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Is this odd behaviour from friend?

(152 Posts)
Sprog19 Fri 01-Apr-16 21:56:09

I've known C for 6 years and we've gradually become closer friends in that time. She is more reserved than me, so it's taken a while to get to know her and she still rarely talks about her feelings, saying that it makes her feel 'exposed'. I am more open, but respect her need for privacy. Despite this difference in our characters we have many things in common, share values, sense of humour, like similar books and music etc. I feel a real sense of connection with her. The problem is that she will be very friendly indeed and then withdraw suddenly, sometimes for weeks, with very little contact. I sometimes worry that it's something I've said or done but I really don't think it is, as these periods of withdrawal often follow days when we've had a really good time. None of my other friends blow hot and cold like this, but perhaps this is just how some people are, and I just haven't come across them?

WalkingBlind Fri 01-Apr-16 22:01:31

Not sure if it will be much help but I am absolutely like this. I struggle with friendships and even though I can have some wonderful times in the end I get caught up in my life at home and neglect my friendships for a while. Even if I receive texts/messages I don't open them until I'm ready. It's due to a social anxiety on my part, not sure about your friend but it definitely does happen. It's likely your friend isn't just withdrawing from you but probably from everyone. I doubt it's personal.

You sound like a good friend to have smile

Birthgeek Fri 01-Apr-16 22:02:46

Maybe she's a natural introvert - "days when we've had a really good time" - although great, can be quite exhausting for some. I need a lot of down time myself after socialising. It's not blowing hot and cold, more needing some quiet and solitude to regather myself, iyswim?

notagiraffe Fri 01-Apr-16 22:06:12

Yes, an introvert will find that a fun day out will keep her going for a few months and she really won't need to top up the friendship for a while after something that full on.

Sprog19 Fri 01-Apr-16 22:07:09

That's reassuring, thanks. I think it's possible she gets caught up in life at home and she describes herself as an introvert, though she's often very exuberant and 'life and soul' in company.

LoopiusMaximus Fri 01-Apr-16 22:10:23

Walkingblind I do the same. My partner thinks I'm absolutely bizarre. I have times where I feel I want to meet up with friends and want them in my life but mostly I go -years- months at a time without the need to have friends in my life. I only open texts and emails from them when I feel ready to as I can get so caught up with other aspects of life that I become completely overwhelmed and feel I can't fit friends in even though my life isn't that busy. I haven't looked at my Facebook messages for months & months as its mostly friends wanting to meet up and it becomes too much. Reading this has made me realise that I obviously blow hot and cold and friends probably don't know where they stand but I can't help it!

I'm just so relieved to find that I'm not the only person to feel like this!

Birthgeek Fri 01-Apr-16 22:10:42

Yep, sounds like it. I'm also loud and funny with friends and acquaintances, but I can't keep it up for more than a certain period of sustained time. Not that I'm putting it on, just that it's flipping tiring when my more natural setting is pottering about quietly at home. Everyone thinks introverts = shy, but that's not always quite 'it'.

LoopiusMaximus Fri 01-Apr-16 22:13:03

Birthgeek thats exactly it!

Birthgeek Fri 01-Apr-16 22:16:02

# high-fiving my fellow introverts!

I used to feel bad for feeling this way, especially during my teens. Would prefer a night in with Talkradio rather than clubbing. Wish someone had told me it was ok to be this way!

Shakey15000 Fri 01-Apr-16 22:16:52

How old is she?

I ask because I can be slightly like this and I know it's because I've reached that wonderful age of "knowing" who I am, what I need and making no apologies for it? (in a nice way) Thankfully a lot of my friends are in the same boat so we might not speak/see each other for ages, then ring. And it's fine. No one thinks anything of it.

Birthgeek Fri 01-Apr-16 22:18:38

The sign of a good friendship is when you can go weeks or months and be secure in that smile

Sprog19 Fri 01-Apr-16 22:20:21

Loopius that's just it - I don't know where I stand. If I continue to try to make contact during the withdrawal periods it makes me feel as if I'm intruding or maybe trying too hard - should I just pull back as well or is it best to just behave as I feel?

