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Unsure about my friends

AsiinaAsiina ...WaterlooRegistered User regular
edited June 2010 in Help / Advice Forum
I've changed names in order to not put other people's names on the internet, but if any of the people involved in this read it, they'll instantly recognize themselves in this story.

This is a story about five people I know: Dawn, Bill, Chris, Lisa, and Tanya. Dawn is my absolute best friend. We've been best friends for about 12 years and live across the street from each other. Dawn, Chris, and I were high school friends, Lisa and I were university friends, and Bill was one of Dawn's university friends. We all knew each other separately, and then those four paired off. Dawn and Bill are engaged. Chris and Lisa are engaged. Tanya is Dawn's childhood friend. Tanya and Lisa met at a party about 6 months ago. That's basically the relationship tree of our group.

Over the last 6 months or so, Dawn, Tanya, and Lisa have started hanging out just the three of them. I've sorta known about these outings for a while, and was definitely a little jealous. I talked to Lisa and Dawn before about why they always seem to hang out without me. Dawn said she didn't really know why, but that she wasn't trying to actively exclude me, she just doesn't really think to call. It was just something that happened. Lisa seemed to imply that it was because I was single and they're in couples and she didn't want me to feel awkward. I explained to them that I am single absolutely by choice and that there doesn't really need to be a reason to feel awkward about it. It seemed as if the problem might be solved, but I haven't really noticed a change since then. I still don't get invited out with them too often, and we don't really talk nearly as often as we used to.

Last night was Dawn's birthday party, so everyone involved was there. I found out that they had all these plans made for the next few weeks between the three of them. I'm not going to invite myself into other people's plans, but I was sitting right there and wasn't ever invited. They even made plans during this party but it was only for the three of them, so I'm not sure how much the "oh I just don't really think about it" excuse Dawn gave me before hold up. Plus there were stories of things Dawn has done that everyone seemed to know about but me, since she never talked to me about any of this. Then I hear Lisa saying that her and Dawn are planning on getting some sort of matching tattoos.

Lisa kept pulling Tanya and Dawn off to the side to have secret conversations in the kitchen. I'm not sure what that was about, but it was just so cliquish. I ended up leaving the party shortly after the third time someone got pulled away for a private conversation. I'm starting to feel very insecure about my place in this group. We were all friends, with Dawn and I being very close for so long, and now it's like we don't even talk except for large planned events such as last night.

So basically I'm just trying to get some outside perspective on this. Am I being unreasonably jealous? Should I just let it go? Should I try talking to them again? I'm willing to, but I feel the conversation will go very similar to last time. These are very close friends, or at least they were, and I don't really want to just cut them loose.

Asiina on

Posts

  • kaliyamakaliyama Left to find less-moderated fora Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    Asiina, I go through things like this periodically, where omse of my friends do events without inviting me. I'm never able to figure out if it's just me being paranoid or it's them being that way. But frankly, it doesn't matter. If your friends don't want to hang out with you and you're feeling insecure, then you shouldn't put yourself through all the emotional stress. I'd let them initiate social contact and see what they do - if they want to hang out with you, then you should feel secure. If not this situation is just unpleasant and if you're insecure it's going to exacerbate things. Let them initiate contact so you feel more secure.

    kaliyama on
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  • mysticjuicermysticjuicer [he/him] I'm a muscle wizard and I cast P U N C HRegistered User regular
    edited May 2010
    Invite them out to something instead of waiting to be invited. A couple of times. If they excuse themselves a bunch, it's time to look for a new social group.

    mysticjuicer on
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  • KyouguKyougu Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    A lesson I learned was not to put into a friendship more than you're getting back.


    I like mysticjuicer's idea. Invite them out more. If they continue to exclude you from acivities, it'll be time to find new friends.

    Kyougu on
  • MegaMan001MegaMan001 CRNA Rochester, MNRegistered User regular
    edited May 2010
    It sounds like they are excluding you too often to really be in your head and the behavior at Dawn's birthday party is pretty messed up. It sounds like they may be drifting apart or actively excluding you, but at this point, what does it matter?

    They are not giving you the respect you deserve so I saw start branching out to meet other people.

    I wish I had learned the same lesson as Kyougu did about 10 years ago.

    Don't go breaking your back for friends who don't put the same effort to you.

    MegaMan001 on
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  • LittleBootsLittleBoots Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    Ha! Loser.

    LittleBoots on

    Tofu wrote: Here be Littleboots, destroyer of threads and master of drunkposting.
  • badger2dbadger2d San FranciscoRegistered User regular
    edited May 2010
    Making plans right in front of you without inviting you to join is very rude. Repeated secret conversations at a party is laughably, childishly rude. It's not wrong of you at all to feel offended by these behaviors.

