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Friends and 'Friends'

(7 Posts)
LiLoLiLo Mon 09-Oct-17 13:54:32

I'm not sure I am going to be able to articulate this correctly but having a go.

I'll start by saying I am not the most assertive person and do find myself in situations sometimes where I ask myself how did I get into this and how do I get out of it without upsetting anyone, and this post relates to that.

So I have noticed a pattern emerging in my life where I might make a new friend somehow and to me they are just a casual friend or even acquaintance but to them, somehow they think of me as a better friend than I actually am (not stealth boasting or anything, why would I?). As far as I'm concerned I'm just going along being friendly and perhaps agreeing to meet up individually or in group on a casual basis then all of a sudden I feel like my new friend is getting too intense with me and wanting to meet up too much or referring to me as a bestie, saying they miss me or things along those lines. If those things are said to me, let me make it clear I never lie and say them too.

When I think of the people I'm describing, I do wonder if there is a pattern - maybe they are lonely, needy (nothing wrong with those things, just trying to work it out) and projecting a friendship between us that isn't real?

Anyhow, what ends up happening is, I end up feeling stressed when they contact me, as I simply don't know how to paraphrase I'm sorry but we're not as close as you think and I don't really miss you when we haven't seen each other for a while and I'm not that bothered if we don't meet up regularly but genuinely happy to stay friends but without the intensity!

I hope I don't sound like a prize bitch. But when I sense this is happening, I try to back off a bit but always, always end up feeling rubbish, mean and guilty about it. I don't know why I can't just care a bit less and be a bit more assertive.

Do I just sound weak and insecure? How do others handle budding friendships? If you find someone you liked at first is not how you imagined but they want to maintain the friendship, how to do you politely step away? It's so easy to say just keep saying no, just keep making excuses, or even just be honest but actually I don't find it is that easy at all, especially if they are the kind of person to not take the hint.

Northernpowerhouse Mon 09-Oct-17 14:07:31

Watching with interest for the replies. I have the exact same problem and I'm not bigging myself up either honest. I end up feeling really stressed that I can't give these acquaintances what they appear to want.
Keep thinking I must be doing something wrong, giving off the wrong signals or something? however, I do also have several good close friendships of many years that don't make me feel this way. The latter all built slowly over a period of time so perhaps there is a clue in that?

Gimmeareason Mon 09-Oct-17 14:08:54

Tell them you are bestie free by choice and that you hope they will respect that

LiLoLiLo Mon 09-Oct-17 14:13:07

Northern, I have some really great friendships too where I feel the feelings are mutual and I feel totally relaxed in their company (but not pining for them either when I don't see them).

I don't consider myself to have one single bestie, so that is actually true.

StereophonicallyChallenged Mon 09-Oct-17 14:14:24

Are they mostly people from one area of your life? Eg schoolgate/work.

If so can you just put out general 'busy' vibes so that it's less an individual sacking-off but more like you simply don't have time for those particular friendships iyswim smile

LiLoLiLo Mon 09-Oct-17 14:14:53

But some friendships can be really intense really quickly, which is fine if the feeling is mutual. I agree though that usually any kind of friendship or relationship takes time to build.

LiLoLiLo Mon 09-Oct-17 14:19:24

Stereo - actually I have been making more of an effort lately to put myself out there so widen my circles, but I didn't think that would equate to unwanted/imbalanced friendships. I am very busy generally, so it's not a lie and I don't always say yes to things but still seem to attract this kind of thing.

I think it's more my reaction to it that annoys me - why do I feel bad about it???

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