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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?

Matildathecat Tue 15-Oct-13 17:04:24

Hang in there. I'm guessing you know you won't find many answers in the bottom of a glass?...

I'm not sure perusing the work thing is worth it. It sounds stressful and to achieve what?

Can you visit your GP and discuss the way you feel? Maybe ask for counselling, CBT or anti d's. Maybe a combination. You do sound depressed. Are you getting any support in RL?

You take care or yourself and call the surgery. I hope you feel better soon.

Sunnysummer Tue 15-Oct-13 17:19:04

It sounds like you are going through a really difficult time and are doing a great job just keeping your head above water!

CBT sounds really sensible, if you tell your GP what you have told us, they are certainly likely to provide some level of support, possibly suggesting ADs first but hopefully also referring for CBT or similar.

About the job - I agree that unless you are very sure about your issue and haw good evidence. making a complaint at this point is unlikely to be helpful and could just make your life and sense of self even trickier. As pps have said, getting 3 jobs suggests that you are great at interviews, but also that you are maybe not getting roles that are the best for for your personality and talents. Has your work given you feedback on why you did not continue that will be helpful when you choose your next (awesome, excellent, great fit smile) role?

Really hope that things can get better thanks (and maybe not wine in the circumstances, but definitely brew)

havatry Tue 15-Oct-13 17:19:51

Just to say CBT is free on the NHS but there can be a waiting list. There is an online one, don't know if it would be any help in the meantime.

http://www.llttf.com/

Hope you're ok.

SugarMouse1 Tue 15-Oct-13 20:31:59

Thanks again

Nô, i dont want to go back to drinking, i got so sick of waking up with à hangover, did some stupid things, started to look unhealthy etc

This time, thé manager told me that hé actually liked me as à person, but that 'Anna and Claire were much more bubbly, and had positive emails sent in about them', (There were none sent in about me).

Btw, Anna and Claire go for 10 long fag breaks per shift, even when its very busy, and anybody Could havé sent those emails in or they Could even havé wrote them themselves!?

Ive been on ADs in thé past, not sûre about them, had counselling in thé past, it used to bring up à lot of past issues which upset me and i always left in tears, but Im not sûre what it was doing to actually help me change, because i more or less know what caused my low self esteem anyway

X

EBearhug Tue 15-Oct-13 22:35:27

If you're trying to avoid drinking, maybe you could spend the money that would go on drink on counselling instead? If you're in the UK, you can find therapists online - http://www.itsgoodtotalk.org.uk/therapists/

bourneout Tue 15-Oct-13 23:06:41

hang on - OP - so you were sacked for not being "bubbly enough"!!! that is the crappiest excuse I have ever heard for getting rid of someone. What did they want you to do - come in a clown suit and perform cartwheels around the office!

Seriously! sounds like Anna and Claire were toadying up to the manager and it was easier to take it out on you. Also smacks a little of bullying to be honest. All round - think you are better off without them.

On the friends issue - I can't really offer much advice. I seem to have lost any ability to make new friends - not that I was ever much good at it really, so will leave others to help out on that.

Dirtybadger Tue 15-Oct-13 23:21:52

You can get CBT through the NHS. The context and speed of access will probably depend upon local demand. Don't ask don't get smile

saggytummy Wed 16-Oct-13 00:57:19

I would strongly suggest stopping hitting the bottle immediately. It's a known cause of depression. Next start beating yourself up and go to your local sports centre, have a swim/ sauna/ try Zumba. This will lift your spirits. I don't have a huge amount of friends but those that I have I treasure but probably don't nurture enough.
Make a real effort to get out that shell. Lastly get assertive about that job, last time I heard that wasn't a reason to fire Someone be prepared and ask the reason in writing.

SugarMouse1 Wed 16-Oct-13 03:19:49

Nô, i know its à pathetic excuse to fire someone

Who should i complain to though?

SugarMouse1 Wed 16-Oct-13 03:22:10

I know, saggytummy, but i was thinking of going abroad instead to try and get me a change of scène etc

CharityFunDay Wed 16-Oct-13 04:16:23

Word of caution: You weren't "fired". You were let go during your probationary period. Employers don't really have to give very good reasons while you're on probation.

By all means complain if you find it therapeutic to do so, but I wouldn't expect much by the way of outcome.

Xenadog Wed 16-Oct-13 04:26:59

OP I think the advice to have some talking therapy is a great place to start, you do sound very down (understandably so) so a trip to the gp to get some advice would be my first place to start. It may be that you would need to pay for private counselling - to get seen soon and have the right treatment for you - would that be a realistic option?

