of them so it's difficult). He has a very small group of close male friends but I know he often feels let down by them as he has to do most of the running.

When I look at very sociable people with large friendship groups, they tend to put a lot of effort into nurturing their friendships. I like my own company and don't like to 'pester' people so rarely make the first move. I think sociable people tend to be the ones who make the arrangements and don't say no very often to social invitations. Perhaps, and this is advice I'm hoping to follow myself, you could do some of the organising. If people say no initially, don't take that to heart and keep trying in a non pushy way to set up social get togethers. The more time you spend with people, the more likely it is to move into true friendship territory but it's about engineering those opportunities in the first place.

Misselthwaite Sun 10-Apr-16 23:11:16

MadSprocker thanks for the suggestions the charity stuff really isn't me. I'd be terrified no one would come, although its something I could look out for because I'd happily go to something someone else has organised. The PTA is a good idea but at the moment I genuinely do not have the time to commit to it.

I'm not shy at all and can talk to pretty much anyone, I don't think I'm in your face or anything so I don't come across as overbearing I think I'm just not someone folk warm to. I job share with someone who socially is just amazing. Everyone loves her. I watch her with people and can see that she's so much better at social chit chat than I am. She greets everyone by name and I can see she remembers what's going on in their lives and the names of their children and where they live and so on whereas if someone is going on holiday I struggle to remember to ask them how it went and I'm rubbish at remembering anyone's name! I've started using facebook a lot more to actually make sure I know who all the school mums are and for me its a really useful tool.

soisolated you're right its about increasing the volume and hoping that among them are a few you'll properly click with. I have talked to my husband and he has two friends both with families of their own that should by rights be our 'default' family friends. Unfortunately the wives are best mates so I'm immediately an outsider and again we've just never really clicked. I mean I would happily spend a few hours with them but it would be so superficial and I know I'm tolerated rather than liked if you know what I mean. I know I need to do more to invite folk over but I've suggested things to a few people and when you've been turned down a few times you start to feel like you're pestering them and that actually they just don't want to come. There's a thread on feminism that I think in part explains some of my problems in that the weekend is when I'd like to socialise and for loads of women that seems to be family time.

Winged that it sounds like you've had a really difficult 18 months I hope you're on the mend now? I can see it must be difficult if your boyfriend is moving to you and leaving his friends behind. I think it is really hard to make couple friends from scratch. My DH hasn't really made friends with anyone local to us for example he hasn't made friends with any of the dads of our DC's friends all his mates stem from work. Is your boyfriend working as that may be a good place to start. In a way I think if you want to make couple friends you need to introduce the socialising as a couple bit early on so you all get to know each other altogether. I'm finding now that the pattern of socialising becomes routine and inflexible. I think you're right about the nurturing I've very bad at this. I need to try harder to keep in touch with folk more.

I have my youngest starting school in September which is an opportunity to meet another round of school mums. I already know quite a few from nursery parties and I'll do my best to try and make friends with some of them, maybe organise a mum's night at the pub or possibly suggest a family event where I can get everyone there.

soisolated Mon 11-Apr-16 12:35:13

I think mums night out would be a good thing, can Facebook so all are invited (even shy ones). Am going to give this a go too!

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