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How do some people manage to juggle so many friends?

(29 Posts)
MitzyMook Sun 17-Jan-16 00:08:11

And keep loads on the backburner just to be picked up occasionally? These friends on the backburner practically fall over themselves to spend time with them?

If I don't make an effort with friends and see them regularly then I would have precisely zero friends. I definitely couldn't get away with picking friends up and dropping them then picking them up again, with them waiting keenly for me to next see them.

Someone that I know seems to do this all the time. She is always tagging different people on Facebook as she is out with them or spending time with them, and seems to move from best friend to best friend yet all of the 'dumped' friends are all still eager to see her whenever she decides to fit them in.

I am probably not a very liked or popular person, which I suppose is why I couldn't get away with this kind of thing, but it's just a bit galling that some people can get away with this?

BackforGood Sun 17-Jan-16 00:16:42

I'm not sure what you mean by 'picking them up' or 'dropping them'

I have several friends that I can go for a couple of years without seeing, but when we meet up we just carry on as if we spoke the previous day. You don't need to live in someone's pocket to be friends with them. Indeed, most of my longest standing friends - probably those I'd say were my closest friends if I felt there were any purpose in 'ranking' friends- I only see every now and then.

MitzyMook Sun 17-Jan-16 00:20:34

I explained it a bit clumsily, sorry.

What I mean is, she'll move from best friend to best friend, and sort of dump people but they all still clamour to be friends with her and she'll just see them then for an occasional night out then dump them again. Like she's throwing them crumbs.

jorahmormont Sun 17-Jan-16 00:33:27

I suppose I sort of fall into the definition of this in that I spend time with friends, then don't see them for ages and see other friends, and they post on Facebook a lot saying they miss us etc.

I don't see it as "dumping them", though - it's just a case of finding times that work for us all. I have DD; periods when she's teething are a no-go for certain friends who can't cope with drool and grizzly babies, but fab for other friends who are happy to come around and take it in turns to snuggle a miserable toddler.

Similarly, some friends have work that gets busier at times. Some have hobbies that mean they're pretty much unavailable for weeks at a time. Some are friends I do gaming with, so we spend time together when we're all in the mood for gaming. It's not a juggling act, it's just about organisation and figuring out what suits everyone best.

mouldycheesefan Sun 17-Jan-16 00:40:18

It's fine to have lots of friends. And lots of best friends. You are not dumping your friends if you make new ones. Your post is childish. I socialise with several different groups, when I am out with one group I am not dumping another.
Be generous, let your friends have other friends, who knows they may become your friends too!

TheDetective Sun 17-Jan-16 00:44:14

I think there's probably more to it than that. I'm not sure.

I'll use myself as an example. I spent the first 25 years of my life solely focused on myself, then my partner/child and my career. It was only once I had found myself a settled life that I stsrted to make friends.
Now 6 years later, I've made lots of friends and acquaintances in that time. Some I see frequently as every few days, some every couple of weeks. Some every few months, and some even less.
I frequently get tagged or included in to meet ups, meals, nights out, days out with kids etc. However, I'm a single parent who has been through one hell of a difficult year or so. I think that a lot of the people spending time with me are doing it to help me through what could be an incredibly lonely time (7.5 minth old plus toddler and teen, with zero support from any family).
I don't tag myself or check in on Facebook but a lot of my friends will do it though. I've had a few people mention how I seem to be always doing something (and they don't even know the half of the meet ups I do!). I've been asked a similar question to the one you have posed - along the lines of 'you seem to know so many people and have so many friends'. The reality is, I work in a female dominated environment that deals in life and death. Staff turn over isn't espeically high, and thus you create bonds with the people you work with frequently. I have 80 or so friends/acquaintances from work. I also have friends I've made through baby groups, Internet forums (the AN/PN groups on here for example). And then there are people I've met through friends who have also become friends.
I'm not sure my response is particularly helpful, but hope it makes some sense to you.

Elephant24 Sun 17-Jan-16 01:10:38

I have a big group of friends from work, social groups, old friends from London etc. I try to see everyone regularly, by which I mean maybe twice a year unless they are local, but I do keep in touch.

