Do I have friends? Yes, I do.
I have different groups of friends, ranging from the best of the best, to the ones I will just say “Hi” to if we pass on the street. There are ones who I have known for 20 years and ones I have known for 3 weeks.
Sometimes, I wish I was 5 and could go up to a person and say “I like you therefore you’re going to be my friend” and that’s it.
I remember on the school playground if you ever had a fall out with a friend you would sing “Make friends, make friends, never ever break friends etc” and that was it. Once that song had been sung you were friends again, no questions asked.
I must admit at the moment I’m the parent of the 5-year-old hoping she makes that good impression and starts to form those friendship bonds.
However, as an adult, friendship doesn’t work like that. I like having friends in my life, but it takes so much longer to form those bonds.
I recently asked some of my friends why I’m their friend and what our friendship means to them. From the responses I got, the most commonly used words were Reliable, Clicked, Bubbly, Sincere, Innovative, Accepting and Thoughtful.
However, I have noticed that these can be my downfall too and that certain friends will use these to their advantage knowing that I’m the one that will always be there or the one that they can rely on.
I can’t stand un-thoughtful people. I have people who I have put so much time, effort & thought into that when its not reciprocated you think sod you!!!
When we lived in Brighton I was lonely as I had no friends of my own, I had my (now) husband’s friends, but I wanted people who I’d met and liked me for me. I didn’t work in Brighton and my social life was back in my home town of Horsham.
We were in the process of deciding whether to live in Brighton or move back to Horsham, so I gave myself 6 months to find friends and then after that we would decide.
So I decided to put an advert out on a local site looking for friends. I felt like I was begging people to like me, but it turned out there were lots of people in my situation in Brighton looking for friends.
Then came the “first date” experience of meeting up with these people and telling them about yourself.
However the problem with living in Brighton it’s a very fluid town and half the time the people who had come down couldn’t afford to live in Brighton or find work in Brighton so would leave.
It was demoralising and I felt that I hadn’t made any progress with my friendship circle.
When we were expecting our child and we did our NCT classes. I didn’t care what we learned I just wanted to make friends with woman who were going through the same thing as me. What did we have in common that first time we met?
We were pregnant, and that was it.
I said to my husband “You have to behave because we’ve come here to make friends”. Fortunately, he did as he was told so five years on we’re all still friends.
I have had friends in my life who have just dropped me without any reason. I found this hurtful and upsetting because I don’t know why they didn’t want to be my friend any more. It feels like the playground again where there isn’t a reason and I have just become a stranger to them.
If I have done something wrong then I would hope they’d tell me so that I could at least understand why? Although I could ask them directly, my anxiety prevents me from doing so. So it continues with me not knowing, and asking the question “Why?” over and over again
Do we measure our friendships on how many friends we have on social media? Who likes and doesn’t like our post? Who’s blocked us? Are these real friends and friendships or just people that are part of our social media life or part of this friendship circle?
I have friends in my life that I know if I rang them upset, they would drop everything to be there for me. I also have friends who don’t really bother with me until there is gossip to be had.
How does this friendship circle work?
Are there different rings to this circle and each person you know in your life do you put them on a different ring depending on what a friend means to you?
My husband puts friends into three categories: Friends, Mates & Acquaintances
I’m the sort of person who hates anyone feeling left out. I recently met a lady in the park who had recently moved to the area with her children and didn’t know anyone, she had moved here due to a Mumsnet comment of it being a nice area.
Well I thought you can’t be lonely therefore I only knew her name, knew she belonged to a local site and so I shamefully Facebook stalked her and offered the hand of friendship to her. She was so grateful for what I did and thankfully she didn’t think I was a crazy lady!!!
I try not to judge people and give them a chance. However, it does take a lot for you not to be my friend, but when that happens I’m done. What’s the point? I may have put the effort on my side but if I’m not getting anything then why should you be my friend? If you’ve hurt me then that’s it too.
I have friends who I have spoken to about friendships that just fade away, or I’ve been let down or people who aren’t there for me and I know a few despair at me for how much effort I put into people before enough is enough.
I have over-thought text messages, comments, conversations and it’s the classic “trying to please everyone when realistically you can’t” problem. This doesn’t help the anxiety with the “What if?” situation.
I have to accept that it’s ok and the people who want me in their life will be in my life, but for those of you who can’t be bothered any more, then I have to accept that our friendship is done and you are no longer in my circle.