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How can I make dd see she is being difficult when it comes to friendships?

(27 Posts)
Dancergirl Mon 20-Nov-17 19:32:55

Dd is nearly 15, Year 10. She's had a lot of ups and downs with friends over the years. The main issue seems to be - although no-one is being nasty or bullying her as such, she says she feels invisible. The other girls don't dislike her but they don't actively like her as much as she would like.

She is very sensitive, takes things to heart and often over-analyses situations. I'm sure this isn't helping her to be popular. She says she doesn't feel included in conversations, and the other girls don't seem to wait for her between lessons like some of the others do, or want to sit with her in lessons.

She's made a few new friends this year which started off well but things are going downhill again. One girl in particular seems lovely and she and dd hit it off (although this other girl is popular and has lots of other friends). Dd has made a point of telling this girl when she's been upset about something or has felt slighted in some way. I suspect dd is starting to come across as a bit annoying and needy.

I have tried to drop hints to dd about this but she blows up and I get 'that's not the point', 'you don't understand' etc etc. Lately I've been trying just to listen and not dole out any advice, not that she listens anyway.

What should I do, if anything? I think that popular people are happy people, and dd just seems miserable at the moment and full of self-pity.

Dancergirl Tue 21-Nov-17 19:53:45

Should add that her self-esteem is a bit low at the moment so I need to handle it carefully what I say to her.

FlamingGusset Tue 21-Nov-17 21:55:51

Haven't really got any advice, but didn't want to read and run! Bumping for you!

DoNotBringLulu Tue 21-Nov-17 22:03:02

Could your dd ask her friend to the cinema or do anything else that's fun where they can just enjoy themselves? It's so hard watching them go through this stuff.

Dancergirl Wed 22-Nov-17 11:50:47

I do encourage dd to make arrangements and invite friends over.

TabbyTigger Wed 22-Nov-17 13:07:36

A difficult one - she’s obviously sensitive and has low self esteem (as you say), so it’s hard to know how to counter that. I’m honestly not sure what to recommend, but maybe focus on the self esteem issues, as they could pre-empt the insecurity/sensitivity. Giving her responsibilities (like around the house) and showing her you trust her might help do this, as well as the obvious making sure she knows things she’s good at etc. Maybe also try to give advice when she’s not actually asking for it - tell a story about your own teen friendships (even make one up!)/ a friend’s child’s friendships. Sort of dropping hints when she’s not sensitive about the subject so she doesn’t blow up and reject everything, if you see what I mean.

And does she do any extra curriculars? Having some out of school friends (and a hobby) might help boost her confidence and be easier for her to maintain - which would help her feel she is liked and valued as a friend.

Titsywoo Wed 22-Nov-17 23:47:58

Blimey OP are you me? My DD is 13 and in year 8 and we had exactly this conversation tonight. She hates a lot of the kids in her school. I think they scare her - they seem very confident and many have been nasty to her (the school has dealt well with this). She did make friends with one group of girls outside her form. But like your DD she mainly seems to be on the outside looking in. She doesn't really have that much in common with them and one of the girls is currently not talking to her for no apparent reason. This is quite a geeky group so not a group of stereotypical 'mean girls'. They also tend to boss dd around a lot and talk about their interests all the time and leave her out. It's very difficult and mainly I just boost her self-esteem as much as I can outside of school - lots of lovely family time, seeing friends she has known all her life who love her just as she is! She's been upset the last few days that she is being completely ignored and how she just sits at the end of the lunch table and noone talks to her but she can't join their conversations as they are talking about their interests which she knows nothing about. DH talked to her about social skills and maybe trying to feign an interest in the things they like just to get her foot in the door so to speak. I'm not sure that's the right advice to be honest. He did strongly re-iterate that she is amazing as she is and that she should always be herself but sometimes you need to adapt to your environment a bit! I gave the example that by nature I'm not great at being social, I have to work at it. Small talk for example is beyond me but I faked it until I made it a bit at the school gate otherwise I would never had gotten to know anyone!

Anyway I'm not sure I can advise you really. Just wanted you to know you aren't alone! It's difficult. DD is such a funny kind girl and I can't understand why she struggles to find other people like her! I'm sure you feel similarly about your DD.

