Do you find it hard to make friends?

playground1

There is a woman, a mother, who sits in the children’s play area of our local park and she is usually alone on a bench on the sidelines, watching her little boy play.

The wind picks up and she pulls her scarf tighter around her ears, buring her chin deeper into her woollen coat, only raising her eyes every now and again to catch what is going on in the hustle and bustle of her surroundings.

She is trying to be invisible. She is trying to be noticed. She never moves from that bench, afraid to strike up conversation with someone, afraid that someone will strike up a conversation with her.
When I first saw her I thought it was one of the saddest things I have ever seen.

She scans the playground for her son, who is crawling over the metal apparatus like a little bug, oblivious to the biting cold.
He is only three but he has no problems making friends. He runs up to other children with that wide-eyed innocence of youth and requests their name. He talks to other parents like they have always existed in his world.
There is no embarassed pause. No reservations. No nervous laughter.

But all the while his mother sits alone, kicking her heels against the soft tarmac to keep warm, hands buried deep deep in her pockets.
She makes no effort to socialise with the other parents dotted around the playground. She doesn’t know how to. She watches their easy chitter chatter and it stabs at her conscience. Did they know each other beforehand? Did they just meet? How did they just meet? How?

She has no idea how to approach the other mums and dads and make friends. She doesn’t have her son’s easy charm. She finds it makes her panic to think about it.

And so, every time they make that trip to the park or the play centre or a playgroup, she pushes that little feeling of dread to the dark recesses of her mind and makes the effort for her little boy.
I know all of this because I saw her one day and knew exactly what she was going through. I knew every stab of failure chipping away at her confidence and so I sat next to her and said something trite like: “It’s not much fun for us mums here is it?”

She gave me a weak smile and carried on staring ahead at the swings. But I bulldozed on, talking rubbish, talking about the children’s programmes I’m forced to watch, the ‘treats’ I’m bound to be buying on the way home, the pile of washing I’ll have after this trip to the park.

Then, suddenly, she changed. A light sparked behind her eyes and she started chuckling along, joining in, adding stories.

After half an hour I knew how very lonely she had been for a very long time.
She moved to this area with no friends, no family and while her husband worked long hours, she stayed home with her son.
And it wasn’t the life she had dreamed of.

Is that you? Has that ever been you?
I found the school playground difficult. My son started at a school where I knew no one, not a single soul and while he ran in through those school gates on the first day all arms and legs, I hung behind, not wanting to crash in on little cliques forming around the edges of the playground, too shy to say hello.
Luckily there were parents there who noticed me and strolled over to break the ice and for that I am eternally grateful, because making friends is hard when you’re the new face on the scene.

Now I find myself in that position again as my daughter has started a nursery school and has been invited to one of her new friends’ birthday party.

She is SO excited. I am secretly dreading it. I know none of the parents there. Sure I say hello in the mornings and make small talk, but attending a party for two hours is a different kettle of fish altogether.

And then I start to panic that my reservations will somehow percolate over to my children and infect them with my insecurities and they too will feel more comfortable sat in the corner on their own than mixing with anyone who will listen.

I’m not that bad I suppose. My defence mechanism when I am shy is to talk. Talk talk talk talk talk. It’s to hide embarassing silences I suppose. Or to avoid giving anyone enough time to decide that actually they don’t like me!

SO I wonder, what are your experiences – good or bad – of making friends with other parents?

Picture: dsevilla

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66 Responses to Do you find it hard to make friends?

  1. Mama Dawg says:

    I find it hard to make friends as an adult and I don't know why. Of course, I also find that after a few conversations with some people, we don't have much in common and it's hard to find things to talk about. I live in a very small conservative highly religious southern town and I'm neither conservative or highly religious. So, I'm an odd man out. That's why I love blogging!

  2. Mama Dawg says:

    I find it hard to make friends as an adult and I don't know why. Of course, I also find that after a few conversations with some people, we don't have much in common and it's hard to find things to talk about. I live in a very small conservative highly religious southern town and I'm neither conservative or highly religious. So, I'm an odd man out. That's why I love blogging!

