Coping with few friends - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 13 Old 06-06-2012, 06:30 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I used to have a few really good friends with whom I could share the really tough stuff w/o feeling awkward and there was plenty of socializing on a lighter side.

 

Now I feel like pretty much no one likes me.  A few folks are polite when it is required.  A few folks will socialize with me, but rarely.

 

So, I conclude I am pretty much awful to be with ... pretty much awful, period.

 

A hard pill to swallow since I don't think I am awful and I want to be liked. 

 

They say human relationships are the key to success in life and to happiness -- well, I have almost none and the feedback I get is mostly negative. 

 

Not sure how to change who I am -- I am over 50 -- but being treated like sh%t pretty much makes me feel like sh%t and then I start behaving like the loser everyone treats me as ...

 

Sorry ... just feeling desperately sad.

 

M

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#2 of 13 Old 06-07-2012, 01:01 AM
 
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Hugs! I am sorry you feel like this! Rejection is an awful thing to take regardless of how old we are.  If people are treating you like crap, then those people are not ones you need to be with regardless of how desperate you are for company.  These people add nothing to your life.  You need to put up some firm boundaries and/or get rid of them/or just take a break from them.  

 

You said you used to have a few really good friends.  Obviously you are not an awful person to be around!  What happened to those friends? Did they move, or you moved?  

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#3 of 13 Old 06-07-2012, 03:18 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for replying!

 

The changes are all gradual -- going from working full-time with a very busy social and work life to being home with kids to going back to work in a very new segment of my profession where I have had tremendous success until I got to my current work place -- that's been the toughest -- can't avoid them -- I would be completely undone by what I have experienced over the last two years if I hadn't had incredibly positive feedback the two years previously.

 

So, between the way people treat me at work to the way I am treated in my personal life ...

 

I can only conclude I must be hardly worth existing.  I could give you an example from just yesterday, but I don't think the details matter.

 

I keep doing my best which is pretty darned wonderful (at work) and try really hard to contribute outside of work, but I guess I am just not really worthy of existence -- at work people don't even acknowledge my contributions or worse and in my personal life no one has the time or interest in including me.

 

Gonna hold on for my kids.

 

Thanks again!

 

M

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#4 of 13 Old 06-07-2012, 04:02 AM
 
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Ugh. It really sucks that you feel devalued by those around you. I am sorry.  I notice your feelings towards yourself are really negative at the moment.  Do you feel this way often? Are you seeing a therapist?  Have you read the book Feeling Good by David Burns? I highly recommend it.  If I were in your position, I would just take a step back and try to nurture myself towards a more positive self-image. Regardless of what is happening around you, feeling this awful about yourself will only make your life worse.greensad.gif

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#5 of 13 Old 06-07-2012, 02:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for your kindness.  Unfortunately, my self-image can't hold up against the feedback I feel I am getting.  No matter how innovative, high-energy, inclusive, etc. my work -- I get greeted with a shrug of indifference at best.

 

The only reason I know my work is as good as it is is a) because I have been told so by past bosses and colleagues and b) I see what others do and I know I am miles better.

 

With regard to the personal side -- I just am excluded -- no neighborhood ladies nights, no invitations for a family dinner with "friends."  People don't want to be with me.  So far, my children still get invited to playdates and birthdays, etc.

 

This social circle and the support at work are essential to good psychological and emotional health -- since I don't really have them -- my psychological and emotional health are rock-bottom.

 

I just keep going, one day at a time, for my kids' sake.

 

I contemplate changing workplaces, but a change could bring about a similar experience -- no garuntees.  My current work place is 8 minutes from home.  Still, if changes happen there that make it unbearable (there are possible changes, unrelated to my personal interactions, that could make it miserable), then I will contemplate a move--hoping to find a boss who believes in what I do and whose staff shares that view.

 

Thanks!

 

M

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#6 of 13 Old 06-07-2012, 03:59 PM
 
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I'm sorry you're having such a hard time, meandmine.  

 

I once had a job (just before I got pregnant with my first, about ten years ago) that had the most extreme toxic group of people you could imagine.  It was a very small office, so I think, while at a larger office the sane people probably balance out the nutty ones, at this office there was one particularly charismatic nut-job whipping the rest of them up.  Looking back on it now (didn't have a good grasp on what was happening as I was going along), I am pretty sure that I as offered the job after several other people had turned it down and so the people who were already in the office felt like they were really settling for me when they should've been getting a super star.  It was a terrible dynamic going in and it only got worse and felt very personal and I was pretty convinced (and I may have been right) that everyone really hated me and couldn't wait for me to leave.  It was so, so miserable!  I don't know if your experience was at all similar, but I ended up leaving because of it  --  it was just a 2 year fellowship, but I ended up leaving a couple of months early  --  and I'm so happy that I did.  For me, it was impossible to feel good about myself in that situation.  It was just painful all of the time.  

 

Have you thought about trying to get out and meet people in new contexts?  I am sure there are people out there that you could feel close to, you probably just gotta put yourself out there and find them.  


Jayne, sewing up a storm mama to ds1 9/03, ds2 2/09, and 2 sweet furbabies.

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#7 of 13 Old 06-07-2012, 06:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
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rubidoux,

 

Thanks for sharing your experience.  I do think a significant part of my suffering is because of the culture of this particular workplace.  I felt it almost from the get-go.  Not at the interview -- that was incredibly postive and I thought, with one exception, there was great chemistry.

