Always the last resort friend(16 Posts)
I really struggle with friendships; they don't come naturally to me. My parents had few friends as I was growing up and my mother was pretty self absorbed and wasn't particularly good to the ones she had.
I made a decision that I never wanted to be like her and since having children, I've ensured I still have friends and that I'm there for them when I can be. However, it's not worked. I have never been asked to be a bridesmaid for a friend, yet watched my other friends be bridesmaids. Some friends want me in a crisis and then move on when life is good again, a friend I have known since high school is going through divorce and appears to have called on every friend apart from me. I keep texting, calling, trying to arrange to visit her but she cancels or says she's busy.
Another group of friends organised a night out a few weeks ago and they made their way in groups of 2; I had nobody to go with and offered some a lift, but nobody took me up on the offer. Therefore I cancelled as I didn't want to have to walk through the town on my own in the dark to meet them (car park is a mile away from the bar) and none of them appeared to bother about me on my own whilst they all had someone to travel with.
I do have a history of cancelling on them as my own DS has had constant illnesses since birth, leading to hospital tests etc. Few friends have been there for me particularly. I always feel like the final choice friend, the "if nobody else is available" friend. I've never had a best friend, although I can pull away... I once had a competitive friend that wanted my attention constantly so distanced myself from her. I just can't seem to get it right at all.
If I make the effort I just feel foolish and unwanted and if I don't, nobody seems to notice.
I have a friend who lost her DM just before Christmas, I lost my DF at the same time and it seemed everyone was concerned about her, nobody even came to visit me.
Maybe I'm self absorbed, maybe I give bad advice, maybe I'm crap company, I just don't know. I'm quite independent, don't belong to any one friendship group and am happy with my own company, maybe it's this? I just feel a bit crappy tbh. I see other friends who are much more selfish and unreliable than me, but perhaps funnier, more outgoing, more charismatic and people flock to be around them; I'm not sure they actually care about people like I do. I'm at a loss.
From everything you say my guess is you give off a vibe that you don't really want to be friends with people, that you're not fussed. You cancel a lot (and for spurious reasons as well as good ones), and you're quite judgemental about your friends.
You seem to have lots of friends but none of them are matching up to your standards,,,which might suggest they are too high?
I can't scroll past....I have no words of advice...but I hope someone else answers for you x
When you cancelled did you explain that you didn't want to walk on your own? If you appear distant people might assume you don't need their support. Did you ask any of your friends to meet up when your DF died? If you aren't close before that type of thing happens it can be difficult for friends to know what you want. On the other hand sometimes people get into cliques and it's difficult to break through.
Im sorry about your DF
Maybe a different approach is needed. Rather than viewing friends as people to call on in a crisis, try and think about fun activities you and a friend could do.
For example if you and a friend both like Prosecco suggest a day out at a Prosecco festival.
Shared experiences should lead to deeper and more meaningful friendships in time.
I think you may need to be clearer or more straightforward in your texts.
Instead of cancelling say it was because you didnt want to travel alone as pp said. By just cancelling it seems like you are not bothered and that gets reflected back.
If previous instances were similar that may be why things dont seem balanced in the friendship.
Why drive to a bar in the first place? A taxi would have dropped you right at the door. It just seems a bit joyless and pernickity to cancel for the reason you gave.
Sometimes I think I would like more friends, and sometimes I think I can't be arsed. Are you sure that friendships is what you really want, OP? If it is, then you seem stuck in a bit of a negative cycle. I would worry for you that even if you did widen your social circle, you'd almost be looking for/expecting things to go wrong. Maybe some counselling would help with that.
Otherwise, what about joining some meet-up groups in your area (just google if you've never heard of it), so that you can at least meet likeminded individuals with similar interests.
I'm really sorry if my post sounds harsh. I didn't mean it to, and wanted to help.
Do you think you might be a bit intense? Do you complain a lot? Do you need attention but not know how to ask for it?
I only ask because I recognised all those qualities in myself - I had a shit few years which had ground me down and I went from being fun and I hope kind to bring quite self absorbed and woe is me.
I now make real effort not to dump my shit on others unless they ask and I know that they really want to know. I look up events and suggest nights out. I've lightened up and in response I get invited out more. I recognise that not every friendship needs to be all that deep and that's there's a place for just going out to laugh and relax. And some of my shallowest friendships have gradually become my most stalwart friends. Think about what you are putting out and what you want back.
Im sorry about your father.
I'm thinking that you're not straightforward or candid enough. You probably give off confusing vibes. And I agree with pp that cancelling the night out at the bar seems a bit knee-jerk when you could have asked for a lift or got a taxi - that sort of behaviour bugs people.
Could you speak to a couple of friends about this? The ones who'll be honest, I mean.
Bear in mind that if they really didn't like you, they'd have discreetly ditched you by now.
You could have plucked those words straight from my head. I have this exact same problem and have had my whole life. I did really try to have a friendship group, for years I tried, but the same things kept happening. I'd find out via text or social media etc that they had all met up and not bothered to ask me. It's just gotten worse since I've had children. I feel I really do try and be a good friend but I'm always cancelled on/let down. sorry I can't help but just know you're not alone ❤️
Thanks everyone for your responses... all very helpful. I think that since DS has been born, I've been v intense. It's changed me having so much to deal with in terms of his health problems etc. I'm more anxious, more on edge, this has no doubt been a contributing factor to changing friendships. At the same time, I can't help but feel that a bit of camaraderie and support from friends would have been helpful. One friend didn't even come to visit DS until he was 4 months old, yet when her DS was born, I was there to visit her within a couple of weeks with a bag of fridge supplies and a baby gift. She had an awful time post-birth and friends were there to help her, but if I say I'm struggling or low, everyone ignores and continues as normal. I know my post sounds a little woe is me, but just can't help but express what's on my mind. I just don't get why some have no time for me, but we continue to be friends at a distance.
I am also in this position. I struggle with serious, chronic illness and have had a lot of shitty times.
I recognise so mich of what you have both posted. Glad none of us is alone - although not glad that others go through this.
It's just soul destroying some days. My relationship with my ex ended because I was sort of a last resort girlfriend. Constantly choosing his friends and family over our family. We've got two under 4's at home and he doesn't even put them first. Having a really low day
Maybe nobody took you up on your offer of a lift because you have form or cancelling.. which you then did. I'm so sorry to hear that your DF assed away. I'm sure your friends did care. But you say you're independent. Perhaps you'd told them 'that you're okay' so they thought you didn't need their support. Perhaps your friend is more openly fragile and therefore needed the visits?
Try not to compare your friendships against your mums, they're incomparable.
Friendships shouldn't need too much work.. they either work or they just don't. I've found a smaller group of quality friends work well for me
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