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Don’t know how to act when family and friends cross paths?

12 replies

Lipbalmstrawberry · 10/02/2024 22:48

DAE hate it when your family and friends cross paths? I feel like I have no idea how to act when I’m in a situation with family and friends present as the friend me is completely different to the family me so I kind of have to do a mixture. Is this a universal experience??

OP posts:

Am I being unreasonable?

38 votes. Final results.

You are being unreasonable
You are NOT being unreasonable
ShadowOfTheSeason · 10/02/2024 22:50

I think I'm the same whoever I'm with so I don't recognise this feeling at all!

inthefrost · 11/02/2024 00:04

I used to be like that when I was younger. I was diagnosed autistic at age 40. After that my personalities (for want of a better word) seemed to merge, and I feel the same all the time now. (I’m 60)

GHxx · 11/02/2024 00:07

I totally get that. Every time I think about arranging even a small gathering for any occasion I just think as well about having all these different groups of people in the same space and having to exhaustingly make my way round them all and stress about some feeling left out etc. I then don’t arrange anything because I can’t face it 🙈

Sisiwawa · 11/02/2024 00:14

I'm like this too! I know lots of my friend's family and friends, but none of my groups of friends know each other, they may have briefly met once or twice over the years. I find it really stressful being in the middle and getting them mixing, chatting etc. When they've met, they're polite but stay in their own little cliques, so it doesn't seem to work. And I'm a bit different with friends to how I am with family, different conversations etc I suppose. Other people seem to do it effortlessly.

OnOtherPlanets · 11/02/2024 00:16

What is the difference between the self you are with family and the self you are with friends?

XenoBitch · 11/02/2024 00:27

Yep, I hate it too. I hate my different circles of friends meeting as well. I have a mask I wear for each group of people.

KnowledgeableMomma · 11/02/2024 02:31

I'm afraid my friends and my family get the same 'ol me all the time. There are plenty of my friends who have met lots of my family and mix at dinners, birthdays, and holidays.

VeryGoodVeryNice · 11/02/2024 03:01

Totally normal. You should read ‘The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life’ by Goffman. He uses the analogy of theatre to describe how we are all actors playing various roles in our lives. For example work you will be different to mum you, or partner you, or with running club friends you, or with family you, or with old uni friends you. We slip completely unconsciously into the different roles without realising it. And the only time we are ever our true selves is when we are at home, on our own, or ‘backstage’. So when two of these roles clash it can feel uncomfortable.

I’ve personally noticed there’s less distinction between my roles as I’ve got older but they’re still there, nobody is exempt from this!

renthead · 11/02/2024 03:41

I absolutely hate crossover of family and different friends groups too, unless it is my family with my childhood friends whom they know well.

I find it so stressful. It's nothing to do with me being different with different groups, I just feel tense and awkward about feeling responsible for everyone getting along. The only thing they may have in common is me!

newmomaboutthreads · 11/02/2024 11:29

Generally this is about you not quite being your "authentic self". Such an annoying this to say but it's because you have portrayed a different version of yourself that you think that group want you to be.
I am British Indian and I see it a lot with 2nd gen kids. Different with parents, friends and work colleagues.
If you work on yourself to be one version life is easier.
I take great pleasure when my dad comes to my work and I show him around or I love it when my friends turn up at my old family home.

Whu · 11/02/2024 11:33

Yes. I think it’s a cultural thing too. I am definately my real self with my friends and my family see a masked and reserved version. Despite being in my late thirties I cringe when my family and friends get together at a party. I’m always waiting for a friend to inadvertently reveal something I hide from my family.

WinterDeWinter · 11/02/2024 12:01

I think there’s a difference between feeling stressed at the responsibility to help them mix and get on, and the feeling that you behave like a different person with each group.

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