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To think it must be me - re friends etc

(49 Posts)
Ann44 Tue 12-Feb-13 19:24:13


Ann44 Thu 14-Feb-13 13:46:06

MonstrousPippin - thanks for your suggestion but although it sounds good I very much doubt I'd be welcome with my singing voice! I once did karioke a long time ago and pretty much emptied the pub.

Ann44 Thu 14-Feb-13 13:43:39

Wow lots of responses. And many good points that I haven't been able to see.

I thought I'd tackle my confidence first so have bought a Paul McKenna CD about boosting confidence. Even if it doesn't work at least I'll be relaxing while I'm listening to it. I've had a look at the Meetup site which SoleSource mentioned which have some things on that I can go to.

I thought I might see my gp and see if I can get a recommendation for a counsellor as not really sure what type to go for.

THERhubarb - you're right! I have offered to do favours for people in the past then afterwards thought 'why did I do that' as it wasn't convenient for me and then been annoyed with myself. I did manage to stop myself saying I would do something after another mum at school said 'oh you could go for me' the other day. I did have to bite my tongue though. So maybe I'll learn!

glenthebattleostrick - will go and check my messages and get back to you.

THanks all.

MonstrousPippin Wed 13-Feb-13 18:41:25

After my divorce I lost quite a lot of friends and ended up feeling very alone. My advice would be to try not to focus too much on one-to-one friendship as you're putting all your eggs in one basket and then getting really disappointed because your one chance falls through when it doesn't work out.

I joined a community choir - that might not be your kind of thing, but any kind of thing where you meet a bunch of people at once in a big group is less pressure, particularly if there's something that you are getting together to actually do (like sing) rather than focusing on making friends. That was 3 years ago and I still go and am great friends with some of the people I met. After rehearsals we go to the pub for a drink and you gradually get to know people. New people are welcomed in because it's basically the best policy to have if you want to have a successful club!

Is there anything like that you think you could do where you can meet a lot of new people gradually?

glenthebattleostrich Wed 13-Feb-13 17:44:50

Hi OP,

I've PM'ed you my email address so we can arrange a meet up. May I, I've sent it to you too.

Can I suggest somewhere quite central like Meadowhall (unless you have a better idea). Anyone else fancy a nice lunch?

I'll probably have to bring the toddler but she is ok really grin

THERhubarb Wed 13-Feb-13 17:00:22

And btw just noticed that you offered to drive to a meet-up with other posters. So before they even mentioned it you went straight in there and offered to drive - do you often find yourself doing this?


So what if you can drive and have a car? Perhaps they do too? Most people don't offer straight away, they leave it until they find out more and then compromise with offering to drive one week whilst the other will offer to drive the week after. By offering before you are asked, you are giving the impression that you are more than happy to do all the driving and this will result in you being taken advantage of.

Make this your new rule. Stop offering so much. Give them a chance to offer themselves.

THERhubarb Wed 13-Feb-13 16:53:16

I think that people often latch onto nice people like you.

I dunno but I think that perhaps when you are lonely and actively looking for friends, you can come across as a bit needy and this might put off some of the decent people and attract the not-so-decent people.

When I first had dd I was in the same position. None of my friends had kids or were even married so I felt like I had to start again. I had just recovered from ante-natal depression and really did feel like a fish out of water.

I went to a few meet-ups with the NCT and with baby groups but most of the mums had been to ante-natal classes together or had known each other for years and it's really hard to make an opening for yourself in that environment. I didn't drive and so every week I would trek across town with my dd to NCT coffee groups. Then one week I plucked up the courage to have one in my house. I spent that whole morning cleaning and making little cakes. No-one turned up.

I've had plenty of disasterous friendships since which always seemed to be on their terms and never on mine. Like you, I wondered why no-one was interested in going out or coming to mine for coffee. Why was it that I always seemed to pay for lunch out? Why was I always making the effort?

It wasn't until I gained confidence, got back into my career and became comfortable in my own skin that I started to make actual friends. It's not easy and even now, I find that I am offering to have my kids' friends round for tea more than they do. I think that people are just too ready to take advantage of others when it's convenient to do so.

My advice would be to stop looking for friends. Do things for yourself for a change. Do you work? If not then volunteer for something. Take up a night class. Join a local drama group to boost your confidence. Challenge yourself. Do something that you wouldn't normally do. Do an unusual fundraiser (there are plenty of organised fundraisers for comic relief). Go out of your comfort zone and tackle your fears head on.

IME when you stop looking, as in love, you suddenly find someone. People can sense a confident, relaxed and interesting person. Have you ever found yourself drawn to someone? Or watched as one person seemed to lap up all the attention? They are people who are happy with themselves, who don't even need to try anymore.

