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Depressed about friendships/social life

(70 Posts)
SugarMouse1 Sun 13-Oct-13 15:53:30

Advice/ hand-holding really appreciated.....

While I have a few friends from various places, recently no-one seems bothered about meeting up and have started more or less ignoring me.

While they are not close friends, I don't understand why so many have done this around the same time, it makes me feel like shit

They are long-term friends from school/uni and various places but not that I see like every weekend or anything anyway. I've never had any for years that I've been that close to. One friend is having a bit of a crisis, but lives in a different town, deleted her FB, her phone and her family wont tell me anything, only that she is 'fine'. I'm still worried though. Another is male and got into a new relationship with a girl who wont allow him to have female friends. Another has been distant since meeting her new boyfriend and spends every minute of the day with him, but wont even answer my texts.

So, if old friends are now ignoring you, how does one make new friends and where? I would like to at work, been there about 6 weeks, but its the kind of place with a high turnover and also have a negative, moody, controlling manager who is also eroding my confidence. So while you are feeling shit about friends and work its probably not the best time to start making new ones.

Nor do I want to come across as desperate. Being like this in the past led me to get into a EA relationship, and I am now older and wiser and have no intention of making the same mistake again!

Matildathecat Tue 15-Oct-13 17:04:24

Hang in there. I'm guessing you know you won't find many answers in the bottom of a glass?...

I'm not sure perusing the work thing is worth it. It sounds stressful and to achieve what?

Can you visit your GP and discuss the way you feel? Maybe ask for counselling, CBT or anti d's. Maybe a combination. You do sound depressed. Are you getting any support in RL?

You take care or yourself and call the surgery. I hope you feel better soon.

Sunnysummer Tue 15-Oct-13 17:19:04

It sounds like you are going through a really difficult time and are doing a great job just keeping your head above water!

CBT sounds really sensible, if you tell your GP what you have told us, they are certainly likely to provide some level of support, possibly suggesting ADs first but hopefully also referring for CBT or similar.

About the job - I agree that unless you are very sure about your issue and haw good evidence. making a complaint at this point is unlikely to be helpful and could just make your life and sense of self even trickier. As pps have said, getting 3 jobs suggests that you are great at interviews, but also that you are maybe not getting roles that are the best for for your personality and talents. Has your work given you feedback on why you did not continue that will be helpful when you choose your next (awesome, excellent, great fit smile) role?

Really hope that things can get better thanks (and maybe not wine in the circumstances, but definitely brew)

havatry Tue 15-Oct-13 17:19:51

Just to say CBT is free on the NHS but there can be a waiting list. There is an online one, don't know if it would be any help in the meantime.

Hope you're ok.

SugarMouse1 Tue 15-Oct-13 20:31:59

Thanks again

Nô, i dont want to go back to drinking, i got so sick of waking up with à hangover, did some stupid things, started to look unhealthy etc

This time, thé manager told me that hé actually liked me as à person, but that 'Anna and Claire were much more bubbly, and had positive emails sent in about them', (There were none sent in about me).

Btw, Anna and Claire go for 10 long fag breaks per shift, even when its very busy, and anybody Could havé sent those emails in or they Could even havé wrote them themselves!?

Ive been on ADs in thé past, not sûre about them, had counselling in thé past, it used to bring up à lot of past issues which upset me and i always left in tears, but Im not sûre what it was doing to actually help me change, because i more or less know what caused my low self esteem anyway


EBearhug Tue 15-Oct-13 22:35:27

If you're trying to avoid drinking, maybe you could spend the money that would go on drink on counselling instead? If you're in the UK, you can find therapists online -

bourneout Tue 15-Oct-13 23:06:41

hang on - OP - so you were sacked for not being "bubbly enough"!!! that is the crappiest excuse I have ever heard for getting rid of someone. What did they want you to do - come in a clown suit and perform cartwheels around the office!

