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Thread: friendship thing, feeling left out

  1. #1
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    friendship thing, feeling left out

    It is a not unfamiliar feeling, and there is limited ways to deal with it honestly. When someone doesn't include you in something that you would have like to be included in what can you honestly say or do. You can become a pest that always calls, I have done that before when my mental state was less controlled. It ruins friendships and even when you are included you still feel like a loser, you know that you had to work really hard at it. Or you can let it go, let a friendship drift off, and be back to not really enough social contact and try again.

    The deal is that a friend I have through my meditation group was in a very close knit group of women studying with a Buddhist teacher for a few years. The out of state women came in 2 times a year generally for a long weekend retreat. I was so happy to be involved, it took a lot for me to get everything together with my time and my finances, and my kids were still at home. My mom even drove out last minute one time because the kids were behaving so badly that it was the only way that I could go for the weekend. I do spent time with this local friend, we went hiking a few weeks ago, we talk. I have been happy with the level of friendship. So I texted her this weekend because she traveled for her grandfather's funeral last weekend and it sounded emotional, I wanted to see how she was. I found out that another woman in the group was actually in Denver visiting and I didn't even know, much less get invited to anything like just tea. I have no idea about the details other then they went to the ballet, so this must have been planned.

    How in the world do you say that you considered yourself part of the group when someone forgets you. I did once, I thought I was in a group of friends until I saw they went away for the weekend and posted on facebook. I brought it up and it went very badly. I recently talked to the dean at my school on a similar issue. I volunteered and did mindfulness for 3 years in classrooms, they liked it so much they created a mindfulness room and hired a coach. They didn't even introduce me although the dean I talked to assured me they told her how great the work I had done was. It is done, what is there to be said. I am glad I said something but I don't really feel better.

    Anyway my local friend wants to meet at Starbucks before our meditation group tomorrow night, so I need to see what I want to do.

  2. #2
    Senior Member razz's Avatar
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    Friendships unfold. Some friends meet one at one level, others at entirely separate levels. Few can handle intense friendships most of the time. Low-key seems to work best. As I become more self-sufficient emotionally, I have become a more valued friend, it seems. My spiritual faith has given me the confidence that I am eternally and unconditionally loved and my role to help others feel loved and valued. When I forget about me and focus on giving kindness, thoughtfulness etc., to others, I believe that I am fulfilling my purpose in life and feel loved.
    Don't know if that helps or not.
    Gandhi: Happiness is when what you think, what you say and what you do are in harmony .

  3. #3
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    I have felt the left out feeling in the past but it is not an on-going issue now. Two things, one time I was not included in an event taking place outside of the workplace by fellow co-workers with whom I felt a close out of work relationship. When sharing my feelings with another co-worker he asked ‘would you have gone?’. I answered ‘no, but it would have been nice to know I was included’ which would simply have validated that I was a part of the group. The second thing is that if I were forgotten or just not asked then I would assume that I was never really a part of the group to begin with, I am on the peripheral of the relationship. Thought of a third, relationships come and go, they are not static, they change. A lot of relationships are not really friendships but acquaintances and it took me a while to learn the difference. I have lived long enough, experienced enough and am old enough to let it go. I cannot make people think, act /react and feel the way I want them to. I can still feel left out at times, wonder why it may be so hard to become part of a group that I wish to be part of but then I think logically and remember what I have learned over the years and all is well.

  4. #4
    Senior Member SteveinMN's Avatar
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    Of course, it's hard for us to know the exact circumstances of this weekend's visit. But...

    We sometimes host friends or family in our basement "guest suite", usually for long weekends. We live near the Interstate and the airport and that level is ready for guests; no clearing items off the guest bed, they get their own dresser and TV and bathroom, etc.

    Sometimes the visit is a quick hit. Sometimes the visit is "gotta-get-away-from-his-family-they're-driving-me-crazy". Even though some of these visitors are known to other friends or family, we leave the social-contact element up to them. Our friends visiting from Duluth for the night before flying off for vacation obviously don't have much time to spend with us, never mind with their many other friends who live across the Twin Cities. My super-introverted niece from a few states away sometimes comes up to visit; one of the things she likes about coming here is that she does not have to engage in the social whirl of family nearby.