  3. ChurchPunkMom says:

    I have the same problems. 🙂

  4. ChurchPunkMom says:

    I have the same problems. 🙂

  5. Turf Dad says:

    OMG. I had to do a birthday party with my youngest once, by myself, no wife to do all the talking. Total hell. My wife is the talker in this marriage. I've had to learn how to look people in the eyes, smile, and act interested just so my wife doesn't look like she is with a total creep. So I'm better at those situations now. I learn a lot from her. I sometimes wonder what she learns from me. Besides gross stuff like belching and farting.

  6. Turf Dad says:

    OMG. I had to do a birthday party with my youngest once, by myself, no wife to do all the talking. Total hell. My wife is the talker in this marriage. I've had to learn how to look people in the eyes, smile, and act interested just so my wife doesn't look like she is with a total creep. So I'm better at those situations now. I learn a lot from her. I sometimes wonder what she learns from me. Besides gross stuff like belching and farting.

  7. New Mum, Same Old Me says:

    You should check out the post at http://wahm-bam.blogspot.com/2009/01/how-do-i-make-date-with-mum.htmlI found it difficult to find common ground with mums beyond the baby… but I think that's just like life in general. As we get older, we get more picky about who we have as friends because there's already so many other people in our lives.Just relax and be yourself. You're obviously funny, and a lot of people will be in the same boat.

  8. New Mum, Same Old Me says:

    You should check out the post at http://wahm-bam.blogspot.com/2009/01/how-do-i-make-date-with-mum.htmlI found it difficult to find common ground with mums beyond the baby… but I think that's just like life in general. As we get older, we get more picky about who we have as friends because there's already so many other people in our lives.Just relax and be yourself. You're obviously funny, and a lot of people will be in the same boat.

  9. Single Parent Dad says:

    I've been through this a couple of times, having moved to a new area, without knowing a sole. Moving twice in a short time as I was building a house.I found it difficult to begin with, but through myself in to all the playgroups I could find, and soon enough started getting invites to the extra curriculum stuff the moms organised.It has got even better since we've settled in our new village, and my son at its nursery. By seeing the same faces little but often, and with the children making friendships our network is growing. But I do still find it difficult when introduced to a new face.As a man I find myself not really approaching the new female faces for fear as coming across as anything other than innocent. Plus I prefer it when people already know my situation before I talk to them, as then I don't have to drop the bombshell.

  10. Single Parent Dad says:

    I've been through this a couple of times, having moved to a new area, without knowing a sole. Moving twice in a short time as I was building a house.I found it difficult to begin with, but through myself in to all the playgroups I could find, and soon enough started getting invites to the extra curriculum stuff the moms organised.It has got even better since we've settled in our new village, and my son at its nursery. By seeing the same faces little but often, and with the children making friendships our network is growing. But I do still find it difficult when introduced to a new face.As a man I find myself not really approaching the new female faces for fear as coming across as anything other than innocent. Plus I prefer it when people already know my situation before I talk to them, as then I don't have to drop the bombshell.

  11. TARA says:

    @MamaDawg: I think you've hit a nail on the head with the blogging comment. I think a lot of parents feel a sense of belonging and community when they write and visit other sites.Plus you pick up the best tips!Welcome, by the way. Lovely to have you here.x@ChurchPunkMum: Officially the best name I've seen in ages – we all HAVE to come visit you now!@Turf Dad: There is no doubt in my mind whatsoever that you bring more to the table than just belching and farting! Really interesting to hear this issue from a father's POV though. I can imagine a gaggle of mums at a party can seem totally intimidating!@New Mum, Same Old Me: Hello! Many thanks for visiting and commenting. You're right we do get pickier as we get older. I have a good friend who once told me she didn't want to be friends with another mum at her school because she had 'unnaturally large hands' – I KNOW I'm not that bad!@ Single Parent Dad: Thanks for visiting too."As a man I find myself not really approaching the new female faces for fear as coming across as anything other than innocent" – that is such an interesting point and I wonder how many other men feel that way?Your circumstances make me feel quite humble for moaning about struggling to make friends (and if you're all wondering what we're talking about you'll just have to pop over to SPD's place and find out!)I know my husband just flat refuses to take our children to their parties – "it's just not my thing" he says.But having said that, when my son had only been at school for two weeks he was invited to a party and he introduced me to his new best friend (and we haven't been able to separate them since!) and he was there with his dad who was sat in a corner reading the paper looking so uncomfortable, so it was an easy way for me to go over and talk.Our two families have been really close ever since.