Seriously! sounds like Anna and Claire were toadying up to the manager and it was easier to take it out on you. Also smacks a little of bullying to be honest. All round - think you are better off without them.

On the friends issue - I can't really offer much advice. I seem to have lost any ability to make new friends - not that I was ever much good at it really, so will leave others to help out on that.

Dirtybadger Tue 15-Oct-13 23:21:52

You can get CBT through the NHS. The context and speed of access will probably depend upon local demand. Don't ask don't get smile

saggytummy Wed 16-Oct-13 00:57:19

I would strongly suggest stopping hitting the bottle immediately. It's a known cause of depression. Next start beating yourself up and go to your local sports centre, have a swim/ sauna/ try Zumba. This will lift your spirits. I don't have a huge amount of friends but those that I have I treasure but probably don't nurture enough.
Make a real effort to get out that shell. Lastly get assertive about that job, last time I heard that wasn't a reason to fire Someone be prepared and ask the reason in writing.

SugarMouse1 Wed 16-Oct-13 03:19:49

Nô, i know its à pathetic excuse to fire someone

Who should i complain to though?

SugarMouse1 Wed 16-Oct-13 03:22:10

I know, saggytummy, but i was thinking of going abroad instead to try and get me a change of scène etc

CharityFunDay Wed 16-Oct-13 04:16:23

Word of caution: You weren't "fired". You were let go during your probationary period. Employers don't really have to give very good reasons while you're on probation.

By all means complain if you find it therapeutic to do so, but I wouldn't expect much by the way of outcome.

Xenadog Wed 16-Oct-13 04:26:59

OP I think the advice to have some talking therapy is a great place to start, you do sound very down (understandably so) so a trip to the gp to get some advice would be my first place to start. It may be that you would need to pay for private counselling - to get seen soon and have the right treatment for you - would that be a realistic option?

I can't comment on the work situation except to ask did they really 'sack' you or was it a redundancy or the end of a contract where you were 'let go?" I ask because I can't believe you could be sacked for having the wrong personality and you would definitely have cause to go to a tribunal.

As for friends, well a meet up group would be my first port of call, secondly doing some volunteering maybe at a homeless shelter, the dogs trust or an elderly charity/day centre which would get you out and about and meeting a real variety of people.

Regarding work - there are options open to you but maybe speaking to a careers specialist would help identify the area you are best suited to, retraining May be a route to go down or it may be you just haven't found the right company to work for yet?

I can only say chin up and take control of this situation, you need to put a positive spin on things. You are free to make new friends and find the perfect job - life is an exciting adventure waiting for you to grab it now but you need to get some plans in place. Sorry if this sounds a bit "pollyannaish" but sometimes it's a shift in our own attitude which is needed for the other changes to begin. I wish you well.

SugarMouse1 Wed 16-Oct-13 20:53:56

Thanks everyone

Just to clarify- no, I wasn't sacked, I was just let go of during a probationary period. But same outcome. No job.

I know they don't need a good excuse, but surely you couldn't do it to someone for being black/gay/disabled, so why for 'not being bubbly enough', or carbon copies of Anna and Claire?

I'm afraid I don't really have the money for a careers specialist or private counselling.

Will people think its strange if I go and do things on my own?

stubbornstains Wed 16-Oct-13 21:14:14

Are these all customer facing roles you've been doing OP? That kind of work really, really doesn't suit everyone.

EBearhug Wed 16-Oct-13 21:15:20

I go and do things on my own. If I didn't, I'd hardly ever do anything. It's quite possible people think I'm strange, but doing things on my own is probably only one of many possible reasons. grin

SugarMouse1 Thu 17-Oct-13 14:26:18

I know, but how CAN i change myself so that i suit it? People used to patronisingly tell me 'it will all be différent' when Im older, like lack of confidence is something you 'grow out of' like thumb-sucking etc

Besides, i dont havé thé expérience to réalistically get à différent type of job.

