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Developing a thick skin

(45 Posts)
Allsorts Thu 22-Jun-23 06:16:04

How do people keep so many groups of friends for years? I can't do it. Invariably someone gets left out or two or three find fault with someone, whilst all the time keeping the friendship going. I find it too hard, I take it to heart. I must be very insecure.' Can see it happening now in one group I am fond of.

Whitewavemark2 Thu 22-Jun-23 06:47:21

Ignore the nonsense and just enjoy the friendship, or if it gets too silly, drop out.

That’s what I do. I never get involved - can’t be bothered with it.

NotSpaghetti Thu 22-Jun-23 07:28:46

Some of us don't have "groups of friends" hence no similar problems.
My friends are not involved with each-other. Some do know each-other but I don't meet them as "groups" at all.

Blondiescot Thu 22-Jun-23 07:32:38

Just be thankful you have friends. Many don't.

fancythat Thu 22-Jun-23 07:53:13

There are fallouts, yes.
I think after a while you know each others faults. And generally, when a fallout happens, one person will be out of step.
But there are more things to unite than pull apart.
So the rest brush it off as, oh so and so has done such and such. eye roll..

Larger groups of say above 6 or 8 may be a bit of a different matter.
Helps if there is at least one person who is keen and able to sort things out and keep peace.

M0nica Thu 22-Jun-23 07:54:56

I am another who does not have groups of friends, except where we are linked by a common interest, like attending the same class or belonging to the same special interest society.

In these cases the common link is the special interest, which means things do not get too personal because of the overriding need to run the society, or the group.

My relationship with my personal friends tends to be on a one-to-one basis

Redhead56 Thu 22-Jun-23 07:59:19

I grew a thick skin years ago especially when I was younger with fair weather friends. I moved on from there as you do with life experiences for me it was divorce.

I have a few true friends I have known for over forty years. Our children grew up together they are trust worthy and genuine friends. We see each other for drinks meals out coffees etc to fit in with our family commitments.

We made friends at a club we go to but we don’t socialise with them outside the club.

Gingster Thu 22-Jun-23 08:02:44

I have several groups of friends. Some going back nearly 70 , 50 years, others 40 years, some more recent but all are lovely good friends. No one ever falls out, maybe a difference of opinion but that’s good . Surely as we get older little niggles don’t matter. Go with the flow and bend with the wind, is my motto.

Georgesgran Thu 22-Jun-23 08:09:57

Like others, my friends are aware of, but don’t really know each other and I see them on a one to one basis. Thinking back, I’ve not made new friends for years (suits me).
Being part of a group isn’t for me anyway, I suspect there might be a bit of backbiting and gossip between individuals and falling outs - too much hassle.
I value my friends and hope we can continue to support each other, as and when.

NotSpaghetti Thu 22-Jun-23 08:19:37

I suppose M0nica the people I meet in activity/interest groups are not "groups of friends" in my mind (however friendly). There is a "group of friends " in that sense at the swimming pool I have used for s few years - but only one of the people I met there I think of as a friend.

seadragon Thu 22-Jun-23 08:27:34

Although I have moved around a great deal, both as a child and as an adult, I have a friend or two dating back to my childhood, several from those years of parenting and still more from my work which I took up when DS & DD approached their teens in the 1980's. These groups have occasionally interacted either with each other or with family members. I see some individually and others, like the friends of our early parenthood, I tend to see as a group, but on one memorable occasion included in a book club I'd set up introducing them to folk from work and hosted in the home of a new friend. There was no second meeting...I value all my friendships equally but have always been surprised when these friends sometimes clash with each other as I love them all.... I've also noticed I am the only one that seems to be able to organise any group gatherings.... I have tried leaving it to others but nothing happens. However if I give a time and place they all come.... I was half listening to a Radio 4 programme recently about (male?) friendships and one chap said you have to make time for your friends and be proactive. Another, who I think had 2 women as his "Best Man" at his wedding as he realised he had no close male friends, said he'd asked an acquaintance who seemed to have lots of friends how he managed it. The answer was this chap saw himself as his friendship group's 'Sherpa' organising meet ups and trips away. I suspect I may have misremembered bits of the programme but these are the concepts that I registered. I mention this as, during the pandemic I managed to organise only one gathering because, like so many, we had major health and other issues throughout the past 4 years. Few if any, apart from family have phoned to see if we are OK. I heard from an acquaintance that one of the long established 'parenting' group had mentioned to him that she had not seen me for a while and wondered whether I was OK. She was across the road from our house on an organized walk with him at the time!! I have not been phoning people because I found that I overshare if I bump into a friend in the street because of all the challenges our family has struggled with since 2019. Fortunately we are beginning to see daylight at last so we have had 2 lots of visitors and a whole family gathering and I am going to resume my "Sherpa" role and start ringing round my friends and arranging things again whether they like it or not!!

NotSpaghetti Thu 22-Jun-23 08:37:17

I remember that programme seadragon. It was really interesting. I wonder how he got on?..

LRavenscroft Thu 22-Jun-23 08:45:16

One of the groups I belong too used to run well at up to ten people (we are an arty group) but now that the people who run it have decided to increase numbers up to 14, including some much younger people in their 30s, we are starting to splinter off. The young people stick together in one corner and Mrs Sparkle continues to put herself forward for every conceivable event and task as she is a crony of the couple who run the group. They go out on location in all weathers and also have dinners where all sorts of food intolerances have to be catered for. It is getting to 'heavy' for me so I think I shall be leaving by the end of the summer and the 'friendship' basis has now been so badly disrupted that, for me, it is not sustainable. It has got to a size where it needs to be regulated.