  12. TARA says:

    @MamaDawg: I think you've hit a nail on the head with the blogging comment. I think a lot of parents feel a sense of belonging and community when they write and visit other sites.Plus you pick up the best tips!Welcome, by the way. Lovely to have you here.x@ChurchPunkMum: Officially the best name I've seen in ages – we all HAVE to come visit you now!@Turf Dad: There is no doubt in my mind whatsoever that you bring more to the table than just belching and farting! Really interesting to hear this issue from a father's POV though. I can imagine a gaggle of mums at a party can seem totally intimidating!@New Mum, Same Old Me: Hello! Many thanks for visiting and commenting. You're right we do get pickier as we get older. I have a good friend who once told me she didn't want to be friends with another mum at her school because she had 'unnaturally large hands' – I KNOW I'm not that bad!@ Single Parent Dad: Thanks for visiting too."As a man I find myself not really approaching the new female faces for fear as coming across as anything other than innocent" – that is such an interesting point and I wonder how many other men feel that way?Your circumstances make me feel quite humble for moaning about struggling to make friends (and if you're all wondering what we're talking about you'll just have to pop over to SPD's place and find out!)I know my husband just flat refuses to take our children to their parties – "it's just not my thing" he says.But having said that, when my son had only been at school for two weeks he was invited to a party and he introduced me to his new best friend (and we haven't been able to separate them since!) and he was there with his dad who was sat in a corner reading the paper looking so uncomfortable, so it was an easy way for me to go over and talk.Our two families have been really close ever since.

  13. The Panic Room says:

    I hideout and avoid eye contact and never approach anyone. It feels as awkward as dating did trying to make new friends. I have been outlining a post about this for weeks, since the last bad experience I had. It is very much like dating, the way you size up the other parents, exploring interests and tastes looking for compatibility. So funny.

  14. The Panic Room says:

    I hideout and avoid eye contact and never approach anyone. It feels as awkward as dating did trying to make new friends. I have been outlining a post about this for weeks, since the last bad experience I had. It is very much like dating, the way you size up the other parents, exploring interests and tastes looking for compatibility. So funny.

  15. Corey Schwartz says:

    UGH! I know the feeling. Something about the moms at my kids' preschool makes me feel like I am back in Junior High!

  16. Corey Schwartz says:

    UGH! I know the feeling. Something about the moms at my kids' preschool makes me feel like I am back in Junior High!

  17. Avlor says:

    It can be really tough making friends with other adults in new situations. Especially on the playground. Sometimes it's cliquish. Sometimes its just that we (especially me) don't have much in common with the other parents. I so feel for you and that sweet lonely lady. I've been there so many times. I've made a few friends with other parents at school, but everyone is so darned busy there's not alot of time to spare for getting together outside of school.

  18. Avlor says:

    It can be really tough making friends with other adults in new situations. Especially on the playground. Sometimes it's cliquish. Sometimes its just that we (especially me) don't have much in common with the other parents. I so feel for you and that sweet lonely lady. I've been there so many times. I've made a few friends with other parents at school, but everyone is so darned busy there's not alot of time to spare for getting together outside of school.

  19. Nicola says:

    Wow – isn't it amazing how many women experience the same thing? And kudos to you for chatting to the mum on the bench. I bet you made her day.All my friends pre-kids were made through work – spend over 8 hours a day with people and ultimately friendships develop. It took me years to develop mum friends and I am still struggling. Finding the time – and the common interests beyond having kids – is difficult. I too tend to yak, yak, yak people into submission out of desperation, or just pretend that I am totally immersed in my kids and have no time for adult conversation (tho the kids are getting to the age when this is becoming a less practical tactic…they simply don't want me to be involved in their games and own friendship making rituals). This is definitely the loneliest 'job' I have ever had.

  20. Nicola says:

    Wow – isn't it amazing how many women experience the same thing? And kudos to you for chatting to the mum on the bench. I bet you made her day.All my friends pre-kids were made through work – spend over 8 hours a day with people and ultimately friendships develop. It took me years to develop mum friends and I am still struggling. Finding the time – and the common interests beyond having kids – is difficult. I too tend to yak, yak, yak people into submission out of desperation, or just pretend that I am totally immersed in my kids and have no time for adult conversation (tho the kids are getting to the age when this is becoming a less practical tactic…they simply don't want me to be involved in their games and own friendship making rituals). This is definitely the loneliest 'job' I have ever had.