Next time, Im just going to shout and scream etc, see if thats bubbly enough for them

Ebear- you Obviously dont care what people think. Which is great, but Im so low at thé moment that so much as someone sniggering at me Could push me over thé edge. What things are acceptable to do on your own?

MotherofBear Thu 17-Oct-13 14:56:23

SugarMouse, may I ask how old you are? Because you sound a lot like me about 10 years ago. I haven't changed a huge amount, I still lack confidence. But I have a lot more than I did.

I realized that I have just as much right to be and think and act a certain way as everybody else does, dammit!

I am not particularly bubbly (except when drinking, and not even always then), and I'm not the life and soul of the party by any means.

But I am now able to do stuff on my own. Go shopping, to the cinema, to the pub (with a good book), even on a course. Sometimes the way to make friends/start a conversation is to simply admit that you're the quiet type to someone who looks nice. I've done it myself - chosen a lady who has a friendly face, and just said 'Do you mind if I sit next to you, I'm a little nervous on my own'. She was lovely and completely understanding and we're still in touch.

I think you may have more confidence than you believe though, if you're thinking about going abroad. Would that be something you'd seriously consider, or is it just wishful thinking?

Matildathecat Thu 17-Oct-13 14:58:22

I'm quite decently disabled so had to stop work and give up nearly all the group activities I used to enjoy. So I have had to learn to do things alone sometimes.

I'm planning to go to the cinema tomorrow . It will be the first time for nearly two years and for me it's a really big deal. So I have chosen a shortish film, a comfortable small cinema and a lunchtime showing which will be quiet. I know from experience there will be others alone.

Can yo think of breaking down something in a similar way?

The other thing I do is use my local shops as much as possible. That means I will always get a smile and hello if not more. Little exchanges like that are important to me.

Let us know how you get on. Wish me luck!

Matildathecat Thu 17-Oct-13 14:58:58

Not decently, recently!

MotherofBear Thu 17-Oct-13 15:03:14

Mathildathecat I was thinking how polite it was of you to be 'decently' disabled!

I'm sorry your life has had to change so drastically. I hope you enjoy the cinema tomorrow.

MotherofBear Thu 17-Oct-13 15:03:24

Good luck!

SugarMouse1 Thu 17-Oct-13 20:45:46

Hi, MotherofBear, Im 25, Still young I know, but an âge where you certainly arent expected to be shy.

I can do certain things on my own, i just hâte it if people are sniggering about me. Plus, as à female There is too much harrassment if you go to bars/clubs alone. Maybe à gay bar would be alright.

Yes, i Could go abroad alone, Ive done it before, be staying in à hostel. Others will likely be there alone.

À course, id be terrified to do, because i know Everyone else would split into little groups of friends immediately, and id be left alone.

Do you find that people Still criticise you for being quiet?

EBearhug Thu 17-Oct-13 21:05:13

People used to patronisingly tell me 'it will all be différent' when Im older, like lack of confidence is something you 'grow out of' like thumb-sucking etc

Erm, I occasionally still suck my thumb when I'm really, really tired and down (didn't realise, till someone else pointed it out!)

But anyway - I think people do grow out of lack of confidence to some extent. Or perhaps you realise that a lot more people also lack confidence - everyone does sometimes. But another thing as you get older is that you realise you've got through various situations, and the world hasn't ended, and that in itself helps. At least, that's how it's been for me. But nearly a decade ago, I was on anti-depressants and I still see a counsellor, so I know none of it's easy. There are still days where I just think I can't do anything, and I'm no good at the things I am doing, and sometimes soon, someone's going to notice I'm just blagging my way through everything. Lots of people think like this, though. It's normal.

I think there are many of us who focus on the things we can't do, and aren't comfortable with, rather than the things we can do, and we ignore the things we find easy, because if they're easy, they can't be that difficult or important. Actually, it might be that we find it easy because we are very good at those things.

