Please help me to understand...(50 Posts)
I can't get it really, too confusing and not nice but particularly confusing.
I'm back to the school gates/playground to collect my child after months due to my husband was doing it for me. I used to enjoy to see and chat with some people while waiting there. I know, I'm v councious that I'm a foreigner but I made my effort and integrated and blended pretty well or at least I thought. Anyway, I feel know is like back to square one! Not a single person said hi or showed a little interest... I was literally a ghost.
Why? Where the good manners and kindness gone?? they can't pretend they don't know me. I just sat in the car in tears not wanting to come back ever . Sorry... I needed to share to make it lighter. Thanks for reading xxxx
It's the school run, its not a social club! What are you expecting? A lot, from the sound of it.
I don't see what is confusing at all. People you barely know chatted to you occasionally when you happened to be at the same place at the same time. You haven't been there for a long time. It has nothing to do with being a foreigner.
Don't confuse people whose kids go to the same school as yours with friends.
Poor thing. All I can say is brave it again and you go up to them and say something like "Long time no see, how are you?" If you are going to be around a bit now suggest a coffee if you get a nice positive response.
I am sure its nothing to do with being a foreigner more likely they've just gotten used to seeing your OH.
Ask if there are any pta events coming up etc and join in.
Try not to let it get to you. I've often felt like that, after 7 years of waiting in the playground. Sometimes it's just that people are wrapped up in their own worlds.
Well did you go and say "hello" and talk to anyone else? If you didn't they may equally think you are being rude!
I have to admit I consider the purpose of school run to pick up my child, I'll make small talk with a random parent if the opportunity arises, but the people in the playground are not my friends, just people who have to have children the same age as mine.
Were there people there you had spoken to before? Why not just go up to someone you know and say hi? I mean, I get that it is scary to join a conversation, but if people are already talking to each other it's the only way, I'm afraid.
Did you actually say hi to them and they actively ignored you? If so, then that is a bit rude. But if you were waiting for them to say hi, YABU. It's a school run, they've got other things to do. It's sometimes nice to chat, but not an obligation and not a big deal if it doesn't happen. What were they meant to show interest in? They're there to drop their kids off. Not take note of who is dropping off other kids. Unless there's some major history you're not mentioning, I honestly don't think your nationality has anything to do with it.
Oh and your husband wasn't dropping your kid off for you. It's his kid too.
And you've gone straight for the 'being a foreigner', as the reason?
There could be a million and one reasons for this, the most likely one being they don't feel as though they 'know' you well yet.
You can't just expect to rock up anywhere and instantly be treated the same as those who regularly see each other twice a day.
These things take time.
Honestly don't overthink this.
People on school runs are usually busy and have a million of other things going on in their minds. They won't have ignored you on purpose.
Next time smile and say hello, I'm sure someone will say hello back to you.
Where are you OP?
In some areas of the country, things are friendlier than others. Where I'm from, everyone says hello and chats, even to strangers. Where I live now, no-one ever speaks to anyone unless they are practically forced to. (However, the place where I currently live labours under the delusion that it is a "friendly" city - where on earth people get this idea from I don't know, but it's the coldest place I've ever lived! Conversely, if you asked people from my home town whether they were friendly, they would probably say "not especially". So people's perceptions of reality and actual reality can be very different).
It could be that they are all xenophobic bigots, but it is possibly more likely that you live somewhere where people just aren't very friendly, and caught people on a day when they were in a rush. for you, though, it still sounds like a really alienating and lonely experience.
Thank you! I think I expect too much, that's true. I like reading your thoughts because I can see more clearly how things come across from a different culture.
Yes, I say hello first most of the times and my good bye is hardly answered.
I know they are not your friends but why not to think they might be some prospective ones?
Well, at least I can write and read here, pls keep sending your comments, thank you all! X
They sound like a load of grumpy feckers, and you sound lovely.
People need to stop peddling this myth that the school gate is a place to get friends, it leads people to think that people will be all over them the minute they stand in the yard.
You might as well be upset that the people at your regular bus stop aren't inviting you for coffee, or the milkman. You've as much in common with them as you do with the random people who just happen to have children in your kids class.