  21. Mothership says:

    It's really hard to make friends with other mothers, I find, even though where I live other parents are often extremely friendly. This may seem like a contradiction in terms but it really isn't. Just because our lives may be dominated by childcare doesn't mean that we necessarily will have any beliefs, values or interests in common with other people we encounter in the same situation beyond loving our individual offspring. I also really often feel pressure to conform to some kind of maternal behavioral ideal that has little to do with who I really am or who, I suspect, a lot of people really are. I wrote a post about this a while back. I'll link to it.

  22. Mothership says:

    It's really hard to make friends with other mothers, I find, even though where I live other parents are often extremely friendly. This may seem like a contradiction in terms but it really isn't. Just because our lives may be dominated by childcare doesn't mean that we necessarily will have any beliefs, values or interests in common with other people we encounter in the same situation beyond loving our individual offspring. I also really often feel pressure to conform to some kind of maternal behavioral ideal that has little to do with who I really am or who, I suspect, a lot of people really are. I wrote a post about this a while back. I'll link to it.

  23. Coding Mamma (Tasha) says:

    As you know, I also have this problem (and NMSOM kindly posted a link to my post about this subject). Clearly there are boatloads of other mums – and dads, it would seem – who have the same problem. Oddly, I'm fine at talking in the playground and have also gone up to that mum and chatted to her (obviously not the exact same one) until she started smiling and properly chatting back. I can chat away to most mums in the playground or at the swimming pool. I have lots of topics to talk about, depending on the age of their children – breastfeeding, baby-led weaning and sleep habits; toddler tantrums, potty training and sleep habits; school choices, eating habits and sleeping habits… But I can't take it further than that. I can't bring myself to say to the mum I see all the time in the playground down the road 'Hey, if it's raining or snowing, why not bring your son round to play at our place?' or 'I thought I'd have a few local mums round for coffee next week. Do you fancy it?'. Just can't do it. I tie my stomach up in knots planning to and then completely fail. I'm sure the birthday party will turn out fine and hopefully you'll make lots of new friends (and get their numbers!). (For some reason, yours and Mother than just a mother's posts appear late on my blogroll, but then appear down below ones I've already seen. I keep coming late to the party, it's very odd.)

  24. Coding Mamma (Tasha) says:

    As you know, I also have this problem (and NMSOM kindly posted a link to my post about this subject). Clearly there are boatloads of other mums – and dads, it would seem – who have the same problem. Oddly, I'm fine at talking in the playground and have also gone up to that mum and chatted to her (obviously not the exact same one) until she started smiling and properly chatting back. I can chat away to most mums in the playground or at the swimming pool. I have lots of topics to talk about, depending on the age of their children – breastfeeding, baby-led weaning and sleep habits; toddler tantrums, potty training and sleep habits; school choices, eating habits and sleeping habits… But I can't take it further than that. I can't bring myself to say to the mum I see all the time in the playground down the road 'Hey, if it's raining or snowing, why not bring your son round to play at our place?' or 'I thought I'd have a few local mums round for coffee next week. Do you fancy it?'. Just can't do it. I tie my stomach up in knots planning to and then completely fail. I'm sure the birthday party will turn out fine and hopefully you'll make lots of new friends (and get their numbers!). (For some reason, yours and Mother than just a mother's posts appear late on my blogroll, but then appear down below ones I've already seen. I keep coming late to the party, it's very odd.)

  25. I don't usually find it hard to make friends but I have found mothers here in Nappy Valley quite cliquish. I am a fairly sociable person, and will start chatting to people in the playground at the drop of a hat, but I notice that they rarely start conversations. They usually travel in packs, whereas I am often alone at the playground (mainly because most of my mum friends work and we don't have the same days off.) Having said that, when I AM with friends I probably stick to my friends too. Maybe we should all be a bit friendlier.I'm hoping that when we move to the States the mums will be much more friendly, as I won't know a soul…does anyone have any experience of this?

