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To wonder if these are good friends or not? So confused, pissed off

(17 Posts)
Havetogoitalone Fri 30-Oct-15 19:12:33

I have friends who are much less bothered by whether they see me or not. It's usually me that suggests meeting up. Sometimes they don't respond. They suggest meeting when it's something important to them eg a birthday, or if they're just kicking around and have nothing better to do they might suggest a coffee.

I have to assume here that quite simply, they don't value the friendship and that they don't especially enjoy my company.

However I've known the group a long time and we have all been there for each other in various different life crises. If something awful happened to me, I could call them for a chat (and vice versa) and say my house burned down - they'd let me stay a few days. They are kind people, not remotely bad.

I think they like me but just don't enjoy my company and I'm not sure that makes sense. Maybe they just feel a civic duty towards me or something.

It is affecting my self esteem, though. All my friendships are like this to a degree. I posted on Facebook that I had a stay booked in a hotel that I couldn't go on (because friend has bailed but did not put that in my post) and could anyone make use of it because I can't go now.

Within 5 mins I had a text from somebody asking if I was ok because they were surprised I wasn't going on this mini break. This is somebody who I feel does the same thing as described above - doesn't seem to want to hang out, but is concerned I am ok, which is lovely, but I want friends to spend time with and do stuff with...

Argh I dunno if I am making sense.

Aibu? Probably grin

bellybuttonfluffy Fri 30-Oct-15 19:19:34

To be fair, they sound like good friends to me. Everyone has a life, and it's hard seeing friends often when families and jobs and life gets in the way.
They sound like they really care for you though, and would make the time for you in a crisis.

ElleAndAitch Fri 30-Oct-15 19:22:03

How old are you, OP?

Havetogoitalone Fri 30-Oct-15 19:23:52

Ok, thank you. Am prepared to be told I'm v unreasonable.

Today though I did tell the one who had cancelled on me for the 4th time that I did not feel like that's not treating a friend with respect, though I know she's having a hard time and am there for her if she needs me. I say this because despite cancelling on me repeatedly, she makes the effort to meet up with other friends and go out to get trashed in the pub.

I myself have had a large glass of wine and it's helping make everything feel better grin

Narp Fri 30-Oct-15 19:24:58

They do sound like friends, but maybe they are less sociable/more tired/more introverted/have more on than you?

Narp Fri 30-Oct-15 19:26:11

Ah well, what you've just said is a little different

I think Facebook has a lot to answer for. I don't have it, and what the eye doesn't see, the heart doesn't grieve over

Havetogoitalone Fri 30-Oct-15 19:26:18

I am 30, why?

I am never sure of where I am in friendships due to bullying/ ostracising throughout my schooldays - is that what you are getting at?

Havetogoitalone Fri 30-Oct-15 19:30:32

I am annoyed at the aforementioned person for cancelling our night out tonight. BLOODY ANNOYED.

I have not been out socially in 4 weeks, hence the wine making me tipsy already, which I suppose is a plus!

Was really looking forward to it and all sad

Mouthfulofquiz Fri 30-Oct-15 19:43:05

I think that you have to just accept that some people need a lot of company and socialising and others do not. Maybe they just need to flake out after a hard week. I've posted on this before, but it's a difficult mismatch when you have a friend who always wants to do stuff when you just need to be on your own for a bit after a hard week. I expect that they do like you, and do value you - but don't need to see you as much as you want to see them. I've got best friends that I only want to see every few weeks - I love them dearly but we are just different in our expectations of friendship. Don't lose heart - it sounds like you have a confidence or self esteem issue due to your past experiences. Enjoy your wine and don't fixate on it flowers wine

Ineedtimeoff Fri 30-Oct-15 19:49:35

I see my best friend 4 or 5 times a year. That is enough for me. My friendship is conditional and in a true emergency she could count on me but if it's just a tricky situation then probably not. I never answer my phone and my absolute priority is my family. I have limited time and energy. I choose to spend them on my family. Spending time with friends detracts from that.

I know that I'm extreme and my attitude to friendship is unhealthy, I suspect that you are at the other end of the spectrum and require a lot from friendships. Perhaps your friends just don't need the contact that much?

Havetogoitalone Fri 30-Oct-15 20:40:03

I wouldn't say I require a lot from friendships. But I do expect arrangements to not be cancelled loads. If someone cancels every now and again I don't really give a toss, it's just all the time that starts to feel a bit weird.

I'm actually quite introverted in that I need lots of time to myself to recharge. I do want social contact however. so when I try to plan bits and pieces of stuff to do with people and then they back out at the last minute it's difficult because it's too late to arrange with somebody else.

