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To think I must be a cranky old wagon, but I'm not sure how? [long]

(15 Posts)
Berts Mon 24-Mar-14 13:17:26

I seem to have a lot of trouble making friends. I have a few friends, who've known me for years and always have lots of positive stuff to say about what a great friend I am, how I make them laugh and am great for advice/cheering up/being there in a crisis, so I seem to have no problem keeping friends once I've made them.

The thing is, I moved to a new area three years ago, just before I had DD. Since then, I've joined sports clubs, book groups, writers groups, attended baby/toddler groups, invited people round for coffee, arranged drinks. I make an effort to be friendly, take an interest, remember what's going on in other people's lives and what's important to them, resist the impulse to be the 'entertainer' and listen to people.

Still, I see other people in the groups/clubs I attend forming good friendships, exchanging phone numbers and having fun outside of these groups, while I seem stuck at the 'polite conversation' level. My coffee invites are not reciprocated.

I really enjoyed the sports club I was in before I moved, but no-one from there has bothered to keep in touch with me. When other girls left, there were presents, cards, parties, honorary life memberships, but not for me. When I went up to see a few matches after I'd moved, there was about five minutes of hugs and 'really great to see you', then I was ignored. No-one invited me to come up, or to stay over, even though it's a long trip. No-one emails me to see how I am. No-one sent a card when my daughter was born (I was five months pregnant when I left). I realised I'd not made any close friends.

My family all have appalling social skills and are shy and awkward, so I fully accept that the problem is probably me. I do try to cover it up and remember to think about the other person, but I am very shy.

The thing is, how do I learn what I'm doing wrong, so I can fix it? I'm extremely lonely and I don't know how many more groups I can go to and smile, try to make conversation, when it's obvious most people there have their own friends and aren't interested in me?

YoureAShoe Mon 24-Mar-14 13:24:23

Where abouts are you OP? I'd be more than happy to meet up, I'm the same! I often find I'll introduce two of my friends and end up being the odd one out!

Berts Mon 24-Mar-14 13:27:44

West Oxfordshire - don't know if that helps?

I just feel like the lonelier I get, the more cranky/anxious vibes I give off, which is probably putting people off even more!

YoureAShoe Mon 24-Mar-14 13:31:13

I'm next to Heathrow, so would that be the other side of Oxfordshire to you? crap with maps
I know what you mean, have you tried a 'don't care what they think' approach? I find it can help me if I'm not paranoid that people secretly don't like me!

Berts Mon 24-Mar-14 13:34:34

Had to Googlemap it myself grin I'm out the other end, Swindon/Cheltenham direction.

Am trying hard to emanate 'self-contained, happy, not needy and mad' vibes, but it's getting really hard :p

potoftea Mon 24-Mar-14 13:36:20

I think you need to ask your existing friends to be really honest with you and tell you how they would view you if they only met you now.
They probably won't want to hurt you by saying anything too negative, but may be they will be honest when they see that this is really an issue for you.

YoureAShoe Mon 24-Mar-14 13:39:10

Oh okay about 2 hours out, what sort of area do you live in? Posh or not so? Mines quite rough and I find that some people find me very snooty because I breastfed and blw! That didn't help! grin
When you go out do you chat a lot or like to sit and relax and chat at your own pace? I'm the latter, most people I know are the former! They find me quite boring and 'old' (I'm not quite 20 fgs!) grin

Berts Mon 24-Mar-14 13:40:14

Yeah, I have considered that option, actually. Or even contacting some people at my old sports team to say why I (apparently) seem so unapproachable.

Do other people text potential/casual friends reguarly to deepen the friendship? Do they invite themselves over?

Berts Mon 24-Mar-14 13:41:53

Quite posh shoe - and I am skint and quite embarassed to invite people round to see my ancient 2nd hand furniture that is falling apart. I still do though, as I figure nice people won't judge grin

Berts Mon 24-Mar-14 13:44:30

I guess I am used to chatting a lot - I'm quite a social person and love a good old chinwag. I just seem to spend a lot of time lately keeping up my end of the conversation, while the other person doesn't. But then I'll see other people chatting away, so I'm doing something wrong confused

YoureAShoe Mon 24-Mar-14 13:51:40

Maybe the people you choose to approach are just not the sort of people you get on with?

Berts Mon 24-Mar-14 13:55:13

Maybe Shoe - I have made a few friends over the last few years, but all of whom live very far away, so I only see now and then (met them at work things).

Balaboosta Mon 24-Mar-14 14:05:40

It's interesting that there's quite a few threads on here at the moment with this problem. Yours is nice cos you aren't blaming other people or sounding like you have a chip on your shoulder about it. I think these type of issues are very difficult to confront because one is basically completely mystified about oneself. The only thing I can recommend is to spend some time looking into a practice of meditation called loving kindness. It helped me to open up and give and receive greater warmth and affection. As well as to get in touch with who you are. I wish you good luck.

Berts Mon 24-Mar-14 14:16:38

Thanks Balaboosta (and everyone who's posted so far) - I'll give it a go. I do meditate and am trying to remain positive, learn to love myself, but it's really hard somedays and today I'm just feeling a bit 'waaaaa!'

ScottishInSwitzerland Mon 24-Mar-14 14:37:28

Is there perhaps a smaller group you could join - I moved almost a year ago and I felt that the people I met through toddler groups and my daughter pre school have been much more like casual acquaintances.

But I joined an attachment parent group which has about seven people in it and they are mainly the people who are my 'proper' friends

It can be hard I sympathise. I miss my old friends. But nobody has come to visit me despite lots of invitations. And often calls and emails go unanswered. I think that often is the way of it when you move away. Everybody has a busy life and it's not that they don't like you or don't care. Just that everyday family and life take precedence.

I am fairly good at making new connections and friends. But just today I asked one of the mums at preschool if she wanted to grab a coffee and she looked all panicked and blurted out something about having laundry to do. It seemed clear to me she really didn't want to spend extra time with me. It just happens sometimes.

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