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Positive vibes please - teen daughter says she has no friends

(28 Posts)
Sallo Wed 08-Jun-11 17:22:31

I know it's ups and downs but my daughter is in a long phase where she feels she has no friends; I know things will get better but find it hard to say the right thing to cheer her up or get her out of the dumps. Any suggestions please?

Deliaskis Wed 08-Jun-11 18:41:10

I don't have teenage daughters, but remember being a teenager, so just a few random thoughts off the top of my head:

- Does she mean no friends at school? Does she do other activities? At that age I had different friend groups for various different things (youth orchestra, Ranger Guides, part-time job, school, etc.).
- Is it particularly friends that is the problem, or is there anything else not going right for her? How about school work/grades etc?
- Why do you/does she think she doesn't have friends? Does she just 'not fit in' with the clique at school? If this is the case then doing other things might help, plus just being there for her and nurturing her and making sure she understands that it's OK to not be the same as everyone else and one day soon she will meet people who will be like her and will see how wonderful she is.
- How's her self-confidence generally? Is there any way she can celebrate being 'who she is', e.g. not hiding away but being quirky if that's who she is. It can be horrible feeling like you're on the outside and having to pretend to be something else just to fit in. If she knows that you love her whatever hopefully that is a start.

Sorry this isn't helpful at all really, but I can remember the teenage years, and I know people who kind of drifted on their own a bit really mainly got into their groove in 6th form when it became more acceptable to be different, and everybody respected that.


exoticfruits Wed 08-Jun-11 18:59:26

How old is she? Does she do much outside school?

mum765 Wed 08-Jun-11 19:11:00

Yes, I was going to say that too. I remember feeling a bit isolated as a teenager as the only people I mixed with were from school, most of whom I'd known for years. Definitely think meeting people outside school would help. And also agree, friendships seemed to change quite a bit in sixth form.

Cleopatra63 Wed 08-Jun-11 19:16:28

Thanks folks - she doesn't really do anything outside school (though I have tried to nag encourage her... She is very mature for her age and lots of the girls are in bitchy cliques - on the one hand she's proud of herself for not conforming, on the other, she hates the fact that everyone else just follows the leaders... I just find it hard to say positive things to help her feel good as she's exactly the same as I was when I was younger and noone ever said the right thing to me!!

exoticfruits Wed 08-Jun-11 19:20:25

Deliaskis is right in that she will find it easier the older she gets-by 6th form you can be yourself.
I would forget about joining things to make friends. Find something she is keen on and wants to do, and the friends will probably be a spin off.
Has she thought of scouts-less girls-lots of activities?

Cleopatra63 Wed 08-Jun-11 19:24:05

She's just thinking about doing St John Ambulance or something like that, lifeguards training, which would be great. I'm going to go up and give her a big hug now

Cleopatra63 Wed 08-Jun-11 19:25:22

Oh PS I started out as Sallo and changed to Cleopatra so itwasn't my real name, how confusing sorry

exoticfruits Wed 08-Jun-11 19:25:31

Great idea-good luck!

TotallyLovely Fri 10-Jun-11 12:51:47

Aah really feel for her! I remember that feeling! I think lifeguard training or some other club would be a great idea. She would meet all sorts of people that way and improve her confidence and social skills.

Deliaskis Mon 13-Jun-11 14:35:59

Cleopatra I don't really have anything useful to add apart from to say I have been thinking about you and your DD over the weekend, and wanted to re-iterate my hopefully reassuring point that 6th form was definitely the time it got better for lots of people. I would imagine at 15 your DD's year group are just about to move out of the sheep-like cliquey behaviour, it just feels crappy whilst it is still going on.

And for you, you can't do/say anything to make her actual situation better apart from to help her understand that you love her no matter what and that you're proud of her. It might not make a big difference on a day to day basis but she will never be in doubt of your love and support.

