Trouble Making Friends

Avatar for evyrosa
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Trouble Making Friends
20
Mon, 02-14-2011 - 10:32am

I am a Stay at Home Mom of two and I'm happily married and love my family life. However, I often long for female companionship.

Evy

(Mom to Alex and Marlena)

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iVillage Member
Registered: 02-25-2002
Mon, 02-14-2011 - 11:31am

Hi, I am many years down that highway now, but I could have written much of your post myself when the kids were younger. When I was working I had many friends and lots of things to do....when I had my son, it slowed down a lot...I was a single mom with no help, so there wasn't really a way to do much socializing. Saw less and less of my friends, all of whom were childless by choice. When I reconciled with my now DH, we moved from NY to FL, to be near his family, and I became a SAHM. We were there for 7 years and I made no real friends. At least, not in my own age group. We were the first young family to move into our building (which was awesome, btw...right on the beach, pool, etc) and we were sort of *adopted* by some very nice elderly folks...but that was it. Like you, I was very shy. I think sometimes people mistake shyness for something else.

When DS started preschool, I found the moms to be very cliquely there, also.(have you ever

 

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-29-2002
Mon, 02-14-2011 - 11:48am

I can so totally relate right now.

I have been a SAHM for 11 years now.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 11-24-2004
Mon, 02-14-2011 - 1:04pm

As an outgoing person, I can say that shyness does often get mistaken for standoffishness or non interest. I have thought people weren't interested in being friends and found out the opposite was true. But a lot of people are too lazy to put two and two together.

As far as being the one called upon to dog sit and be a taxi service, just say no. Only you can prevent yourself from being used by others.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 11-24-2010
Mon, 02-14-2011 - 2:41pm

First thing you say is that women are using you - maybe you feel this because as a shy person you tend to feel you "give alot", but do not get alot back.

Avatar for evyrosa
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Tue, 02-15-2011 - 7:40am

I think I say yes often because I feel that's what a "friend" SHOULD do, but then when I see I am obviously not considered a friend when I'm not invited to certain things I get crushed.

Evy

(Mom to Alex and Marlena)

Avatar for elc11
Community Leader
Registered: 06-16-1998
Tue, 02-15-2011 - 12:51pm

I think that there are more people than you would imagine who feel the same as you! Sometimes when we are trying to make new friends we come off as too needy or desperate, and that can put people off. And shy can be mistaken for unfriendly or snobbish. We have to be aware of how we are presenting ourselves to people but not to the point of analyzing every action (which would make us more self-conscious), its difficult to find a balance.

Some of those moms that you meet may appear to be good friends but maybe they are more like "user" friendships? As in they develop the friendship enough to feel comfortable asking the other person to give their kid a ride or to dog-sit for them, but they aren't really close friends who are meeting for coffee three times a week or sharing intimate details. As long as it is reciprocal it can work, for some people. I know that isn't what you're looking for, I guess I'm just pointing out that there are different levels of friendship and they can all be valid and fill certain needs, and sometimes develop into something deeper.

Have you looked into meet-up.com? They have groups for every imaginable activity so you might be able to find something that interests you. I've never been to any but I imagine that the open groups welcome new people, maybe it would help to meet people who are looking to expand their social circle.

One other suggestion: cut back on checking your Facebook! It can be very depressing when it appears that "everybody" has a zillion friends and is always at some great party or doing fun things. Why torture yourself?

I can completely relate to your predicament. I hope something here helps.

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-16-2008
Tue, 02-15-2011 - 3:16pm

Like many of the others who have posted here, I could have been you when my kids were younger.

Avatar for lizmvr
Community Leader
Registered: 06-06-2001
Tue, 02-15-2011 - 4:07pm
I agree that you might need to curb the Facebook checking a bit. In addition to that, I would add that you don't know why you didn't get invited to whatever parties you are seeing. Those plans might have been made for a certain group for a reason or before you were involved with any people in the photos. Who knows--you might have even inadvertently said you were busy or unavailable during the time that the party occurred without even realizing that someone was going to invite you.

Instead of immediately jumping to the conclusion that you were neglected or shunned, why not make some comment to the Facebook photo owner like "You all look great in this photo! Glad it looks like you had a fun night!" or something. You'll show that you are interested in doing things like going to parties, and your positivity will likely carry you further than your self pity.

I actually do think that making friends takes a bit of effort, but it's up to you how much to put into it. You should respect yourself enough to have boundaries so that you don't feel used, but being a friend also means being kind and caring for others, too. Do what you feel is balanced so that you're not left with the negative feeling that you've been used, and try not to let any nagging feelings from your past friendship issues creep into new opportunities for building friendships.

Liz


Clinical Research Associate


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iVillage Member
Registered: 02-14-2004
Wed, 02-16-2011 - 3:57pm

I understand your position.

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-16-2008
Wed, 02-16-2011 - 5:55pm

Sadie -

It was so interesting to read your post.

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