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to ask people why they don't want to be my friend?

(106 Posts)
Iammummynomates Sat 04-Jul-09 07:38:09

I know this has been done to death on here, but I have no friends. There are people I talk to at the school gates from time to time, everyone knows who I am, but they all have their own circles of friends and I am just not a part of that and don't seem to be able to become a part of that.

And thing is, I don't know why. I have never fallen out with anyone, people do talk to me, they just won't cross the boundary between chatting at the school gates and moving on to more meaningful friendship, i.e. coffee, or coming round in any way shape or form. I have been there for some of them on occasion, they've chatted to me about their personal lives, some have confided about their marriages, but as soon as I extend myself and try to say, invite them round, they back off completely and will sometimes avoid me altogether. And it's not because they have such busy social lives, they are constantly round each other's houses for impromptu bbq's/drinks etc, in fact I've been standing amongst them as they plan their evenings out together, to which I am not invited.

So given they clearly don't consider me too be a friend, I've thought about asking them what is so terrible about me that it puts them off, so I would at least know, and can then change so I don't put people off in future.

IBU? Or would that seem ve childish?

I just don't know what to do really. I don't think I'm a bad person, but I've always struggled so much to make friends that there has to come a point when you admit that it can't just be that all the people I meet are horrible, that there must be something about me that puts people off. sad I just don't know what it is, and no-one has ever told me.

ObsidianBlackbirdMcNight Sat 04-Jul-09 07:47:22

Oh poor you. No, don't ask them. It is most likely that you need to work on your confidence, rather than there being anything wrong with you. When you say they back off when you invite them for coffee, how many people has this really happened with? Are you sure it's not just your fear/perception working on you?
Have you had good friends in the past? What has changed?

gingernutlover Sat 04-Jul-09 07:48:14

you are not alone I feel the same, some people are just naturally confident and seem to attract friends, I am not one of thpose people

tbh though I think asking people why they dont like you might sound a bit needy and wierd.

no advice what else to do though sorry - although could you join the PTA?

Iammummynomates Sat 04-Jul-09 07:59:25

I am outwardly a very confident person. I am already on the PTA and i help out at all the events.

I've had good friends but not for a long time.

I've invited lots of people over in the past few years, both for coffee, and then I decided to have a party and invited about ten couples over. I got no's from all of them, including one who said "Oh no, I think we might be doing something that night." hmm so I changed the date and suggested about three or four different dates, and again no-one was available.

I don't think I would really ask them, as someone said it does appear a bit needy. I just wish I knew why though.

LynetteScavo Sat 04-Jul-09 08:01:01

You need to be the brearer of juicy gossip - then everybody will be your firend!

I know that's flippent - but I'd love to know the answer to your post too!

AramintaCane Sat 04-Jul-09 08:03:39

Dont ask. If they don't like you they are not worth it. Its not you its them. I like you already and we have only just met grin. Next time you pick up the children take a look around, really look at peoples faces, there are a lot of people alone out there even in the groups. If you know what I mean ?

Longtalljosie Sat 04-Jul-09 08:09:33

There's obviously a group of people there who don't deserve you. It's unfortunate, as clearly these are the people you see most frequently and it would be good if it worked out... but if they're excluding you, nuts to them.

They're in no doubt, I wouldn't imagine, that you'd like to be closer to them. And if they're not responding, you just need to leave it. People do pick up when someone's needy. That's not a criticism, and it's not fair when someone's lonely that people don't always step in, that in fact they step away.

But - their opinion doesn't really count. It's not you. It's them. But that doesn't matter because they're not the only people in the world and no-one appointed them judge and jury of your self-worth.

How many people are there in your DC's class? There will be other parents. And if not, you'll have to find other ways of expanding your social circle. It will be harder, but not impossible. Good luck.

