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To think that having a good strong group of friends from childhood means you make friends easier throughout life?

(25 Posts)
Arabellaboo Sat 03-Sep-16 22:21:11

As you've always got that group of good, unconditional friends to fall back on and therefore you're not as bothered about making friends from work/school run/mum groups/hobbies?

I had a lovely group of friends at primary school and for the first year of secondary school. We then moved and I started a new school at the beginning of year 8 when friendships had been very well established and no one wanted me as a friend. I was also bullied throughout the new school years and so just didn't really leave school with many friends. The town I moved to/live in now is the kind of town too where everyone knows everyone else and people stick with who they know.

I have always struggled since then to fit in in any groups of potential friends, and always find myself on the edge of things. No one is ever particularly bothered about being friends with me.

I see aquaintances that have a solid group of friends that they've been friends with since they were 5, and all lived near each other growing up, and they seem to collect additional friends wherever they go as people seem to admire them for being part of a tight knit group and want their friendship. It's hard to explain but I know what I mean!

Shouldwebeworried Sat 03-Sep-16 22:34:25

I know exactly what you mean, I don't have any friends feom childhood and that makes me sad.
I had some friends in the year above me in primary school and was then horrendously bullied when they left. Also bullied in secondary school, moved schools in year 8 and made friends there but lost them once I left college. Have a couple of friends (literally 2) from uni that I keep in touch with and have made one mum friend and a couple from work but none close.
I am envious of people who have very close friendships and would love to have people that I knew I could rely on no matter what.

I feel very lonely sometimes and often doubt myself and think people don't like me (I think this harks back to the bullying and people pretending to like me/be my friend then turning round and slagging me off/laughing behind my back) and generally think I must not be very likable/a bit of a twat. Which probably doesn't help endear me to others.

I completely understand about the feeling on the edge of things and being the odd one out.
It sucks and I don't know how to rectify it but I am trying to not let it bother me these days and just be happy with the few aquaintnaces I do have.

HappinessLivesHere Sun 04-Sep-16 09:36:09

I know exactly what you mean. I've acquired my partners friendship group, a group of 5 lads who have been friends for 30 years and have picked up 3 others growing up. So now we're a group of 14 who all socialise together, as various couples and as women/men. I have lots of my own close friends but I love this group!

MsVestibule Sun 04-Sep-16 09:49:30

I disagree, although everybody posting will only be able to write their own 'evidence'!

I moved every three years as a child (3mo, 5yo, 8yo, 11yo, 14yo, 17yo) and had to make/leave new friends every time.

I now live in a largeish town, but the sort where a lot of them grow up and don't leave. I've had no problems making friends at all - although when I first moved here (just had my first baby), I was quite pushy and gave my telephone number out to anybody I liked at the the baby groups 😀.

elodie2000 Sun 04-Sep-16 09:50:58

This doesn't only happen with people who have childhood friends but with women who have several sisters and/ or live near to their extended family.

There must be people who have no 'history' in the place they live though OP. but I agree, finding them is quite hard!

My friends generally come from work so we travel to see each other/ meet up. The school run was a dead loss. Everyone seemed to know each other, each other's families, they were cousins or went to school with each other...

IrenetheQuaint Sun 04-Sep-16 09:55:14

I dunno, I lost contact with all but a couple of my school friends by my early 20s but have lots of friends now. But I do have a good group of university friends, and I live in London so don't have that thing of everyone around having grown up together.

Greengager Sun 04-Sep-16 10:32:28

I have a tight-knit group of secondary school friends. We live all over the place now but generally have a xmas/nye do every year and a group holiday every other year or so. However I still struggle to make friends as an adult. Seems to require a lot of effort. I've never needed to put this in with my school friends. It just works.

CaptainCrunch Sun 04-Sep-16 10:39:25

I disagree, I think it's just individual experience. I lost touch with my school friends about 25 years ago and it's never hindered me making new ones. I've kept friends from various sources throughout my life and am still making new ones at the age of 51. I have a very positive outlook and like trying new things and am very present focused, dwelling on the past isn't healthy imo.

bigTillyMint Sun 04-Sep-16 10:45:33

I agree with CaptainCrunch, it's individual experience.

