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Friends excluding me

  • 05-09-2020 11:47pm
    Registered Users Posts: 166,026 ✭✭✭✭

    Hi there,

    I have three close friends. We have been friends for nearly 10 years. We often meet up and have the best of laughs. I really enjoy their company and they always seem to enjoy my company when I am with them.

    In recent months I have noticed them excluding me in different ways.

    -They have a separate WhatsApp and snap chat group chat.
    -Three of them met up for a day/night for dinner and drinks in an Airbnb but didn’t invite me or actually tell me.
    -An invitation for any group meets usually comes a couple of hours beforehand and in my opinion is a last-minute invitation.
    -On a one-to-one, I find two of those friends are always reluctant to meet-up and have made excuses in the past not to meet.
    -I have noticed on a night out that two of my friends would organise a lift home but wouldn’t ask me if I needed a lift even though we they would be passing my village.
    -They would also meet up during the week in groups of two sometimes and just not invite me or ask me to lunch etc.

    For group meet-ups, I am the person initiating the get together.
    I have organised trips to Galway, Belfast, Spain in the past and they have been more than happy to come along.
    We also have a group chat, but looking back at the history, I seem to be the person who is initiating conversation. When I think about it I feel that they are only paying me lip service by responding into the chat.

    Now I do work in a busy job so I usually can’t meet during the week.
    One/two of them would message me when they are having issues with technology or academic stuff. I often provide the advice or tips

    Maybe I am making a big deal out of nothing. I mean they have the right to spend time without me. I don't know why but I just feel terrible and I feel embarrassed that they are meeting up without me.
    All I would like is an invitation. Or even some consideration as to why they would like to meet up without me.
    We are all from a small rural area and we all only have a small number of friends. The explanation of ‘forgetting to invite me’ just couldn’t happen in this situation.
    I don’t want to lose these friends. I don’t have many friends and I enjoy their company when we do meet. However, at the same time I don’t want to have these inadequate feelings.

    Does anyone have an experience of this situation?


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,272 ✭✭✭qwerty13

    I’m not saying that you are like this, but I had a friend who was part of a small group as you describe - we were friends through circumstance, but all got on quite well.

    However, the rest of us found over the years that we had less in common with her than each other, and then as we got into our mid twenties, we all realised that she never said anything about her life, her family, what she thought, how she felt. It becomes very uncomfortable when you realise that you’ve shared a lot with someone you think of as a friend ... and then you realise that you know more about the random person that you sit beside in work.

    Obviously that’s a very specific circumstance - but I guess the point is that friendship is a two way street. Do you listen to your friends? Do you share your life with them? Do you have common interests, or do the rest of the group share more common interests than with you? Does your organising of times away come across as a good thing, or are you the ‘in charge’ one of the group (which can get a bit tedious). You mentioned that you can’t meet mid-week. Maybe it suits the others to meet mid-week, and they’ve just become accustomed to that - and make repeat arrangements to meet each other. If you constantly say no to mid-week meet-ups that it suits the others to go on, well no-one is going to keep asking you indefinitely if you keep saying no.

    Do you think you’re friends through circumstance / coming from a small area, or because you genuinely have a lot in common and get on well? Do you feel excluded only recently, or has this been the case for ages and you’ve just started to notice it more?

  • Registered Users Posts: 15,176 ✭✭✭✭ILoveYourVibes

    Your gut intuition is usually right.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,272 ✭✭✭qwerty13

    Your gut intuition is usually right.

    I’m not sure what you mean by this. Is it that if the OP feels excluded, then they are being excluded?

    None of us here are going to know the thought process of the OP’s friends, but I do think it is worth the OP examining what positives they bring to the table for their friends, whether their inability to meet mid-week could provide an simple convenience explanation, and whether their friend group is just because of circumstance (as opposed to really having a lot in common).

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,702 ✭✭✭zoobizoo

    Could you ask the third friend what's going on?

    If you're not being invited on nights out and making all the initial contact, then it looks as if, and sorry to be blunt here, they do not want to be your friend. It's a horrible situation for you - particularly being excluded from nights out and WhatsApp chats.

    I have 3 friends from school days... (going back 30 years now)... let's call them A, B & C.