  26. I don't usually find it hard to make friends but I have found mothers here in Nappy Valley quite cliquish. I am a fairly sociable person, and will start chatting to people in the playground at the drop of a hat, but I notice that they rarely start conversations. They usually travel in packs, whereas I am often alone at the playground (mainly because most of my mum friends work and we don't have the same days off.) Having said that, when I AM with friends I probably stick to my friends too. Maybe we should all be a bit friendlier.I'm hoping that when we move to the States the mums will be much more friendly, as I won't know a soul…does anyone have any experience of this?

  27. Potty Mummy says:

    I'm like you Tara; initially quite shy but just try and talk my way through it. I used to be like that lady in your playground, but – luckily before children arrived – I realised how much time I was wasting and that other people generally want to be friendly if you can bring yourself to make the effort. It's tough to take that first step, though.

  28. Potty Mummy says:

    I'm like you Tara; initially quite shy but just try and talk my way through it. I used to be like that lady in your playground, but – luckily before children arrived – I realised how much time I was wasting and that other people generally want to be friendly if you can bring yourself to make the effort. It's tough to take that first step, though.

  29. Home Office Mum says:

    If you asked my friends or family whether I am shy, they'd probably choke in their mirth. They think I am super outgoing and gregarious. It's a front. I'm not. I obviously can't be shy because otherwise I would be like the women you describe in the park. But I put what I call 'My PR face' on. I turn on my inner social butterfly and talk. And even so, I wouldn't call it making friends, rather making acquaintances. I've lived here for 6 years now and I still have very few real friends.

  30. Home Office Mum says:

    If you asked my friends or family whether I am shy, they'd probably choke in their mirth. They think I am super outgoing and gregarious. It's a front. I'm not. I obviously can't be shy because otherwise I would be like the women you describe in the park. But I put what I call 'My PR face' on. I turn on my inner social butterfly and talk. And even so, I wouldn't call it making friends, rather making acquaintances. I've lived here for 6 years now and I still have very few real friends.

  31. Tricia says:

    Your generosity by engaging the other mom in conversation is wonderful. I'm naturally an introvert and it's exhausting for me to morph myself into an extrovert in mommy-social situations, but I keep plugging away and find that the more I engage, the more fun my son gets to have.

  32. Tricia says:

    Your generosity by engaging the other mom in conversation is wonderful. I'm naturally an introvert and it's exhausting for me to morph myself into an extrovert in mommy-social situations, but I keep plugging away and find that the more I engage, the more fun my son gets to have.

  33. GreenJello says:

    Not the life the other mum wanted…Wow. That's the line I totally identified with. I am living a life right now that is completely different than I ever imagined (or, in some ways, wanted…). I am content, but it sure is different than I dreamed.

  34. GreenJello says:

    Not the life the other mum wanted…Wow. That's the line I totally identified with. I am living a life right now that is completely different than I ever imagined (or, in some ways, wanted…). I am content, but it sure is different than I dreamed.

  35. CK Lunchbox says:

    Oh Tara, you so nailed this feeling. I am horrible, just horrible at this and not just with other parents. At the bus stop I position myself in such a way so the other parents won't strike up a conversation, and I start asking the girls weird questions so we look engaged in conversation. If I arrive at the bus stop too early to pick up the girls, I'll actually pretend to be talking on my cell phone. Dear "Lois" is even worse, suffering from mild social anxiety which has sometimes led to panic attacks. In gatherings, we tend to be our own codependent support system, latching on to one another. Here's the kicker. When we are forced to engage others it tends to be a very pleasant conversation. "Lois" is like you, talking forever, but then berates herself for it later on. Of course my mechanism is humor – just keep 'em laughing. Everyone absolutely loves my wife upon meeting her usually describing her as warm, engaging and easy to up to. Of course we both have Adult ADD which has some pretty interesting characteristics and behavioral patterns, one of which being a strong feeling of not belonging. In other words, no matter how integrated you may be into a group – church, work, organizations, etc – you always feel like an outsider. "Lois" and I both believe this which only adds to our apprehensiveness in meeting people. Sorry for the ramblings. You just did a really good job of describing this.

