Advanced search

Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.

Making and keeping friends

(147 Posts)
Tantrictantrum Fri 06-Jan-17 21:50:40

How do you do it?

What kind of things make you drop a friend you've recently made?

I am not good at it.

Madeyemoodysmum Fri 06-Jan-17 23:08:37

In the beginning lots of listening but try to keep the conversation flowing of the other person is shy. Then don't be clingy or too keen until you really know a person. You could scare someone of if your full on too soon. But be reliable on meet ups. Once both parties are comfortable then thing should progress to a natural friendship

Things that put me off are
Me me me types who don't listen to anything I have to say
People who cancel frequently
People who are embarrassing in public. Meanness rudeness to waiters etc.
There may be other things but I'm reasonably tolerant of friends quirks otherwise.
Can you elaborate on why you ask?

Madeyemoodysmum Fri 06-Jan-17 23:10:05

Oh and anyone I'd only just met who suddenly wanted to see me or texting constantly would make me run a Mile

BusyHomemaker Fri 06-Jan-17 23:40:20

Ooh, good thread! I need to broaden my social circle so will be watching with interest.

Mamatallica Fri 06-Jan-17 23:47:02

Thanks for this thread, I thought I was the only one who struggled with this. I wish you the best of luck. I need to make more effort and find a way as I need my son to learn social skills. As an only child it's very important he has good friends.

ThirdThoughts Sat 07-Jan-17 00:01:42

The last time I was feeing a lack of friends I downloaded a book called "Friendships don't just happen" by Shasta Nelson, I haven't finished it yet but I did find it helped me understand things better. She focuses on female friendships and explains the different levels of friendship and what things develop deeper friendships (a surprising amount is just regular contact and meeting someone outside of the shared interest that brought you into each others lives). Some folk have lots of people they are friuendly with, but struggle to make deeper friendships. Others have a couple of close friends but feel the need to widen their friendships so they have people who share a new interest or life stage (like friends who are also new parents etc.)

I've found it helpful for understanding how friendships work and realising that not immediately making best friends out of people I like isn't due to some flaw in me personally. Some folk just aren't searching for new friends, or maybe you do really get on but only meet so far in one context (which can be fragile, if you are colleagues and one of you changes jobs or you meet at a gym class or college course that ends etc) oR maybe neither of you have yet reached out to make the friendship deeper yet.

EvaSthlm Sat 07-Jan-17 06:36:35

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Tantrictantrum Sat 07-Jan-17 18:51:31

Madeye - I'm asking because I have 4 friends. I see them all infrequently and they don't know each other. I could never have a birthday party say, or invite friends to a wedding.
I think I piss people off. I think I'm a strong character. Too honest for most. I'm also very curious so might ask too many questions. I get bored easily of inane conversation. I value my time. Don't take shit and rarely give 2nd chances.
I'm a loyal friend, supportive and expect too much I think

Tantrictantrum Sat 07-Jan-17 18:52:46

What is too keen? Measure that for me?

Madeyemoodysmum Sat 07-Jan-17 20:51:24

I guess meeting a new person getting on well. Seeing them a few times and then suddenly expecting them to see you all the time. Getting in a mood if they can't. Ringing or constantly texting suggesting a holiday or some other event that the other person feels is to strong.
I have a lot of friends and some do know each other but not all. But out of those I'd only consider 4-6 true friends I could count on in crisis
Some friends I don't know that well more neighbours really do me a lot of favours with last min child care etc as we have children in the same class. I return the favours but I wouldn't go to them if my husband had a affair for example.

Madeyemoodysmum Sat 07-Jan-17 20:54:10

But tbh those that are bereaved or have a serious illness all day the same. That its at those times you find out who your true friends are and those you think would help. Don't always step up. The Ines you don't expect to do.
Luckily I've never been in that situation but I know people who have.

Madeyemoodysmum Sat 07-Jan-17 20:55:01

Apologies for spelling errors in last post. Hope it made sense

BackforGood Sat 07-Jan-17 21:04:32

I totally agree with MadEye.
This is asked on here a lot - you might find more answers by doing a search, but my simple answer is that friendships evolve over time.... you look back over time and realsie what a great friend you have. You can't 'de ide' you are going to be friends with some one, it develops over time.
People deciding they 'want to make new friends' can be a bit overwhelming.

