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No childhood friends to speak of

A young woman laments that everyone else on Facebook (but her) seems connected to old childhood friends

QUESTION

Dear Irene,

I am an only child, married to my sweetheart that I dated for five years and married happily ever after:). One grave issue haunts me when I check updates on Facebook. From kindergarten to 10th grade I studied in one convent school. All my solid formative years have been at one place but I do not have any friends from that time, kindergarten through high school.

I have a bunch of awesome friends from my college days, from the work place, and also from my masters program. But I feel the dearth of not having friends from grade school. I think that’s probably because people around me talk a lot of about school days, quote their unforgettable naughty an adventures from school. They talk about that one friend from school that they can bank on for the rest of their lives. Even my husband has a lot of friends from his pre-school days.

In school, I always had to go out of my way literally begging and bargaining people to be my friends and I felt shunned. I remember  one incident in 7th grade when I went crying to my math teacher and told her not a single soul was a friend. She took pity on me, held me, and announced in class that she would be my best friend from then on. I was innocent and foolish and really believed she would be my friend from then on.

Personality insight: I am pretty with dimples:), smart with an affirmative voice and good communication skills. I love talking and making friends on the fly. I am from a well-educated family. My father is a professor of English, mom lecturer of Economics. I have been the doting daughter and granddaughter. I have been the apple of the eye for my grand parents. I love pets…especially I’m a crazy feline lover.

Regards, Maya

ANSWER

Dear Maya,

Sure it’s nice to have childhood friends with whom you can share memories. But like you, for a variety of reasons, many people have had difficulty making friends when they were younger.

They may have been different in some way and school kids are quick to pick on someone who is prettier, homelier, smarter or dumber. Also, kids often seize upon the way a classmate speaks or dresses, or are critical about some other aspect of a schoolmate’s personality.

Whatever it was, there is no reason to go back and analyze what happened then. It may have been a combination of factors. Now you have had success at making friends—at college, graduate school, and at work—and if you are lucky, one or two of these relationships may turn out to close and long-lasting ones for you. It’s nice that these people feel close enough to you that they want to share their childhood memories with you.

Many people use Facebook to reconnect with people from the past but if that wasn’t the best time of your life socially, don’t spend another minute lurking on the Facebook pages of people you probably wouldn’t want to be friends with now. Remember too, after they have shared their pirate adventures, they may not have anything else to say to each other.

Hope this helps.

Best, Irene

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Category: Legacy friendships

Comments (18)

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  1. no childhood friends, but supported in other ways says:

    Growing up, I never was able to make friends. I was a first-born, so I was always social and outgoing. But it deeply troubled me that, although I could be nice at school, after school nobody ever came over to my hose. For years and years I tried to forge some stronger relationships, make some friends to hang out with after school and on the weekends. I found people pleasant enough at school, and I even had friends…but surpassing that barrier of school friends to school and after school friends was an insurmountable obstacle. It wasn’t until 8th grade when I finally did something with someone after school. After that day, I found social relationships easier and I even found a group of friends. 8th grade was one of my best years but the next year, as I headed off to a new high school while all my friends stayed at my previous school, I was bound to face a new social playing field. I found friends in high school but never really had a group to affiliate myself with. To be clear, I have always been a pretty outgoing, social, and nice young man. Especially in my latter years of development (past 8th grade) I found that being social came natural to me; I could go talk to old people, flirt with girls, participate in political discussion. However, even though I could be social, I always felt self-conscience about the number of friends I had. Especially on Friday nights, when I may be home and other people would be out with their friends I felt worthless, like nobody liked me, and my childhood pain of rejection returned to me. Currently, I am starting my freshman year of college and things are going well. I am very socially and academically developed and on the outside, you would see me as a social and polite young man. However, I know that deep down my self-esteem will always be scarred and I will never be able to rid myself of my social sensitivity. Looking back, I am exceptionally thankful for my parents and brothers. Growing up with three younger brothers, I never felt truly alone. Additionally, my parents were models of people, they rarely fought, they raised me right, and they showed me exceeding amounts of love. Regardless of the social wounds I have sustained, I know it is to their merit that I developed into the person I am today.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Woww…this is creepy how NO ONE except the blog owner, Irene, is speaking up about the Friendship Blog’s Facebook page. No “reviews” you can share with some of us who are on the fence?? The silence is very odd. Fifty people signed up and no one will say antything about it? Until I hear otherwise, I guess I’ll conclude it’s kind of unpleasant or weird.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Anyone other than Irene care to give the rest of us feedback as to the FaceBook Friendship Blog Experience? Thanks. (Thanks to Irene, too. But I’d like to hear from the readers of the blog.)