One of the best pieces of advice I have been given is, "Don't compare your insides with other people's outsides." We don't know how people are really feeling inside most of the time, and a lot of people present a front that covers all their doubts and incertainties. Sometimes, people come over as really confident because they're putting so much effort into hiding how they really feel from the rest of the world.

As for not caring how people feel about me - I think some of that is down to lack of confidence in itself, because I assume most people just don't notice me. There are some people I care very much about what they think of me, but they're people I know, not random strangers in the street.

Things I do or have done on my own - swimming, going to a yoga class, going to dance classes (that can be a bit rubbish, and I don't do it any more, as I got tired of dancing with the teacher, but I wanted to know how to do it), going to the cinema, theatre, ballet, going to art galleries, going for walks, going to the beach. I've made myself go to parties on my own (not always a great experience, I admit), and I've done a lot of travelling on my own (including the joys of singles supplements and wondering what to do with my bags while I go to the loo.) I'm in my forties. I've been single most of my life - if I didn't do things on my own, I would have done almost nothing. It's hard, it's sometimes very depressing, there are nights when I cry, (but people don't know - I don't go into work and announce I cried myself to sleep because I was having a bad bout of loneliness - so how many others could be like that? You just don't know.) You just have to pick yourself up and carry on - and when you realise the strength you need to do that, that helps your confidence.

i dont havé thé expérience to réalistically get à différent type of job.

No one has experience to start with. It is something which has held me back at times, and it is something a lot of women struggle with. I don't remember the exact stats, but there's something along the lines of, if you've got a job spec, a man will apply if he matches at least 20% of the requirements, but a woman will only apply if she matches about 80%. Many of us do things we don't really think of as useful experience, and if you want to gain more skills, you might be able to do a course (online, evening classes, whatever,) or perhaps gain some experience with voluntary work or something. There are lots of careers books and websites to help you identify your strengths and values and so on, and how to write your CV in different styles to highlight the skills you have for the sort of work you want.

It's not easy, but it can be done, and there are people here to support you. It can happen one step at a time - and sometimes there will be a step back, but as long as the overall progress is forward, you will get there in the end.

MotherofBear Fri 18-Oct-13 13:53:59

Hi, SugarMouse.

I know what you mean when you say you're of an age when you're not expected to be shy. Although, actually, that isn't really true. It's just your perception smile I'm 34, and it's only in the past few years that I've realised people come in all different shapes and sizes, both physically and emotionally/personality-wise.

I personally don't expect people to be a certain way based on their age, other than the basic I expect adults to be adults and not act like children.

I have a suspicion, and I apologise if I'm wrong, that you often end up on your own because you hold yourself back. I did this. I used to unconsciously draw back or hold myself back in social situations, so people did end up passing over me. If you push yourself forward a little, people will take more notice. Much, much easier said than done, I know.

You do have to be proactive though. Which is bloody hard. Instead of sitting there waiting to be included in a group (secretly hoping both that you'll be 'picked' and that you won't be), attach yourself to someone. Or a couple of people. Courses often encourage a buddy system, so you could ask someone to exchange email addresses or mobile numbers with for this reason. Or even just suggest having a coffee to discuss the work after the next class.

I think you're bloody amazing for having been abroad by yourself, and to be thinking of doing that again. The thought of doing that makes my stomach drop. I wish I had that kind of courage!

No, I haven't seen or heard anyone criticize me for being quiet. The loud ones either don't really bother with me, or they like talking to me because they don't have to listen very much grin. And the quiet people understand the way I am. But then, I work with people who are around my age or older, so they have also learnt to accept people as they are.

Feel free to PM me if you want (you're not obligated to at all!), I have no idea where you live, but if you're anywhere near me then I'd be happy to meet up for a coffee. I'd be the one shaking with nerves in the corner grin

MotherofBear Fri 18-Oct-13 13:54:51

EBearhug You have wise words smile

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