Sprog19 Fri 01-Apr-16 22:22:56

I'm not secure in the friendship, that's the problem. And I'm not secure because it's always been characterised by this 'on-off' pattern and I get the feeling I care more than she does. Which I guess might be true, reading these posts, but I shouldn't mind?

Birthgeek Fri 01-Apr-16 22:27:20

How is she with you when you DO meet up? If happy to see you & has good time, then this is probably what she's like, and it doesn't mean she cares less about you.

Shakey15000 Fri 01-Apr-16 22:36:25

I would be very casual when it's, as you would feel, an "off period" and leave the ball in her court? As in "let me know when you're free for a catch up" type way.

coffeeisnectar Fri 01-Apr-16 22:37:22

You could be talking about me. I'm very like this. Once I'm out with a friend I'm apparently great company, funny, a good person to be around etc

But. I find it really hard to actually go. I struggle massively with social anxiety and find social things exhausting. I'm very happy at home, on my own and just pottering.

My DP think's this is wrong. He thinks I should be 'making an effort'. He doesn't understand that this is just how I am.

Sprog19 Fri 01-Apr-16 22:38:41

She always seems very happy to see me and is very warm and friendly. Its why I like her so much.

OnceMoreIntoTheBleach Fri 01-Apr-16 22:38:58

I'm exactly like this.

I think maybe send her a quick message just to say hi and say no pressure but whenever you fancy meeting up, would be lovely to catch up.

I feel terrible a lot of the time for being awful at friendships. I have some fab people around me. But I need weeks/months of solitude or just family time in between friendships. I'm rubbish at replying to messages or making commitments to dates to meet up because it feels like an ordeal.

As PPs have said, it's social anxiety issues for me. Even texting is too much most days.

But I hate thinking the my friends are offended by this. That increases the anxiety.

Try to show her that you are an easy friend and that you understand. She might then be more inclined to text/meet because she knows the pressure is off.

OnceMoreIntoTheBleach Fri 01-Apr-16 22:40:31

I'm actually half wondering if you are my friend, OP. I'm a 'C' blush

FirstWeTakeManhattan Fri 01-Apr-16 22:41:50

Don't worry OP. I'm a true introvert and you've described my behaviour to a tee. grin

Birthgeek Fri 01-Apr-16 22:42:13

I think with people like us you just have to cut us some slack, if you can. It's just our rhythm, nothing personal, and we hope that others are ok with it / don't give up on us!

Shakey's suggestion is good.

Sprog19 Fri 01-Apr-16 22:45:18

Don't worry OnceMore - I'm calling her C just to call her something, not because that's her initial!😀

houseeveryweekend Fri 01-Apr-16 22:51:41

yes its normal I am very like that. I don't think it means she doesn't care as much as you do if when you see her shes warm and seems to want to be there. Its just gonna be difficult because you have such different natures. I think if you enjoy her company and want to continue with the friendship you just need to not take the withdrawing personally. Some people just function that way and even if they were in love with you theyd be the same!! Some people just need more space than others. For example I am not very good at texting at all, it can be days before I reply to messages even those from my OH! But I love him and I love my friends, I just find it difficult to constantly communicate like that, it just feels uncomfortable to me. x

AyeAmarok Fri 01-Apr-16 22:55:36

WalkingBlind brilliant post, I get like this too.

I have 5 unopened messages on WhatsApp at the moment from friends, 3 of them are pressurising to meet up and I just can't deal with it at the moment and I hide away. It just feels too overwhelming.

It's not personal, honestly.

Sprog19 Fri 01-Apr-16 23:19:46

This is all very interesting and is teaching me a lot! I would never describe myself as an extrovert but I love that sense of connection you get from a good conversation or a shared laugh. To me it's one of the most important things in life. I sense that although she enjoys being with me doing these things, that sense of connection either isn't there or isn't as important - she is more 'separate' somehow. Would that be a fair thing to say about introverts do you think?

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