I am still friends with a few from secondary school and several from uni, but I then moved 200 miles away, so we don't hang out together on a daily basis!

I have picked up lots of other friends along the way - some have moved and we keep in touch, others live nearby and we see each other more frequently. And I am still making new friends at 52!

RunningLulu Sun 04-Sep-16 11:13:45

I never really had close school friends. But I can make friends easily enough. I guess it just depends on your personality.

Sn0tnose Sun 04-Sep-16 11:59:49

I grew up on an estate full of big families and all the kids were around the same age, so we would be out playing from first thing in the morning to when our mums would begin calling us in, along with younger siblings. Although, at school, I was quite reserved and preferred a much smaller friendship group. I now have a lovely group of truly wonderful women I'm friends with, but the vast majority have been friendships established as an adult, within the last fifteen years, with only two or three friendships from my school days. I don't find it hard to make friends, even though I'm really quite anti social and enjoy my own company.

My DH's closest friends have all grown up together and I'd be really surprised if they weren't still all as close when they're old boys collecting their pensions. He's definitely the life and soul of any party.

Both of us would much rather have one good friend than dozens of superficial friendships.

U2HasTheEdge Sun 04-Sep-16 12:14:59

I know what you mean.

I have always struggled with making new friends, right from a tiny child. I have always felt left out and uncomfortable and while people would class me as outgoing and confident, inside I have always felt unlikable. A lot of that stems from my dad and previous bullying. I am having CBT for it now.

I have recently met this woman who I really like, we have met up a few times now. This is the first time this has happened for bloody years and years and now I feel like I'm dating again. Second guessing myself and wondering if it will last, will I put her off etc etc. I find it all very hard but at the same time it has made me realise what I've been missing out on and maybe I'm not as unlikable as I thought. I fear rejection so if people don't invite me out I'm not going to push myself which is a huge part of the problem I think.

PotofGold1186 Sun 04-Sep-16 12:20:12

I don't have any groups of friends from childhood either but it doesn't make me sad anymore. I live in a small town where people stay in touch but I was an awkward child and teen. I gave up a long time ago trying to fit into a "group" and no longer desire it. I have some really good friends from different places I've worked at. None of them know each other and, to be honest, life is simpler because of it! I embrace the "no group of friends" 😊

pinkdelight Sun 04-Sep-16 12:31:17

My experience is very different OP. I feel like the bunch of people around you in childhood is completely random and the chances of finding a great match - a Lennon and MacCartney - are incredibly slim. As I've got older, from A-levels, to uni, to work, the overlap between me and those around me has got so much greater, we have so much more in common and much greater friendships as a result. I feel like we cast our nets wide when we're young then refine what we really want as we get older. I'm still in touch with a few people from school but really that place/time is all we have in common. From your post, it sounds like you're maybe defining yourself too much by those early experiences and what you may have missed out on, instead of looking at yourself now, at what you've got to offer and the opportunities for new friendships. Sorry if that sounds horribly positive. I do feel for you, but really you can make great friends at any stage and in my experience, they get better.

flutterworc Sun 04-Sep-16 12:58:00

From personal experience I'd say it depends on the type of person you are. I had a nice group of friends all the way through school who I rarely if ever speak to, but have continued to make friends from new situations (university, work places, neighbours, kids mums...) who I'm closer with now.

A colleague has a very strong friendship group she developed at school and she finds very difficult to build new relationships away from them.

Making new friends is always tricky if you desperately want to - the friends I see most often and are most practically supportive are those I made after I had DS - we met through attending baby groups and going for coffee after. Like any good relationship, we built up gradually and they're now some of my closest friends.