QOD Sat 04-Jul-09 08:16:31

I have an online friend like you, well to HER she has the same issue, when I first MET her in person I realised she never, ever smiles. She is funny in writing but in the flesh, feck moi she looks and is pretty sour.
I am not sayng YOU are, but are you a smiler?
I really feel for you, I am now on the outside of a group of friends that I kinda started, because I complained about one of the girls shouting at, kicking & hitting my daughter........ so I am now excluded from everything. Which is shit because individually, all the other mums say the mean girl is nasty & a handfull & trouble etc.... but they obviously like her mum more than they like me!
But i do agree with the other too, look for people on their own, chat to them. One of my other friends is beautiful, 10 yrs youger than the rest of us, yet found it really hard to make friends as people assumed she wouldnt be friendly.
I dont know what my point is! But hugs to you, I'll be your friend!

piscesmoon Sat 04-Jul-09 08:23:00

I think that it is quite common. Asking is completely the wrong thing to do-being needy puts people off. I would just accept that you are not going to get beyond the aquaintance stage and enjoy it for what it is, at least you have people to talk to at the school gate. I would join something that you are interested in, not child related and meet people that way.
I always found it difficult with parents of DCs, those I liked often had DCs who had nothing in common with my DCs and I often had nothing in common with parents of DCs friends.

motherbeyond Sat 04-Jul-09 08:28:57

i don't know if they do this on mumsnet(am new here)but i know netmums have a section called'local meet a mum' or something like that.You meet someone in the same area as yourself,which would be,then you know they are also in the same boat as you re actively seeking frienship.I don't know how old your children are(although you mention school gates)but i made some great friends through the nct whilst i was pregnant.My step sister however,had had her baby buut was having trouble meeting mums in the area(london)so joined,and now has some mummy buddies...maybe one of these avenues would be worth exploring

artifarti Sat 04-Jul-09 08:29:06

I'm sure it's not you. I think that as people get older they have a tendency to not be bothered with making new friends and just move about in the same old cliques groups. Then when you have a newborn you go through another phase of making some new friends. But then stop again. And bear in mind that just because someone has lots of friends, those friendships aren't necessarily meaningful. Quality not quantity IYSWIM?

If you do want to make friends, maybe leave the school-gaters and try to find friends through something you have in common. It can sound cheesy but it's more likely to work! What do you like? Books, painting, writing, walking, family history, wine, knitting, travel - you can often find local groups for these things. I don't know if you live in a city/suburb/town/village, which will obviously make a difference but I'm sure they'll be something out there for you.

And keep smiling! It will happen.

Madmentalbint Sat 04-Jul-09 08:52:13

If they are unkind enough to plan social events in front of you, and they don't have the manners to invite you along too, then they're probably not worth getting friendly with. I'd look elsewhere for meaningful friendships. I doubt very much that there is anything wrong with you at all - you just haven't met the right people yet. I wouldn't ask them about it either as you might come across as a bit whiney and clingy. Let them get on with it and concentrate on finding real friends.

2rebecca Sat 04-Jul-09 08:54:26

My friends have always been based around my hobbies, apart from my old friends who sadly all live several hours away.
I think asking people why they don't want to be your friend appears needy and is unlikely to get an honest answer. I think finding good friends as you get older is harder, mainly because we are fussier and busier. I've never done the people from school gates round for coffee thing, but then I've always worked part time.

TotalChaos Sat 04-Jul-09 09:00:27

No, don't ask, it's a bad idea to show your vulnerabilities so openly. I completely agree with Longtalljosie and others. Stop trying so hard with this crew. See if there are other mothers who aren't mated up at the school gate. And focus your energies on activities outside school. Some of us are slow burn friendship type of people - we grow on people - and don't make friends just out of convenience (having kids same age) but out of a genuine sharing of interests/values. Maybe that's you. Or maybe I'm barking up the wrong tree. No harm in trying mumsnet or netmums meetups - as at least the people who turn up to these will be likely to want new friends.

If these people are confiding in you about marriage etc, then I doubt you are doing anything socially "wrong" - you are evidently seen as approachable, good listener and trustworthy.

idranktheteaatwork Sat 04-Jul-09 09:09:55

I was in exactly the same position as you a while ago although i knew why people didn't want to be my friend. (dp is an alchoholic, recovering now, but i told one person and then she rather kindly told the entire mothering population at the school gates....)

I don't bother at all with the school gates now, when i am there i smile sweetly, say a vague hello and that's it. I usually stand with my ipod on whilst waiting.

What i did do though was to join a new pilates class. It has taken three terms but we are all going out for a drink next week and i have been invited to someones birthday party as well. Yay me!