    +1 to each of the first three replies as well. +2 especially to mysticjuicer's. Reach out to them a couple times with invitations of your own and if they continue to show no interest or worse to disrespect you in front of your face, it's time to look for activities that will help you meet some new people.

    badger2d on
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  • AsiinaAsiina ... WaterlooRegistered User regular
    edited May 2010
    badger2d wrote: »
    Repeated secret conversations at a party is laughably, childishly rude.

    Yeah, I mean we're in our mid-20s. This was a 26th birthday party. I was just flabbergasted when this happened, nevermind several times. I was really sure we were passed such nonsense.

    I really don't want to stop being friends with these people. We've been friends for so long, but this isn't exactly an isolated incident.

    I'm moving to a new city in a few months, so there's always the option to just not keep in touch.

    Asiina on
  • LittleBootsLittleBoots Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    Asiina wrote: »
    badger2d wrote: »
    Repeated secret conversations at a party is laughably, childishly rude.

    Yeah, I mean we're in our mid-20s. This was a 26th birthday party. I was just flabbergasted when this happened, nevermind several times. I was really sure we were passed such nonsense.

    I really don't want to stop being friends with these people. We've been friends for so long, but this isn't exactly an isolated incident.

    I'm moving to a new city in a few months, so there's always the option to just not keep in touch.

    Maybe they were planning a surprise going away party for you.

    Look how awful of a friend you are, bad mouthing them when they're just trying to do something nice for you.

    LittleBoots on

    Tofu wrote: Here be Littleboots, destroyer of threads and master of drunkposting.
  • RhalloTonnyRhalloTonny Of the BrownlandsRegistered User regular
    edited May 2010
    badger2d wrote: »
    Making plans right in front of you without inviting you to join is very rude. Repeated secret conversations at a party is laughably, childishly rude.

    This is basic manners stuff. You're not in the wrong.

    Sometimes people just act childish- when you're in your mid-20's and are acting that way, it's kind of hard to not be aware of it. Which would make them bad friends.

    And if they're genuinely not aware of it, they might not be people worth putting an investment into.

    RhalloTonny on
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  • badger2dbadger2d San FranciscoRegistered User regular
    edited May 2010
    Asiina wrote: »
    badger2d wrote: »
    Repeated secret conversations at a party is laughably, childishly rude.

    Yeah, I mean we're in our mid-20s. This was a 26th birthday party. I was just flabbergasted when this happened, nevermind several times. I was really sure we were passed such nonsense.

    I really don't want to stop being friends with these people. We've been friends for so long, but this isn't exactly an isolated incident.

    I'm moving to a new city in a few months, so there's always the option to just not keep in touch.

    Well I for one am not saying that you have to be so extreme is to never see them again. Maybe they're being rude and distant now but if you've known them a long time there may still be something there, even if it's just the fact that once upon a time, there was something there. It just looks like, most likely you're not going to be as close anymore.

    I have plenty of childhood/teenage/college friends who were once close and are now not close, sometimes for good reasons, but it's still mutually pleasurable to see these people and greet them for old time's sake on occasion at larger gatherings.

    badger2d on
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  • thejazzmanthejazzman Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    Here's the honest truth as far as my experience with life.

    People naturally make the effort to do stuff with the people they want to be around, if they're not inviting you to places, it really is because they don't think to call. It doesn't mean they'll always feel this way, I've certainly seen situations where a group of friend will have certain members come in and out of the core, but if you're not being invited, they want to hang out without you.

    You can invite them places yourself a few times and see if that works, if they are hesitant or make excuses/leave early etc, then right now they probably just don't feel like hanging with you as much as they used to.

    thejazzman on
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  • zktzkt Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    Something similar happened with me and a group of friends in HS. Just go your own way, try to salvage whatever type of relationships you can with these guys. If nothing can be done with them, screw 'em, find new people to hang out with. Time either brings people closer or further apart it seems.

    zkt on
  • desperaterobotsdesperaterobots perth, ausRegistered User regular
    edited May 2010
    Friendships ebb and flow. If you're moving away soon, and they're aware of it, they might just be insulating themselves from your loss by suring up their own bonds before you leave. Maybe they're using it as an excuse to exclude you, even if it's 'unconsciously'. People change and grow and develop in different directions. Maybe you're just branching into different areas and these other guys have more in common now than they do with you.

    Not that this is any excuse for actively excluding you by having sneaky chats in other rooms. But I would say that, you know, maybe they were just chatting, and the 'oh god am I being excluded?!' filter might have been on, causing you to perceive exclusion/malice where there was none to be perceived?