In terms of you saying you couldn't have a birthday party for example, you coould start by having something like a Christmas drinks party, then you can invite folk from different walks of your life - neighbours, colleagues, people you do an activity with, parents of your dcs friends, without it being weird that you don't know them that well yet.

seven201 Sat 07-Jan-17 22:58:58

You're very honest about yourself. You probably would piss people off I suppose. Are your existing friendships started a while ago? My closest friends are from school. Are you happy with having a small social circle? I don't have lots and lots of friends, I find it much easier to maintain as I don't want to and can't spend most nights out socialising.

I just want someone on the same wavelength ish as me. People who offer too much advice piss me off. People who use txt spk can jog on too. I'm not a massive talker so no-one who needs to fill all silence. No-one too serious either.

oxosmoothie Sat 07-Jan-17 23:06:38

Great thread.
I often think that the best friends are those that can listen well and are reliable, but can't help but notice that some egotistical, me me me types who don't listen to anyone else seem to have loads of friends.
What's all that about?

Love51 Sat 07-Jan-17 23:13:46

oxo I had an egotistical phase in my youth and lots of friends. What it's all about is confidence. People (some people, the one's who aren't annoyed by it!) find that very attractive and liberating to be around.

oxosmoothie Sat 07-Jan-17 23:15:31

It's great to hear from first hand experience Love51! I guess confidence is a very attractive quality. It's probably where I've gone wrong all this time!

AddictedtoLovely Sat 07-Jan-17 23:20:46

I'm crap at this. But to answer your question, I recently dropped a 'friend' as she bitched behind other friends back, allowed her children to behave very badly, was unkind to my child, spoke to everyone like she knows everything, umm I'm sure theres more. Ahh thats quite theruputic.

Gwenhwyfar Sat 07-Jan-17 23:21:57

Without hijacking the thread, I'd like to ask how you make friends in the first place. My old idea would be that after meeting and chatting you'd ask if they wanted to go for a coffee sometime, but I haven't had much success with that. Either they say they can't (which means they don't want to because they don't offer another time) or we do meet up, but next time I see them in a group they barely acknowledge me so I'm no closer to being friends with them. In the last 6 years I've only had male friends sad and I really miss having female friends (I have some from other periods in my life, but none where I live now).

Madeyemoodysmum Sat 07-Jan-17 23:47:01

That's a tricky one
I have a few different groups

Old work colleagues. Only a few have stuck
Old school mates again only a few
The mainly friends from baby group or nursery and school. But I only see maybe 6/7 or so on a one to one basis or in small groups.
I count a good friend someone I'm happy to see on my own (i.e. Not with the safety of others for conversation etc )
Someone I meet with 3 or more times a year unless distance an issue.
I can't say how I made them. It just happened naturally.
In the right place at the right time I guess.
If I were lonely. I'd volunteer. Do classes Join a sewing reading group etc

Gwenhwyfar Sat 07-Jan-17 23:50:34

"It just happened naturally. "

This is the thing. It just doesn't happen naturally for some of us.

"If I were lonely. I'd volunteer. Do classes Join a sewing reading group etc"

Yes, that would work for you, but for me I'd only end up actually being friends with the same percentage of people, if you know what I mean.

NightTerrier Sun 08-Jan-17 00:08:33

I'm having issues with making friends, but because of mental health issues which give me really bad social anxiety and the fact that I have bipolar and have really pissed people off or frightened them when I've been manic!

I have become something of a recluse since my last bipolar episode and found that after I disengaged from society it's incredibly difficult to join it again. I don't know what the answer is.

Tantrictantrum Sun 08-Jan-17 06:52:06

Hmm interesting..
My few friends.... One from school (see her perhaps twice a year due to logistics), one from previous job (see her once a quarter maybe for a meal and chat and throughly enjoy it, little contact in between though), another from another student job (see her about quarterly but online chats all the time ), one in current job (I think developed more by her than me - don't socialise outside of work much though but see her every day). I'm developing another.... This new one is a drinking friend. The others are all non drinking meet ups. She's a bit hot and cold. I don't get people sometimes.

Tantrictantrum Sun 08-Jan-17 06:57:39

I have 4 dcs I have no 'mummy' <boak> friends. Not one. I hate playgroup bollocks conversation. Two of my friends have dcs but they had them after me. I dont really want to hear about kid achievements, snotty noses I have enough of them of my own.

Tantrictantrum Sun 08-Jan-17 07:00:57

I'd volunteer etc but wouldn't make friends. I probably wouldn't speak to anyone or I'd say something inappropriate. confused

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: