Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.
I just cannot find my 'people' anywhere.(280 Posts)
I suppose I should just write it as it comes out.
I have lots of friends. I have quite a good social life that if I wanted to take a more active role in, I could. But I just always feel on the fringes of friendships, the friend you always forget was there the time that funny thing happened. People talk over me. Someone will say something I just said and it will raise a laugh where as mine just fell flat. I have just returned from a night out where I felt like the most isolated person in the entire world. The things I like and enjoy are considered eccentric by the mainstream (alternative music, I don't watch television, I read ALOT) and I suppose I am essentially an introvert who would still like to 'get out there' but at times I just need to rest my soul.
I dont think I will ever find friends I can totally be myself with without at least some degree of checking myself. Anyone out there with any advice or who have similar feelings? I would be really happy to talk.
You say yourself that if you wanted to take a more active role in your social life... If you wanted. If you don't want to, why are you worrying?
I guess I just don't feel like I am myself with anyone except my partner. So I could see those friends, but I still feel like an outsider because I still think I don't really gel with them either. Or I did at one point, but I just don't now. I feel really lonely when I go out.
I often feel that way, too - and have done since I was 8 or 9 or younger. I'm now in my 40s. I've actually got a lot of friends, who are all round the country and the world - what I lack is geographically close friends, or the sort of person I could call on if I had a crisis.
My instincts tell me doing things I'm interested in is the way to meet people I'll get on with - but practice has shown this tends to gain acquaintances rather than friends. I assume there's something in my personality that stops me taking it further, I don't know.
I am not sure how to get over that after all this time, and therefore I have no useful advice. A lot of the time it's fine. Some days, I wonder what is the point of getting up and going out there again. (Paying the bills is usually the reason in the end.)
I have also gone to groups where there are people who share my interests thinking that I'll find friends there. Although like you, I've also found that I only make acquaintances. I never really made friends at baby groups either.
I wonder if I am one of those people who is 'hard work'? I take a lot of warming up, if that makes sense!
I mean this very kindly but I wonder if you've become caught up in a view of yourself that precludes you getting close to other people: ALL my friends like indie music and read a lot. You don't actually sound eccentric at all. Maybe you need to stop looking for the differences and focus on the similarities? Otoh if all your current friendship group listen to the charts, watch big brother and think Heat is literature, maybe the simple solution is get more friends?
And no-one made friends at baby groups. Baby groups are a living hell.
Haha, I know so many people that made friends at baby groups. There are a group of 6 I know that met regularly. Although I don't get invited, which I am cool with because they have blanked a wave and a smile in the street too many times!
I just don't seem to meet people like myself, except for friends I have known for years. Lonny I had a lot of friends in my old job who were like me, same music tastes etc but we don't meet now due to location. In my current role and town, I only ever meet the Heat reading type. Even at groups I attend for my hobbies.
whereabouts are you op - you sound like we would get on - i am a lot like you!!
Hey, you sound completely like One Of Us. I remember feeling horribly isolated and lonely and miserable when DS was small, because suddenly I was pretty much cut off from my own kind - most of whom were and are childfree so most of the socialising was spontaneous/late-night/too expensive for a single mum - and only realised then how thoroughly 'non-mainstream' I was. I had such grim times at toddler groups: not only was I the oldest mum by about 15 years but I was also the only single mum, new to the area, and couldn't really talk much about my pre-motherhood life without freaking people out.
What worked for me was the one hobby/scene I was and am involved with which is child-friendly - that and DS dad becoming more of a regular visitor and taking on more childcare.
Can you keep in touch with your old mates via social media and occasional meetups? And - don't know what your hobbies are - but are some of them the sort that have a non-geographical-based network?
For most of my life, most of my friends have been people I've had to travel some distance to meet up with. The thing about being non-mainstream is that it's a lot harder just to fall into friendship with the people who live or work near you, because all the points of reference are so different.
You are me....my therapist told me about the creative daydreamer personality type which you may find describes you too. Look it up.
in my case I find it impossible to relate to other women but I get on with men very well. Can you find somr male friends.
But what I have discovered and come to appreciate is that there is nothing wrong with me. I am just a subset with lots of positives. I now enjoy time on my own and do my lonely creative pursuits with no feeling of guilt or sadness.
essentially there is no need to shoehorn yourself into a role. Just love who you are.
a few sessions with a counsellor msy help you to accept a nd love how special you are.
Have you considered female aspergers?
I know how you feel about being on the fringes of groups.
I spent 2 years going to several toddler groups but other women arranged meet ups without me. I was a lot younger than them, which might have been a factor.
My tastes are fairly mainstream but I feel out if sync with my generation.
I worked with a lady for 4 years and we both left within a week of each other; it was only on our last 'elevenses' that we both found out we had lived in the same town at the same time about 30 years ago.
And it was only when on facebook that I found out our HR manager liked some of the obscure indie bands that I love.
I used to be part of an arty and musically based friendship group and I moved away for various reasons and now I'm older and nobody I know has even heard of most of the people that I like and admire. I just forge my own path and learn a little about their likes and dislikes for socialising. But then again I am an introvert and more than happy to leave a social session early and come home to read. I'm happier once people have said 'bye then' to be honest.
Try liking classical music! I feel like a freak everywhere and know just what you mean. You can pretend you're fitting in but you know on some level you're not getting it 'right'. And the people I play classical music with are worthy but dull!
That's why I love social media - much easier to find people into my music, or Anthony Trollope, or Breaking Bad or whatever. And that detachment that means you don't actually have to meet them in the pub and find out all the reasons you wouldn't really get on!
To find 2 or 3 soulmates would be amazing but at 54 I think it's increasingly unlikely.
