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AIBU

Dil has no friends.

(57 Posts)
kircubbin2000 Mon 29-Nov-21 21:38:26

She always asks me how she can make friends but has not taken my advice. She is from a far eastern country and sometimes it is hard to understand her.
I have suggested a group of foreign women on Facebook but she thinks they will all be lesbians, another group meet in the pub but she doesn't drink. She did try a ukulele group but they were all hippy types.
I'm beginning to think she doesn't really want to make the effort and her latest thought is that everyone is racist.
I don't know what more I can do to help her.

Hithere Wed 01-Dec-21 10:44:25

Let's not forget how difficult is to make friends

The wives have to get along, together with the husbands - double whammy there

If there are kids in involved, the kids have to want to be friends too.

It is a matter of time she will find the right people for friendships, she is not in college or school where it is so much easier

Madgran77 Wed 01-Dec-21 09:34:00

But she s making assumptions because she’s scared and trying to find a justifiable reason why she can’t

Yes that is a wise point Bluebelle

Germanshepherdsmum Tue 30-Nov-21 22:44:54

Not where I worked eb.

BlueBelle Tue 30-Nov-21 22:42:32

But she s making assumptions because she’s scared and trying to find a justifiable reason why she can’t go to all these things being suggested She needs one friend not hundreds ….others will follow
If she’s not only got a job ( no mean feat in a foreign country) but keeping it and doing well then her accent can’t be that bad
Is she living near you ?
How long has she been in U.K.? Maybe you re not giving her time
You mention her sister, is she here too or do you mean in phone conversation
It’s not all about language she may have very different ideas about things a different take on things a different upbringing she may not be Westernised ( lucky some might say)
R maybe you’re trying to hard and just let her settle and things will happen as time goes on

Madgran77 Tue 30-Nov-21 20:47:57

Secretaries did wear smart suits when I started work in the 1960s, and for many years afterwards.

Yes, that would be my impression too!

Calistemon Tue 30-Nov-21 18:48:44

Madgran77

Calistemon I misunderstood your point, yes expansion would have stopped me doing that. I tend to agree about odd assumptions!

No problem, Madgran 🙂

eazybee Tue 30-Nov-21 18:46:30

Secretaries did wear smart suits when I started work in the 1960s, and for many years afterwards.

Madgran77 Tue 30-Nov-21 17:28:27

Isnt the daughter in law also making assumptions about others? It cuts both ways

Apparently so. One doesn't cancel the other!

Madgran77 Tue 30-Nov-21 17:27:13

Secretaries didn’t usually wear smart black suits where I worked back then, but as you wish Mg

Ok!.

MissAdventure Tue 30-Nov-21 17:21:53

Isnt the daughter in law also making assumptions about others?
It cuts both ways.

Germanshepherdsmum Tue 30-Nov-21 17:19:10

Secretaries didn’t usually wear smart black suits where I worked back then, but as you wish Mg.

Madgran77 Tue 30-Nov-21 16:55:03

No different to when I was a young solicitor and despite traditional black suit was often mistaken for a secretary but at least that was the 70s

I think it is different. A secretary might well wear a black suit whereas a cleaner wouldn't be wearing a silk dress.

Madgran77 Tue 30-Nov-21 16:53:04

Calistemon I misunderstood your point, yes expansion would have stopped me doing that. I tend to agree about odd assumptions!

Calistemon Tue 30-Nov-21 15:55:27

Typo - an odd assumption

Calistemon Tue 30-Nov-21 15:54:48

Madgran77

*but I think perhaps she is right about the racism as strangers presume she must be a cleaner or an unskilled worker.*
That's rather odd; I wouldn't worry about what strangers think and there's nothing wrong with being a cleaner or any kind of unskilled worker anyway!

The IS nothing wrong with being a cleaner or an unskilled worker. However making an assumption about that is not on and is based on racist assumptions, inadvertent/unconscious or otherwise, and even if it is a stranger it is hardly likely to make DIL feel welcome/confident!

A close friend, who is a successful headteacher and whose parents were part of the Windrush Generation has lost count of the number of times she has been mistaken for a cleaner/kitchen staff/serving staff when walking into other schools/conferences in hotels etc! That happening, despite being dressed in very smart clothes, silk dresses, tailored jackets, stunning trouser suits - hardly what one would wear when cleaning/cooking!!

Madgran I did say it was rather odd ie rather an add assumption to make.

Perhaps I should have expanded that point as you did
🙂

There are several rather strange assumptions on this thread.
In fact, it's rather strange altogether.

Germanshepherdsmum Tue 30-Nov-21 12:44:28

No different to when I was a young solicitor and despite traditional black suit was often mistaken for a secretary but at least that was the 70s

Madgran77 Tue 30-Nov-21 12:28:27

but I think perhaps she is right about the racism as strangers presume she must be a cleaner or an unskilled worker.
That's rather odd; I wouldn't worry about what strangers think and there's nothing wrong with being a cleaner or any kind of unskilled worker anyway!

The IS nothing wrong with being a cleaner or an unskilled worker. However making an assumption about that is not on and is based on racist assumptions, inadvertent/unconscious or otherwise, and even if it is a stranger it is hardly likely to make DIL feel welcome/confident!

