On this week’s ‘So You Think You’re an Adult?’, one listener doesn’t get along with their oldest friend group but is scared to cut them off.
“I’m in my 40s and I’ve been hanging around with the same friend group since college,” they told Moncrieff.
“We were all in the same course but have I branched out into a different career since.
“We were a competitive group and often slagged. I’ve noticed over the years that their remarks towards me are becoming more aggressive and direct.”
The listener said their friends criticise their clothes and job and “bring up stories of me from 9 years ago when I was an entirely different person”.
“They’re very tight knit and talk about their work when we go out for drinks, and I can’t contribute because I’m not in their industry which is fine – I really like my job,” they said.
“They do this thing where they say, ‘don’t you feel left out?’ as if I’m going to ditch my job to be part of their group.
“I tried to confront my friends and asked them to cool down on the insults but that just got them on the back foot, and they came down on me harder.
“I’m beginning to think that my friends no longer like me and I’m worried because it's so hard to make friends in your 40s.”
'You can make friends at any age'
Writer Barbara Scully said “friends come and go” as life and circumstances change.
“What you might have had in common five, 10, 20 years ago with a group or a person, you no longer have that commonality, and it doesn't mean you're not friends, but you don't your friendship changes,” she said.
Assuming the listener is a man, Barbara asked why he continues to spend time with people who make him uncomfortable.
“He's worried because it's so hard to make friends in your 40s - I don't agree,” she said.
“I think you can make friends at any age, but I do think you need to be relaxed, be yourself and be open to making friends.”
Assuming the listener is a woman, broadcaster Declan Buckley said there’s a “sensitivity” issue that the listener is trying to “mask”.
“The vibe seems to be very much that it’s a slagging group with a lot of banter, but it’s banter everybody kind of seems to be able to communicate with that kind of dynamic except this person,” he said.
“They now feel no longer part of group and identify ways in which they’re different.
“I’m wondering whether or not this person is actually deciding and attributing behaviours to something that may not be true.”
Barbara said whether this listener is a man or woman and whether or not they’re making up the issues in their head, distance from the friend group seems like a good idea.
"Whether it's because he's oversensitive or not, they’re wrecking in his head and that's not good,” she said.
“He just has to put a bit of distance and not see them as much as he had up to now.”