Doing something like St Johns, Lifeguards or Scouts etc. would be a good step though. And agree it's not joining something 'to make friends' as such, it's doing something fun that she enjoys, and she will meet people along the way.

She WILL find friends sooner or later, she WILL find people 'like her' one day, it's just hard that it's not now.


Teen1708 Thu 06-Sep-12 10:40:46

Hi, I'm a newbie here, but thought I would search this particular issue as my DD is going through this at the moment. She is 15 and has no best friend and although she had a 'group' she tagged along with at school, over the summer break, one girl in this group has turned the whole group against her. The one girl who she was friendly with, has chosen to ignore my DD rather than go against the rest of the group. My DD has no confidence, she doesn't have any outside clubs she belongs to. She does have a part time job after school but this is not somewhere she can meet others of her own age, unfortunately.

She is doing well at school but she seems to be focusing now on feeling 'left out' and I feel her work will suffer.

Does anyone have any advice on how I can help her at all - I feel for her, I really do, but I can't make others like her.

It doesn't help when you see all the pics on facebook of other girls her age in large groups out and about enjoying themselves sad

schoolchauffeur Thu 06-Sep-12 14:40:10

I feel for everyone in this situation. My teen DD had this problem between ages 15-16. She had a best friend at school who started to get in with a crowd outside of school my DD didn't like - bit of drinking, just hanging around the shops acting stupid.

My DD again was quite mature for her age and just didn't get the drinkin to get drunk, getting off with loads of boys thing and rebelled against her. Her best friend then got a boyfriend and had a major pregnancy scare despite DD telling her she was acting in a crazy way - the advice didn't go down well and they had a fall out- since sort of patched up and they still catch up from time to time.

She had other friends who were really nice to her at school but she just wasn't seen as "cool"- they all seemed to get invited to the older kids parties etc and she regularly suffered seeing all the fun stuff going on on Facebook-pictures of parties etc she hadn't been invited to.

Initially it really hurt her but then she made one really good friend who unfortunately moved overseas, but it was meeting that person by chance who she really clicked with which made her see that some people really did value her.
She ended up moving school ( in part but not wholly for social reasons) and at her new school ( where she is a boarder) she is so popular- has a lovely boyfriend, a group of lovely supportive friends, a couple of whom came to visit over the summer, etc.

So my message would be, hang in there, do try the external clubs - just to see who is there and meet someone like minded. My DD does also recognise that in not wanting to just follow the herd she did make a sort of rod for her own back- but she came out of it well and learnt something along the way.

Teen1708 Thu 06-Sep-12 14:56:56

Thanks schoolchauffeur, it helps to know others are going through it and that things worked out well for your daughter.

I did say to mine you cannot be the only one on their own through lunch and breaks, I said can't you at least try going up to someone if they are on their own and try and break the ice, however she assures me she is the only one like it (!) - I'm certain now after reading this thread that there are many who feel like she does, it isn't easy. She had a best friend at primary school, but because of where we lived she ended up going to a different secondary school than most of her class from primary school. I keep telling her that things will get better but she doesn't sound convinced. She also now doesn't want to take much to eat at lunch times as she doesn't want to be seen eating on her own. I really need to nip this in the bud before it causes more problems.

They have counselling help at the school (via older pupils) and I suggested seeing them but she says they are really busy and don't have time (and she thinks SHE is the only with with worries - this should tell her something). smile

helenjewell123 Sat 23-Jul-16 00:39:17

This thread was a few years ago but I searched for help on here as a newbie with the exact same prob with my girl(14)
She's unhappy, and has not one friend she can trust. She says they are bitchy and often turn against her and her confidence is taking a huge battering as a result. She won't join any after school clubs, she is a beautiful singer but won't join bands even tho she's been asked, she won't go to the gym even tho she wants to start...I love her so much and she's such a great girl - bright, caring, funny, beautiful inside and out - I can't believe it's so awful for her at school - to the point where she literally hates it.
At a loss here😔I'd really appreciate any help or thoughts ...