  36. CK Lunchbox says:

    Oh Tara, you so nailed this feeling. I am horrible, just horrible at this and not just with other parents. At the bus stop I position myself in such a way so the other parents won't strike up a conversation, and I start asking the girls weird questions so we look engaged in conversation. If I arrive at the bus stop too early to pick up the girls, I'll actually pretend to be talking on my cell phone. Dear "Lois" is even worse, suffering from mild social anxiety which has sometimes led to panic attacks. In gatherings, we tend to be our own codependent support system, latching on to one another. Here's the kicker. When we are forced to engage others it tends to be a very pleasant conversation. "Lois" is like you, talking forever, but then berates herself for it later on. Of course my mechanism is humor – just keep 'em laughing. Everyone absolutely loves my wife upon meeting her usually describing her as warm, engaging and easy to up to. Of course we both have Adult ADD which has some pretty interesting characteristics and behavioral patterns, one of which being a strong feeling of not belonging. In other words, no matter how integrated you may be into a group – church, work, organizations, etc – you always feel like an outsider. "Lois" and I both believe this which only adds to our apprehensiveness in meeting people. Sorry for the ramblings. You just did a really good job of describing this.

  37. Christina says:

    That "other mom" is me – or at least, it used to. I was painfully shy and awkward. I've forced myself to come out of my shell somewhat and I do have a circle of friends…but I still struggle with it. It's hard!

  38. Christina says:

    That "other mom" is me – or at least, it used to. I was painfully shy and awkward. I've forced myself to come out of my shell somewhat and I do have a circle of friends…but I still struggle with it. It's hard!

  39. TARA says:

    Some absolutely fabulous comments there you guys.It's really quite a relief to see that so many others – mums and dads – feel the same and I'm not such a social pariah!CK, clearly you and your wife are made for each other! I know exactly how Lois feels – I too am the jackety jack jacker and then I come home convinced everyone thinks I'm some kind of idiot for talking too much.You ramble on my friend!

  40. TARA says:

    Some absolutely fabulous comments there you guys.It's really quite a relief to see that so many others – mums and dads – feel the same and I'm not such a social pariah!CK, clearly you and your wife are made for each other! I know exactly how Lois feels – I too am the jackety jack jacker and then I come home convinced everyone thinks I'm some kind of idiot for talking too much.You ramble on my friend!

  41. that girl? says:

    Tara… what a lovely post and beautifully written! I'm like you and will go into babble mode when shy. I have to admit that I'm dreading when Small Child starts school as its taken me two and a half years to get to know the nursery/preschool mums! I know it will add to my feeling of inner emptiness as I watch her go off into school. I think you were lovely to make friends with that lady… I would have done the same.

  42. that girl? says:

    Tara… what a lovely post and beautifully written! I'm like you and will go into babble mode when shy. I have to admit that I'm dreading when Small Child starts school as its taken me two and a half years to get to know the nursery/preschool mums! I know it will add to my feeling of inner emptiness as I watch her go off into school. I think you were lovely to make friends with that lady… I would have done the same.

  43. Vered - MomGrind says:

    I don't really have trouble reaching out to people and making friends. I find that when you make eye contact, smile and start talking, most parents are happy to engage in a conversation with you. Of course, it's easier to approach someone who sits alone than join a group of parents. Having said that, I'm an introvert, which means I often feel the need to retreat from socializing while the other parent still enjoys the conversation. I never really found a solution to that.

  44. Vered - MomGrind says:

    I don't really have trouble reaching out to people and making friends. I find that when you make eye contact, smile and start talking, most parents are happy to engage in a conversation with you. Of course, it's easier to approach someone who sits alone than join a group of parents. Having said that, I'm an introvert, which means I often feel the need to retreat from socializing while the other parent still enjoys the conversation. I never really found a solution to that.

  45. Adrenalynn says:

    I'm just like you-whenever I feel insecure or nervous I start yapping like a madman… and I actually end up going over and over the conversations in my mind afterwards, wondering why I didn't shut up more and just take a deep breath instead! I mean, most people aren't as secure and relaxed as they seem and know exactly what it feels like to be the new kid in school! I'm so impressed you actually went over and talked to that lady, what an amazing thing to do. You probably made her week. I would've been so worried about what to say that I probably wouldn't, when apparently she really needed someone to connect with.