I think that school gates are just a pretty crap place to try to make friends, people do tend to be in groups, ie they had their children at the same time and went to the same antenatal groups, or they all new each other pre-kids ad-infinitum.

Madmentalbint Sat 04-Jul-09 09:20:17

What about a college course? I did a GCSE one evening a week a couple of years back and made two really good friends there. If you do something like that you already have something in common.

MaryBS Sat 04-Jul-09 09:23:59

I asked someone that, who used to be a good friend, and then just stopped coming round. I asked her outright if I'd done anything to upset her, and she said no. I've just had to accept that she was no longer interested.

I've now decided if thats how people treat me, not to bother. But what I HAVE found is that people slightly older than me (10 years or so), are more friendly, they're just not at the school gates.

oopsagain Sat 04-Jul-09 09:52:13

Message withdrawn

chickydee Sat 04-Jul-09 09:54:13

When i was in a similar possition,(freind dumped me for no apparent reason,and left me feeling pretty shite and worthless) i joined homestart.
I became a volunteer, so i made freinds with people on the course, and then i also became freinds with the mums of the families i supported.
Now i run a mums and toddler group, (volunteraly) both my kids are older and at school so i needed something to do and meeded to make new friends and its worked really well.
Perhaps you could try some volunteer work?
The cows at the school gates are NOT worth your time and energy, they sound like selfish bitches to me, and very unkind, you are better than that, now you need to go prove it!

Oblomov Sat 04-Jul-09 10:49:01

I understand. I have few friends. And it is a mystery to me why. I like myself and make a great friend, so there must be something that i am missing here - people obviously see me differetnly to how I see myself.
The school gates 'nonsense' , came as a shock to me, and ds only started reception in sept, I naively thought i would find a 'bosom buddy'. I talk to quite a few. make them laugh. Have been invited for coffee. these aquaintances are all very nice.
But I have also seen some nastiness- this was a shock to me, I naively thought that everything would be nice - how wrong I was. and I know one mum for whom her close group blow hot and cold. This has opened my eyes. I enjoy it. But take it for what it is.
Try new ladies. Take the plunge. Start conversations with new people. But also, give it some thought as to why this is so important to you. and that in itself might help to change your perspective on it all.

Tortington Sat 04-Jul-09 10:52:00

some people just click socially - i am not one of them. my sil - just chats to every one - men in vans, women at school, people walking down the street - she even included a woman at the pedestrian crossing in our conversation the other day.

i envy her this.

Acinonyx Sat 04-Jul-09 11:09:32

I think the school gates is the worst place to make friends because there is absolutely nothing holding you together except the coincidence of having dcs at the school. In the past I have made friends through work, studying or houseshares. In all those cases you automatically tend to have things in common (even the houseshares due to similar lifestyle and/or work/study).

I am one who chats to random strangers out of habit. But finding really good friends - that's a whole other ball game. The school mums may just not be the right circle for you. TBH I usually make friends easily and don't give it much thought - but I am shock at how out of place and frankly, excluded, I feel wrt the schoolgate. It's like I've gone to an alien planet!

Katisha Sat 04-Jul-09 11:13:03

The school gate is definitely NOT the place to be trying to make friends. It has a similar dynamic to the playground on the other side of the gate!

Over the 5 years I have been turning up (not every day as I work) I have finally identified a couple of people who I more or less click with but only for chatting while standing in the park.

I get my adult company elsewhere - mostly work actually.

thumbwitch Sat 04-Jul-09 11:16:17

Don't ask, it wouldn't help. You would just come across as over-needy and under-confident.

One way to make people respond better to you is to subtly mirror their own behaviour - smile when they smile, move and talk in a similar fashion etc. These are cues that people unconsciously pick up on in people that they "get on with". But don't be overt about it or they might think you are taking the piss. It is a standard technique used in all sorts of situations, designed to put the other person at their ease.

Oblomov Sat 04-Jul-09 11:19:07

When you REALLY think about it, you realise that you would never chose to be friends with these people.
So they have a 5 yr old who has just started reception as well then ? AND ? SO ?
Likewise with my PN group ladies. so lovely. 5 of us. meet every week. would I chose to be friends with these ladies, if I say.... met them at a party ? Probably not.
There you go !!

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