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To ask to join in in order to make friends?

(23 Posts)
SharkiraSharkira Thu 11-May-17 18:50:39

It's kind of embarrassing to admit but I don't really have any friends. I really do want friends though and am very lonely most of the time. I try to make connections with people but I live quite rurally and a lot of people either stick to the friend group they've had since school, socialise with family or have friends though mum and baby groups etc. Unfortunately none of these things are an option for me.

I've always been told from a young age that you shouldn't invite yourself along to things as it's rude, and that if someone wants you at something they will invite you. However after a recent conversation I'm wondering if I should start asking to join in with things? Maybe people just don't realise that I would like to join in? Or is that just wishful thinking and I will look annoying and desperate if I try to insert myself into other people's stuff? Wibu?

Cakedoesntjudge Thu 11-May-17 19:05:18

I think it depends on the situation. Do you have time for a part time job/volunteer work/new hobby?

I do have friends from school but there is also a group of us at work that spend a fair bit of time together outside of work - I'd be very lonely if it wasn't for them as my school friends are all very busy people whereas most of us at work are part time and have spare time on our hands! I also made friends with people through groups I joined.

With the work lot I could easily take someone along with me they weren't overly familiar with and it wouldn't be an issue, whereas the group of friends I am close with from school would find it a bit odd and awkward and I've never had much luck bringing new people along to anything with that group so I'd say it was dependant on the type of thing you were planning on asking to join in with and the type of people going.

Personally I'm quite sociable so I don't find it odd at all if someone says "oooh that sounds like fun do you mind if I tag along" but, as I said, I'd be wary on their behalf if it involved the school group as I wouldn't want them to feel unwelcome IFYSWIM?

SharkiraSharkira Thu 11-May-17 19:13:56

Well, living where I do means that there isn't a lot in the way if groups/clubs and things to join. I did start going to the gym which was great and I made a lot of new acquaintances but no proper 'friends' - no one I can ring up for a chat or hang out with on my days off work. No one I can meet up with for a drink or a meal out etc. I'm already studying but my class is tiny and I'm not really friends with any of them, they all live miles from me so even though some of them are nice it's hard to socialise. The people at work are great and they socialise with each other outside of work, just not with me. Most of them know each other from someone else though, or are related.

ballerinabelle Thu 11-May-17 19:15:45

I'd definitely ask. If you asked me to join in something then I'd be more than happy to include you. I hate the thought of anyone feeling left out or a bit lonely.

fiftyplustwo Thu 11-May-17 19:23:10

Maybe you could ask someone in your class to come and visit over a weekend? You could study together (pretext).

Bluntness100 Thu 11-May-17 19:27:52

Can you join a club for something that interests you? A book club, wine tasting, that sort of thing. Something where it's social and people need to talk? The gym is hard to make friends at as people are there for a purpose.

MissWitch Thu 11-May-17 19:31:07

I could have written this Sharkira. I also live in a rural area but grew up in the city. I have lived here for 10 years and went to 6th form here too but don't have any friends. A few acquaintances, yes. But no actual friends, aside from DH. I can't really give you any advice but just wanted you to know that you're not alone in how you're feeling. I think it's difficult living in small towns where everyone grew up together as it's so cliquey and if your face doesn't fit then you're screwed. I'm one step away from starting World of Warcraft (who needs real life friends anyway?!) haha. If I figure out a way to make friends I'll let you know!

Whatsername17 Thu 11-May-17 19:31:23

Why not ask if anyone fancies a drink after work? Invite them first and they might reciprocate?

SharkiraSharkira Thu 11-May-17 19:41:02

I think part of the problem is that I get disheartened really easily - I did invite some work people over for drinks on evening and no one was interested so I haven't tried again. I'm afraid of getting turned down as it just kills any confidence or self esteem I have when I do! I tried organising a big party for my birthday last year and it was an epic fail. I am DREADING my birthday this year because I'm terrified that the same thing will happen again and I'll end up humiliated and upset. So I just don't want to even try and organise anythingsad

fiftyplustwo Sat 13-May-17 09:39:44

Well, for that very reason I didn't even try to organise anything when I turned 50. sad I had a back-up plan if someone would turn up unexpectedly, though. smile But nobody did. hmm My husband's brother and his wife insisted on coming, though. Last year I insisted on going out to a restaurant and asked if they would join.