  46. Adrenalynn says:

    I'm just like you-whenever I feel insecure or nervous I start yapping like a madman… and I actually end up going over and over the conversations in my mind afterwards, wondering why I didn't shut up more and just take a deep breath instead! I mean, most people aren't as secure and relaxed as they seem and know exactly what it feels like to be the new kid in school! I'm so impressed you actually went over and talked to that lady, what an amazing thing to do. You probably made her week. I would've been so worried about what to say that I probably wouldn't, when apparently she really needed someone to connect with.

  47. Tracy says:

    Sometimes I find it hard to break into already established groups. It seems like so many here have known each other from birth, and while I don't think they mean to give me the cold shoulder it's hard to feel a part of the conversation. I've had much better luck making friends when it's just one on one.

  48. Tracy says:

    Sometimes I find it hard to break into already established groups. It seems like so many here have known each other from birth, and while I don't think they mean to give me the cold shoulder it's hard to feel a part of the conversation. I've had much better luck making friends when it's just one on one.

  49. Patricia says:

    Everyone I met thought I was my kids Grandmother that was the first strike and then someone would tell out loud what I did for a living and the room would go silent. My older children are introverts and most parties were too long for them and they just wished kids would like them and maybe sometime give them presents at a party….We were never successful at having more than about 2 or 3 able to make a birthday party – now our Halloween parties a totally different storyOur youngest child always wanted to go to birthday parties and sleep overs and is an extrovert, and I had to go along to keep her in control…literally…lots of kids were afraid of her because of her cleft palate, but she could subdue the whole crowd if there was a piano – by 9 she knew all the favorite songs to play…Parents always felt like they had to put up with me…or that I would pass judgments…then my partner never came along …but on the playground and on politics and family needs – I could wax eloquently and powerfully and was always sought out…so I usually posted my self beside the lone parent on the bench…draw them in…we did not lack…Tomorrow my baby will be 23 Yikes!

  50. Patricia says:

    Everyone I met thought I was my kids Grandmother that was the first strike and then someone would tell out loud what I did for a living and the room would go silent. My older children are introverts and most parties were too long for them and they just wished kids would like them and maybe sometime give them presents at a party….We were never successful at having more than about 2 or 3 able to make a birthday party – now our Halloween parties a totally different storyOur youngest child always wanted to go to birthday parties and sleep overs and is an extrovert, and I had to go along to keep her in control…literally…lots of kids were afraid of her because of her cleft palate, but she could subdue the whole crowd if there was a piano – by 9 she knew all the favorite songs to play…Parents always felt like they had to put up with me…or that I would pass judgments…then my partner never came along …but on the playground and on politics and family needs – I could wax eloquently and powerfully and was always sought out…so I usually posted my self beside the lone parent on the bench…draw them in…we did not lack…Tomorrow my baby will be 23 Yikes!

  51. Jonny's Mommy says:

    You would think that we would reach a point in our lives where we wouldn't feel like that…when we decide that we are adults and we don't have to feel like kids anymore. When does that happen again?I could so relate to this post. This happens with my son when we go to the playground and I don't know anyone and just kind of hang off to the side and not talk to anyone. Great post and very, very thought provoking.

  52. Jonny's Mommy says:

    You would think that we would reach a point in our lives where we wouldn't feel like that…when we decide that we are adults and we don't have to feel like kids anymore. When does that happen again?I could so relate to this post. This happens with my son when we go to the playground and I don't know anyone and just kind of hang off to the side and not talk to anyone. Great post and very, very thought provoking.

  53. DJ Kirkby says:

    That woman is me! Also I have no experience of making friends with other parents, I don't know how and I suspect that at 41 it is too late to learn, I certaintly no longer have the inclination to do so. Do I mind? I tell myself no…

  54. DJ Kirkby says:

    That woman is me! Also I have no experience of making friends with other parents, I don't know how and I suspect that at 41 it is too late to learn, I certaintly no longer have the inclination to do so. Do I mind? I tell myself no…

  55. Nicole says:

    Great post! I remember that well and then I came out of my shell. I am usually the one to start up a conversation now!

  56. Nicole says:

    Great post! I remember that well and then I came out of my shell. I am usually the one to start up a conversation now!

  57. Sparx says:

    I used to be so wrapped up in insecurities and shyness that I couldn't talk to anyone. I prescribe 10 years of bartending… after that you can talk to anyone, anytime!

