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Do not like going out with large groups of friends

(39 Posts)
Allsorts Sun 24-Sep-23 08:12:31

I have two groups of friends, started about four of us in each group, gradually one of these has extended now to twelve people, in that one bought a friend along, then a friend of a friend. Arranging everything now a nightmare and getting money in, I find myself now saying no to a lot of things. The other group of four met last week for a meal and two had bought friends along. These are long standing friends. Obviously it’s what they all want it’s me that’s the problem. I just don’t feel comfortable in larger groups and obviously can’t say anything as they are their friends and don’t feel the same. I have always much preferred a good friend to a group. Before long it will all drift away as I haven’t committed to the annual holiday, going away with so many was not for me. I am not anti social as I love seeing people but not so many all at once. I just wish it was as it started out many years ago.

SachaMac Tue 26-Sep-23 15:01:29

I prefer smaller groups of friends, four is a nice number, you can all sit and chat together. With big groups everyone tends to branch off talking to the person nearest to them and the quieter people can get left out of the conversation.
I tend not to mix friendship groups as it doesn’t always work. I have occasionally been invited along to join a group of long established friends on a night out, it’s ok if it’s the cinema or theatre but if it’s a meal & a drink and chat it’s not always ideal. If they have years of history as a group and know each other really well you tend to feel like the new girl and a bit out of the loop with the conversation.
If it’s a group of all new people starting out at a club or something that’s different.
I wouldn’t enjoy going on holiday with a large group of friends, a group of three or four would be more than enough unless it’s family.

SunnySusie Tue 26-Sep-23 15:23:14

I agree with Philippa that its hard to make a connection in large groups and have a meaningful personal conversation. Indeed there used to be a rule about never mentioning politics or religion and sticking to small talk. OK if you are good at small talk, but I am useless. It doesnt interest me and I can never think of anything to say. Like you Allsorts I would not enjoy my friendship groups being expanded.

Bella23 Tue 26-Sep-23 15:30:23

I prefer small groups or even just two as well. I met a friend regularly for coffee and cake, another friend heard and asked if she could join so I said yes, I could cope with three. Three suddenly became four and then meetups with another group of four. Suddenly coffee and cake had turned into a "Ladies who lunch club "with who could dress the best and I opted out.
I still keep in touch with the first friend.
The same happened when I worked the annual staff dinner at a good venue turned into a night in the town docks pubs with a nightclub thrown in. I stopped when my DD's heard where the venue was and called it"Grab a Granny Night". which implied they were all on the pull. Someone who did go said never again she had nearly ended up in the docks.
We are all different and you should always please yourself in circumstances which you know will make you feel uncomfortable.

AGAA4 Tue 26-Sep-23 15:56:20

I used to go out with a group of 12 but found I would only talk to the few nearest to me.
I much prefer to be with smaller groups or just one or two people.
You have to find what suits you best.

Oldbat1 Tue 26-Sep-23 15:57:34

I really cant be doing with large groups. I also prefer folk who do not go on about how clever and talented their various family members are. One to one going out for a coffee or for a cinema trip is much better in my mind. Good that we are all different.

Soozikinzi Tue 26-Sep-23 16:03:33

Agree 100% . I find it hard to follow the conversion not hard of hearing but in a large group I struggle. Then I'm not sure when it's my turn to speak or if I'm going on too much I do still go but it's awkward

Primrose53 Tue 26-Sep-23 17:35:34

Large groups are difficult to manage. I started a knitting group with about 6 people which then went up to 16 as word spread that it was fun and friendly. There were a couple of quiet people in the group and I didn’t want them to feel left out so I always made sure they were included in the chat.

2 very loud women dominated the group and used to arrive early so they could use the most comfy chairs etc which was unfair and one lady had just had back surgery so I hoped either of them might give up her chair but they didn’t so the next week I got there early and bagged the chair for the other lady. She was so grateful.

Every few months we got together for a meal and even that was stressful as I suggested we all rounded our meal cost up to the next £ to cover staff tip because they always made sure we all got our food together etc. one of the loud women refused and said she wasn’t paying 50p!!

When we were no longer able to use our meeting place the group folded and I still get texts asking if I will start another one but I don’t feel inclined to even though we had the best laughs and learned a lot from each other. 16 is just too many to contend with.

undines Tue 26-Sep-23 20:23:24

There's an unwritten etiquette with groups of friends. You don't bring others to tag along, unless the whole group agrees, in my opinion. That may sound a bit formal but I don't think we are formal enough these days, so no-one knows where they are! Bring back Jane Austen! PS Not keen on large groups personally - intimate conversations are more difficult and hearing an issue

Patsy70 Tue 26-Sep-23 21:07:17


I prefer a smaller group because I am hard of hearing and the bigger the group, the louder the voices become and it is very hard to hear over the hubbub. Hearing aids make this worse as you get all the background noise as well as the voice you are trying to concentrate on and the function on the hearing aids that is supposed to help with this problem does not work very well.

I have the same problem, Musicgirl, so prefer meeting with smaller groups.

rosemarigold Wed 27-Sep-23 00:04:00

I get it, I have hearing aids too.
The people you are trying to communicate in the group don't get it though.... uncomfortable

Gundy Wed 27-Sep-23 04:59:36

I’ve always preferred a small cluster - 1, 2, or 4 max. That way you get real varied conversation going. And it’s best if you all happen to be of the same political persuasion… just saying. That way you don’t have to tiptoe around the conversation so as not to offend that one person. 🙄

Anything larger than that is a total noisy chatfest where you start up a convo with someone and another comes along, interrupts and changes the subject - or you get someone who insists on hogging the limelight and suddenly we become the audience - or there are group “leaders” who carry on and the quiet ones sit on the sideline. Boring.

Book clubs are good if you stick to talking about “the book”, that way everyone has a chance to speak. Otherwise book clubs often pass for wine drinking and gossip groups.

For those who love to be in big groups and don’t mind new people - in-house parties where clothes, jewelry, kitchen goods, cosmetics, etc are being presented and sold. You can really help others with your observations and advice!

Love me one good one, though!
USA Gundy

Allsorts Wed 27-Sep-23 19:28:38

I’m not doing it anymore. It’s sad as there were very good times and it’s difficult to get that with new friends. Also it’s not easy making friends as you get older. I made groups my main social focus, whereas I now understand for them it wasn’t so important or it wouldn’t have altered so much. I know we will lose contact as it was only going out that kept us together really.
I know it’s going to be difficult but I was getting more and more stressed and it seemed to becoming competitive somehow last 12 months.
Thank you for your views, they have helped.

gigi1958 Wed 04-Oct-23 21:11:09

If I want to feel really lonely I go out with a large group. I can sit at home for days alone and never feel lonely. But large groups and small talk are just not my cup of tea. I much prefer small groups of no more than 3 or 4 but I really enjoy being with only one person and being able to focus solely on them.