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How do you feel if people don't respond to your invitations?

(15 Posts)
Nic04 Thu 06-Jan-05 10:42:54

I'm wondering if this is a universal problem or whether it only happens to some people and not others. I’m a SAHM & part-time student with a 4 ½ yr old ds. Generally I’m not a very forward person when it comes to asking people round or to meet up for coffee/play-dates, that kind of thing, so most of the socialising I do comes from other peoples’ invitations to me. By socialising, I mean with other women & mums. DH & I tend to go out with either friends we’ve known for a long time, or with his work colleagues.

I find it difficult to actually take the step of inviting someone to come over or meet up mainly because I'm a bit on the shy side and would probably take it hard if someone said NO, lol. Since having ds (4) though, I'm probably better at this now, but I still find that some people don't respond and it really puts you off trying in the future. For instance, I invited my cousin over with her children for morning tea a couple of months ago (don't see her very often), and she rang that morning & said her daughter was sick. I said that’s fine, we can organise it another day, just let me know - and I still haven't heard back from her. My mum even saw her today, and she didn’t mention anything about it. Also at the beginning of December when ds finished pre-school, I told one of the other mums to ring me if she wanted to get together with the kids over the holidays, to which she said "That would be nice" - but as yet I haven't heard a thing from her and don't really feel that I will. I realise that everyone’s main excuse these days is that they’re BUSY (which I know is quite true in a lot of cases), but it’s really deflating and hurtful when people just don’t respond. Or say they will, but then they don't. A lot of the time I’ve gotten on quite well with these people at the time, but then you never hear from them again. Does this happen to others??! I would love to be more assertive and thick-skinned but I guess I ain’t one of those people . Anyway, any thoughts on this would be appreciated – thanks.

polkadot Thu 06-Jan-05 11:59:54

It happens to me too. I think that people are just busy and that although they would like to meet up they never get around to it. Sometimes I invite more than one person for coffee on the same morning then at least one of them usually turns up. I doubt very much that it's anything personal.

Tinker Thu 06-Jan-05 12:05:16

I think people are busy. Also, unless you give a definite date to see someone, what else can you say except "That would be nice"? Not criticising because you sound like me - I am rubbish at this kind of thing. But, maybe next time someone says "That would be nice" ask for their number there and then and ring them the next day to organise a defnite date.

runtus Thu 06-Jan-05 12:29:14

I know it is hard but I don't think you should look upon people forgetting things and being too busy to follow up every invitation, as a personal affront. I'm not criticising when I say that because I know how hard it can be not to take things personally but you have to try and see the bigger picture.

If you were to ask the people you invited why they didn't respond (and I am not in any way suggesting you do) you would probably find out that it either simply slipped their mind or they just ran out of time. Most people do not actually try to be hurtful or rude and I imagine those you invited are not an exception....otherwise you wouldn't have liked them in the first place

I have had a very similar conversation with an employee at work many times, who felt exactly the same as you but regarding a work situation. To be honest, I think the main problem for both of you is self-asteem. Perhaps if you felt a little more confident and less in the position of waiting for people to decide things (i.e. when and if to meet etc) you would not be affected so badly by their lack of response.

Why don't you try to do something new to meet people, like an evening class? Just a fun one, rather than towards a qualifiaction - pottery, painting, massage etc. Your local college will probably have a whole brochure full of exciting things going on. That way, you don't have to rely on other people making the step towards meeting up. You never know you might have som much fun you won't even think about how to me more assertive!

Hope that helps

colditzmum Thu 06-Jan-05 12:32:19

I made a friend with someone recently by +++p++h+o+n++in+g +h++ (ds interuption) phoning them and inviting them out. They might be shy themselves and feel you are only inviting them to be polite, people have to nag me a bit before I do anything because it takes a while to feel wanted

phoebeki Thu 06-Jan-05 12:59:14

Nic, it's not personal, it happens to all of us at sometime or other. I bet you have even done it to somebody yourself!
Why don't you phone your cousin, ask after the sickie and then make a new date right there, she probably will be really pleased. Likewise bear in mind that ok you are shy but perhaps the mother from preschool is to-instead of leaving the onus upon her to contact you why not suggest a couple of particular dates and ask her to get back to you to confirm? Open ended i/vs sometimes get ignored, a bit like starting a diet, you mean to but never quite get round to it.
I have a friend who constantly blows me out for the most trivial reasons, so I try to make sure I invite her to things where there will be other more reliable people coming along to. That way, if she does cancel at the last moment my day isn't spoiled.

