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To totally reevaluate friendships and family relationships because of Covid?

(101 Posts)
Spacepocket Wed 20-May-20 22:41:22

Feeling a bit flat with the slow realisation about how little effort my friends have put into our friendships over the years.
I’ve suggested and then organised countless meet ups, coffees. nights out. All met with enthusiasm and I thought these were true friendships.
I’ve just been scrolling through my phone and realised that during the lockdown, I’ve initiated every single group or individual conversation. I’ve asked how they’re doing, I’ve offered support when someone has been struggling. And yet not one person has asked me how I’m doing/how my kids are doing.
Same with family. I’m feeling sad but also not that bothered if that makes sense? My job has been on the absolute frontline and I have been scared shitless at times, but I’ve never wavered. DH and kids have been amazing and I’m struggling with the realisation that I literally can’t be bothered contacting anyone else again.
Anyone else feeling similar? Please be kind sad

OhioOhioOhio Wed 20-May-20 22:46:22

Me too. Just wondering exactly the same thing.

Spacepocket Wed 20-May-20 22:49:59

It’s the lack of emotion that’s making me feel weird.
If you’d said to me six months ago that I would be considering ‘dropping’ my friends....

bengalcat Wed 20-May-20 22:52:28

Yes I get you . Use this time to recharge and focus on yourself and family .

MorganKitten Wed 20-May-20 22:53:12

People cope with a situation like this differently. I’ve not had loads of contact but know people have things going on.

Didntwanttochangemyname Wed 20-May-20 22:55:14

I've reduced the contact I have with friends and family because I'm struggling. Perhaps you are coping better than you think you are?

cushioncovers Wed 20-May-20 22:55:27

I know how you feel. I always initiate conversations with my brother and his family so I thought I would sit back and wait to see if they would message me during the lockdown. Six weeks it took before I got a text message. ☹️

toastedcrumpetsforme Wed 20-May-20 23:01:28

I get it, I've initiated most of the contact I've had with friends & family.

For me, I was aware of this imbalance before lockdown, and I decided that I'm ok with it. I know I shut down communication when I'm feeling low and it makes me worse. I like having people around and I don't mind being the one to put the effort in.

Drop them if you want, but you may find that you end up quite lonely.

Fluffykitten23 Wed 20-May-20 23:01:40

Yes the pandemic and the shit I am going through at the moment has made me realise this. For the first time in years I am up shit creek without a paddle. Yet have had so little support from all the ppl I've helped for years and done so willingly without expecting anything in return. I honestly don't know if I'm the same person now or can ever be as kind as I was again. Not money related either health related to one of my children. In my darkest hour I turned around and no fucker was stood behind me. Thanks for this post helped me vent. Long dark lonely roads ahead God willing the light will come back.

TokyoSushi Wed 20-May-20 23:03:40

Yes, tough times sometimes show true colours.

My true friends have been lovely as always. However, there are some school mums, who I've just tolerated and chatted to over the years as you do. DH is a keyworker and at the very beginning, I did explore having the DC in school some of the time (I didn't do it in the end) and the amount of judgement and quite frankly shitty comments from a couple of people have made me think I'll certainly not go out of my way to make conversation with them any longer when we do eventually go back.

billy1966 Wed 20-May-20 23:03:53

See this as a gift, the gift of realising where to focus your time.

I believe for a lot of people it has crystallised those they care about, and those that care about them.

I'm hearing a lot of people say that they are finding it very enlightening and freeing.

We only have so much time in our busy lives.

View this as a positive and instructive going forward post lockdown.

If you find it frees up time in your life, think about how thatvtime would be most beneficial for you.

Wishing you well.

Spacepocket Wed 20-May-20 23:07:06

Toasted I think that you’ve hit the nail on the head. I am just utterly exhausted at the minute. But is this really going yo be ok long term?
I just really want someone to ask me how I am. Which sounds a bit pathetic and a whole lot needy!

Spacepocket Wed 20-May-20 23:10:22

Billy that has hit hard in some ways and opened the floodgates sad These feelings have been building for a while now. Definitely much food for thought. Thank you flowers

FanSpamTastic Wed 20-May-20 23:12:04

This is my life all over. I have come to the realisation that I could drop off the face of the earth and no one would notice. I live with 4 other people - they would probably only notice when they ran out of socks and pants!

JumpingAtJackdaws Wed 20-May-20 23:12:16

One thing I've learned in life that really helps my relationships with others is - lower your expectations. I used to feel hurt over how much effort I made with people compared to what I got back but then I came to the realisation that basically they meant more to me than I did to them so I lowered my expectations and took a step back. Once you accept that, you can actually have a good relationship and just enjoy the fun times but don't get too invested.

LampshadeOfDew Wed 20-May-20 23:13:10

What age range are you OP?

I don’t even think it’s just the Coronavirus situation - I don’t think it’s uncommon for people (often women?) to have a life stage at which we’re like “what the hell are all these users doing in my life?”

It’s a bit like that old joke at uni you spend your second and third years getting rid of anyone you met in your first year as you move forward!

I think it’s natural when you’re younger to have FOMO - fear of missing out - and want to just do as much social stuff as possible to tick boxes.

Social media doesn’t help either - it’s like you’re allegedly some reclusive freak if you aren’t updating Instagram or Facebook with photos titled #squadgoals or #cocktailswiththisone.