Enjoyingthepeace Sat 23-Jul-16 12:31:39

Oh Helen, I'm sorry.

Any chance of moving her? That's what my parents did. Made the most incredible difference

Mabellove Sun 24-Jul-16 23:33:09

(Changed my username - sorry if confusing)

Thku for your comment.
I have thought about moving her.
She wants to too - altho terrified.
It's very hard to know wether to keep going and encouraging her to branch out and make new friends at her current (and really great) school -but really it's a huge learning curve for her to understand how friendships shouldn't be and how to find the courage to walk away. I had similar probs at school, I wish to god I'd walked away from my so-called best mate, I'm absolutely certain that the drop in my confidence as a result of staying in that situ where I was trampled on, in my early teens, has def become part of who I am today, it formed part of my personality - not a part I want. It's an unconfident part, a people pleaser and a woman who finds it hard to say no to people, friends.
I hide my anxiety well.
I desperately want lily to learn that it's NOT ok to be bitched about, left out, made to feel like crap by her 'mates' - I want her to veer towards a positive experience of friendship wherever she is.
I wonder if moving her would be the answer? To start again, yes. To learn the life lesson - don't know.
Wish I could hop into her shoes and do it for her as I should've done back then! Ugh so painful for her.

Enjoyingthepeace Mon 25-Jul-16 07:10:28

My advice, move her.

Your daughter's confidence is being battered. Of course she is terrified of moving. The bullies are convincing her that she's stupid/worthless/pathetic.

I had a term of being bullied. My parents moved me. Best thing ever. I'm still friends with my school friends, 20 years later.

Enjoyingthepeace Mon 25-Jul-16 07:12:44

To learn a life lesson?? What life lesson?
I'm an extremely confident woman, went to university, got a good job in the city, travelled, now happily married with children. I have a wonderful group of friends, from school, work and my life as a SAHM.
I can't see that I would have learned any life lesson by my parents not acting swiftly to love me. It was a wonderful thing they did, and I adore them for it.

Mabellove Mon 25-Jul-16 08:30:35

You're right.
But you know, we are all doing the best we can as parents arnt we? Dont always get it right.
I wasn't aware of the extent of her unhappiness until very recently, she's done an incredible job of masking it - which is heartbreaking in itself. I'm also fighting resistance from her dad (we are divorced) who believes she shouldn't move, wherever she goes she will have to deal with people's behavior etc. we need to give her the tools to deal with it etc. I go along with that on certain issues, but not this.
He doesn't see her as I do, and doesn't deal with his emotions as we do. Anyway - despite him, I have an app to see another school with Lily, it's a creative school with a totally different vibe - so fingers crossed.In the meantime I will love and encourage her over the summer, camp and kyak and keep her off her phone for a bit, for a break Thks for your input X

user1471718985 Sat 20-Aug-16 20:16:37

I am at wits end and was searching for some inspiration. DD is 19 and has no friends of own age -to go out with and do crazy things. went to school where everyone lived miles away and now doesn't get to see anyone and no-one asks her to go anywhere with them. 'friends' post all the 'look at us out having a great time' photos and actually have nerve to send mssgs telling her she should go there!!! why don't they ask her to come with them. I would buy her a friend if there was such a service - feel so bad for her and cant do anything to help. she is shyish and a bit quiet but comes alive when she talks (skypes) her best mate who is also a bit quiet and shyish. I don't know where this insecurity comes from as we are mostly all a family of fairly confident people - or at least good at presenting that way. I tell her to fake it till she feels it but tbh that doesn't help. she is upstairs close to crying on a Saturday night and I cant go there cos talking with her just bring the tears(sad:

FireflyGirl Sun 21-Aug-16 20:24:31

Can she get a job in a bar? Obviously not applicable to the younger girls mentioned previously, but at 19 it's a way to get out there.