    On the other hand, sometimes I want to go to dinner with one of my housemates without the other, because I get along so much better with one of them. We're all friends, it's just... Two of us are much better friends. It's no one's fault, it's just how things worked out. If you were the third person in this scenario I could understand why you would feel left out, but it might not be a case of you being unliked, rather that you are just liked less. I don't know if I'm being comforting or depressing here, sorry.

    desperaterobots on
  • mullymully Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    I'm on the other side of this quite a bit - people asking me why they aren't invited to something, after it's over and done with. Sometimes it's because I haven't remembered, sometimes it's because there's no more room, and more often than not, it's because I'm choosing to hang out with my closest group of friends in that time and no one else. It means no offense - you can't always be the number one person on all of your friends' minds.

    Life is too short to hang out with people you only tolerate or "are friends, I guess" with. I know it sucks as a situation to be in, but move on and find the friends that make you feel rad to be with, and who make it known that they want you around.

    As a side note, asking "why didn't you invite me" or "i know you guys had a party, did i miss my invite?" won't do much in your favour, it just puts the accused into a bad position.

    mully on
  • AethosAethos Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    Lisa seemed to imply that it was because I was single and they're in couples and she didn't want me to feel awkward. I explained to them that I am single absolutely by choice and that there doesn't really need to be a reason to feel awkward about it.
    If Dawn, Bill, Chris and Lisa are hanging out or whatever, maybe they do feel awkward about it. Two couples and one single person makes the couples feel awkward, not just the single person. Is Lisa in a relationship? Does her boy/girlfriend hang out with them as well on these things?
    I found out that they had all these plans made for the next few weeks between the three of them. I'm not going to invite myself into other people's plans, but I was sitting right there and wasn't ever invited. They even made plans during this party but it was only for the three of them, so I'm not sure how much the "oh I just don't really think about it" excuse Dawn gave me before hold up.
    They already had some plans, it's not like they made all of them right there at the party. Sometimes people make plans with certain members of the group or whatever. How much planning do you do? I know I don't invite my friends who never call me up as often as those that do. Are they making an effort to hang out with eachother, whereas you're just waiting for them to invite you? That could be it.
    Lisa kept pulling Tanya and Dawn off to the side to have secret conversations in the kitchen. I'm not sure what that was about, but it was just so cliquish. I ended up leaving the party shortly after the third time someone got pulled away for a private conversation. I'm starting to feel very insecure about my place in this group. We were all friends, with Dawn and I being very close for so long, and now it's like we don't even talk except for large planned events such as last night.
    What do you mean secret conversations? Here I think you are jumping to conclusions, sometimes you talk to certain people, and sometimes you want a bit more of a private talk. I don't see how this is rude or childish. Were they whispering and falling silent when you went to go talk to them? Or were they just having a conversation that didn't involve you, away from you?

    As DesperateRobots said, sometimes you just want to talk to or hang out with certain people in your social group, there's nothing wrong with that. Like the tattoo thing, if you had never expressed an interest in getting a tattoo, I wouldn't invite you along for it either, for example.

    Aethos on
  • DhalphirDhalphir don't you open that trapdoor you're a fool if you dareRegistered User regular
    edited May 2010
    You mentioned you're moving to a new city. Is it far enough away that you quite possibly won't see them more than every couple of months, at best? is it even further?

    And most importantly, do they know you're going? it could be that, since you're leaving, they've decided to..emotionally at least...leave first.

    Dhalphir on
  • AsiinaAsiina ... WaterlooRegistered User regular
    edited May 2010
    It's about 7 hours away, and some of them are moving as well eventually in the opposite direction, so I probably won't see them often when I do move. They definitely know I'm going. I don't know if it's some sort of walling off, but this was happening before I ever knew I was leaving.
    mully wrote: »
    As a side note, asking "why didn't you invite me" or "i know you guys had a party, did i miss my invite?" won't do much in your favour, it just puts the accused into a bad position.

    This is something I do want to avoid, and it is why I'm not sure if it's worth bringing it up again. I only ever said that a few months ago when I had noticed it had been happening a lot lately. I wouldn't want to give these people some kind of ultimatum. Then we'd all feel shitty and I'd be paranoid about whether we were hanging out just out of obligation.

    If these were acquaintances or even just so-so friends I wouldn't be as upset. The reason it sucks so much is that these are people I considered very good friends and I know at least at one point considered me a very good friend. If it really is just a drifting apart, they are the ones doing the drifting. They can't be oblivious to my feelings about it considering I did bring it up, but I have a hard time believing that people I've known for so many years would be bad enough friends to just be like "welp, sucks to be her".

    Asiina on
  • DhalphirDhalphir don't you open that trapdoor you're a fool if you dareRegistered User regular
    edited May 2010
    Have your likes/dislikes/hobbies changed at all?are they doing things they think you might not enjoy?