    I guess this post simply is a longer illustration of Occam's Razor -- the simplest answer usually is correct. Maybe the out-of-town visitor found ready lodging with the person you know. Maybe there wasn't time to do much more in a group than get last-minute tickets to ballet. Maybe arranging a group meal or tea was simply too much to take on for this visit. ZG, your post does not indicate that the rest of the group went to ballet so I'm assuming that it was not a group outing that excluded you. Just going by the facts provided.

    Again, I don't know why this happened. But the answer could be way simpler than acquaintanceship or a waning friendship. I would not take it to heart until I had more details.
    If Americans expended even a fraction of the energy on civic engagement that we spend on consumer ideology, our democracy would be much healthier. Can you imagine people camping out to vote? -- Charles Roberts, Amherst, Mass., Nov. 25, 2006

  5. #5
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    I would not let one incident ruin the friendship, since up till now you say you have been happy with the level of it. You often tell us how stressed and overwhelmed you feel, so maybe try to be grateful that you had some down time.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Sad Eyed Lady's Avatar
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    Some people work so much better in friendships at a one-on-one level rather than in a group. Maybe a bit introverted or whatever. I am somewhat like that myself, so I guess that is why I can understand it. So, maybe one or the other, (maybe both), of these friends suggested getting together without the group or others in the group. Maybe there was something that really clicked between these two and they wanted to have some time to talk about it, get on a deeper friendship level or whatever, and to do that with others around would be rude. I mean the two of them caught up in a semi-private conversation while everyone else just looked on. Then there will be other times when the group is just what they need. If others in the group weren't included in this outing, then a developing friendship is what it sounds like to me, not just you being excluded.
    "Like a bird on the wire, like a drunk in the midnight choir, I have tried in my way to be free." Leonard Cohen

  7. #7
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    All of that makes sense, and I certainly won't take it seriously enough to ruin a friendship! Like I said overall I feel good about the amount of contact I have. I guess I have been doing a lot of reaching out since I don't have a partner and have some empty nest feelings going on. There are other people in this group I have been reaching out to, just to check in, and since I am making the call I tend to have something to talk about. It feels like I am just talking about myself, and I would love to hear more from them. But you can't make someone else call. So some issues about my expectations I think, and a basic fear of being left behind. The middle aged lady thing means often getting used to being invisible, at least that has been my experience so far.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Simplemind's Avatar
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    It sounds like talking about yourself is more than just a feeling. Nothing wrong with it as long as there is balance. No, you can't make somebody else call but you can call them, not to talk about yourself but to sincerely ask after them and let them do the talking. I would also offer that instead of putting yourself out there so that they will remember to include you that you balance things out by extending your own invitations. If nobody picks up on those then there is the possibility that you are on the periphery of the group. If you wanted to fix that it would take some bravery to ask why.
    Group dynamics change with time. I'm in one that has been getting together at least once a month for almost 25 years. We have lost people through time and we are now down to five. One person in this five has never missed a get together but has also never hosted one or made much of a contribution when others have. When it was suggested that we now meet at a restaurant instead of hosting at homes she did not respond the first time and when it was brought up at the next dinner she balked and said she really wanted to keep it in the homes because it was more comfortable when we wanted to stay and talk. This rather blew me away after those that actually host said for various reasons why they didn't want to host any more. That was it for me. I don't mind inviting her to meet us but I wouldn't reschedule if she wasn't free. A couple of us also go out in twos now and again and don't feel that the group must be attached at the hip at all times. One gal is always so worried that the now peripheral gal will hear that somebody met and doesn't know what to say when asked. I always tell her to tell the truth. Dynamics changed and we didn't all want the same things. Nobody is in charge of hosting anymore and if she wants to get together then it is on her to pick up the phone and organize a meeting instead of sitting back and waiting for others to do the heavy lifting.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Ultralight's Avatar
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    Reading the sincere and helpful responses to ZG was quite nice.
    I came from a real tough neighborhood. I put my hand in some cement and felt another hand." -- Rodney Dangerfield

  10. #10
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    Thank you all, I am feeling a little bit silly about it now. It seems like not a big deal anymore, but it felt emotional last night. Overall I am emotional around the shootings, I don't talk about it much since I truly can't manage where the conversations end up going. However a few days to a week after a shooting I find that I have been numb and just starting to feel again. I will worry when I feel nothing,

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