  58. Sparx says:

    I used to be so wrapped up in insecurities and shyness that I couldn't talk to anyone. I prescribe 10 years of bartending… after that you can talk to anyone, anytime!

  59. Working mum says:

    You mean some people find it easy?! I thought it was normal to find it difficult, now you've made me feel different.I try to get over it by thinking up questions to ask people before I go to social occasions (children's birthday parties are the only 'social occasions' I go to now). Then I can engage people in conversation without feeling awkward, but I do have to work at it.

  60. Working mum says:

    You mean some people find it easy?! I thought it was normal to find it difficult, now you've made me feel different.I try to get over it by thinking up questions to ask people before I go to social occasions (children's birthday parties are the only 'social occasions' I go to now). Then I can engage people in conversation without feeling awkward, but I do have to work at it.

  61. Liz@Violet Posy says:

    That was so me when dd was little! I'd moved from Surrey to Cambridgeshire when I got married. I worked in an all male environment when I was pg and all my friends and family were in Surrey. When dd was about 10 months old I realised that the only person I'd spoken to for 2 months other than my dh was the lady who served me at Tesco's every week.It was horrible, but I managed to force myself to go to clubs and talk to people. I'm still not brilliant at it and I'm not one of the mum's in the school gate 'gang' but I can at least say hi to them and pass the time of day. It's not easy though.

  62. Liz@Violet Posy says:

    That was so me when dd was little! I'd moved from Surrey to Cambridgeshire when I got married. I worked in an all male environment when I was pg and all my friends and family were in Surrey. When dd was about 10 months old I realised that the only person I'd spoken to for 2 months other than my dh was the lady who served me at Tesco's every week.It was horrible, but I managed to force myself to go to clubs and talk to people. I'm still not brilliant at it and I'm not one of the mum's in the school gate 'gang' but I can at least say hi to them and pass the time of day. It's not easy though.

  63. Keri says:

    I have 2 close friends,that funnily enough i met through my kids being @ nursery and school,i was worried about what 2 say,but i made the effort and years later we're still friends!It was HARD,but i did it!I was like that,yapping away to cover up silences,in fact i still am a bit like that,but the more u get to know someone,the silences become more comfortable,so i don't do that as much now!I'd probably end up taking a load of rubbish if i did:)The key to making and KEEPING friends is to ask OPEN ENDED questions,then you'll probably find you and your (friend/friend to be)talking for hours!!Which i do!God you can't shut me up once i start now!lol!!I feel better in myself having friends,to feel liked and included!!I think that was a LOVELY thing that you did talking to that woman in the park,if you see her again,do the same thing,them as time goes on HOPEFULLY you'll BOTH have a new friend!!

  64. Keri says:

    I have 2 close friends,that funnily enough i met through my kids being @ nursery and school,i was worried about what 2 say,but i made the effort and years later we're still friends!It was HARD,but i did it!I was like that,yapping away to cover up silences,in fact i still am a bit like that,but the more u get to know someone,the silences become more comfortable,so i don't do that as much now!I'd probably end up taking a load of rubbish if i did:)The key to making and KEEPING friends is to ask OPEN ENDED questions,then you'll probably find you and your (friend/friend to be)talking for hours!!Which i do!God you can't shut me up once i start now!lol!!I feel better in myself having friends,to feel liked and included!!I think that was a LOVELY thing that you did talking to that woman in the park,if you see her again,do the same thing,them as time goes on HOPEFULLY you'll BOTH have a new friend!!

  65. susan says:

    im sitting here in tears I've never really had any friends very quiet and shy as a child which carried on into adulthood i so hate tv shows like sex in the city i would kill to have close friends you get married have kids work know people but never close and i don't know why im a nice person i would do anything for anyone it seems like all the bitchs are the ones in big groups and i don't know how to be one im a little past it these days but my once confident outgoing son can't seem to make any friends at uni and since splitting up with his girlfriend of 3years and now being the only single one in his group that have all been together since high school he's finding it all so hard and lonely and its killing me that i can't help him never thought he would feel for one second how I've felt my whole life well just having a worried moan to someone out there has helped take care x

  66. susan says:

    never done this before typing with one finger without punctuation as im sure you can all tell xx

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