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to offer a different perspective on the "clique" thing

(300 Posts)
CailinDana Fri 21-Mar-14 15:18:57

I sympathise with people who struggle to make friends. It's hard, and loneliness is horrible. I've been in situations where I've struggled to make friends and it was extremely frustrating.

But. I always saw my lack of friends as my problem or the product of circumstances rather than the fault of "cliquey" others who wouldn't include me.

Aren't "cliques" just friendship groups that you don't happen to be part of? And surely it's not their duty to include you if they don't want to? It's up to them who they want to be friends with and it seems odd to get angry at them for not just insiscriminately including everyone.

Definitely, some peope are just Not Nice. But why want to be friends with them anyway? Everyone else is just bumbling along getting by. If they happen to have a group of friends they laugh with at the school gate, good for them.

Don't look to others to validate you. They just don't have the time or inclination to do that.

WorraLiberty Fri 21-Mar-14 15:22:44

This has been said many times and I totally agree.

Often the person calling a friendship group a 'clique' is quite bitter and resentful...or at least that's how they come across.

KeemaNaanAndCurryOn Fri 21-Mar-14 15:24:05

In my experience, there's two kinds of friendship groups, the cliquey and the non-cliquey. I've come across both.

The non-cliquey will talk to, and are interested in getting to know new people. They are the ones who are generally open to other people joining in. The cliquey are closed, unwelcoming and not interested.

In the hols there are two places I can take my DS who has SN. One isn't cliquey and even though I don't get to go that often, people are always friendly and welcoming and will say hi. I even get invited on group events, even though I'm not a regular of the group.

The other, I can go and no one will talk to me the whole time I'm there and if I try to make conversation I don't get very far.

There's a definite difference.

dammitsue Fri 21-Mar-14 15:24:11

I find being in friendship gangs over the age of 15 childish.

caruthers Fri 21-Mar-14 15:25:03

People just have to accept that some people don't like them and other people do.

Not everyone likes you and expecting them to is pretty unreasonable.

CailinDana Fri 21-Mar-14 15:27:25

Dammit - what do you mean by "friendship gangs"?

Keema, is there a co ordinator who should be managing the group or is it just a sort yourself out sort of thing?

QuacksForDoughnuts Fri 21-Mar-14 15:27:54

Depends who you are talking about. If it's five people in a six-person office who consciously exclude the remaining person, talk loudly about what great friends they are and make loud plans for social events that person 6 is categorically not invited to and lie to the boss when they fuck up so person 6 gets the blame, then let's not give them the benefit of the doubt. If it's any group of people who act like they have shite under their nose when they have to talk to someone outside the group, that strikes me as a bit unhealthy. If it's five people in a large company, college, whatever who happen to have a lot in common that's different - basically if people who are excluded by that group don't have their face rubbed in the exclusion all the time. (and also it is nice if group members don't get sniffy about other group members' partners for no reason, but that's a side issue here)

Pootles2010 Fri 21-Mar-14 15:28:00

I agree entirely - I think the need to be liked all the time has a large part to play too.

Why do we seem to have this pathological need to be loved by all, all the time? And feel it to be such a personal rejection if someone gets along with someone else better than us?

Sillysarah49 Fri 21-Mar-14 15:29:42

I agree Cailin. It just seems such a recurring theme on here about people saying women are mean/unfriendly/cold etc. Sure some are. But we all have our likes and dislikes and sometimes we become friendly with other women purely because of our children and if it wasn't for them we wouldn't be friends. Also friendships ebb and flow and we outgrow our baby/toddler circle and move on. Its normal and I wish we could all try to accept this rhythm to friendships - I get the feeling men are much more accepting of this.

CailinDana Fri 21-Mar-14 15:30:14

That's bullying though Quacks, which is an entirely different thing.

Summerblaze Fri 21-Mar-14 15:30:24

I've never understand this either. In the playground there are a group of Mums that I generally stand with and chat to as my eldest and their dc are friends. There are 5 of us.

Does this mean I am in a "cliquey" group?