Maybe you could arrange to go on a week-end trip with one or two people, to somewhere (like Paris, or London, or depending on funds available somewhere closer to home) and visit some museums/shows/restaurants/shops/excursion? If it's in the summer you could visit Offa's Dyke -- I saw it in the film "Arthur's Dyke" - looked kind of nice.

LoisWilkersonsLastNerve Sat 13-May-17 09:46:33

I depends how you do it, I'm one of those people who grew up where I live, have established friends etc, it wasn't until I joined mn, I realised some people at toddlers/school gates were trying to meet people. I think if someone was upfront and said 'I don't know anyone, fancy a coffee' I would definitely say yes.

AppleOfMyEye10 Sat 13-May-17 10:03:51

Op I think it is very rude to invite yourself along as if you were wanted to come along they would invite you. You would just make it awkward and put people on the spot.
But you could try another approach. Instead of a big group invite to your party maybe try a one on one approach. Invite the friendliest of the group for a coffee and then take it from there? Sorry I know it can be difficult.

SharkiraSharkira Sat 13-May-17 18:18:05

See that's exactly what I'm worried about Apple. I don't want to be rude and invite myself if I'm not wanted and equally I don't want anyone to say yes I can come along just out of pity!

I want people to genuinely like me and want to hang out with me but it is hard trying to get friendly with people when they already have established friendship groups.

junebirthdaygirl Sat 13-May-17 18:51:44

I found l started to make friends when l didnt care any more. Its like people sense desperation and run a mile but when you give up and dont care anymore people start to come out of the woodwork.

gamerwidow Sat 13-May-17 19:01:38

I think inviting people for a one to one small event like a coffee one morning works better than inviting lots of people to a big event. I would also second joining a social group like a book club where people meet to chat. Keep trying though and keep it light and don't take it personally when you get knocked back, it's not you it's just not everyone likes socialising and meeting new people.

SharkiraSharkira Sat 13-May-17 21:12:23

That's exactly what dp said June! Somehow I seem to unconsciously exude desperation though.

I know I shouldn't take it personally but I do, I take it SO personally. It really cuts me deep. I think I need to become more resilient!

junebirthdaygirl Sat 13-May-17 21:19:22

Have some counselling. You will become more confident and goving off an air of confidence attracts people. Its difficult but working on yourself reaps rewards

SharkiraSharkira Sat 13-May-17 22:09:52

Hmm that's good advice but I have had some and it didn't really help much confused

fiftyplustwo Sun 14-May-17 06:43:35

Agree, I went to the GP and was referred to someone they had there, but he was totally overbooked and exhausted, too many people with problems. Twice he was double-booked so when I arrived he had arranged to meet with someone else at the same time. It was totally useless. Basically, unless you're suicidal, there's no room for you on the lists, there are too many people who actually are suicidal... confused

Sharkira, if you live in a rural area, maybe there is some local history society or similar you can join. Or a local sports club? Check out what options there are. In my experience people are more social in the countryside than in the city (that is to say, in the city people have their cliques and their 500 Facebook friends, and aren't much open to getting new contacts.)

BrickInTheWall Sun 14-May-17 07:57:22

Have you tried your mumsnet local page OP? Some of them are pretty dead but you could give it a try. Do you have any hobbies?

NorthumbrianGirl Sun 14-May-17 08:08:56

I think making friends through hobbies is easiest - you see each other regularly and have something in common to talk about. I think there are probably hobbies that are friendlier than the gym. I found taking up a martial art very good - lots of interacting with each other and trusting each other built up friendliness. Also every martial arts group I've been in goes for a drink after training every time.

PoliticalBiscuit Sun 14-May-17 08:15:23

I've seen people make friends by posting on their local town Facebook page saying they'd like to do more social things and asking for suggestions, sometimes they're offered a cup of coffee with someone.

The WI is another way there are plenty of young groups.

Your local college might do evening classes in something you'd enjoy.

If there's someone you'd like to get to know more, ask them for a coffee or a glass of wine some time.

You could try volunteering with local animal shelter, local food bank, local women's refuge.

Also a great time to join a local political party and get campaigning.

LiveLifeWithPassion Sun 14-May-17 08:27:42

Look around for groups and courses to join.

Look on meetup.com to see what's going on in your area.

Or start one up yourself. If there's not a book group or social group in your area and you like the idea of it, start one up.

I agree that people run a mile from desperation. The people I know who draw people to them, are very casual and seem to have busy lives

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