Bradybunches Fri 07-Jan-05 00:31:45

Nic04! Please forgive this long post. I know exactly what you mean and couldn't sympathise more. And that's despite having in the past always been a huge extrovert. But since I've had my ds I quite often feel like the new girl at school and that everyone else seems to have mates to walk round the playground with at break (i.e. permanent play dates). I ask for people's numbers and then feel too shy to call or that they won't like me (and I feel really self-conscious about our house too but that's a whole other story!). I even feel paranoid when I read mumsnet and everyone seems to know one another and be great mates.
I think being a SAHM if you don't have a good old solid network of people, is really hard. I did have two pretty good friends who have moved in the last year which hasn't helped. I feel really sensitive too - I think all the other posts ring true. Low self-esteem can become crippling as a SAHM. I think it's partly that the days are so long. But I have known everything you describe and at the moment am feeling very fragile about a friend who appears to value a mutual friend and her dd much more than me and my ds. On my odd good day I try not to take anything personally but just ring people up and keep trying. But one friend I rang on Tuesday hasn't rung back at all (I sometimes wonder whether she even gets my messages). She makes me feel so small when she doesn't call back. I know just what you mean. But I think it's true some people are just rude, some people are busy and some people are just very shy too. I am hugely shy but I know I don't appear to be. Nic04, I could go on all night but will try to spare you. I'm about to hit the sack but good luck and again - sorry this is so long. .

rouge Fri 07-Jan-05 03:13:39

colditzmum has said it for me: "They might be shy themselves and feel you are only inviting them to be polite". I could be one of the mums you describe. I'm terrible because I have a bit of a phone phobia and lose friends by not returning their calls. I do do text invitations though! and tend to invite a few people at a time so that (a) I don't focus on any one particular person and get offended if they seem cool; and (b) over time I get an idea of who not to bother with in future. I only give up after a few attempts though - it's true that some people take a bit of coaxing, and I know I'm one of them. But I don't persevere indefinitely with what's obviously a one-way relationship. I know it's easy to say but you mustn't take it personally. I agree with what Brady says about the minefield of SAHM-dom. And I do sympathise. This motherhood thing does force us out of our comfort zones in so many ways.

pipkin Fri 07-Jan-05 12:43:29

Please try not to take some people's actions the wrong way - I am totally rubbish at keeping in touch / returning calls etc. and the only reason is because I'm completely disorganised and literally run out of time! I would hate to think I upset anyone by it - they know I get around to seeing them at some point, it is certainly not meant to cause offence.

Sponge Fri 07-Jan-05 13:04:04

I think if people genuinely don't respond to an invitation then that is very rude.
However what you're talking about really is people not getting round to inviting you out or calling you to arrange to get together.
As others have said these people might also be shy or not sure how serious you were.
Bite the bullet, phone them and arrange a definite date and I'm sure you'll get a good response.

Nic04 Sat 08-Jan-05 01:07:51

Thanks for all the posts and Bradybunches I'm sorry you're feeling really low about this as well. Sponge, in the case of my cousin, I'm not waiting for her to call or to invite me out. I took the step of inviting her over, she cancelled, and I feel that it's up to her to arrange another day with me because I asked her to let me know when she was free. A couple of months later and still no word from her is a bit rude I think, considering she cancelled in the first place. It's mainly these kinds of things that really bug me. I realise people may also be shy or have other things going on, but they don't seem to consider the 'politeness' aspect of it at all.

Another friend emailed me back in November (I think), and asked if we could get together the following Tuesday. I emailed back and said yes, so it was all arranged. The following Tuesday came around and - nothing. Seems she was 'too busy or had too many things happening' to let me know that she couldn't make it. I got a phone call from her a few days later and she really couldn't give me a valid reason why it happened. I am still friends with her and have seen her a couple of times since, but (admittedly) it does something to your self-esteem when people don't seem to give a toss about you one way or the other.

Runtus you're probably right about not 'sitting around waiting for people to decide when and if we're going to meet up', but unfortunately I'm not a pushy person and don't like to feel that I'm forcing someone to do something. Perhaps that's something I need to work on changing.

Bradybunches Sun 09-Jan-05 15:11:20

Nic04 I have just had a week-end away with some good friends, lots of adult company and feel a bit more positive today. In retrospect I think I was really lonely last week. And I agree with you - there isn't much of an explanation for some behaviour except rudeness! I talked about it with my dh this w/end and he thinks my friend who doesn't return calls is rude but he also thinks there's stuff going on in that family that we don't know about and we should 'cut them some slack' (easier said than done...).
My plan for this week is to be more proactive than usual, make more calls and see what happens, I've got my ds's birthday to arrange and we'll see if rudewoman rsvps without me being too blunt about not having heard from her about his party.
I also feel that I have been slow to accept that it maybe takes much longer to make a social life in a new area than I would like to believe. But if you have any quiet days this week, let me know (if you want to) and we can have a virtual cup of coffee together. All the best...

Lonelymum Sun 09-Jan-05 15:20:57

You are noty the only ones to suffer in this way although I do think you have had some very rude people around you lately Nic04. Fancy making an arrangement to meet and then not turning up! I too am terrified of having my invitation rejected so I never make any now. I never receive them either as I come across as very shy although I am not really, just scared of being rejected. I have had some horrible experiences in the past which have turned me into this, so I do understand your difficulties.

runtus Mon 10-Jan-05 13:53:59

How about joining a club or group, that way you aren't waiting for anyone to do anything and there is no "who invited who last time" problem?

newgirl Mon 10-Jan-05 21:08:51

I would just add to the good advice that it isn't pushy to ask people over - I would love it! I always seem to do the inviting and if someone invited me I would definitely be pleased and go. Not everyone is rude and useless!

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