Are the people you see at the gates, the same crowd that you used to chat to before your DH started doing the school pick up? If so, i think it's a little off that they barely acknowledge you now. I think I'd be tempted to just approach one or two people you used to chat to and say "Hi how are you?" Or "Nice to see you again. I've not done pick ups for a while. How are things?" And see what happens.
I agree some places are more friendly than others, but if you chatted to these people in the past, then it's a bit off if they blank you now. I'm from a culture where everyone talks to everyone and everyone knows everyone. It's a bit much at times, but I like it. But I've stopped expecting that in other settings and try not accept the same 'chattiness.' And I love your attitude why not treat people as potential friends. That's lovely and I totally agree with you. Don't give up and try not to take it personally because I doubt very much that it is personal.
Is it quite an insular area?
I lived somewhere for a couple of years (when my PFBs were small) where everyone knew everyone and had done since school, it seemed. Or they were all somehow related. You were "a foreigner" if you came from 20 miles up the road. That place was hard work to penetrate, it really was
I do the school run to drop and pick up my kid. If I happen to bump into someone I know and have a chat, that's fine. But if I don't, that's equally fine, too. Actually, I prefer the latter scenario (I'm an introvert, can you tell?). Most parents who do the school run are either rushing to and from full time or part time jobs. They have a million things going on in their heads. When I reach the school gate, I just stay with my child and talk to her (until she sees a friend and runs off to play, leaving me looking like a numpty). I don't expect anyone to talk to me.
I wouldn't worry and yabu that it's cos you are foreign.
Get your child to invite someone from their class they are friends with round and chat to the mum when they drop them off /pick up or approach mum in playground to suggest a play date together if they are younger. Go for the one on one approach rather than seeing them as one big mass - they are not
I think it's quite normal to speak to the mums in your DC class especially if they've been at school some years.
I've been doing the school run for 24 years and have made some good friends over that time ( 3 different schools ) we socialise outside of school fairly often and text/chat outside of school.
I am fairly outifoing and chat/smile to everyone but I understand how scary the school gates can be if you're not particularly outgoing or maybe shy.
I'd hate to just "drop and run" for me it's quite important to have some kind of exchange with other mums.
People mostly gravitate to people they know. It's not that they don't like you or want to talk to you, but perhaps Mums there have got to know each other better since you've been gone.
Now you are back, they probably think you are back for just a one-off visit to pick up drop off that day and then they won't see you again.
To some extent chit/chat and making friends is an investment in time and some people won't be bothered with someone who they think isn't around much.
Also I would say, don't define your self-worth, value and likeability based on a 5 minute pick up/drop off.
You are so much more than that.
Get yourself out into other social settings and you'll feel much better and realise this is just a bunch of random women - there's no reason why you should like or dislike any of them. And vice versa. They just happen to be Mums.
ps, I'm British and nearly all my Mum friends are foreign
I usually miss goodbyes in the playground. Get distracted by DC and smile a goodbye or call it out too late.
Start a conversation. I have a group of friends I know now to chat to, but probably wouldn't go up to someone on their own at this stage (past reception) in case I looked like a mad stalker. No idea why I have decided they would think that, but I do.
Also preoccupied at drop off about did I shout at the children, was I harsh about X, how do I get out of DC's class after taking him on as advised when we everyone else stays so he wants me to / how much of tit have i made of myself so far today.......
Everyone is caught up in their own worlds.
I talk to 2 people at school, one a friend I have had for over 25 years who recently moved back to the village and one I have made friends with through DD. I make a point of talking to them if I see them but I dont seek them out, and they dont seek me out as we are all busy. Everyone else doesnt get ignored exactly, just that they dont really register as I am there to pick my kids up and get down to H's work to pick him up asap as it tight timing wise.
I agree that you are expecting too much. People have other things on their minds!
That said, if you are looking to make friends then try the PTFA or volunteering at fetes etc, as it gives you a legitimate reason, and opportunity, to get to know people.
I'd hate to just "drop and run" for me it's quite important to have some kind of exchange with other mums
Thats nice for you, but it doesn't mean there is anything wrong with people who don't want that.
I feel like that sometimes and I've done the school run twice daily for six years. I'm not very good at butting in on conversations so if someone doesn't actively include me or look like they're on their own too then I find a corner and am Johnny no mates. It can be awkward.
I also can't be arsed with many of them.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.