Kate1949 Thu 22-Jun-23 09:33:18

I don't really have friends (by choice). I have the odd ex colleague who asks to meet up occasionally which I find a bit of an annoyance. Yes I know I'm odd but I don't feel the need for friends. I am close to my two sisters so thats enough for me.

GrannyGravy13 Thu 22-Jun-23 10:30:09

We have a wide circle of friends, and yes they all know each other as they have been to our wedding, children’s christenings, 0 birthdays along with 18/21st birthdays of children.

A lot of friendships were formed when we were both involved in a national charity, my two longest standing girlfriends I have known since I was 16 and 22, one of DH’s friends I knew in infant school. One of our couple friends their Grand parents knew DH’s Grandparents, and as our children are friendly with theirs I foresee it being repeated.

Some we see frequently other less so, but what all our friendships have in common is when we do meet up, it’s as if we saw each other yesterday.

henetha Thu 22-Jun-23 10:44:12

I had a great group of friends here until Covid happened. We used to go out once a week, and a meal out once a month.
Then one moved away, another became ill.... etc.
I really miss it and it seems impossible to re-create it.
Most of my old friends from my previous life before moving here have died or have dementia. For the first time in my life I don't have close women friends.
Yes, Allsorts, it can be difficult to maintain friendships and irritations do get in the way. I used to have to swallow hard sometimes, especially with one member of our group. But it was worth it as we had such fun.

lyleLyle Thu 22-Jun-23 11:52:29

When I moved to the US, I met two young women in my nursing program that I got on with well right away. Decades later we are still friends. My theory on what has made the bond last? A lack of set expectations. We can go weeks without hearing from each other since we are all spread out now. But when we do, we simply enjoy the catch up rather than ruminating on who calls whom, who visits whom etc. We go with the flow and never force it. Sometimes the 3 of us will catch up together in person or on the phone/email. Sometimes just two. We don’t compare bonds. We don’t really compare much. The relationship is simple and it’s worked. I think folks get to caught up in the group aspect. We’re adults; not a “clique”. Maybe shift your perspective. I think just because people are people, not every personality within a group will be compatible. I would shift focus from “groups” of friends to nurturing the individual valuable relationships with those you get on with the most. We don’t really need “friend groups” at this stage. Just good, kind individuals.

Gingster Thu 22-Jun-23 12:35:27

Just met two potential friends on the beach. They have a beach hut just down from our cottage. We chatted away as if we’d known each other for years. They asked us to see their little abode , which was lovely and cosy. Next time we see them I’ll ask them up for a drink in our garden.
Isn’t it funny how things like this happen. My Dh who is quite happy with his own company, said ‘it will be nice to have a coffee with them’ 😳. We’ll see!

VioletSky Thu 22-Jun-23 12:51:47

I think it's important to have a close friend in different areas of life.

So I have quite a few friends but only 2 close friends and a work best friend. People I can trust with anything

Groups, always tend to have some shenanigans going on but if you just listen and nod, it usually passes

Focus on gaining those close trustworthy friendships and other drama just doesn't matter

NanaDana Thu 22-Jun-23 13:19:27

Some time ago, when I was becoming a wee bit judgemental about someone, a much-respected Army Padre I once knew reminded me that "we're all flawed". I've never forgotten that, and try to apply it to all those little irritations that sometimes crop up in our daily contacts with those around us. It doesn't always work, but I keep trying. I think what matters most to me these days is knowing where to draw that line in the sand, beyond which I'm not prepared to shut up/compromise/stay out of it/ignore it etc. That too varies in its success. I'm also learning to focus more on the "radiators" I meet in this life rather than on the "drains". As for a thick skin, I would only ever feel the need for that sort of armour where the actions of close family and dear friends are concerned. I couldn't care less what anyone outside of those categories thinks of me. Why would I?

GrannyGravy13 Thu 22-Jun-23 13:20:17

Blimey VioletSky I find myself agreeing with another of your posts 🙀😹

AreWeThereYet Thu 22-Jun-23 13:59:57

Depends on who you consider a friend really - I don't necessarily consider people I am in a group with as a friend, just someone I have a common interest with. My few close friends don't even know each other. We all live quite a way from each other these days and have a catch-up now and then.

People come and go, group dynamics change over the years. It's unlikely that everyone in the group will always get on. I just ignore all the drama and carry on being friendly to everyone. If people drift away I may keep in touch if we had become friendly. If things get too toxic I just drift away and find something else to do but may meet up with some of the group at other times.

AreWeThereYet Thu 22-Jun-23 14:04:12

I am close to my two sisters so thats enough for me.

So you do have friends. Your sisters. Lucky you. I always wanted a sister.

Kate1949 Thu 22-Jun-23 14:13:20

Yes I'm lucky to have them. I don't know what I'd do without them. We've been through so much together.

biglouis Thu 22-Jun-23 14:15:34

As a young woman I used to organise a lot of group nights out and such in work. I stopped in the final year of my employment when I was "coasting" towards leaving to go to uni. There seemed no point in continuing to build up relationships with people I was probably never goig to see again. A few years later I spoke to one of my former colleagues and he said "You took a lot of fun with you when you left" which I considered to be flattering.

Once I reached my 40s I began to step back from "group" activities and leave them to others. Even in work I have never been a team person, more an individualist. Now I would prefer to poke my eye out with a sharp stick than do something in a group.