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Feeling upset that if I don't initiate contact with friends then they all just vanish from my life

(7 Posts)
JumblyWumbly Fri 04-Mar-16 10:28:34

I have had a difficult time in the past 6 months; I had glandular fever and was unwell for over a month which then led to a bout of depression, then my lovely mum became ill and needed an emergency operation and lots of looking after. I also work 20 hours a week and have 3 children (and a husband) and so all of this has meant that I've been quite busy and preoccupied in the past few months and not really initiated contact much with friends.

The thing that has struck me is how many friends have just literally vanished from my life and made no effort at all to contact me and see how I am or to find out what's been happening and why I have not been in touch. They just seem to have accepted the fact that I've not made any contact or effort and moved on.

I literally have about 3 close friends who have continued making an effort with me and who have been a fantastic support, but everyone else has just gone.

Before this all happened I was always making an effort to text and phone people and to arrange things so it's very hurtful that very few of my so-called friends can make an effort for me. I see on Facebook that they still have active social lives and regularly meet other friends, so clearly they are happy to socialise, just can't be arsed to with me!

dalek Fri 04-Mar-16 10:44:25

Three close friends is so much better than 20 flaky ones. You now know who your real friends are so please make an effort with them and continue to nurture the friendships.

As for the others - be friendly and polite - but no need to go out of your way for them. They are part of your social circle. And whatever you do please don't let down your real friends for the flakers because they might seem more interesting or popular.

ToTheLeft Fri 04-Mar-16 10:46:39

Hi op. Sorry to hear that the last few months have been tough on you and that you feel let down by your friends.

I must make a confession though - I am like your friends in that I'm not really one to make contact with other people. If they contact me first to arrange a night out, I will happily go and I do like my friends and enjoy their company. I also think about them when I haven't seen them and would be there in a heartbeat if they told me they needed me. It's just that I make the presumption that they will contact me if they want to see me and I don't want to put pressure on them to see me if they don't want to. It does mean that I don't hear from people for a long time sometimes though.

So I think people are either arrangers or arrangees (not a real word!). Some people we more sociable and enjoy keeping in touch. Others, like me, are happy to let others take the lead. So what I'm trying to say is that it's very unlikely that they don't care about you, it's more likely that they are more comfortable waiting for you to contact them. If they appear to have active social lives, I would be willing to bet someone else is organising that for them.

Also, I think you're very lucky to have three close friends. I only really have my dsis and DP. The rest are friends but not friends I would contact in an emergency although I'd be there for them if they ever asked.

Not sure that's helped at all but wanted to give some insight into the possible reasons.

MuttonWasAGoose Fri 04-Mar-16 10:54:30

I think three close friends who are deeply involved, plus a bunch of more casual friends is actually pretty normal.

VenusRising Fri 04-Mar-16 11:01:43

Well. You know who your friends are now.

Bit shitty of the rest of them, but that's life I think..

Please take some time for yourself. You do sound like you've got a lot on your plate. Schedule time to rest.

Neon1077 Fri 04-Mar-16 16:16:25

Hi op, I haven't got much advice but just wanted to say you aren't alone in this. I'm very much an arranger, I feel with most friends if I don't bother to arrange something we won't do anything. However I've become very tired of doing this. People remark on being too busy to arrange anything (but not too busy to go out when it's arranged) but with 2 DC I am also busy. I've decided to stop doing so much and take a back seat. I'm tired of people sitting back and waiting for me to do all the running around for them. Focus on the good friends you do have. You are very lucky to have three people you can count on. That's more than some. When you start feeling stronger maybe you can start building friendships with other people but this time don't be the one doing all the work and wait for some things to be organised/suggested to you.

I do think most people with families are so caught up in their own lives they don't mean to neglect others around them. However I also know what it's like to always be thinking of others and helping them. What it comes down too is that some people are more selfish than you. They can rely on you to arrange things so don't need to focus on what you may need. I have one friend who says she often thinks of me and I know she will see other people (not many but enough to show she isn't a hermit). I've now given up arranging things with her. I'll occasionally drop her a text or meet for a coffee (every few months) and I've left it there. We aren't as close as we used to be and its always lovely to see her but it has helped me to realise she is an occasional friend and not someone to really count or rely upon. Hope this helps you.

Holowiwi Fri 04-Mar-16 16:33:16

I have noticed this with one of my friends actually, she doesn't really initiate contact at all once I do she is great but I have to put the effort in first, so I have decided to let go. I have other friends where we are always interested in each others lives so will no longer waste my time with people who are hard work.

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