    Dhalphir on
  • DodgeBlanDodgeBlan PSN: dodgeblanRegistered User regular
    edited May 2010
    So this grouping of Tanya, Dawn and Lisa is a pretty new thing.

    I don't think they are being malicious, they've probably just found a group dynamic that they really like. Maybe you don't fit in with whatever vibe they have created for themselves.

    Mini-groups within larger groups are a pretty common thing, and my impression is that you wouldn't really be pissed off at all if it wasn't for Dawn's favouring of this new group. So then what you are really angry about is Dawn seeming to have replaced you with this new tattoo matching posse.

    Most everyone has been on both sides of this sort of thing. The reason could be anything, but I think we should give your friend the benefit of the doubt and just say it's because this new group feels some sort of disconnect from you.

    As to the 'we are all in couples thing'- Some girls I have known around mid-twenties have tried to construct their little world around groups of friends who are all in stable relationships. I don't get it, maybe socializing like that makes them feel more mature or something or worry less about their relationship. Who knows? But my point is maybe when they say 'you're not in a relationship' what they actually mean is 'we are all in relationships and i don't want to be reminded that people are single and I want to talk about my boyfriend 24/7'.

    Okay so actual advice: I would say you probably aren't as good friends with Tanya and Lisa as you thought you were, but I wouldn't write off dawn. Everyone knows how intoxicating it is, that feeling of really belonging in some new group. But it's probably just the honeymoon period. If you've been friends for that long, If you can forgive her this slight then you will remain good friends.

    Also I second the advice that you should try to organize some things and get them to come to it. Often times people who feel like they are being excluded are the ones who expect an invitation to everything yet rarely come up with the goods themselves.

    DodgeBlan on
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  • THE TedTHE Ted Tedoculus OklahomaRegistered User regular
    edited May 2010
    I had a similar experience recently on the internet. I used to always play on these certain servers for this game, and I made a lot of friends who I liked to play with on those servers. But then with the passage of time the typical gameplay on those servers started to change, and while I still liked playing with the people I'd always played with from the beginning, I didn't really like most of the new faces that started showing up in the server.

    So I found a new server community to play in, a set a servers where if I joined a game and didn't know anyone I knew I'd have a better time than I would on my old servers if I joined and didn't know anyone. But I still had all of my old friends on my friends list, and whenever I got online and I pulled up the list what I hoped to see where my old friends playing the old game on the old servers, so I would have reason to join.

    And after a while it just seemed like the old gang just wasn't ever playing, I'd see a few every now and then but I just was never logging on and seeing that core group of people all playing at the same time. And then it just seemed like I wasn't even seeing them ONLINE at all, so I go and scroll through the huge list of 'offline' people...and they aren't there either.

    THEY'D REMOVED ME FROM THEIR FRIENDS LIST.

    Sometimes a friendship means more to you than you think it does and you don't notice until its slipping away or already gone, and sometimes you think it means more to other people than it really does to them. When friends start cutting ties and drifting apart they probably assume that the feeling is mutual, and they don't realize just how much they might be hurting you.

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  • exmelloexmello Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    I was going through the same thing for a few months before I finally got an email officially cutting me off from the group. I post a thread here too because I didn't know what to do.

    I eventually realized that's just how things go and have been finding new friends and activities the last few months.

    exmello on
  • desperaterobotsdesperaterobots perth, ausRegistered User regular
    edited May 2010
    I think you should give some real thought to the possibility that the upcoming separation of you guys could be the main reason this is happening. I know you said it had been happening before they knew you were leaving, but now that they know you're not sticking around for much longer it probably doesn't give them much motivation to.. you know.. invest time - especially if they were already pulling away some.

    It's going to be less painful for them if you're already less entangled in their lives when you leave. This way you're fading out rather than suddenly vanishing and leaving a gaping hole. I know I withdraw from people if I know I'm not going to be seeing them in the future for similar reasons. Being crippled emotionally also feeds in to this behaviour, but that's another thread. :P

    desperaterobots on
  • eternalbleternalbl Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    There's so much more information that a person would need to really read the situation.

    Not everyone in the world will get along forever and ever. It's pretty normal for people to occasionally drift apart. Being jealous probably isn't abnormal, but it isn't really justified.

    Talking about it won't satisfy the itch that's making you want to ask them. Either they'll shut you down completely because they're already essentially closing off the relationship or you are being paranoid and they'll be completely unaware that there even is a situation.

    Basically you can either put more effort into initiating with all 3 and hope that it was just a matter of you not showing interest in hanging out with them, or you can look for new people to do stuff with.

    eternalbl on
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