Mittensonastring Sun 04-Sep-16 13:24:29

I had 6 friends from primary and secondary school that I stayed in touch with a lot till in my thirties when we started to settle down. Careers, children and partners made it harder to meet up because geographically we are scattered all over the UK and abroad. We grew up in a rural backwater and I suppose we were all to a woman ambitious so had to leave. Did meet up with one in aforementioned rural backwater this summer as we were both back home at same time. Am in touch a bit email and Skype.

I have relocated twice so have made new friends in both of those cities and mainly through work but also the school gate. I have far more in common with friends I made when older.

I admit to making friends easily, I'm a good yarn spinner and can speak easily to anyone. Have also done a lot and had 3 distinct careers and tried lots of classes and sports.

I'm one of 5 sisters so maybe my social skills were honed due to that? I'm the odd one out in that group as they have mainly been SAHM's. I'm the only one that had a professional career and went to University so I'm sort of seen as the slightly odd pet in the group.

sophiestew Sun 04-Sep-16 13:28:06

This hasn't been my experience, if I have understood you correctly.

I am not friends with anyone from schooldays, despite living in the same village I grew up in. However, I do have a lot of good friends, that I have made from work, college, friends of friends, friends of ex partners etc etc. I also lived in Forrin for a few years and easily made friends there too.

Bluebolt Sun 04-Sep-16 13:52:58

I find that people who have secure friends or large family do not put the same pressures on new friendships. They also do not analyse the behaviour, if they get an invite it is a bonus and if they don't no problem.

Bambamrubblesmum Sun 04-Sep-16 14:00:26

I used to have friends from school but tbh I found them the most hard work. People can pigeon hole you into the person you were when you were young and not 'allow' you to move on. If you are successful, confident and happy in life it seems to be taken as a threat and they try to pull you down. Unless you stayed in the same place, did the same things and go to the same pub then you can be viewed with hostility. This is just my experience obviously.

I felt a great weight being taken off when I decided to move on and go nc. I didn’t have to censor what I said or what I was doing so as not to offend or upset someone else.

I have a really close knit group of friends now that I made in my adult years. I have more fun and we're on the same wave length because we've chosen to be friends rather than just because of shared history.

Like I said I'm sure there are loads of different experiences out there, but childhood friendships can be limiting as well as rewarding.

OscarDeLaYenta Sun 04-Sep-16 14:04:04

I think it is also important to have a good model of what making and keeping friends and being sociable is from your parents. It is also important that your parents facilitate and encourage your early friendships. If you don't have either r both of these, making friends and being sociable can be a challenge.

JsOtherHalf Sun 04-Sep-16 14:07:31

I am hundreds of miles away from where i grew up. No one knew me until I was in my 20's.

Myself and DH are in agreement that we will do our very level best to remain in this area until DS has finished his schooling. I do think there is a lot to be said for having friends/acquaintances who've known you since primary school.

spidey66 Sun 04-Sep-16 16:09:29

I've not got friends from school except a couple i've reestablished contact with via fb and met up with one a few times...however I've got two I know from 6th form college so since I was 17 (I'm 50 now.) I'm ok with making friends and find it easier as I get older. Not sure why. Most of mu friends I've made via work.

Queenbean Sun 04-Sep-16 16:10:47

I disagree. I have a good group of friends from school but we are all so different now. It's difficult to relate sometimes because of such different paths we took

My university friends and friends I've made at work are much closer to me now

Nanny0gg Sun 04-Sep-16 16:19:48

I have no friends from school/childhood.

I don't especially regret that - the secondary school ones were cows!

However, I made really good friends wherever I worked. None from the early days are still friends but I have fond memories. Recent work friends are still friends, my 'best' friends have been around for about 25 years and I have just made new ones since I retired.

So in my case, I don't see the connection...

BoyFromTheBigBadCity Sun 04-Sep-16 16:48:54

Yes and no. Sometimes those close knit groups cause problems - outsiders aren't accepted, things can't change, you don't get to move on beyond who you were at school. Also any disagreement or arguing (or getting a partner or whatever) can be incredibly isolating.

So both, I think.

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