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How to put this politely??(82 Posts)
NC for this and also just thought I should say - if you're the type to get pearl clutch-y and indignant about social distancing please don't bother commenting because it's not what I'm here to ask about.
I have a history of anxiety and depression (not expecting for this it's just the way it is). Always struggled in large groups and, having spent 4 months with just my household, I'm finding it difficult re-adjusting to the prospect of being around lots of people.
I have a DBest Friend who I socialise with as part of a wider group. Arranged to meet DBF, who I haven't seen in ages, earlier this week for a socially distanced drink in our city centre (lots of pubs doing takeaway pints and cocktails etc, wide open bench spaces). "Ooh, what a good idea," says DBF, "I'll mention it to [rest of the group]." I really don't like this idea - I'm not saying I don't want to see them all again soon but I've had a rough week and right now it's baby steps back to normality. I was quite looking forward to seeing DBF one on one tbh and just having a chilled day. But I keep quiet.
Cometh the day. Turns out to be about 5 of them meeting in town. All a bit much for me so make an excuse about work and don't come. DBF texts me later "such a shame I didn't catch you today shall we do something later in the week?". OK cool, all arranged for more takeaway drinks today. DBF texts late last night "Btw I've mentioned it to X, Y, Z and they're all looking forward to seeing you ".
I don't know what to do. WIBU to cancel again? How do I explain to DBF I don't want to see all these people right now? Do I need to just crack on and get on with it?
Just tell DBF. If she is DBF she should understand
As another anxiety sufferer, struggling to get back into socializing. I think you do just need to get back to it. Have an alarm set on your phone for 45ish minutes in. Then when it goes off you can decide to use it as an excuse(oops there's my warning I need to go drop something off to my Mum or something) or you just turn it off and pretend it was an accident if you're doing ok.
So many people are in the same boat right now, it's tough but it's only going to get worse if you don't force yourself to get out there.
I think you've got to tell it like it is. "Hey DBF, thanks for organising but I'm going to sit this one out again. Truth be told, I'm uneasy with the idea of meeting up with lots of people at once right now as I'm still nervous about coronavirus. But I'd be happy to meet up just one-on-one (baby steps!), and join a group gathering later."
Try to tell her. She probably thinks she's doing you a favour, showing you that the other people are keen to catch up with you too.
I understand that your'e anxious, but this is your best friend. You need to be able to talk to her.
So, if you can't do it in person/on the phone. Send a text, "Do you mind if we make a plan with just the two of us? I'm finding the idea of large groups after all this time makes me really anxious and I'd love to catch up properly with you in person?"
Honestly? If she’s a real best friend she will understand that this could be overwhelming for you. Part of the problem though is that you needed to be honest earlier. I’d have no problems with someone saying, “I feel a bit overwhelmed at the prospect of socialising again and feel the first time or maybe even the first couple of times that I’d prefer a one to one, is that ok?” But cancelling again last minute when you didn’t feel able to be honest about why you were cancelling first time does look a bit flaky.
Just try and be as honest as you can. Alternatively you could try going and if it feels overwhelming you can always leave and explain why.
I’ve just started venturing out and I’m finding it difficult too. Some people are just as normal and loud and gregarious and can’t understand why I’m a little subdued and wary almost. I’ve also got a lot of other really awful stuff going on and so there’s a bit of a mismatch between people who are bounding up like well meaning but out of controlled labradors who adore you (if that makes sense?!) and people like me who are stammering and feeling a bit panicky just queuing for a coffee at Costa.
You need to tell her straight. If she is as good a friend as you say she should understand and give you a break. It is what friends do for each other.
I agree with the others; a good friend would understand if you explained the situation to them. Whilst I cannot personally relate to how you’re feeling, if a friend said they felt like this, I’d do everything I could to accommodate their feelings and I’d happily see you on a one to one basis. Good luck.
Just be honest and explain - she'll likely have no idea you're feeling this way.
But you haven't told her that you just want to see her, not a group - this is easily sorted but she's not going to guess what you want so just tell her.
Just say something like:
'Do you mind if we meet one on one DBF only this will be the first time I've been out and I'm a little anxious about being around too many people at once. I'd love to meet up with them another time though'.
If you can't say this to your friend then she isn't your best friend. If she is, I'm sure she'll be understanding.
Just say! I've a friend who isn't as comfortable as us meeting up so she said so! It's no issue honestly, they are your friends so they will understand I'm sure
She’s not a mind reader. She doesn’t know you want to see her alone; you need to actually tell her that.
It’s rude to continually cancel.
Are you getting help for your anxiety and depression?
I've had the same thing and also suffer from A&D. When my DBF made that suggestion, I just said that sounds lovely but forgive me being selfish but because I've not seen you in months I'd like you all to myself. She was quite flattered and said as much 😁
I would tell her, but in a call rather than a text. Texts lose nuance and feeling.
Just tell her straight out. She's your best friend, she'll get it.
You're letting the anxiety get the better of you. Just go and it won't be as bad as you've worked it up to be.
Op! Say it EXACTLY like you've said it to us. It makes complete sense.
I'm even worse than you, and I haven't had a real friend in well over 10 years now. Anxiety disorder infected every single part of my life, I was like a terrified child at my worst and needed caring for.
I was JUST beginning to make some school run mum friends after we'd moved house, 2 minute chats... verrrrry babyish steps but it was fantastic for me, then this hit. It's knocked me right back, I've struggled to even keep up with the messages (which have gotten really long!)
Some people are incredible social butterflies, and she just sounds very, very excited! my youngest son (almost 4) I can tell is going to be like this. Full of confidence and will run up to anyone with glee regardless of age. Being back at Nursery is the best thing that could have happened to him. Eldest son, exact same as me, and will hide in a corner until someone makes the first move and acts as a chaperone and leader (I'm working on it, baby steps...).
Sometimes all it takes is a gentle reminder that socialising is more difficult for some of us and she'll probably calm down and feel a bit ashamed and embarrassed!
Just text and say " hi Friend, could we meet up just the two of us? I'm feeling a little anxious about big groups etc..."
If she knows you and is a nice decent person she won't be surprised or mind.
You need to tell your best friend that you can't cope with more than one person at the moment!
How is she supposed to know if you don't explain?
Don't just cancel - CALL her and tell her what the problem is.
I'm always super careful about introducing other people into a social arrangement because it feels really cheeky and impositional - but I know that other people just think "the more the merrier" and it sounds like your DBF is one of those.
Just tell her!
If you were my best friend I'd be mortified that I hadn't thought about that aspect of meeting up again and would arrange something just for us two asap. Then I'd work with you to gradually get you back with the wider group.
She can't read your mind and if she doesn't have the same anxiety, she's never going to arrange things the way you want them unless you tell her what you need.
Just say 'I really am looking forward to seeing everyone eventually, but at the moment I can only handle one person at a time. Could we meet up and then I can gradually include more people? It would really help me if we didn't have a larger group'
This would annoy me even though I don't have anxiety. If I arrange to see a friend I want to see that friend, not a load of other people.
As others have said, if she's a friend she will understand.
You have to just tell her. Really, I know you think it will sound ridiculous but if she really cares about you it will just be a penny drop moment - she will suddenly understand a lot of your behaviour and it will make the friendship so much easier.
If you don't tell her then she will keep turning your meet ups into group activities, thinking that she's improving them and being helpful, and you will have to keep bailing, she'll think that you don't want to be mates anymore and she'll stop bothering with you.
Just be honest. You'll tie yourself in knots with excuses and needlessly raise your anxiety levels. If she's a real friend she will understand and if she doesn't understand she's not a real friend.
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