 

That one exception has proven to be quite the influential person ...

 

I think my predecessor was actively disliked and folks developed absolutely NO respect for the position.  What surprised me is that they didn't respond to my magic after a few months -- even my first year.

 

Seriously, in my two previous positions, doing this same work, I got tons of positive feedback -- even got nominated as outstanding first year [profession] for my entire district!!!

 

So, yes, the work-place is a big part of it.  I just don't get it.  I described it once as having the air sucked out of the room -- I do pretty special programs; bring in nationally known speakers; do top-drawer (or over the top) work every day -- I can't even get a thank you out of most people.  Most just don't care what I do. 

 

So, I assume I suck.

 

Except I know I don't.

 

So, maybe it is worth the risk of leaving and having a longer commute and hoping for a healthier climate.  The next year will be my last there if things don't get better because, as is clear from my posts -- my self-esteem can't take much more.

 

Thanks again!

 

M

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#8 of 13 Old 06-07-2012, 07:12 PM
 
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Is this something you could branch out and start a business or something on your own? Online even? It might totally be worth the longer commute for you to have sanity. Peace of mind and good self image is very important. If you know you're good, and your boss' are fine with your work, tell yourself you're good. Keep telling yourself that. Bc if you think you are, they say you are, you are. Don't worry about them. Just figure they're angry, bitter people that don't know a good worker when they see one. Consider the source of the criticism and keep your head up high. I have some SUPER critical relatives on hubby's side. Sometimes they make me so furious, but I have to stop and consider the source. Who said it? Someone with about half a brain and more high minded, prideful opinions than any other three people put together. When I think in those terms it's easier to shrug off. Usually. : )

 

Hugs to you!!!!!!


Frequent Auto Correct Victim. Sheepish.gif

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#9 of 13 Old 06-07-2012, 07:22 PM
 
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I hope you get out!  I am sure you don't suck.  wink1.gif  After I left my crappy job, while I was pregnant with my older son nine years ago, I did some freelance work for a guy whose wife works with my husband.  I spent years trying not to run into him because I felt like he was the only person in town who knew how crappy my work was and I was mortified.  Then I saw him at a party about a year ago and he was so encouraging and made a point of saying that he would do what he could to help me get the job I wanted (he knows everyone) when I was ready, and I was so shocked because those a**holes I worked with had completely convinced me that I was worthless.  It is crazy how other people can color your world!  I think you should run from that place!


Jayne, sewing up a storm mama to ds1 9/03, ds2 2/09, and 2 sweet furbabies.

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#10 of 13 Old 06-08-2012, 03:38 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks, Mamas!

 

You have helped me clarify at this part of this picture ...

 

Work is 75% of why I feel the way I do.  And I need to remind myself how much I was appreciated at my last two positions.  I do think there is a negative culture at my current work -- especially directed at my postion (my predecessor had the position for 25 years) and thus at me.  I thought I could dazzle them with how I changed/improved things, but I think the level of indifference to what my position does is too high for it to matter.  I have said I could juggle, standing on my head and people would just shrug and leave the room.  It is really weird experience.  Still, it is hard to keep up the positive self-talk when it almost feels like people are working really hard at NOT saying anything positive.

 

So, one more year -- we have a huge construction project that may make things pretty awful and there may be a change in schedule that would seal the exit deal -- if those things make it unbearable, plus all this -- I am on to a new place as much as I'd rather not start over *again* -- it is exhausting to do that ....

 

Thanks for your words of support ... keep me in your prayers (if you pray) ... 

 

M

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#11 of 13 Old 06-08-2012, 04:55 PM
 
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I do pray, and I sure will! Keep us posted.
 


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#12 of 13 Old 06-20-2012, 03:04 PM
 
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being socially isolated really sucks.  i am nearly friendless, too...i lost all of my own friends during the course of my 8 year abusive marriage...a few of them moved away, one got on pills...the other work friends and friendly aquaintances i was afraid to hang out with because of what an asshat my X was and because i was so embarassed of the situation...fast forward to now when i am a single mama...and i have reconnected with all those old aquaintances on facebook, but rarely see them because i don't have money for a sitter or because they don't think to invite me to things...girls nights, and etc.  i am going to try to screw up the courage to flat out ask some of them for support and friendship, but it is hard.  it seems like when we were younger friendships just evolved...and now it is just too hard to make them because everyone is caught up in their kids and marriages and set in spending their little free time with friends they already have.  sigh.
 

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#13 of 13 Old 06-23-2012, 07:37 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hey there!

 

Yeah, social isolation is a good word for it.  I have lots of shallow acquantances, but almost never do I get invited to do anything.  I still reach out (just hosted book club), but I am actually surprised how I keep trying after all these years to do the right thing, to give, to be generous, to invite, in the face of almost total rejection.

 

I too have thought about saying "Hey, I really need friends." to some of these folks, but that last time I was gonna say that -- the person I was gonna talk to ... stood me up for coffee ... and there you have it in a nut shell.

 

So, keep trying ... I keep trying ... although I don't know why.  I even do it for my kids ... my daughter has a best friend (known her for almost 12 years), but that family really would prefer we go away -- they have other friends for their daughter and they just aren't interested in maintaining the friendship nor being friends to me ... it is like pulling teeth to try to get together, but I keep trying for my daughter's sake -- I don't want to see her heart broken.

 

So sad.


GL to you!

 

M

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