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Why can't I make friends?

(19 Posts)
ninnypoo Mon 21-May-18 20:41:38

I'm really struggling at the moment with making new friends and it's really affecting my mental health as I feel like I'm failing as a person because other people don't want spend time with me.

I moved cities and jobs in September and started at a new workplace. It's a big school so there are lots of staff but the workload/lunch timetable means I only see people outside of my immediate team for 10 minutes a day max. Everyone is pleasant as we make small talk but it's hard for anything to progress.

There are 5 other teachers in my immediate team and we meet for 2 hours a week. 3/5 are at another site and 2 work with me so I see them much more frequently. I made friends with 1 of them quite quickly and we do socialise out of work. Whenever I try and suggest anything with the others they make up excuses why they can't go for coffee etc, and at work social events they literally walk away from me when I try to join conversations and blank me (at the Christmas party they made plans to all meet together before and 'invited' me but didn't text me the address until they texted to say they were on the way to the party). 1 other teacher seemed friendly and we had made plans which she the postponed and suggested an alternate week. I've just asked about it and been told she doesn't want to spend any money so can't. I just feel so sick and sad and rubbish that I'm trying to put myself out there and be positive and friendly and I'm obviously just not good enough for these people to make any effort with me. They are all very good friends together and regularly post their weekends together on social media so it's not like they don't socialise with colleagues. I feel incredibly lonely and anxious about going to work and I just don't know what to do.

Rudgie47 Mon 21-May-18 20:56:47

Just leave them to it, its a clique.Also I'd never ask anyone to do anything more than twice as thats enough. If someone is interested they will come to you.
Just forget about these and try to make friends out of school, there will be things to join in your area and groups.I'd go down this path myself.

Humphriescushion Mon 21-May-18 21:03:13

Oh Ninny that sounds horrible and must be very hard. Did not want to read and run and hope someone can come along and give you some advice shortly.

I have also had experience of this so you are not alone - but yours sounds harder since it is in work. I dealt with it by putting up a wall around myself when i was with this group to protect myself. I did not engage unless unavoidable. This was not natural for me so I had to remind myself to do and it did help in so far as they could not hurt so much anymore. It also did improve a bit as well since I think one or two of them noticed and reflected on their behaviour and did try to engage with me a little - it was too late for me though.
Hold your head up, be polite but try not to engage and try and find other friends ( easier said than done i know). Hope it gets better.

MikeUniformMike Mon 21-May-18 21:09:36

Could you do something sociable like join a running club or go to a family friendly church (that has a cup of tea after the service) or something. They are places where you can interact with other people and have something in common. You don't have to be fit/religious etc and if you really hate it you don't have to go again.
Other activities could be something like volunteering for something outdoorsy or community related.

ninnypoo Mon 21-May-18 21:19:45

Thanks everyone. I think I might have to suck it and exercise to join a team! I've found a book club I'm going to go to but it doesn't meet for a few weeks. Ironically before I joined this school I never had any issues making friends and although quite socially anxious I never doubted that I'd find people to get on with but this experience has made me doubt everything about myself and I'm scared to try new stuff and face more rejection. Just got to soldier on I guess. Thanks for the replies, it's been helpful just to get it off my chest.

MikeUniformMike Mon 21-May-18 21:23:30

Book club sounds great. Hope you feel happier soon.

northernlights0710 Tue 22-May-18 02:42:21

Hi Ninny,
Sorry for your experience - I've been in situations like this before when I was younger and it really upset me. But now I'm much older I couldn't care less what folks think of me.

However, you can't just switch into this mental attitude and it is not everyone's style.

I agree with the PP who said it sounds as though these people are in a clique. So I would leave them to it while continuing to be professional and polite.

Secondly, I would buy How To Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. It is a brilliant book and it will help you to make friends - it has helped me immeasurably.

pallisers Tue 22-May-18 02:49:33

I made friends with 1 of them quite quickly and we do socialise out of work.

That is such an achievement. My general feeling is as long as you have one friend you are fine. You know how to make friends, you can do it.

The other group sounds like a clique - wouldn't be bothered with them - dead loss.

I suspect you are a bit lonely and unsettled as you moved recently so it all seems difficult. When I moved countries I was so sad about not having friends and so paranoid almost about making them - moving is really hard. That you made one friend from work with whom you socialise is great. The rest will build up. I made one friend in my apartment building and gradually from there built up a circle. you are doing great OP - honestly.

ThisIsTheFirstStep Tue 22-May-18 03:33:55

It sounds hard OP, been there.

Monty27 Tue 22-May-18 03:49:51

From experience, newbies who try to organise social stuff before they have given pp a chance to get to know them will be perceived as pushy. Take your time OP. I am sure you will be ok.

