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People only ever want to speak to me or socialise with me on their terms

(25 Posts)
TessaLation Fri 09-Sep-16 12:10:28

If I ever try to stop and chat with anyone, or invite anyone to anything, even for a quick coffee, they are always too busy, yet I am expected to stop and chat or to meet up if they suggest it.

For example on the school run; I have known many of the mums there for a long time and there are always mums standing talking intently to each other. If I ever try to make any conversation or go over to anyone to chat they're always half walking off as I get there as they're so busy and in a rush. Yet I see them all chatting away to others, giving them their full attention all the time, and so surely they must sometimes give their time to someone who approaches them? This happens even with mums that I consider to be my friends.

After the school run this morning I saw one mum at the local shop, who was deep in conversation with another mum this morning, with no sense of having to rush off. Yet when I saw her she was walking off as I spoke to her, apparently far too busy to even speak to me for a minute!

The same thing happens with friends and acquaintances; If I invite people somewhere or suggest doing anything together they are always, always too busy. The only time I can get to spend any time with people is if they suggest something or ask me somewhere.

I feel like I'm stuck between a rock and a hard place as I know I too can be busy or turn down invites but if I did that I wouldn't socialise at all! Or am I better off being a bit more busy and less available to people?

I just feel fed up. It's my day off work today, and I'd like to have had a bit of a chat at the school gates this morning to catch up after the holidays. So many people seem to have time for each other but no one seems to have much time for me!

pallasathena Fri 09-Sep-16 12:55:30

Cultivate an air of 'couldn't give a damn', whether someone chats to you or not and just give out a contented vibe as you stroll up to the school gates.
If you come over as a bit needy or desperate to chat, it'll have a negative effect usually unless there are some seriously kind, caring people there who are not following the school gate script.

TessaLation Fri 09-Sep-16 13:08:43

Thanks pallasathena, I will try to cultivate that!

DH says I should be busy loads and only give time to people very occasionally so that when I do stop to chat with anyone they are grateful that I've given them some of my time.

AnnettePrice Fri 09-Sep-16 13:29:40

It's hard. its a damed if you do, damed if you don't.
It seems if you are too available people take this for granted and think they can chat some other time (which ends up never happening) or you make out your soooo busy, so you don't get to chat to anyone.

To all others reading this:
Just think,
Have you done this to a friend recently?
Have they reached out to you multiple times and you have kept on putting them off for another day that never comes?
Be a good friend and contact them today.
Make plans to see them, even for 15 mins over a cuppa.
You could well make someone's day/ week/ month.

TessaLation Fri 09-Sep-16 14:40:21

Annette yes that's exactly how I feel. Like I can't win either way because whatever I do I end up losing out.

FreyaFriday Fri 09-Sep-16 16:32:14

I get this type of thing all the time. I've given up bothering with most people these days and probably seem like a miserable cow but hey ho.

Mummydummy Fri 09-Sep-16 18:14:18

This is why I used to find the playground rather cliquey and oppressive. I just chatted to a couple of people I knew and liked and didn't bother with the rest - just whisked off to work. There are always the in-crowd who seem ever so friendly with everyone and having cliquey chats and ignore you. Yuck. Women aren't as lovely to each other as they pretend... Much preferred going to work and socialising with my real friends.

TessaLation Fri 09-Sep-16 21:51:18

Mummydummy I always feel as though I must be the odd one out at my DCs school as everyone else seems to love going there and has people that want to chat to them. I'm the only one there who seems to be left out. Or at least it feels like it's just me that feels that way.

School run this afternoon wasn't too bad; I tried to pull my best couldn't give a damn face, and one of DS's friends' mums did come up and speak to me for a minute, which is more than anyone normally does!

Mummydummy Fri 09-Sep-16 22:08:54

Oh I'm sorry its hard for you but you are not alone. I really don't think its that friendly an environment - like being back at a bitchy girl school yourself. I found it quite excluding. But a friend of mine who did know loads of people and was much more involved has had a horrendous time and got really worked up by gossip and bitching which I've been really happy not to be involved in. Thats why I was glad not to be there all the time.

junebirthdaygirl Sat 10-Sep-16 09:36:58

Agree that the secret is don't give a dam and you will give out that air. I used to feel the same as you but it was an insecurity in myself. Somehow we give off that vibe. Then l has counselling for other situations in my life and now l can't get away from people. Its hard to know how it works that way. I'm not saying you need counselling but to be more secure in who you are.
School gates are a nightmare for many.

Tessalation Sat 10-Sep-16 16:12:57

Thank you for the replies flowers

Has anyone got any tips on how I can become more secure in myself? Is the key to be happy in your own company? I have had some counselling before but still don't have great self esteem sad

BubblingUp Sat 10-Sep-16 18:01:09

Create a life for yourself that is interesting to you. Totally ignore everyone else, the school mum's, the neighbors, don't even look at them. Just do your own thing. It's liberating.

