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Any advice for someone who has always struggled with friendship?

(19 Posts)
Zippydoodah Sat 27-Aug-16 23:06:21

I don't really know what it is. I've always felt different from others and not had many strong bonds -especially with women. I did have a brief period at uni where I felt I'd come home and felt part of things and liked. Gradually, I began to feel a stranger in my town as people either drifted off or moved. I did the whole baby group thing and made a real effort but found many parents quite judgmental and competitive. I have also had various struggles with my children that perhaps others have not such as behaviour and I found being around parents made me feel exposed and I felt flustered and not in the right frame of mind to meet people.

I'veve found school gates hit and miss and there are a lot of cliques. I used to try to inch my way in but learnt the hard way that, if you have to try too hard the n it's not worth it and have pretty much given up. I will be friendly and nice but distant. I find sometimes people are seemingly friendly then they turnout to want childcare or they'll be a bit clingy and, normally, I am quite independent and enjoy my space. I also find the children's relationships complicate things or make it fickle. Yet others seem to manage and form lifelong b bonds which makes me sad.

I have had a couple of rounds of counselling and it helped for a while. One said I was ok but the environment I'm in doesn't suit me and to seek out friendship elsewhere.

summerainbow Sat 27-Aug-16 23:31:41

The best freinds I found have been while dog walking.

arsenaltilidie Sat 27-Aug-16 23:32:50

OP you haven't said anything nice about people and you sound very negative.

You want friends yet when you make friends you say they are clingy etc.

You say you have issues with your children yet you want to hide.

Your problem is you are "friendly and nice but keep it distant"

Stop trying to appear perfect. Stop being judgemental about people.

And just be nice and take people at face value.

Zippydoodah Sat 27-Aug-16 23:36:52

I'm not judgemental and I do but I get my fingers burnt. I'm not good at judging characters. I don't see things coming like others. I know this because people try to warn me. I do attract people who are full on, probably because they sense I am a bit of a misfit too. It's more about me hanging back for fear of getting hurt or stifled. I get on well with people mostly e.g. with work but we don't socialize. I know I'm not perfect and don't want to be either

Zippydoodah Sat 27-Aug-16 23:39:16

Anyway I'm feeling down tonight. Stood in a party with a group arranging stuff without me. They're parents of my daughter's friends. She was crying because the friends do it to her and I felt who am I to advise?

BombadierFritz Sat 27-Aug-16 23:40:39

hiya op. in my family most of us all somewhere or other on the autistic spectrum and the way it is with me is how you describe. most of my family is diagnosed. im not but I have traits. I like groups with shared interests where we socialise for a shared purpose or online forums.

bikerlou Sat 27-Aug-16 23:42:32

Yup, been like this my whole life. Feel like an alien. I have friends eventually in my 50's for the first time in my life.
My husband feels like the most important person in my life and always has.
I think it is to do with childhood and how well you were integrated. My childhood was toxic so I always felt like a feral animal who didn't belong.
It gets better. Don't try too hard, relax.
Friends will come along, don't have any preconceptions, just gravitate towards people you feel most confortable with and take baby steps. One conversation with someone who feels ok is a victory - one victory at a time. You'll get there.

BombadierFritz Sat 27-Aug-16 23:43:38

sorry to hear you are feeling down about it. there are good books out there that you could work through with your dd and roleplay that might help. am just off to bed but will try to post a few links tmrw

XLFactor Sun 28-Aug-16 04:18:24

Bombardier, be interested to see those links.

Sorry you feel so bad OP, hope it helps to know you're not alone. flowers

BombadierFritz Sun 28-Aug-16 13:15:22

sorry i'll try and post more later but I really like this kind of approach. I believe all kids can be taught good strategies. I dont know how old your dd is but "queen bees" might be relevant as well.

BombadierFritz Sun 28-Aug-16 13:18:39

my dd also likes this book

BombadierFritz Sun 28-Aug-16 13:23:13

you might even see some parallels with your own friendship issues? hopefully though it will give you the confidence to advise your dd on friendships at least. for yourself, I think you are right and a lot of school gate friendships are cliquey or started with a view to eg free childcare. I dont think you are reading that situation incorrectly. I also really agree with another poster about dogwalking friends!
hope you are feelingbetter today op

bikerlou Sun 28-Aug-16 13:26:48

i always had this problem, never really felt part of the human race. I think it was because my family moved every year here there and abroad I never learned how to socialise properly.
I'd avoid trying to make random friends at the school gates, my best friends have been made joining small groups, gardening club, pagan moots, craft clubs, book clubs, anywhere with a small group of people sitting around where it is easy to join in a conversation.
Work out what it is you really want to do and follow up that interest.
Friendship will follow.

Kasia87 Sun 28-Aug-16 14:36:37

I know how you feel - I find myself without a single true friend to reach out to or go over for a cuppa. I don't find it that hard to make connections but maintaining seems to be the issue.

Although to be fair recently even making connections seems to have become a problem.

Also first response to what you said was someone accusing you of being in the wrong - that's again something that would happen to me normally. I feel the way I come across either irks people (when I'm being myself) or makes them feel like they can walk all over me (when I'm making a real effort to be a good friend and do everything by the book.)

I don't get why can't I just be myself and have people accept that - seems to work for others? My fiancé is quiet 9/10 times and when he talks he is super serious about everything yet even he manages to have one good friend and some acquaintances - :-/

Zippydoodah Sun 28-Aug-16 17:29:04

Wow. Thanks for the responses and links -apart from the second post (not the dog one _good point) which just reinforced why I feel worthless and really, really upset me. I don't think the person understood or wanted to help at all. I wish it had just been deleted.

It's comforting to hear I'm not alone. The links are really interesting and I think I do just need to trust my instincts and realise what works and what doesn't. I think maybe a little hobby, if I can find the time, would give me a bit of a boost

FreeFromHarm Sun 28-Aug-16 18:22:02

You are not alone, I am really struggling to, strange town, ( long story) have tried to make friends.. it is really difficult , but it has really always been this way apart from when I was in the forces

Zippydoodah Sun 28-Aug-16 22:35:17

Do you think that was to do with the camaraderie in the forces?

UnicornPee Mon 29-Aug-16 09:04:36

I thought that 3rd post was a piss take too- not helpful at all.

I feel similar to you. I struggle with close friendships. I have loads of 'friends' as in people I walk past and say "hello how r u!" Bla bla quick chat. Facebook friends you have quick chats with on posts. Work friends who I sit with all day and talk crap.
I just can't get a close friend:best friend. I'm becoming more and more aware of it lately and it's slowly staring to bother me and cause me stress.
I'm 33 now, think it's too late to form a close bond with someone, don't have the skills or the opportunity to.

Anyway, know that you're not alone x

FreeFromHarm Mon 29-Aug-16 12:04:07

Yes I do Zippy ( loved Rainbow :O) ) I have kept in contact with most of them , but as we are all over the place it is very difficult, skype is handy .
Once I am truly settled in a permanent home, I can concentrate on trying on making friends, we do not know where we will end up.
I am a chatty person, and a good listener , feeling much more positive since I have been on MN , it really has helped, my divorce has been really hard on my confidence.
UnicornPee, I feel the same , it causes me stress too

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