    A is my oldest best friend. And back in the day we'd all meet up as 4. In recent years though, the dynamic has changed and nights with B & C are better without 'A' because we like discussing music, different topics that A isn't into and we meet up only 3 or 4 times a year so I just don't invite A.

    Now, I'm in regular contact with A and we meet up for coffees/pints etc and we're still good friends.

    'A' has another group of friends, a group which I used to hang around with but
    I didn't like a couple of them that much so I excluded myself somewhat - never joined their Whatsapp group - but the odd time I get a late invitation via my friend 'A'. . . it's not that they forget to invite me - it's that I'm not part of their closer group and sometimes I'm an after thought. (I'm happy enough with that).

    "On a one-to-one, I find two of those friends are always reluctant to meet-up and have made excuses in the past not to meet"

    I think the above statement is the big tell. If 2 out of the group of 3 don't want to meet separately, they may not see themselves as your friend.

  • Registered Users Posts: 166,026 ✭✭✭✭LegacyUser

    OP here
    Thanks for everyone replies and thoughts.

    While the exclusion has created these negative feelings, I won’t be letting them overcome me. There is more to life than worry and I understand I cannot depend on others for my happiness.

    Yes, in general, I tend to be quite a reserved person. However, when meeting my friends, we are all open and happy to share information about ourselves and our lives. In fact, we probably overshare too much information. We are very comfortable with each other. But I suppose reflecting on our friend group, I would share the least amount of information.
    To provide more clarity, these are essentially my school friends. I know all their families and am comfortable spending time with their families to.

    Yes, perhaps a reason why they don’t invite me to some events is because I work a lot. Friend A works part time, Friend B recently just got a job and Friend C is unemployed.

    As previously mentioned, we live in a small area and we would have similar interests running, playing music etc. However, reflecting on our topics of conversation it seems to revolve around reminiscing on ‘old times’ and talking about how jobs/families are. I hate saying this, but oftentimes local gossip is a huge area of conversation. Friends A & C spend a huge amount of time talking about other people lives and, in some cases, begrudge success to people whom they may have not spoken to in years. While I do not always have gossip to report, I do find this behaviour to be quite infectious and I find that I sometimes too end up talking about other people within the conversation.

    I suppose I just need to think practically about what to do next. It would be possible to talk to friend A about how I am feeling but ultimately, I feel friend A will tell me that I am paranoid and that it wasn’t intentional. I have told things to friend A before in confidence and Friend A has repeated that information to Friend B and C.
    I have also noticed Friend A to talk about Friend B to me in the past. I would be quite confident that all three of them would talk about me when they meet-up. Now they might not be talking bad about me but would most likely end up dissecting my life and what I am getting up to.

    Friend A would have more consideration for my feelings, and we would probably get on the most. Friend B tends to be a cold person in general and wouldn’t really have a friend group outside our circle. Friend C communicate with me the most daily but would also send me snaps of them meeting up without me. While it hurts me to see these snaps, I do not believe Friend C is intentionally sending me these updates to prove a point or upset me.

    I mentioned in my previous post, that the three of them met up for lunch and a night together and didn’t invite me. During that evening away, Friend A messaged into our group chat asking a question if we would all be interested in meeting up to see a movie. I found it quite strange that Friend A was posing a question to the entire group ( 4 members) to see if we would be interested in meeting when Friend A was sitting beside Friend B & C while writing the message. To my surprise Friend B responded to the message say they would like to meet. I just found this bizarre giving the fact that they were all together. Part of me believes they were trying to hide the fact that they met up without me and were all together. I only found out about this from social media

    I do not intend to paint a negative picture of my friend group. I enjoy their company and care about them too. I suppose I do not want to lose our friendship and lose the relationships I have created with them and their families.

    But I do need to be realistic and have some respect for myself.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 930 ✭✭✭TheadoreT

    Honestly it sounds like they find you hard work but sort of feel an obligation to keep you involved in some things as they've grown up with you and live near you so the ghosting option would feel worse for them.

    I think this happens in a lot of friends groups as they evolve over the years. Peoples priorities ect change and theres often an immature one or one who responds badly to drink or is socially terrible who can be phased out or left behind. These are harsh realities of life.