We can't all be like that but if you lead an interesting life that is full of challenges you will become by default an interesting person who is brimming with confidence. So stop looking for friends, start focusing on turning your life around instead and you will find that friends will start looking for you.


Pigsmummy Wed 13-Feb-13 16:52:31

Counsellor would help, I tried one from my GP and didnt get on well as language was really an issue (I spoke English they didn't) and the waitig time for appointments was very long, so I found a private one, spent between £250 -£300 in total across several sessions, at a time to suit and got home work to do too, it was really worth it. I just used the Internet to find someone, I was lucky to find a professional who worked for the Priory full time but was also taking private patients to keep his skills up, check that they are credited etc before you spend any money.

Also give the friend who fell some more time, she might have really hurt herself of not want to go out in bad weather?

You sound really nice, don't beat yourself up x

paulapantsdown Wed 13-Feb-13 16:38:58

I feel sorry for you OP, that must feel really lousy. For the record, you can be married and have friends and still feel really lonely if things in your own head are not right - talking from experience here.

I think you need to see a therapist to discuss the fact that it appears you had two narcissistic parents, who have done your self esteem no good at all.

DontEvenThinkAboutIt Wed 13-Feb-13 16:24:04

I think you have shown that you are doing the right things but just not clicked with anyone.
I find it easier to make friends in semi structured situations.
Playing sport is a brilliant way. Things like tennis or badminton are group sports and good for all levels of players.
Playing sport is fun and seems to naturally lead to friendships. It is always easy to go for a coffee afterwards without it being a big deal.
If you don't like organised sports then walking groups are a great alternative.
I would say the same about volunteering,although you have to find the right type of thing to do.
I find one-on-one meet ups a bit more difficult and less casuals til I know the person well.

Also, it takes time to make friends. I have moved a lot and I find it takes a couple of years to make really good friends.

SoleSource Wed 13-Feb-13 14:20:49

Feeling positive today I think you are smile We are always here.

Ann44 Wed 13-Feb-13 10:46:50

Mayi & Glen - would love a meetup. I have a car so distance not too much of a problem.

HoleyGhost - I re-doing my CV at the moment as looking for more work. I must admit that I'm finding it hard as I trying to highlight my positives while feeling down!

HoleyGhost Wed 13-Feb-13 10:31:29

From what you've posted, I think it is not you but your circumstances. Counselling is a good idea. I would also consider looking for work outside the home and joining some activities - signing up for stuff and deciding in advance to try it a few times.

Friendship grows over time

glenthebattleostrich Wed 13-Feb-13 10:26:45

Hi Ann and mayi,

I'm on the border of South and West Yorkshire, perhaps we should arrange a meet-up? I'm happy to stick something on the local board too.

I know what you mean about working from home being soooo lonely. I'm a childminder and it can be so isolating.

Hope you are feeling better today smile

mayihaveaboxofchoculaits Wed 13-Feb-13 10:18:55

Am in south yorkshire as well. You seem really sound, maybe we could meet up. Its a start?

Ann44 Wed 13-Feb-13 09:35:46

A lot of what you're saying is making sense to me. I think I subconsciously married someone who didn't value me. He was never there for me when I needed him and even let his mother treat me badly. As I did as well because I didn't have to confidence to stand up to her. I finally divorced him after finding out he'd had another woman on the go for quite a while and wasn't sorry about it when I found out.

It's funny how I've let people treat me badly but am very protective of my 2 children and wouldn't let anyone hurt them. I have a very loving and close relationship with them so must be doing something right!

I'm going to try and work on my confidence as I'm sure that'll help. I do know that I can't expect people to value me if I don't value myself.

HoleyGhost - I do work but from home so very little contact with other people. I do have hobbies but find joining groups quite difficult as quite shy.

Longtalljosie Wed 13-Feb-13 06:20:28

I agree with other posters - I also think that maintaining a friendship often requires a degree of confidence that your bad start in life (parents etc) and subsequent relationships may have knocked out of you. I have friends - good friends - whom I see only rarely. But I believe they care for me and so I continue to make the effort. Sometimes it does end up falling to you, you get into a pattern of doing so.

Imaginethat Wed 13-Feb-13 06:09:37

I think that during your childhood you became used to being treated badly and possibly seek to recreate the same poor quality friendships, subconsciously. So many of us do this as we follow behaviour patterns engrained from our earliest years to seek relationships that provide us with the comfort of familiarity - even if that familiarity means pain. In short, you deserve and need better friends but you have been "trained" to accept poor quality friends and may not be able to recognise better possibilities. And to change this you need quite a lot of help, probably long-term therapy. It can be different but I think you will need good support because if you have been ill treated as a child then you will not be accustomed to recognising your needs and comfort levels, you will tend to put others first and be left in pain.