I do speak and say hello to lots of other people though who I know from ds's year group or other reasons. Some people I just don't know though, so don't go out of my way to talk to them as surely then I would end up with hundreds of "friends".

AngelaDaviesHair Fri 21-Mar-14 15:32:36

Some people are insecure and anxious and it makes them tend to look for the slights and the exclusion before they've happened. People then pick up on these negative signals and avoid them, because they come across badly. I know, I was that woman for years.

Pootles2010 Fri 21-Mar-14 15:33:46

Oh god Angela I fear that might be me too... how do you get out of it?

WooWooOwl Fri 21-Mar-14 15:34:16

I agree too.

And I think it's ok to not want to get to know yet another Mum from school, and to not want to make small talk with them for the sake of it.

By the time my second child was starting reception, I had enough friends through my children, work, school days etc, and it was hard enough finding the time to catch up with all of them regularly, without adding more to the mix just for the sake of not being seen as cliquey.

QuacksForDoughnuts Fri 21-Mar-14 15:34:24

I don't need to be liked all the time/loved by all, in fact I do a job that may completely bugger the chance of this happening. But I have better professional interactions with people who aren't always whispering in corners or attempting to demarcate certain others as their territory, and I am more likely to go back to the (for example) dance class where the other participants are friendly to a new person than one where they are not.

QuacksForDoughnuts Fri 21-Mar-14 15:35:35

Xpost - no, it isn't a different thing. 'Clique' covers a spectrum from 'friendship group you happen not to be in' to the stuff I described.

yegodsandlittlefishes Fri 21-Mar-14 15:38:28

I've come to the conclusion that friendship groups are vastly overrated. Or rather, that true friendship groups of locals are bloody fantastic but most people are far too high maintenence or self obsessed for the friendships to properly function, let alone last. There. I am in a clique of one. Sod the lot of you.

(No, not you; them.)

AngelaDaviesHair Fri 21-Mar-14 15:40:28

In my case, Pootles, therapy, being happier, great husband. He's similar, we talk each other out of it, and psyche each other up to socialising.

Not being lonely any more means each encounter is less important, if you see what I mean (you aren't pinning all hopes on making new friends at your latest evening class, for example) and so it gets easier.

Quangle Fri 21-Mar-14 15:41:20

Agree with the OP and with this:

Some people are insecure and anxious and it makes them tend to look for the slights and the exclusion before they've happened

I'm not the most Pollyanna-ish person in the world but I often find that people will automatically rush to put the worst possible interpretation on something, perhaps out of their own sense of powerlessness, than just to think "oh that could have been one of a thousand things...ho hum..." and carry on with their day. This is especially the case in AIBU where there's lots of "this mum said I was lucky to be having a girl/boy and now I feel she was getting at me because boys/girls are not as valued as girls/boys so she must be a bitch" and so on and so on.

I tend to think (and just extrapolating from my own actions here) that on the whole people aren't trying to be mean but they also don't really care that much and are just passing the time of day or making a mindless remark or rushing to get to work and haven't realised that someone else is interpreting all these actions as being all about them and targeted at them.

bluepen Fri 21-Mar-14 15:43:00

Groups are inclusive. Cliques are exclusive.
Groups include people. Cliques exclude people.

CailinDana Fri 21-Mar-14 15:43:29

So you don't count that as bullying then Quacks?

Nancy66 Fri 21-Mar-14 15:44:55

I can't imagine anyone over the age of 15 wanting to be in a 'clique'

Not saying they don't happen, just find it baffling that adult women want to behave like the cast of Mean Girls

WorraLiberty Fri 21-Mar-14 15:48:17

Groups are inclusive but surely they're only going to include people the group members like?

If a really nice group of people don't want someone they can't stand joining them, that doesn't suddenly make them a clique.

It just makes them not two faced.

HoneyDragon Fri 21-Mar-14 15:48:18

There is the social convention of clique, I just think a amount of social groups are labelled as such unnecessarily.

CoffeeTea103 Fri 21-Mar-14 15:48:19

I couldn't agree with your post more. Yes there are groups of people who just get along better with others, it doesn't mean that they're bad. Often the one trying desperately to become apart of this group sees it as being cliquey.

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