RedMapleLeaf Sat 10-Sep-16 18:48:54

This is why I used to find the playground rather cliquey and oppressive. I just chatted to a couple of people I knew and liked and didn't bother with the rest

Ha! grin

Ragwort Sat 10-Sep-16 18:59:16

It's difficult because I know quite a few people who keep asking me for coffee or or just want to 'chat' but to be brutally honest, I find some of them can be a little bit needy. I have a wide circle of friends and acquaintances but usually we are busy doing something - I am on lot of committees, do voluntary work, fund raising etc. I might politely say to someone 'sorry I am busy, I can't stop for a coffee today' and then they might see me chatting to someone about the voluntary work we do ........ so it might look as if I have 'lied'. I prefer to meet people to do things with and yes, I frequently ask other people to get involved in some of my projects but they usually say no. grin.

Tessalation Sat 10-Sep-16 19:05:15

If truth be told I find most people cliquey, and I'm rarely, if ever, welcomed as part of any clique or group.

Ragwort, I totally get what you are saying, but very few of the people I know do voluntary work or fundraising or PTA work or anything like that. I guess I just feel like they always have plenty of time to chat to others but never any time for me. I try not to come across as needy, but equally try not to come across as unfriendly.

IreallyKNOWiamright Sat 10-Sep-16 19:45:00

Sorry to hear this op. Can you get to the school run earlier. Is it because they have got there earlier and are in deep conversation. There are always cliques on the school run. I tend to just chit chat but not expect to be the best of buddies because most of the time it ends up going pear shaped

TessaLation Sat 10-Sep-16 19:47:48

I'm never super early but never late either, just sort of in the middle lol, and I find even if I'm there first and go to chat to someone they will just say a brief hello to me and then play with their phone or walk off or spot someone else and enter into a conversation with them.

TessaLation Sat 10-Sep-16 20:41:06

Also, thinking aloud here, although I know the answer is to just do things on my own I always feel silly doing things alone when I see everyone else doing the same things in pairs or groups of friends.

For example I see a few groups of friends going for long walks around my village. I suggested to one friend that we walked together as she said she wanted to go walking, but she was always busy and then started walking regularly with another friend. Now in this situation, most people would have been invited along too to make a group of 3, but I just get overlooked constantly. I went for a few walks on my own but would always see a group or a pair of friends whilst I did this and thought they would probably think I was a loner and a sad case!

I feel like some people never have to do anything alone as they always have a whole heap of people clamouring to do things with them, so doing things along wouldn't make any difference iykwim.

Ragwort Sat 10-Sep-16 21:26:06

Tessa - please, just get out there and do things on your own. As I said previously, I am fortunate in that I do have a large circle of friends but I also love spending time alone, I much prefer to go for a walk or a shopping trip or out for a nice lunch on my own - so what if people think I am a 'loser' because I am on my own - I am happy and confident in my own company, and would much rather that than aimless chit chat with someone else. smile

justpeachy74 Sat 10-Sep-16 21:30:12

I know what you mean OP. I feel the same. Other people just seem to click & form close friendships. Never happens for me. I just can't figure it out!
I think the other posters might be on to something with the 'cultivating a don't give a damn air' advice. I guess it does help if you are content within yourself in order to be authentic.
3 years into the school run life (I don't do it every day) and I do care less now. I've never been one of those people who belong in the cliques.
I guess it's best not to over-think things.

Hippee Sat 10-Sep-16 21:37:55

Can you text a few people in advance and ask if anyone is free for a coffee? II sometimes find that if I try to be spontaneous everyone else busy - but I can usually find people to do things with if I plan in advance.

TheSparrowhawk Sun 11-Sep-16 07:20:45

Honestly, it sounds like people avoid you. Cold you be coming across as too needy/clingy?

TartyTart Sun 11-Sep-16 07:34:40

Tessa - if I am interpreting this correctly, do you live in small village and are a stay at home mum?

The village thing interests me because I wonder if the others know each other from their own school days, family connections etc. One of the reasons moving to a village can be so hard!

If you are a SAHP, do you think you have too much time on your hands? Having a part-time job - paid or unpaid - would give you a focus and fills your says more successfully.

Re: walking, could you try running? It's better for fitness and you can meet up with others at the "park runs" for instance.

You sound lovely but lonely.

TessaLation Sun 11-Sep-16 16:01:08

Tarty no I work part time, 5 days per week during school hours. I do live in a village but it's a large village, joined to the town where I grew up from secondary school age, so I know lots of people really from various times/places over the years. Plus there are lots of people that have moved to the village from other places.

At work I also feel very much not part of things. In my previous job everyone was lovely and we were like a family, but the company sadly closed down and in my current job lots of my colleagues don't welcome newcomers. I've been there for 3 months and it's only just recently really that anyone will have a conversation with me!

FreyaFriday Sun 11-Sep-16 22:20:18

Cliques are one of the reasons I rarely bother with people these days. So many people are very unwelcoming to anyone they've not known for 10 million years.

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