But just because the appearances of friendship are there doesn’t mean the people in the photos have your best interests at heart or make you feel better.

I think maybe as you move forward you might find you readjust your ideas of friendship - focus and prioritise you and your families goals and if you meet a few people you get on with for coffee along the way, that’s a bonus smile

Spacepocket Wed 20-May-20 23:16:27

Lampshade am just about the right age for a midlife crisis wink

billy1966 Wed 20-May-20 23:23:00

I think that through these past weeks, most of us have had a bad or low day and realised who they can really speak to.

Who actually asks how they are?
Who care how they actually are?
And who they feel connected to enough to tell it like it really is.

That can only be freeing.

Makes a good point OP.

Everyone else take a huge step back from and suit yourself.

You might feel a bit sad now but ultimately this knowledge is power.

Mind yourself

Samtsirch Wed 20-May-20 23:28:02

It might not be the best time to judge people so harshly
Everyone’s life is different now.

HandInGove Wed 20-May-20 23:30:57

Great post Lampshade
I’ve initiated things and noticed some other family members doing it too, then over the weeks of lockdown it’s settled into that pattern. I don’t think it’s too significant to be honest. I think sometimes people are happy to have someone else initiate things but that doesn’t mean they don’t like the person. I know with me that there are usually a few other people who initiate things with me that it’s easy for me to forget about once I start feeling this way. There are usually more introverts around than you’d imagine though and I know that people have time pressures and this time of lockdown is unbelievably stressful for a lot of them. Money, job, Health, relationships and family, home schooling and finding jobs for young people and many other worries are brought about by it. All the usual stresses of life are still there and haven’t gone away. Lots of people have been tired and ill or are very anxious at the moment. I would use the time to focus on what you want out of your friendships definitely, but also I would try to stay open minded about other people once lockdown lifts and then see how they are with you.

DamnYankee Wed 20-May-20 23:32:43

* just really want someone to ask me how I am*

I don't think YABU. I have a friend like this. Gives, gives, gives...She is very deflated right now. Also a little angry.

I think it’s natural when you’re younger to have FOMO - fear of missing out - and want to just do as much social stuff as possible to tick boxes.

@Spacepocket - I think my version of a MLC will make you laugh. It was maybe 6 years ago.

I adopted a cat - just brought it home, no consultation with my DH, and developed a serious crush/focus/not-quite-obsession on Johnny Depp. And this was pre-Amber days. I have all of his movies on our Amazon Prime.

<Hangs head...>

But no sports car!!! grin

LampshadeOfDew Wed 20-May-20 23:33:25

Why not just stop contacting people for a few months and see how your feelings and views pan out?

If they don’t contact you anyway you’re safe and if they do just say something vague and they’ll go away.

This may be a blip or it may be a “time for a big life change” moment

Get a box set to work though or start yoga or join a daily mumsnet bunfight on SAHM or social distancing or class if you want to get a good conversation grin

I’m mid thirties and this sounds a bit weird (I’m on the asd spectrum so that’s a factor )

but for social stuff, as I get older I’m just going to focus on myself, career, activity groups if I’m interested in the activity, and not really be arsed with having any friends beyond “enjoying people at a superficial level on a night out organised by someone else “

What’s put me off is:

- General social politics and power play
- Being expected to do “Wifework”- Being put in the role of “organiser” or “shoulder to cry on” or “responsible person”
- I have a limited amount of time/emotions/money and I’d rather put it on my own personal development /travel/early retirement than hanging out with people just for the sake of it.

Spacepocket Wed 20-May-20 23:34:07

Sams I don’t feel as if I am judging though. It’s hard to explain this numbness that I have. But also a level of contentment that it’s ‘ok’ to stop being the one doing all the initiating contact.

Austin2017 Wed 20-May-20 23:44:25

OP I feel the same. I've just turned 36 & feel like I have that fear of missing Actually been starting to feel like I have no real friends or like I need some new ones. Especially during lockdown. Working from home, have a toddler to keep me busy & loving husband etc. But all messages have been sent from me to other people rather than anyone asking after me (except my mum) even family, I seem to always message first. So suppose I'm feeling a bit the same. But kind of enjoying the slower pace of life & not too fussed about getting involved in what everyone up to/zoom calls etc. I'm also trying to avoid to much social media though, does my head in when people post perfect pictures of what they're doing/eating/drinking etc. Then you sort of think they have time for all that but not message you 🤷🏼‍♀️
However putting into perspective, at the moment everyone is coping differently. We're all kind of in our own little worlds & think we just need to get through it the best we can. I mean for me even before lockdown I was feeling the same - (had a miscarriage in January) haven't felt like friends/family have bothered much in general since Christmas. I'm using this time to improve on self development with meditation/swlf hypnosis/ assertiveness/self confidence/relaxation etc so hoping that might help. Defintely think after all this will be re-evaluating everything though.

NellMangel Wed 20-May-20 23:48:00

I've had similar thoughts.

My family are definitely "every man for themselves" types. It's really magnified in these situations and makes me reflect on why I put so much energy into relationships with them.

I remember in the early weeks being really stressed about getting food. I'm a single parent and was worried about taking DC to shop. Meanwhile my mum who lives 5 minutes away was getting 3 deliveries a week due to being on list. Never crossed her mind to offer to get stuff for me. I dont get it at all.

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