Feel glad you're not mainstream! We all know you're quirky and worth knowing.
I feel like this somewhat too, although I have got a few really, really close friends...we're just scattered now. I think my biggest issue is that anyone I meet doesn't compare to them.
I've just kind of started taking people as they are. I have a neighbor I like a lot but it's not the same...I can't see her discussing her sex life with me like my best friends do, but she's great for just sitting and having a glass of wine and the occasional chat. I have a lot of friends like that. It's not that I'm not myself around them, it's just that I don't bring out all the sides of myself all the time, iyswim? It is kind of sad sometimes; I wish I had more friends like my two best friends who live far away now, but it's okay. It's still nice to have people I like to hang out with every now and then.
I am always amazed by how easily people seem to connect with each other, I feel like an alien sometimes because I just don't get it, or sometimes I do and then I don't which is even harder
Honestly I think it's partly down to perseverance, and don't try too hard. None of my friends like the same music as me, most don't read more than magazines (I read a lot), but in time bonds have been made and mostly it comes from shared experiences and going through things together, not necessarily enjoying the same things. Don't look for connections, those are made over time.
i have similar experiences to several on here of having really good friends dotted around the world and a few in this country but being quite different so it being unlikely i will just fall in with whoever is near me if that makes sense. i gave up on the rent a crowd thing fairly young as it is just a bit soul destroying in a way.
solidgoldbrass' experience of becoming a mother resonates with me too. mums and tots type things were hideous. especially once i moved here as i found women sitting around talking about their husbands jobs and plans for extensions and new conservatories totally alien and almost like i was sitting in a surreal spoof sketch. i needed someone to turn to and get the giggles with but there was no one there.
for a while i was constantly like, i need to move, i need to go traveling again, i need to be somewhere that is more me etc. in the end i've probably become more eccentric, less bothered about what people think and very grateful for anyone i do click with on whatever level who is able to like me as me even if we're very different. i also spend way too much time on the internet and chatting with friends who are further away but that's ok.
i think it's worth remembering as well that there will be other life stages and sometimes we're just not a great 'fit' with the life stage we're in. i don't have much in common with mum's round here and it certainly feels like i'm the only single mum 'in the village'.
i'm not sure what to suggest but if you find any answers let me know. only thing i can say is just embrace being different and be yourself - people can only get to like you, quirks and all, if you're being yourself.
I can relate to this. I have a broad range of interests but a lot of them are for younger people (eg clubbing) but/and I'm in my 50s so the people I go with can treat me a bit like an oddity - they are kindly though - and don't think to invite me along to their many interesting things, things I'd like to go to. It doesn't occur to them to invite me. So I'm surrounded by these throbbing social lives, people talking about the many events right there in front of me, assuming I wouldn't be interested - I also don't drink or take drugs. I can talk to these people about intellectual things that interest me but I'm essentially on the outside ('what are you doing here/what do you want?' People can be surprisingly conformist). I've been proactive but there is a generally uneasy response, I'm not one of the crowd when it really comes down to it.
Then there are older women who are interesting but often a bit nuts (I'm probably one of them!) - it can be a tough life especially if you haven't followed the accepted route; there aren't many obvious hooks for people to latch on to? In one way I envy the ability to conform but in another, of course, I'm happy I can't. I live in a funky city so there's a lot going on but I can feel like an observer. I have friends dotted about the country/world but not many to hand locally.
ime I get on with people who are 'lonely' (don't fit in) and who have come to terms with that - we get along even though we may or may not have the same interests but share a kind of humanity? I also get on with eg the WI brigade because they're old school and not on the social climb. I've learnt to distance myself from groups where I feel 'lonely in a crowd' (eg my contribution is obviously ignored or dismissed) as it just isn't worth it, too isolating and makes me feel like a weirdo and rejected.
I think what we have to do is wear a different hat for the people we're spending time with at any given time. It may seem inauthentic but perhaps people like to function under headings: we are clubbers/jam-makers/knitters/swimmers - a deeper connection may grow out of that.
You sound a bit like me, OP. (Er, don't suppose you're in SE Wales and want to be my friend??) I found a few great people at uni and in my last job, which was quite niche. Then I quit my job, moved away with husband, and have been a bit lonely ever since.
I have a couple of people now who I can natter to for a few hours while the kids play, but there's always stuff I'm keeping back - geeky stuff, music stuff, politics, how I feel about the things I read. I was chatting about Daleks to DD once (I'm not even a rabid Doctor Who fan, I just quite like some of the old series) and the other mums there all looked at me like I had two heads.
I realise I'm unlikely to just stumble across a soulmate at the school gates, and I don't think I'm that eccentric or some kind of special snowflake. But it does feel like I used to run into more people who thought the way I do, and now there's no one. It feels like being the weird kid at school all over again.
Think there's a bit of 'my interests ate so much better and more intellectual than yours' coming across in your posts. Maybe it comes across in real life too.
"My instincts tell me doing things I'm interested in is the way to meet people I'll get on with - but practice has shown this tends to gain acquaintances rather than friends."
Yeah I can understand this Bearhug, interests don't always mean great friendships and it's another reason why I stopped joining evening classes.
When I was growing up, particularly once I'd left school and started working, I used to find that I got on better with the people that I didn't really have much in common with. Those days when every conversation with someone new usually began with, "So what music/bands are you into then?" ; most of the time it would be the people that were into different things that I would get on well with. Thinking about it, music is a terrible interest to have in common with anyone and always seems to turn into a "my band is better than your band" slanging match which is no good for anything.
I sometimes think though that people with the same interests can end up just trying to impress you, or impress upon you their own knowledge and ideas about the subject, rather than having a genuine conversation because they like you.
Join the discussion
Please login first.