  4. Irene says:

    Some 51 people have found their way to the page so far. It’s not real active but seems to be a supportive place :-)

    Not too big a risk to join because you can join and leave if it doesn’t suit your fancy~

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/TheFriendshipBlogConnection/

    Best, Irene 

     

     

  5. Anonymous says:

    Curious that no one has responded to this question.
    Maybe no one saw it? Did anyone sign up for this blog’s Facebook page? If so, how’s it going? Do you recommend it? Thanks for any info. Not sure if I should joint it or not.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Hey, I just remembered The Friendship Blog started up a Facebook page. I am not on Facebook anymore, so I’m wondering how it’s working on for everyone who joined up to continue The Friendship Blog’s forums, etc. I hope everyone who participates will let us know how it’s working out, if you recommend it, how many have joined, etc. Real life anecdotes, not “statistics only” would be helpful.

  7. Anonymous says:

    I feel bad for Maya and others her age who are growing up in the specter of Big Brother, aka Facebook. Would Maya ever wonder about not having friends from her childhood if not for Facebook? Is Facebook’s Fantasy World, where people present this “look at my awesome life” page about themselves, going to create a lot of unnecessary anxiety for future generations? It seems very much a modern-day “keeping up with the Joneses” phenomenon. Yes, yes, I know there are exceptions, where Facebook helps the sick and elderly and new parents post photos and updates to the world at large rather than contacting people individually. And I know perfectly nice, non-show-offy people who have Facebook. But I wonder about its effects at large when I read something such as what Maya wrote.Also: I belong to a professional organization for consultants and freelancers in the magazine field and there is currently a debate about needing Facebook to promote their consulting and freelance services. Some members do not want to do this. Others, who love Facebook, are quite nasty about anyone who resists. They say they are able to keep up with their clients in every minor way, such as knowing when their client has posted a photo from a trip, etc. They love being able to swoop in and comment on every move the client makes, claiming it makes them bond and become friends. Well, am I the only one who doesn’t want to bond with every person who crosses my path at all times? I’d rather respond to someone’s trip on an as-needed basis. If someone, client or personal, sends me an email with photos from the trip, I’d respond. But can’t I wait for that? It seems to me Facebook requires us all to be constantly tuned in and forced to respond to everything everyone does and says and thinks. It’s exhausting and overwhelming. And if you don’t respond, people think you’re mad at them or trying to deFriend them. Facebook to me is just a bloody nightmare.

  8. Anonymous says:

    I agree, Facebook is dopey. I don’t have one anymore (& haven’t for over a year now) because it proved to be inauthentic and a huge waste of time. Come to find out, in a recent article I read in SELF magazine, turns out only 30% of the people on Facebook are actually being genuinely themselves. The other 70% are faking it for image reasons! So, at least, 70% of the super happy people you see on Facebook are lying!

  9. Anonymous says:

    really childhood life is an awesome moment when can not be forgettable, I still remember those small sweet memories which we did and played can which can not the taken back.. I love my childhood life

  10. Anonymous says:

    There is nothing inherently positive about still being friends with people that you grew up with. In fact, in some of the groups of people I know where all sticking toegther since childhood is rampant, they all tend more toward the disrespectful, gossipy side, I am thinking because they’ve all been friends too long and have grown apart but they’re too comfortable and still forcing it. Forming new relationships as you grow up teaches you how to be a better friend. I don’t think it’s a big deal at all.