I have no family which doesn't help. Not likely to get one either. It's very depressing to think I will never be wanted because I will never be in a family.

Bloomsberry Fri 30-Oct-15 21:00:07

OP, is that last sentiment about never being wanted because you aren't in a family and are never going to have one something you think about a lot? I ask because I'm wondering whether it has an impact on how you present yourself to others, which in turn has an effect on the dynamics of your friendships.

I did once have a friend from university days who always seemed to present each invitation to do something as some kind of test of our friendship (I was desperately busy in a demanding job with a hideous commute and wanted far less contact with anyone, because I was so exhausted), and saw herself rather melodramatically as being forced to spend her life alone. (We're no longer in touch, nearly 20 years later, but she's married.) It got a bit exhausting, and I distanced myself. Having said that, if I agreed to do something with her, I didn't cancel, but I realised it was beginning to feel like a duty.

The FB 'I can't go on a hotel break' thing is pretty much what she would have done (had FB been invented) - she would have genuinely believed she was simply offering the room to someone else, but it would also have been a test to see 'whether anyone cares'.

Not clear though on whether the entire group repeatedly cancels on you at the last minute, or just one of them?

Havetogoitalone Fri 30-Oct-15 21:26:04

I sold the hotel thing on Facebook because I genuinely cannot afford to lose the money if at all possible! Somebody who does a hobby I do has now said they want it, which is good and was the purpose. I will spend it on an activity that I do by myself which is something to look forward to. It was not remotely attention seeking, I simply said a variation of "can't go - does anyone fancy this, it costs £x".

Truly at a loss now if that is something else I did wrong. I don't know the rules.

I don't really spend ages thinking about the fact I'm not in a family, only at times like this when it seems like several people have let me down.

I wouldn't dream of trying to test my friends, and I don't think I am.

What happens is, I feel 'normal' and in good spirits, and think it's up to me to 'put myself out there' if I want company - so I suggest stuff. If I don't get a reply I try to shrug it off. If people respond and seem enthusiastic, I take it at face value, or well I have done until now. Then when there's a string of cancellations my self esteem takes a battering and I wonder am I being obtuse and not getting the hints that they don't want to spend time with me.

Now I am questioning whether I am the friendship equivalent of the fall back girl. I think that sort of sums it up. I'm questioning where my boundaries are and if I accept people treating me carelessly, not because they are bad people, but just because they simply don't think of me enough and seem to have a bit of trouble respecting my time.

It's the group who cancel on me, both individually and in a group, if you see what I mean.

Bloomsberry Sat 31-Oct-15 00:04:37

Haveto, honestly, I'm not criticising, I don't know you or your friends, and I could be barking up the wrong tree, it was just that a couple of things you'd said reminded me of why I'd found my friendship with D so difficult towards the end. And your username made me wonder whether you brooded on your solitude and whether that meant you were looking for some kind of validation from your friendships.

But either way, you're not getting what you need from these friendships, so maybe try to expand your circle.

TessaLation Sat 31-Oct-15 00:46:51

I can see where you are coming from, OP.

I appear to have 'lots' of friends but really most of my friendships seem to be based on me making effort and others making reciprocal effort because of that. I don't think that I would ever be the first person any of my friends think of to contact or to invite somewhere.

It's very frustrating, but it's that or have no social life so I just suck it up.

Mmmmcake123 Sat 31-Oct-15 01:02:38

I had two very long-term friends that I thought were friends. I was always invited out on birthdays. I was often invited to drinks out that I couldn't really be arsed with but that's a long story, being made to feel alienated etc. There was an event on fb whilst I was off sick from work. Neither friend contacted me to check I was OK, think they both thought I was pulling a Sickie !?!
I still wonder if everything was a complete misunderstanding as I do miss them, but I can't understand why neither of them got in touch

Havetogoitalone Sat 31-Oct-15 20:13:12

Thanks, all.

No I wasn't taking it as criticism really, more like wtf I'm just bewildered I don't know exactly how I'm fucking up so badly. I'm still half sure I am being unreasonable in some way, in something I do that isn't right - I just don't think the problem is that I am testing people or being high maintenance.

Feel a bit low about it all tonight. Half the group who originally said they wanted to go out last night (where I was invited, but didn't happen, it was meant to be me and the other person who cancelled at last minute, sorry it's complicated!) are going to a party tonight instead and didn't ask me. One of them called me and was all friendly and asked what my plans were. It's just awkward now.

To those who are feeling a bit similar, I'm sorry you are feeling that way too, it is shit.

I can't fathom people.

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