Dairymilkmuncher Thu 23-Nov-17 09:47:07

It helped me at school by having out the of school friends, I was more confident out of school because they weren't the people I had to see in class every day, they text and met up just because they wanted to and then I became easier going at school and ended up with life long friends that at 11 years old I wouldn't have believed if you told me that would be the case in the future!

Trying2bgd Thu 23-Nov-17 18:19:36

I've come a little late to this but I agree with Titsywoo, make life outside of school interesting, nurturing and fun. It can be just the case that she is with the wrong tribe, this may not change in her remaining years at school so work on helping her to become more resilient, self -loving and open to others for life after school.

blimppy Thu 23-Nov-17 19:24:11

Heavens, I logged onto Mumsnet just now because DD2 (16) is having problems which sound very like OP's daughter. She's just had her birthday pretty much ignored by everyone! She feels really low about it. It is horrible! I'm trying to encourage effort on a couple of out of school friends but is is so hard. DD is also very sensitive and I suspect sometimes a bit intense. But she is also funny and kind. I feel like wringing the necks of her so-called school friends, although I do realise that wouldn't actually help! The best plan DD and I have at the moment is to leave the school for a different sixth form next September. But it is a long time to wait for a fresh start.

Trying2bgd Fri 24-Nov-17 00:04:00

blimppy I think you have the right idea, a change of scene and a new start will be good for your dd. If she chooses subjects she really enjoys hopefully she will meet people with common interests. Help her to understand that school is a just small world full of a very small selection of people, as an adult things do improve. A part time job or volunteering may also help.

Dancergirl Fri 24-Nov-17 10:22:09

Thank you so much for all the replies. Glad to hear she's not alone.

I just feel sad for her - primary school wasn't great either and she was so looking forward to a fresh start in Year 7. It's hasn't been all bad, there's been some good times too and in other ways she really likes her school.

Like others have said about their dds, mine is kind and loyal and is a good friend. But she expects a lot back from friendships and I think her expectations are too high.

She does a few things out of school and has some other friends. She enjoys drama on Saturday which she usually really enjoys but lately not as much sad

This term she's been involved with the school play which in previous years she has loved but this year's production isn't as good according to her. Rehearsals are knackering and she's exhausted with school work, tests etc. Once that's out the way, I've said to her I'll help her find some sort of exercise that maybe we can do together. She needs something anyway for DofE plus she doesn't do much exercise which I think contributes to her low mood.

Dairymilkmuncher Fri 24-Nov-17 21:01:59

Duke of Edinburgh is so great for someone like your daughter it's got full of team building and finding interests out of school. It's a miserable time of the year and if she's exhausted that'll make it worse.

Not sure if it would go down well but I also found this emotional teenage years a diary (or any sort of writing) really helped, its sounds cliche but you see how ridiculous your moaning is on paper and then don't repeat it to actual people. Moving house as an adult I found some of the things I'd written, it was ridiculous.

TinklyLittleLaugh Fri 24-Nov-17 21:13:31

Ooh I was just about to suggest drama. Drama is full of sensitive geeky square pegs. My DD's friendship group in youth theatre included a few kids who seemed to be looking for a new group of friends from outside their school. Drama kid seem to be very inclusive too.

TabbyTigger Sat 25-Nov-17 16:44:38

Guiding/scouting might also be an option - no requirement for a specific interest/skill and children of varying different ages. Like a PP said about drama - not usually the “cool kids” and often the kids are there for the social element of an out of school friendship.

