At some point or another, there has probably been a time when members of your friend group just don’t feel as close as they used to. Maybe there was an argument and now everyone is taking sides. Or maybe some of you have moved farther away from home than others. Maybe it’s just the unstoppable “growing up” that has caused you to feel like the outsider of the group. Any way you slice it, the feeling of growing apart in a group can be painful, especially if you feel pushed out of the group.
In my case, I started dating someone within my friend group, which I feel is pretty common. It was great for a few months, with all of us together and happy. We would all go to the movies, take weekend trips, walk to class…basic stuff. Then after the breakup, it became one of those “divorced” friendships where the two mutual friends had to divide their time spent between me and my ex. At the end of the day, I ended up feeling like I was being pushed out of the group, which of course stung.
It can be incredibly hurtful to feel like your friends are pushing you away, but luckily there are ways to cope in a healthy way. First and foremost, make sure you talk to your friends. By expressing your thoughts and feelings, you can make others aware of how you feel, as sometimes (like in my case), your friends might not consciously think they’re pushing you away. After expressing to your friends what’s wrong, make sure to listen to them. Is the reason they don’t invite you to Sunday brunch because they know you work late the night before? There could be underlying issues to miscommunications, which is why talking it out is the best and most direct way to deal with the issue.
Secondly, take a second to analyze the situation for what it is and not what it could be. Are you feeling that you’re being pushed out right now or all the time? It’s common to feel upset when someone rejects us for someone else. Small forms of “rejection” are a part of life and we just have to learn to accept them and move on! When analyzing the situation, it’s important to be a little realistic here–are you truly being left out or do you feel paranoid that everyone is leaving you out? Maybe some FOMO is a player here?
Finally, move past the situation! Plan activities with your friends in advance to have something to look forward to. When you’re with your friends, really be in the moment and enjoy it; when you’re not with your friends, don’t fall victim to FOMO practices. If you’ve really decided that you feel too far from your friends, there’s nothing wrong with branching out and meeting new people who fit you better.
Also published on Medium.