All the best with finding good help. I think it is great that you have recognised you deserve better x

HoleyGhost Wed 13-Feb-13 05:57:36

Do you work or have hobbies?

Friendship is all about trust, it builds over time with shared interests.

LilMissSunshine9 Wed 13-Feb-13 00:47:02

I am so where you are at OP in my own life - after uni my best mate of 10yrs got married and dropped me because his wife just didn't like our close friendship and since then I just haven't managed to develop any real friendships and I too cannot work out sometimes what it is. I look at the people I say are my friends now but to be honest they aren't my friends they don't even bother to call me at all no matter the effort I put in. Luckily I enjoy my own company but god sometimes I just wish to have my best friend back. I did an analysis of my friends and realised that actually they are just people I knew from my old work place and in reality we don't have that many common interests - I love films they aren't too bothered. So I am using meetup to join groups of people who have the same interests as me and hopefully I can make one good friendship.

SoleSource Tue 12-Feb-13 22:57:48

Keep posting. Ups and downs you will experience. You feel less alone but you are helping others too.

Tulahoob Tue 12-Feb-13 22:24:44

No it's definitely not you, and you're not alone in feeling the way you do, OP.

I've always been the type of person that attracts friends, but no one really likes me enough to consider me a close friend. People are pleasant enough and I think I gel with people but it's always me organising meet ups and nights out, and nine times out of ten people will be busy or will cancel at the last minute. I then see on Facebook that they are out all the time and meeting up with other people. It all seems to effortless for so many people!

I did meet a friend that I quickly became very close to and thought maybe we could be good friends, in fact we were good friends for a while. I then introduced her to another friend of mine and suddenly the two of them were the best of friends and I was out of the equation.

I too have also had experiences of meeting online friends, meeting up and getting on well, only for them to then stop contact with me after meeting up.

I am slowly coming round to the conclusion that I'm just not cut out to have lots of friends and that I'm just going to stop bothering with people.

FeeFiFoMum Tue 12-Feb-13 22:17:36

I am in a very similar situation to you. I have found it just as hard to hold on to friendships, and felt hurt and lonely when people simply haven't got back in touch.

I'm a single mum with a baby and a pre-schooler so I just don't - ever - go out in the evenings, it's too much hassle worrying about the children. I'm honest about this with potential friends, let them know upfront it doesn't suit me to go out in the eves, but I think that's one reason why people have 'cut me out' as I never go to the pub etc. whereas they do, even the ones with young children as their husbands can childmind.

Then I also have an anxiety disorder after an abusive childhood and low self-esteem (despite 10+ years of counselling sadly - I have made progress but it's been hard after an extremely poor childhood).

I don't mind my own company or that of my children, but often do feel lonely. I promise you, if you were living closer (I am in Ireland!) I would arrange to meet up and do something if you wanted, a coffee once a week or something...anyway i hope you find some decent friends who will be flexible given your arthritis and considerate.

Whitegrenache Tue 12-Feb-13 22:04:32

Yeah! Go girl x

Ann44 Tue 12-Feb-13 22:02:01

Thank you all so much. It had all been building up so much lately and I just felt really sorry for myself tonight. All your very kind words have made me feel less alone.

I think a lot of my problems are lack of self confidence and, like many of you have highlighted, a need to please. This I know I need to work on.

I'm off to bed now but I'm going to look for a counsellor tomorrow and arrange to see one. This is going to be my first step, then hopefully look for some sort of club etc I can join.

SoftKittyWarmKitty Tue 12-Feb-13 21:20:32

OP, I'm in a pretty similar boat in a way. My friends are all married and have their own lives and families so I rarely see them (and in the past meet ups have often been on their terms, to places of their choosing, at un-reciprocated inconvenience to me). These days I have few friends but I'm ok with that. I'm a natural introvert anyway, so luckily I love my own company.

I think some counselling would be a great idea. Not only will it help you to understand that this isn't your fault but it'll help increase your self confidence. I notice in your long post that you mention going to places where other people want to go and always letting the other person 'lead', if you like. I expect you do this as you hate confrontation and maybe believe you don't 'deserve' to choose where to go or even to express a preference. This most likely stems from your childhood where you had to placate your dad. Counselling will help you deal with this and increase your assertiveness. I've pm'd you the name of a counsellor I know of, not sure if she's in your area but it might give you a starting point.

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