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Social competitiveness - tips for disconnecting

(3 Posts)
sniffle12 Sun 01-Jan-17 14:04:46

Both my team at work and my friend group are made up of very socially competitive people and it is exhausting me and contributing significantly to my MH problems. It feels like a constant game of social one-upmanship - everybody has to be each other's 'bestie', the constant flattery/creeping and forming of sub-groups within the group, bitching about those not in the group, the feeling that if you don't keep up or flatter everybody regularly enough you'll be out of favour or left behind.

Now I know the thing I need to do for my mental health is to disconnect from it all and just be myself and take whoever comes with that, but I don't want to end up lonely. I have a wonderful family at home, but I do need other company to get me through the day(s), especially at work, and it is ultimately rewarding to feel liked and included.

I do have some genuine friends who don't behave in this way but they live around the country and I can only see them at birthdays/christmas etc.

Has anybody got any tips for withdrawing from this kind of stressful social behaviour without becoming excluded? (I know, I know, if a friend would exclude you they shouldn't even be a friend!)

MrsMcMoo Sun 01-Jan-17 14:13:01

Lots of tight friendship groups seem to have toxic undercurrents. The power play is to do with the fear of being excluded. I think the trick is to diversify. Be open to new friendships in other areas of life, have several different, more relaxed, friendship groups. They don't have any power over you then, and the bullshit either doesn't happen or you don't care. So, practically speaking, put yourself out there in 2017, be open to new friendships, invite some new people to do things, if there are no obvious new people to hang out with, try going on Meetup or similar. And step away from toxic people, they will only bring you down.

dangermouseisace Sun 01-Jan-17 16:37:55

It is rewarding to feel liked and included but don't lose yourself in it. I worked in a bitchy/cliquey office and made it clear I didn't agree with bitching. Some people from there on had very little to do with me, but on the other hand I made actual proper friends with others who had the same values as myself. I'm still friends with these people years after I left. I found it acted like a 'shit filter' if you like! But as PP has said if your friends live away maybe it's time to broaden your local friendship group? There are loads of things out there…sports clubs, meet ups…book groups

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