However, I do have one local friend who has been very kind to me but I notice she only fits me in when she has nothing else to do, and whilst with other mutual friends she goes to concerts, theatre and beautiful restaurants two or three times a week, with me she'll go for a coffee twice a year as she's soon busy. Unless I have free tickets for something when she is amazingly available at 10 minutes notice!

We did once go on a big day out a few years ago and we took some selfies which I felt she was reluctant about. She posts pictures of every single thing she goes to on Facebook but those selfies never appeared!

I just think well when times have been bad she has stepped right up and been amazing, its unfortunate I can't afford to do all the nice stuff so I shrug it off.

TheVeganVagina Sun 17-Jan-16 05:24:41

I have lots of friends.
They are all very different, and we do different things together.
Childhood friends
Church friends
School mum friends
Party friends
Sport/ activity friends
Some you see more than others. It also depends on what season you are in. It also depends on what season they are in.
I dont participate in social media so i cant help with the tagging. It does sound strange though!
You sound hurt though op.
Do you expect alot from your friends, or are you a bit possessive of them? I only ask that as i have a friend like that, she doesn't understand how you share different parts of your life with different people.

fanjoforthemammaries7850 Sun 17-Jan-16 06:50:29

I have quite a few friends. I genuinely do just have to spend a lot of my free time seeing them and we all make a point of arranging to see each other.

fanjoforthemammaries7850 Sun 17-Jan-16 06:51:19

Some people double up,and sometimes I have to see one in morning and then another for lunch. Not being smug, just answering the OP.

fanjoforthemammaries7850 Sun 17-Jan-16 06:52:26

I don't drop people but all of my friends are fine with us not seeing each other for a while,it happens.

fanjoforthemammaries7850 Sun 17-Jan-16 06:52:45

We are all busy people after all.

breezeharbour Sun 17-Jan-16 07:01:18

I kind of know what you mean, but what is the alternative? Seeing everyone at once? Or only having an amount of friends you can see at the same sort of time?
I've struggled to make and keep friends all my life. I have no childhood friendship group, no friends from uni, no work friend gang. I have two close friends I've known for years who don't know each other, a few people I see in couples with DP, and I'm currently meeting up with some local mums who I feel very lucky to have got to know. I'm desperate for friends (small violin), I love having friends and I put as much effort as I can into meeting new people.
If this person is lucky enough to have a lot of friends and they spend time with them all (albeit one at a time or a working their way round type system) then good on them I say. If they're not hurting anyone and people like spending time with them then it can't be too much of a problem or "crumb throwing" surely?

orangetomatoes Sun 17-Jan-16 10:26:25

I think it's important that you are happy with your own friendship arrangements and not to worry about what others are doing. Friendships come in all shapes and sizes. I have a few close friends who I would trust with my life but I don't really do the casual friends thing. I have work colleagues and people I do hobbies with etc that I go for coffee / a drink with occasionally but I don't really class them as friends, just people I know. However, I have a lovely work colleague who would define anyone she chats to in the tearoom at work as her friend. She just has a different perspective and possibly different boundaries to me.

OP Do you have self-confidence issues? Your use of dropping and picking up suggests that you think a friend not contacting you is because of something you have done wrong rather than because the other person just has other things going on.

MatildaTheCat Sun 17-Jan-16 10:37:16

I have quite a lot of friends that I have gathered over the years. There seem to be 1-3 from each period of life : childhood, school, uni, early parenting, DC school mums, work, dog walking and so on. Plus a lot of family I regard as friends, book club, friends I gained from dh's circle.

I invest a lot of time in maintaining these relationships. Some I see every few days and some every few years. I have several friends who almost never initiate contact yet are really pleased to get together when I do. I've learned not to be precious about this because who cares? Some people just aren't good at that stuff. If you like the person just send that message and enjoy your times together.

One thing I do try to do is to keep a track of their lives. I remember when their mum had a fall or how their DC are getting on and show an interest. And I really am interested. Not sure if that answers your question?

juneau Sun 17-Jan-16 10:43:14

How do you know so much about this woman's friends? I'm a bit baffled that you pay attention to who she's hanging out with. And what do you mean by 'dropped'? I have people I see all the time (local friends), and I have people I see from time-to-time (people who live elsewhere). I don't drop anyone, but there are people I consider friends who I haven't seen for years, but whom I love to catch up with when I can. TBH I'd be rather freaked out to think that someone I know was keeping track of who I was seeing when!