beccybruce007 Tue 28-Nov-17 11:05:26

I have been married to my DH for 4 years. When i met him 11 years ago he was married with 3 young children, (ages 9, 7, & 3). He had been happily married for 10 years, but he and i had a special bond. They lived in a large expensive farmhouse in the country...and i couldn't help but think she didn't appreciate what she had. But it was everything that i'd ever wanted. Him and i grew closer, and saw each other frequently, (as i was doing some temporary work for his company). About 6 months later, he decided to leave his wife. And we entered a real relationship. After a while, he wanted me to meet his children. The first time that i met them was okay. His son was quite distant towards me, but his two daughters were relatively friendly and very polite. We moved in together about two years later, and i found it more and more challenging to be around his children, as they would often be impolite, and naughty in our home. I tried so hard to be kind to them, but the favour was never returned (i think it is because they blame me for their parents divorce). As time went on, him and i had our son, and his children became more distant and angry. I thought it would be best if we got married in private location, so that his children wouldn't do anything to impact the big day. But when we returned from our wedding and honeymoon, his oldest daughter was furious and in hysterics that she wasn't invited, and after that, she went out of her way to sabotage me. As his children got older, their mother took them up north, which meant that my they would come down to stay with us for 10 days or longer at a time. This hadn't happened before, so i found it hard to adjust to them being there for that long, but it made my DH happy. So i went along with it. His children are now 21, 19 and 14. And our children are 5 and 3. His son is still extremely difficult and we really struggle with him. His eldest daughter now has her own son, so my DH is frequently going up to help her. So i don't get to see him as often. And his youngest daughter still visits, and is polite, but i can tell she doesn't really like me. And i find it hard to talk to her. But my boys always want to see their half siblings, and they get sad if they haven't seen them for a while. But i find it really hard when they come down to visit because we don't get along. I'm hoping that someone people have also had this issue, and if so, please give me some advice about how to handle it!
Thank you. confused

beccybruce007 Tue 28-Nov-17 11:08:59

Hi! Sorry i was trying to post my own thread, not add to someone elses!

salequeen Tue 28-Nov-17 11:15:32

🙋 another here with a DS 12!
His best friend was off yesterday so he walked round all day on his own.
Previous bullying, huge low self esteem !
Can we get our sensitive kids together I'm sure they would make a great group of friends!
Won't interact with anyone but this 1 person sad he's so amazing ! He's dyslexic so takes everything literal and it takes him a while to process stuff people say . Other kids just isolate him !

Trying2bgd Thu 30-Nov-17 00:25:40

Salequeen flowers that would be great!

I think we just have to keep loving them, provide encouragement and opportunities to discover who they are and what they like. I don’t doubt things will improve for all our children.

Rainatnight Thu 30-Nov-17 00:31:57

OP, is there any chance she's a bit depressed? It struck a chord with me when you were talking about her enjoying things less than she used to, exhaustion, etc. It can also create a feeling of 'being on the outside looking in'.

Dancergirl Thu 30-Nov-17 10:51:33

rain I am really worried she might be. She's been crying every day lately sad

There is good emotional support at school, counsellors etc but dd said she would rather not talk about this stuff at school. I am going to get a GP appointment for her.

She's looking forward to the school play finishing, last night tonight. Such a shame she didn't enjoy it much this year.

Rainatnight Thu 30-Nov-17 13:44:27

I think a GP appointment is a really good idea. You sound like a lovely mum and I'm sure you'll come through this. flowers

Dancergirl Thu 30-Nov-17 14:59:43

Thank you rain and everyone else, I really appreciate the support.

Dd just doesn't like herself lately sad She's very hard on herself and worries a lot how she comes across to others. She doesn't want to appeal clingy or needy but is perhaps wondering if she is. She's also feels guilty about how much I worry about HER.

We've got into this habit lately of having late-night tearful (hers) chats when she pours it all out. As much as I want to be there for her and listen, I'm wondering if this is doing more harm than good. She tells me all the minutiae of who sits where in each lesson, who's giving her funny looks and so on.

Also, there's been quite a lot of bitchiness from this 'cool' group of girls. Dd overhears their conversations bitching and saying nasty things about girls she is friendly with. Another source of stress for her because she doesn't know whether to tell her friend or not. She says if people were talking about her behind her back, she would want to know.

LemonysSnicket Thu 30-Nov-17 15:36:18

15 was an incredibly difficult year for friendships for bloth me and my sister. Go easy on her x

LemonysSnicket Thu 30-Nov-17 15:41:55

Also, i know the language isnt optimal but get her the book 'the subtle art of not giving a fuck' ... it helps with anxiety, social interaction etc and talks about caring less about minor shit which will be making her come across as a drain. Those who dont seek popularity most often find it. Get her the book.

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