A close friend, who is a successful headteacher and whose parents were part of the Windrush Generation has lost count of the number of times she has been mistaken for a cleaner/kitchen staff/serving staff when walking into other schools/conferences in hotels etc! That happening, despite being dressed in very smart clothes, silk dresses, tailored jackets, stunning trouser suits - hardly what one would wear when cleaning/cooking!!

kircubbin2000 Tue 30-Nov-21 11:38:57

Hetty58

I asked my DIL why she didn't chat with the people next door here - as they were from the same country. (If I were abroad and heard an English voice, I'd introduce myself.)

'Oh no' she said 'I'm a city girl and they're just country folk!' I gave up at that point. I think cultural differences are quite distinct and we underestimate them.

Thats very true Hetty. She has been to church a few times but a lot of the ladies here are quite snobbish ie my hubby the surgeon etc.She found that quite funny!
Sometimes there is no answer to the problems on GN but it is interesting to get replies. My son has done a lot with her, introduced her to his lovely cousin etc but most people are busy with work and own families.I think this is true for any age or nationality.

DerbyshireLass Tue 30-Nov-21 11:38:48

Sorry for the typos.😂. I really must check my posts before hitting the send button. And of course it should read LBGT and not LBQT.

Apologies.

DerbyshireLass Tue 30-Nov-21 11:27:24

As for her appearance, if it is letting her down then yes it does need to be addressed.

Like it or not we do live in a lookist society and appearance does matter.

We have 7 seconds to make a impression, and that first impression is the one that counts.

And as the old saying goes....."you only have one chance to make a good first impression".

Dressing well and looking ones best is also a confidence booster as is good posture.

You don't have to wear the height of fashion and be dolled up to the nines, but nice clean clothes, a flattering hair cut and maybe a bit of make up can make a huge difference to how a person feels and to how they perform.

Neglecting one's appearance is often a sign of depression. If she is feeling homesick, lonely and isolated she may well be feeling some low level depression.

DerbyshireLass Tue 30-Nov-21 11:17:54

Communication skills are key here. She may be able to understand English and might be able to speak it at a functional level, enough to do her job but if she does have a strong accent that people cannot understand then it will hold her back, both in her career and at a social level.

I too would recommend voice training or what we used to call elocution lessons to help soften her accent. Also English classes. That would probably be enough for starters. Also the family taking her out and about as much as possible, covid permitting obviously.

Simply advising her to join groups won't really help. It's bad enough for quiet shy people to join groups of strangers let alone someone with language issues.

I also think that you mustn't minimise cultural differences, religious teachings etc Some cultures do take a very dim view of LBQT issues.. We Brits are very tolerant on such matters, not all other countries are.

We might think it wrong and narrow minded but she can't help the way she was brought up. Hopefully as she becomes more integrated in British Society she will become more tolerant and open minded.

A lot of her reticence to integrate with those of different racial, cultural backgrounds will be due to fear and nervousness. The only way round it is education. As she integrates and assimilates into the British way of life she will begin to broaden her mind.

But she needs help.

How much do you know about her culture, her history, her family. Encourage her to talk about herself and get her to open up. That way it will be easier to learn "what floats her boat" and find activities, groups etc she can join. But not yet, she's not ready,

Right now just joining any old group, hoping something might stick is not the best way forward. Top priority is for her to improve her communication skills. Until that happens she will just feel isolated and lonely.

My mother came to the U.K. in 1949 as a war bride with not a word of English. She lived in the Black Country at first. She taught herself English, there were no classes available. She spoke perfect English, with just a slice trace of her home accent, none of the Black Country.

I asked her how come she spoke such good English without any trace of a Black Country accent. She said she copied the people on the BBC because she figured they would be the best speakers so she did her best to emulate them,

It might sound snobby to suggest elocution lessons but trust me she won't end up sounding too "plummy". I took them as a child to help me overcome a stutter and although I'm often told I have a nice speaking voice, I don not, want of a better word, come over as too posh or plummy. My speech is just clear and easily understood, which is what she needs to aim for.

Caleo Tue 30-Nov-21 10:47:30

Calistemon, it's snobbish world, and if the young woman tries to look like her social class she will integrate better. It is normal immediately to judge from appearances.

I agree that English classes would help. If her English pronunciation is poor this needs attending to if she is to make friends more easily.

Hetty58 Tue 30-Nov-21 10:47:08

Some people just don't feel the need to join groups - or even have close friends. Perhaps she'd find things easier if she was involved in volunteering or learning about a hobby. There she might find company while doing something useful - without that immediate pressure of launching into conversations.

Hetty58 Tue 30-Nov-21 10:40:13

I asked my DIL why she didn't chat with the people next door here - as they were from the same country. (If I were abroad and heard an English voice, I'd introduce myself.)

'Oh no' she said 'I'm a city girl and they're just country folk!' I gave up at that point. I think cultural differences are quite distinct and we underestimate them.

luluaugust Tue 30-Nov-21 09:59:54

Unless you live in a big town or city I can see this is very difficult as most villages don't have the kinds of groups she needs. I can only really think of the WI as the pub and presumably the church are out.. If you are somewhere larger then English as a second language maybe available at the adult education centre, where of course there will be all sorts of other groups.I do think her OH should make a big effort on her behalf and arrange meet ups with his friends and the wider family. I suppose at present all groups are not necessarily up and running.