MitzyMook Sun 17-Jan-16 20:18:03

No one has really got the point I was making, I didn't explain very well so I will try to explain a little better.

I am friends with 3 women, on an individual basis not as a group, and I will call them A, B and C. If I want to see A, B or C then I have to make the effort to contact them regularly and see them regularly or they drop off the radar. I had an ill family member for several months last year and because I was busy I didn't contact A, B or C, but I did not hear from any of them. I have other friends too but not a huge, varied, vibrant social life.

By contrast, the woman I referred to in my original post is also friends, separately, with A, B, and C. This woman is always out as I said, and always seeing loads of different friends and always claims to be busy, and A, B, and C, despite not being 'given' lots of time from this woman, are all always desperate to see her. When she puts photos on Facebook of herself and other friends they will always comment and say things like "We must have a night out again soon".

It's like they seem to accept that she is busy but are happy to see her once in a blue moon, on her terms. Whilst I do not receive the same courtesy.

Sorry if my original post wasn't too clear, I was feeling really pissed off.

winkywinkola Sun 17-Jan-16 20:43:53

Sometimes people want to hang out with popular people and be seen doing it. Facebook really facilitates that.

Perhaps A, B and C actually really like this woman and would like to spend more time with her.

Why don't you try a little experiment? Make a huge effort socially yourself. Tag yourself and any friends on FB so that there is a constant stream of your social life.

See how A, B and C respond to that.

Meanwhile, you'll being having such s good time you probably won't even notice what this other woman is doing socially and will probably feel far less hurt by A, B. And C's apparent indifference towards you.

MitzyMook Sun 17-Jan-16 21:25:24

That's a good point, winky.

This other woman checks herself in at exercise classes and tags the other women that are there, checks herself in at the hairdressers and tags her hairdresser, tags people she goes running with, even checks in at school pick up sometimes and tags people, so it looks like she is always doing something.

teacher54321 Sun 17-Jan-16 21:34:55

Facebook lends itself to extroverts who like posting and tagging themselves in situations to get attention (I include myself in this category!) they probably see this outgoing friend doing stuff and it reminds them that she's there iykwim and then they comment on it. I do it when friends post pictures of themselves doing something fun and then it Spurs me on to contact them and arrange my own fun with them smile it's not meaningful contact discussing important stuff it's 'wow that Softplay looks great, Ds would love it, fancy meeting there next week?'
I'm sorry you're having a rubbish time, but I don't think busy friend on Facebook is at fault for friendsA B and C being rubbish when you were having a crap time.

MitzyMook Sun 17-Jan-16 21:57:28

I agree, I can't blame busy friend for it all. I think it's just the dynamics of friendships that are getting to me.

The woman I was referring to somehow manages to make everyone think that they are her best friend when she doesn't regard them as this. No idea how she does it but I think that's why everyone is happy to be on the back burner.

BackforGood Sun 17-Jan-16 22:38:40

But what you've described (at20:18:03) is just about commenting on things on FB.
That's completely different. I will "chat" to people that I'm friends with on FB, that I might not have seen for a few years. It's nice to keep in touch, share what they are up to, and you tend to comment on some of the things they post. If you put things up on FB, then people you are friends with, will do the same thing.


winkywinkola Sun 17-Jan-16 23:18:39

Maybe this busy woman has the knack of making each person she hangs out with feel special and she actively shows she likes them. Lots of warmth etc.

People love that and it's irrelevant how often she sees them.

TheVeganVagina Sun 17-Jan-16 23:28:29

I dont get facebook at all. If im out witj friends, im spending time with them. Do people get into their facebook account to let everyone know what they are doing and who with? If i have it right that is really strange!
Op stop the facebook crap. You will feel better

orangetomatoes Mon 18-Jan-16 08:07:42

Mitzy have you asked A, B and C what they think about this other woman or are you just going by the Facebook messages? You say that she makes everyone feel like her 'best friend' but are you sure of that? I know someone who has a huge circle of friends but they are quite superficial friendships and a lot of her friends know that she is the kind of person you go to if you want a good night out but she's not the woman to talk to if you need support in a crisis. As a pp said, Facebook is often a medium for extroverts to let the world know what they are doing. It is not always a true representation of real life.

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