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Assertiveness, negotiation and a few other things.

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
I'm just looking for help to understand these skills and when to use them

I have done an assertiveness course, but haven't really put it into practise.

I think it might be useful for saying how I feel with people.

Generally with friends I would say I am thoughtful and good at staying in touch, but with many it's me that puts the leg work in.

What I've found is that as a general rule friends who are in geographical proximity are in touch much more than those further away - I guess that's pretty normal.

Since university I've made new friends back home having moved back to the Wirral from Manchester University. Generally I hear very little from people who are far away. Some people seem better at staying in touch than others, but some never ring.

Some people have moved on I guess - they deleted me off facebook or never replied to messages, so I've just had to move on myself.

I did a course last year and someone said they felt resentment when it came to one sided friendships as they always rang the other person.

That's how I feel sometimes. I mean as far as I'm aware you have to put effort in to maintaining friendships, but many don't do that with me. Sometimes I don't even know if they are friends really or if they've just moved on as I don't hear. Or maybe they are just lazy and don't communicate with anyone.

But how to know ? Maybe the only way is to try and communicate how I feel, but I don't know how to do this.

It's been a period of transition the last few years and I've not been sure about friendships, but I can say I've made new friends quickly which is good.

But I don't really feel appreciated by many or really think they are good friends as there is mainly silence from them - I make the first move all the time.

Any thoughts ?

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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    mark1984 wrote: »
    But how to know ? Maybe the only way is to try and communicate how I feel, but I don't know how to do this.

    Be careful here. I went for the wrong approach and discovered that this "friendship" was a joke all along. I made the mistake of accusing him of being clingy and got told to stop being so over sensitive and that he's not being clingy. (He used to try and talk to me whenever I was around) He's now refusing to talk to me. Not that I care much - he did lie all along.

    If the friendship is one-sided, is it really worth being friends with them? Friendship is a two-way thing.
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I think that mixed in with some of my thoughts over the last few years has been a lack of confidence and self esteem.

    Gradually I have improved in these areas, but it has taken time.

    At university I had mental health problems caused (I believe) by teenage put downs and criticism.

    I started university thinking I wouldn't make friends and had little confidence of getting a girlfriend.

    I think I have turned the corner, but I remember a friend saying a few years ago that with other people it's their loss and that people had lost his friendship.

    I think the way we think of ourselves and our self esteem/confidence are very important for our relationships. As I say, I think I am developing in these areas, but for a good while I wasn't thinking with other people it's their loss.

    But maybe whether it's a friendship or romantic relationship and we feel that we are giving more than we receive you can think it's their loss.

    Maybe sometimes it's other people who aren't worth it whereas we are.

    I still think that I do the right things by putting the effort in with other people though - I think it's a good quality to phone and email and ask how people are. But having just talked to a friend on facebook chat he says that he finds similar things ie if it's a local friendship he hears from them generally and people further away he doesn't. With long-distance friendships maybe it is a similar situation for most people. At least I've usually found you hear from people near you and not so much people further away. It is generally the people further away who I don't hear from, but maybe this is just the way it is.
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    If someone NEVER gets in touch with me, when I try to arrange something for lets say 3 or 4 or 5 times (I can be bit poo with staying in touch too, but when someone is trying I hope they don't give up the first time I have to decline) and either not get a response, or a cancelation without trying to find another date, or at least the INTENTION of having it some other day, because it is a busy week and this person can't really say when there is time, then I stop bothering. Period. No ultimatum, no talk. I don't need to force my friendship onto people. If they don't accept when they are given, then I stop offering.
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    StrubbleS wrote: »
    If someone NEVER gets in touch with me, when I try to arrange something for lets say 3 or 4 or 5 times (I can be bit poo with staying in touch too, but when someone is trying I hope they don't give up the first time I have to decline) and either not get a response, or a cancelation without trying to find another date, or at least the INTENTION of having it some other day, because it is a busy week and this person can't really say when there is time, then I stop bothering. Period. No ultimatum, no talk. I don't need to force my friendship onto people. If they don't accept when they are given, then I stop offering.

    Same here. I am rubbish at staying in touch - but will try to talk to people if I can.
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    So potentially are quite a few of the people I know who don't really stay in touch simply just not so good at staying in touch whilst I am quite good, or is it more to do with the distance factor possibly.

    A few people have actually apologised for their 'silence' and said they are bad at staying in touch with people

    Also I think a lot of people's lives have become much more busy than mine.

    Since university I have worked at times but a lot of the time I have been job searching and also doing a number of courses with my local MIND to learn about mental health after being ill at university.

    Maybe there are a range of factors, but i'd stil appreciate it if people rang me once in a while to stay in touch.
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Just because people don't remain in touch a lot, doesn't mean they are not automatically bad friends. Some of my best friends rarely get in touch with me, but so do I at times, but it's always a blast for both when we meet. It's mostly the people who have never time for you, don't go out of their way or seem to bother to find a day where a meet up is possible and never call back...
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    So you think possibly the key is what it's like when you meet up and whether they have time for that.

    I saw two friends in London recently. They aren't in touch too much, but we got on great when we did meet.

    With quite a lot of people who live far away we don't see each other much or speak that much but when we have met we get on well - maybe this is the sign of a good friendship and the lack of contact is a side issue.

    How can you work out whether someone is a good or bad friend then ?
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    mark1984 wrote: »
    So you think possibly the key is what it's like when you meet up and whether they have time for that.

    I saw two friends in London recently. They aren't in touch too much, but we got on great when we did meet.

    With quite a lot of people who live far away we don't see each other much or speak that much but when we have met we get on well - maybe this is the sign of a good friendship and the lack of contact is a side issue.

    How can you work out whether someone is a good or bad friend then ?

    I guess you just know. If it is a satisfying experience to him/her to meet you, without getting something from you (like paying him for a drink, or helping him move furniture), then I guess it's a good friend. Or at least if he returns whatever it takes so you have a satisfying time too (This is very abstract, I know, but it's tough to explain something that seems so trivial).

    A bad friend is, who only gets in touch if he needs something, who doesn't get in touch at all, who makes up excuses when you need something off him/her when he/she could take the time for it. Who constantly cancel on you and do not offer an alternative day to meet up. Never call or get back to you.

    The amount you see each other in the end, usually does not say much about the quality of the friendship.
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Hi there mark1984,

    Friendships can be tough to judge. Here is a useful guideline from an article on Dumping your mates looking at signs of a bad friend;
    The signs:
    They never call;
    They stand you up;
    They send 10-page emails to you every minute of the day, but you can only be bothered with a one-line reply;
    They drop you for someone better looking, and only come back when it fails;
    You can't remember why you still hang out;
    You find yourself planning your shopping list while they talk to you.

    There could be many reasons why a friend may not contact you, and it's true that some will truly be very busy yet care about you, while others are not really bothered. Perhaps see how you feel about specific people and whether you would really be upset losing some of them? As StrubbleS suggests it could also be about when you seem them what it's like.

    It's always good to make new friends anyway, and seems like you say you have made some which is great.
    Those who don't ever bother are just not worth it :no:
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Thanks for that. I think it is tough to call. Probably the main thing is that I have met plenty of new people since moving back home after uni and I have a strong social network in my local area which I feel is important.

    As for people further away, some I do hear from occasionally, but maybe some people aren't worth it.

    With some I've already chopped them - I just felt that despite my efforts to stay in touch they had rejected me by not replying many times, so I think I did the right thing there and cut my losses.
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