The friends I made whilst bar maiding are still my best friends 15 years later, despite the many different paths we have all taken!

suffolkblonde29 Sun 21-Aug-16 21:08:55

Just saw this thread and it hit a nerve because I remember saying the exact same thing to my mum when I was about 14. I'd drifted apart from my primary school friends and became best friends with a girl who recently joined the school, and then all of a sudden she decided she didn't want to be friends with me. It was a really horrible time and I remember not knowing what to do at break times and not having anyone to hang out with.

I think the most important thing you can do is just be there for your daughter, listen to her and do anything you can to boost her self-esteem and show her that you love her. Organise things she can look forward to and make sure she knows that whatever happens at school she has a loving family (and ideally extended family/support network) who love her and will always be there for her.

Encourage her to join clubs/do things outside of school but don't put too much pressure on as she may find it difficult if her self-esteem is low and home needs to be a place where she can relax rather than be nagged.

She'll find other friends in time and will forget all about it (until maybe she see a similar post on mumsnet one day!). I'm now 30, married with a baby, have a great career and have gained enough brilliant friends over the years to make keeping in touch with all of them a challenge sometimes! Your daughter will be the same I'm sure...

Emilou200 Sat 29-Apr-17 10:13:53

I've just found this thread as my 15 year old daughter was crying last night about how lonely she is. She has been let down by a few friendship groups, as she didn't like their 'bitchiness' or their general behaviour (drinking, sexual behaviour). She's made sensible choices, and has been rewarded at school, with good grades as well as added responsibilities. However she said last night that she just feels lonely 😢. I totally get it as it took me many years to find my forever friends and I've reassured her, that she will find friends who care about her eventually. But as others on this thread have said it's so hard for her to see others all out in groups, having fun etc in social media (even I find it hard as an adult!). I've advised her to focus on her studies for now, try and lay off social media, and just go to school and be nice to everyone. I really hope that things improve as she's such a unique and special young lady who believes in sticking up for wrong doings etc (which is why she isn't popular!). Just wanted to share my story in the hope some of you can tell me that things have improved your end!

tracyep36 Thu 08-Jun-17 21:15:03

Hi everyone,so I'm the kind of suffer in silence type of mum,I think I can handle everything on my own,but I need advice. My eldest daughter Mia is 14,she is a very good girl,up until recently doing well at school,but slowly things have changed and got worse and it feels like it's all come crashing down on me,firstly all her friends have been boys,at primary school and senior,she has girlfriends but they never stick she finds them bitchy,ive always been concerned that a friendship with boys can't offer her what girlfriends can but it seems to of been this way. This feburay I got a call from her school that she had been trueant from lessons,I couldn't believe it,she had all these excuses but I was disappointed with her,and the school gave her a week's detention,she spent her time in the toilets with another friend. In April a one off treat too colour her hair went wrong and for 2 weeks she said friends were so mean and calling her names so it got sorted and things calmed down,may I get a call from my local Tesco that she'd been caught shop lifting a bottle of fresh orange,I was mortified,and she was very upset and sorry(this was done with a friend who was a boy)and she couldn't explain why she did it. This isn't my little girl this isn't her she just doesn't do this but she is doing this.Today we had a big row/chat I've found out she's not eating,she says she doesn't feel hungry but I do see her eat I see her eat a lot,and I don't want to make too much of a deal of this In case too much focus makes it worse,and she has no friends all the boys have gone off with other mates and give her nasty looks and pick on her at break times,she sits with this one girl every lunchtime and feels so lonely she says.Im a single parent,i have another daughter she's 11,and they both weren't seeing their dad at one point because of his temper(he shouts and takes things extremely personally but they are seeing him now but he s not someone that can be relied on) I don't know what to do?she's chosen her options for gcses I don't know if taking her out of school at this late stage would make things worse? I just want her to have friends and be happy and be confident in herself to stand up to this pathetic little bullies.

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