  11. peggy2002 says:

    I grow up in Scotland my parents had 8 kids every day I went to school I was shunned because I was not cared for .Kids would jump away from me and laugh at me

    . I was scared to death every day because the teachers would single me out and take me to the bathroom to wash my neck and face, Once a month the nurse would come and pull me out of school and douse my hair with medication for nits. Now all this did have an effect on me for sure and for a long time I thought I was stupid unlovable etc. I had a severe case of chronic uniqueness which allowed me to wallow in my pain.

    I am the type of person who needs to name the problem to claim the problem so I started reading self help books and discovered it was not me I was born into a dysfunctional home and was carrying not my pain but generations of dysfunctional pain and until I was 18 I could consider my self a victim after that I volunteered

    . So now I knew the problem how would i deal with it.I am not a drinker but its in my families past tso I went to alon and learn things . there then to overeaters then to therphy .
    I realize I had to go thu what I did to grow and get to the other side and not repeat the same mistakes. I was so shy when I came here but being alone I had no choice but to learn how to come out of my shell. I learned by sharing my pain I was giving it away and i was not special or different from anyone else and I had the power to change things. gradually I did

    .I used to regret that I was to scared to even attempt to go to collage but I sent my son who is the first one in my family to ever go. Anyway none of this matters it was part of my journey to get too the peace I have now. if you want friends you must take risks and be willing to be hurt along the way . If you are needy you will attract needy and that is what you might need at the time. Only by facing fears will you grow not by sitting on them.

    We all have our stories but thats all the are stories. Write your own not your parents. The kids who used to make fun of me live a much harder life than I do .They are stuck in the same rut their parents were in . By doing what they did they saves me in a way because I had no friends I was able to come to the USA and make some. As long as you are alive you can change this is a gift do not lose it.

  12. Anonymous says:

    This woman would not be worrying about not having childhood friends if it were not for the hideous Facebook world we now live in. Facebook adds another arena for people to compare themselves to others and then feel bad about themselves for not having childhood friends to “friend”, post pictures on the Wall, etc. Facebook is so dopey.

  13. Anonymous says:

    I agreee. I don’t have friends from childhood and know some who do good for them but I have never compared myself. You might want to look at why you compare yourself to others to such an extent and why you measure your value by childhood friends.

  14. Anonymous says:

    I’m sorry to hear that the writer doesn’t have any childhood friends…obviously this is bothering her.

    I have one friend from elementary school but she’s not that close to me.

    I prefer to focus on my friends who are in my circle now. They have similar interests, they are more available, and they are good friends.

    Try not to wonder about what happened in the past but focus on the here and now…how happy you are now.

  15. Anonymous says:

    …but maybe it’s different if you still live in the town you grew up in. I don’t know…I can’t imagine wanting to live in the town I grew up in and don’t know anyone who does, or even anyone who knows or talks about their childhood friends. But if I were in such an environment, I guess I might feel left out. Then again, being me, I would probably just move somewhere new making this annoyance would disappear.

  16. Anonymous says:

    This woman has a wonderful life – a loving husband, loving family, and a group of wonderful friends. She even has pets she loves! I can’t believe that someone with such a full, happy life filled with successful relationships is complaining because she doesn’t have friends from childhood. Count your blessings, lady! The world is full of isolated, lonely people who have no friends and/or family. You are extraordinarily lucky, and it is amazing that you would spoil your great fortune by complaining about the one unimportant thing you don’t have.

  17. Anonymous says:

    This actually doesn’t bother me though. Perhaps because I’m not on Facebook? Is there something there that makes having childhood friends important? I do have two siblings; maybe that helps with continuity. I have reasonably good memories from my school days, and sometimes I do think it would be fun if I’d stayed connected, but I can’t imagine having much in common with those kids. I’ve grown and changed so much.

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