I can't comment on the work situation except to ask did they really 'sack' you or was it a redundancy or the end of a contract where you were 'let go?" I ask because I can't believe you could be sacked for having the wrong personality and you would definitely have cause to go to a tribunal.

As for friends, well a meet up group would be my first port of call, secondly doing some volunteering maybe at a homeless shelter, the dogs trust or an elderly charity/day centre which would get you out and about and meeting a real variety of people.

Regarding work - there are options open to you but maybe speaking to a careers specialist would help identify the area you are best suited to, retraining May be a route to go down or it may be you just haven't found the right company to work for yet?

I can only say chin up and take control of this situation, you need to put a positive spin on things. You are free to make new friends and find the perfect job - life is an exciting adventure waiting for you to grab it now but you need to get some plans in place. Sorry if this sounds a bit "pollyannaish" but sometimes it's a shift in our own attitude which is needed for the other changes to begin. I wish you well.

SugarMouse1 Wed 16-Oct-13 20:53:56

Thanks everyone

Just to clarify- no, I wasn't sacked, I was just let go of during a probationary period. But same outcome. No job.

I know they don't need a good excuse, but surely you couldn't do it to someone for being black/gay/disabled, so why for 'not being bubbly enough', or carbon copies of Anna and Claire?

I'm afraid I don't really have the money for a careers specialist or private counselling.

Will people think its strange if I go and do things on my own?

stubbornstains Wed 16-Oct-13 21:14:14

Are these all customer facing roles you've been doing OP? That kind of work really, really doesn't suit everyone.

EBearhug Wed 16-Oct-13 21:15:20

I go and do things on my own. If I didn't, I'd hardly ever do anything. It's quite possible people think I'm strange, but doing things on my own is probably only one of many possible reasons. grin

SugarMouse1 Thu 17-Oct-13 14:26:18

I know, but how CAN i change myself so that i suit it? 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

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

Next time, Im just going to shout and scream etc, see if thats bubbly enough for them

Ebear- you Obviously dont care what people think. Which is great, but Im so low at thé moment that so much as someone sniggering at me Could push me over thé edge. What things are acceptable to do on your own?

MotherofBear Thu 17-Oct-13 14:56:23

SugarMouse, may I ask how old you are? Because you sound a lot like me about 10 years ago. I haven't changed a huge amount, I still lack confidence. But I have a lot more than I did.

I realized that I have just as much right to be and think and act a certain way as everybody else does, dammit!

I am not particularly bubbly (except when drinking, and not even always then), and I'm not the life and soul of the party by any means.

But I am now able to do stuff on my own. Go shopping, to the cinema, to the pub (with a good book), even on a course. Sometimes the way to make friends/start a conversation is to simply admit that you're the quiet type to someone who looks nice. I've done it myself - chosen a lady who has a friendly face, and just said 'Do you mind if I sit next to you, I'm a little nervous on my own'. She was lovely and completely understanding and we're still in touch.

I think you may have more confidence than you believe though, if you're thinking about going abroad. Would that be something you'd seriously consider, or is it just wishful thinking?

Matildathecat Thu 17-Oct-13 14:58:22

I'm quite decently disabled so had to stop work and give up nearly all the group activities I used to enjoy. So I have had to learn to do things alone sometimes.

I'm planning to go to the cinema tomorrow . It will be the first time for nearly two years and for me it's a really big deal. So I have chosen a shortish film, a comfortable small cinema and a lunchtime showing which will be quiet. I know from experience there will be others alone.

Can yo think of breaking down something in a similar way?

The other thing I do is use my local shops as much as possible. That means I will always get a smile and hello if not more. Little exchanges like that are important to me.

Let us know how you get on. Wish me luck!

Matildathecat Thu 17-Oct-13 14:58:58

Not decently, recently!

MotherofBear Thu 17-Oct-13 15:03:14

Mathildathecat I was thinking how polite it was of you to be 'decently' disabled!

I'm sorry your life has had to change so drastically. I hope you enjoy the cinema tomorrow.

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

Good luck!

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?

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.

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

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

EBearhug You have wise words smile

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.

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.

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

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

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

That's bullying! What horrible people!

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.

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'?

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

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 13:27:35

How are you doing today Sugarmouse1? 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 23:56:41

Can I ask about your family situation? X

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 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?

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.

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.

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.

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

Sorry if that's garbled nonsense!

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

JustThis

Of course not thank you for your reply

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!

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?

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