    Whatever the reason is they seem to need enough buffer first before you're included in 2nd wave of invites. Cant imagine this is great for your self esteem so would advise you to not overly try seek their approval as their minds already seemed made up. Do your best to try expand your horizons beyond this group and find more like minded individuals who enjoy your company more.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,709 ✭✭✭cloudatlas

    I was friends with a group from college, I was good friends with one of them and it became clear that the other two would purely invite me because of this other friend and didn't really like me at all when I really started to pay attention. They were always snarky, put me down, and would smile at each other when they said something nasty. After a while it became intolerable and I also decided I didn't want the negativity that they brought in my life so I dropped them.

    Don't allow anybody to treat you like that. Continue the friendship with the one guy but drop the rest, it's not worth it. They've shown you their true colours. Find better friends.

  • Posts: 2,799 ✭✭✭[Deleted User]

    OP. Are they all women?

  • Registered Users Posts: 620 ✭✭✭Meeoow

    It sounds like 2 of the group don't want to be your friend. The third is just going with the flow. Seems like they use you for advice on tech issues, and that is why they still keep you hanging on. It's not nice when you are excluded like that. Try to get some new friends who appreciate you, they don't.
    Similar happened to me years ago. I hung around with a good friend, but another girl came on the scene. She didn't like me. My friend started excluding me, so I moved on.

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,316 ✭✭✭mojesius

    I agree with cloudatlas, change your friends. Hanging around them will do nothing but erode your self confidence.

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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 4,676 ✭✭✭strandroad

    You say that you noticed a change in recent months. Could it possibly be Covid related? Social circles can be affected if people have differing approaches to precautions, controversial topics make them see someone differently etc.

  • Registered Users Posts: 216 ✭✭Skibunny77

    I think this is hard and hurtful. You are right to trust your instincts, you are being excluded and it sounds as though Friend A is your key link to the other girls. Long term, you should start to invest time in new ways of meeting people and building new friendships.

    I think the type of exclusion is really mean - not offering lifts etc, so I hope that gives you a little sense of comfort - these are not the kindest people and perhaps not the type of life long friends you want.

  • Registered Users Posts: 116 ✭✭line_of_fire

    Hi OP

    I feel your pain and went through something similiar however the 'friends' in question got very nasty and actively excluded me, which really had a negative impact on my mental health. In my case my life started to get better, I got promoted and love life was going really well. My so called friends couldn't stand to see me happy and started excluding me. Created new what's app group without me, wouldn't invite me out etc

    Now it took time and a lot of counselling to piece it all together but there is always one person in a group who is more dominant and unfortunately the dominant one on my group really disliked my promotion so she started excluding.

    We are no longer friends and tbh it's better that way. I give a lot as a friend and expect same back. If friends can't have your back and be happy for you, you are better off without them. And to purposefully and actively exclude one member is a form of bullying and you don't need that in your life.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,968 ✭✭✭...Ghost...

    Some "friends" are nothing but parasites and are there to take. You might enjoy their company, but friends are people you should be able to trust not to talk behind your back and actively exclude you. You said yourself they've arranged lifts that pass through your village and never asked you. It sounds to me like you are a passing thought and someone who can help them when they need it. They are consciously aware of their behaviour, so there is no excusing it.

    Free Palestine from Hamas

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,203 ✭✭✭Tork

    If these people were ever your friends, that time has since passed. I think you know this too, even though you're trying to come up with excuses for their behaviour. Some of the mental gymnastics you're using to justify being excluded are pretty incredible if you don't mind me saying. This is like a jigsaw puzzle that you've 99% completed but which you're afraid to add the final piece to. That would involve you finally accepting that it's time to move on from these people and to work on building a new social circle for yourself. That's daunting for most people and is easier said than done. Covid isn't helping but hopefully, we won't have to be dealing with all these measures long-term.

    Even if you ignore the many clues that are right under your nose, you're going to find yourself in much the same position anyway. You're already on the periphery of this group. If they had somebody else they could pump for help and advice, they wouldn't bother with you at all. Don't be under any illusions that you're being used here. And instead of being embarrassed that they're treating you like this, you should be embarrassed that you're letting them.

    It won't take much for you to cut yourself loose from these so-called friends. Many friendships simply fizzle out without any particular hard feelings. That can easily happen here, saving you from any awkwardness if you meet their families. If you start to see them as acquaintances or people you used to be close to, it'll be easier. They're much more important to you than you are to them. All you'll be doing is meeting them half way.