MiggeldyHiggins Tue 22-May-18 03:54:47

Theyre not doing anything wrong, your attitude is that they owe you something and they are being awful to you by not being your friend...thats a surefire way to make sure nobody will be.

user1486956786 Tue 22-May-18 09:04:20

I relocated 6 years ago and I've had a hell of a lot of ups and downs friendship wise. Only recently have I felt I've met my 'soul mate' friend, she's new at our work place. By no means are we 'best friends' but she's first friend I've made who is so similar to me, I trust, I can be myself with. I'd say I only have a few other friends who are also amazing people (I trust).

Most the other 'friends' I socialise with are a bit hard work (can't commit to plans, I don't gel with as much, find a bit bitchy etc).

Hang in there, it's not easy. Try and find some groups / activities where other people in your situation are likely to be - they will be just as keen to get out and about and socialise with you.

RhubarbTea Tue 22-May-18 10:04:11 - the group I go to each week is full of people who have recently relocated for work or family and are trying to make new friends. They're a really friendly bunch. I realised after trying to make friends with the mums at my son's school that some people just aren't 'on the market' in terms of friendship, they feel they already have enough friends or (possibly in my case) they are a little wary of single mums in case they steal their husband - sad but true - and prefer to make friends with married couples or people geographically closer or whatever. Whereas when you go to a meetup, people are there specifically because they want to make new friends, and they are all proactive and there is no persuading needed for people to want to make new friends.

I also think neediness puts most people off, and I say this as someone who was previously painfully lonely. I know I have put people off by wanting to be friends more than they did, and now when it happens to me it's like a switch flips, and I feel a bit 'meh' about the person. Something about human psychology just makes neediness seem unattractive.

So, get yourself a bustling happy social life from a few different areas outside work, and you may find that people there come around when they realise you are busy, happy and couldn't give a shit about hanging out with them.
It's a funny old world.

Rudgie47 Tue 22-May-18 12:29:50

Theyre not doing anything wrong, your attitude is that they owe you something and they are being awful to you by not being your friend...thats a surefire way to make sure nobody will be.

They are excluding her, have not given her the proper details of an xmas party and walk away when shes trying to talk to them!!. Thats just awful.

GunpowderAndLead Tue 22-May-18 13:02:39

Forget that bunch, the non text thing was just pathetic you really don't want to spend any time with people like that.

Fill your time doing a wide variety of volunteer work, exercise stuff snd other interests. Have you met your neighbours? You could go and say hi.

I went to a friends wedding recently and was amazed at where she had met everyone. she bumped into people at the park, girls from her Zumba class. Some people are naturally exuberant and if your not you'll have to work that bit harder at getting out there

Cawfee Tue 22-May-18 13:21:04

It’s not you, it’s them. The older you get, the harder it gets. Some people have so many friends, especially if they’ve lived in an area all their lives or been in a job for years, that they literally can’t be bothered with new people. They’re all right Jack. I moved to a new area a few years ago and it’s been horrendous. Everyone has mates they met at primary school and it’s absolutely impossible to compete with that. Now I don’t even bother trying with “locals”. I also don’t bother if I meet somebody, look at their Facebook profile and they are out socialising constantly with a tonne of mates. You just won’t get anywhere with those people. Don’t even bother. Join things like a book club, a running group, try meet up etc because people like you who are open to new friends will also go to those things.

Thinkingofausername1 Tue 22-May-18 21:30:23

Hi op.
A different situation but my dd is in year six and I still haven't made any decent Mum friends.

I find parents are happy to have my dd round but don't want to socialise with me, however they are happy to socialise with each other. I don't know what's different about me, because I'm a good person and will do anything for anybody.

ninnypoo Wed 23-May-18 08:02:59

Thanks so much for all the replies. It's really comforting to hear that others have experienced similar (although obviously I'm sorry that you have!) I need to build my confidence back up to try joining some groups I think- I don't think these people owe me anything but rather I'm starting to think that the people must lie with me rather than them otherwise this wouldn't be happening- so I'm a bit wary of 'putting myself out there' and it happening again with another group of people.

Unicorndiscoball Wed 23-May-18 08:26:18

When I was an NQT I moved to a completely new area and lived and worked at a boarding school and for the first year I only socialised with people from work. This was a mistake, as it was an enclosed environment, like halls of residence at uni where you’re so desperate to make friends that you don’t necessarily choose the right ones and it was so intense. All we talked about was work. All. The. Time.

After a year I joined some out of work activities and started making new friends and acquaintances and have been much happier since.
Now 10 years and 2 schools a marriage and a child later I am wary about socialising with colleagues and very rarely do. In my current job it took a year before I met up with any colleagues outside of work other than a Friday afternoon down the pub or Xmas do etc. I find it best to separate work and home life to an extent, and although I’m very friendly and chatty at work, I do keep a distance. If your colleagues are in a clique and being a bit mean, then ignore them and find some friends outside. In my experience, even if they do ‘let you in’, you’ll always be insecure and anxious around them (bitter voice of experience) and it won’t end well.

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