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Thread: Friend group - am I trying too hard?

  1. #1
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    Friend group - am I trying too hard?

    Hi everyone

    I have transferred to a new university and everyone already knows each other very well, I’ve made friends a group

    However I feel like they just use me when need me
    They’re always borrowing my notes and I always find myself doing things for them

    But yet they never think of nor invite me out anywhere

    I confronted one of the guys who uses my notes frequently and whenever I cook dinner I always make loads and send a box over next door
    And I asked him what was going?

    I said “you guys always message me whenever you need anything, I do so much because I help people when they ask and I’ve never said no but you guys always forget to invite me”

    He said he was sorry and it was not personal, and I should let it go and that I just slip their minds


    So after the confrontation I got a text a couple of hours later saying they’re going for bowling and if I wanted to go

    I genuinely don’t know how I feel about it anymore because it’s almost like a pity invite
    Or am I being overly paranoid and negative? And just go and see what happens

    Fitting into a new place is hard
    So any advice on how to proceed would be great

    It’s also an international university and these few select people speak English
    The other “cliques” speak in their own languages (Spanish, German, Norwegian etc.) which is why I haven’t branched out as much to other people even though I have tried !
    I just sit in a corner not having a clue as to what’s going on

    I’ve learnt to enjoy my company but when you go a week by yourself in a foreign town it gets lonely

  2. #2
    Gold Member SGH's Avatar
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    You made your feelings clear and the group responded by inviting you. It would be foolish to not accept the invitation at this point. If you don't have fun or feel you do not connect with the group, you always have the option to return to your isolation. I doubt your neighbors were aware of your feelings before you stated them clearly, and the invite was not one of pity but of friendship now that they are aware you would like to be invited out. Do your best to be open and friendly during the excursion and you could quickly become part of the group like you desire.

  3. #3
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    Originally Posted by SGH
    You made your feelings clear and the group responded by inviting you. It would be foolish to not accept the invitation at this point. If you don't have fun or feel you do not connect with the group, you always have the option to return to your isolation. I doubt your neighbors were aware of your feelings before you stated them clearly, and the invite was not one of pity but of friendship now that they are aware you would like to be invited out. Do your best to be open and friendly during the excursion and you could quickly become part of the group like you desire.
    Go bowling!

    Don't try to second-guess their intentions.

  4. #4
    Platinum Member melancholy123's Avatar
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    Good grief. They invited you to go bowling, so go! You wont enlarge your social circle by sitting home fretting and complaining about it.

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  6. #5
    Platinum Member DancingFool's Avatar
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    Of course go and have fun. Don't be that person who can't be pleased. You expressed your concerns, they responded positively. Take it and run with it and have fun and actually use it as a chance to bond more with the group.

    That said, yes you are trying too hard. Sharing notes in college is common, but cooking tons food and sending care boxes over is....too much. You aren't their mommy. Aim to be more of an equal peer to people instead of care taker.

  7. #6
    Platinum Member Andrina's Avatar
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    Moving forward, how about joining uni clubs you might be interested in, and/or take up a hobby outside of the campus. Hopefully there will be others in these groups who speak your language, and the shared passion for the hobby/interest will be something you have in common with potential friends.

    All the time and energy you're putting into people who don't appreciate your friendship is time wasted. Instead of sitting by the same old crowd in classes, look for someone in class who seems interesting and friendly and go sit by them for a change and strike up a conversation.

    Realize it takes time to assimilate and form true connections. Yes, keep making the effort, but also learn to enjoy your solo time. Explore which sites in the area you can safely explore on your own. Maybe think of the alone time as that much more time you can devote to your studies and really ace those classes. Take care.

  8. #7
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    Go bowling!

    In the future do not continue to give so much. A friendship should not be one-sided. Also, stop giving them food.

    Make an effort to meet more people.

  9. #8
    Platinum Member j.man's Avatar
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    In the future, try to lead by example before getting accusatory, even if you've got some reason to. If you want to do something with them, suggest and plan it. And if you're new in town, it really wouldn't be all that pathetic to say, "Hey, lemme know the next time you guys are going out and I'll tag along. Been dying to see the town and meet new people." Coming out the gate essentially accusing them of using you isn't a good look. Go bowling and have fun.

  10. #9
    Platinum Member catfeeder's Avatar
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    Transactional relationships are not a bad thing when you are clear about what you're offering in exchange for what you want to receive. These can be reasonable shortcuts to the social exposure you want, or any other service such as trading a load of laundry in exchange for a cooked meal.

    However, it makes no sense to volunteer a service only to withhold your expectations and then complain that your recipient hasn't delivered their part of the bargain--and THEN complain when they deliver that the transaction wasn't heartfelt enough for you.

    That's a surefire way to make yourself feel lousy for making others feel lousy--have you noticed?

    Next time someone asks you for something that you don't mind doing, ask nicely for the trade that you want in exchange for it. If that's to be included in a group outing within the next 2 weeks, put that on the table. If the trade is accepted, then don't talk yourself into self pity for making a fair deal.

    Over time you can skip trading with anyone you don't enjoy, keep trading with those you do enjoy, and meanwhile, consider joining clubs or volunteer groups or community events to meet other people who may befriend you based on shared experiences over which they come to learn that they like you.

    Never pretzel yourself emotionally over strangers who have no emotional attachment to outcomes. That just makes no sense.

    Head high.

  11. #10
    Gold Member thisisrichey's Avatar
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    ah hah.. the "nice person syndrome".. yes tha'ts you.
    you give give give too readily that you get taken for granted and that becomes your identiy, "the person that will give you wahtever you want for nothing.." I used to be this way. Many people have been that way before.

    So yes... you need to think for #1.
    You need to make sure any/every interaction is like a transaction.. "what's in it for me? is there enough in this for me to do this?"

    Now while it is good and we all do volunteer to do things for other people - do it because you genuinely want to do it for them and becuse you enjoy it. How do you know if this is true? Very simple. If they never give anything back to you after that - will it bother you or are you good? If you're good - you're donig it because you want to and are happy to. If it will bother you - you're doing it to 'win them over' and gain favor back (or "ingratiate them back to you"). The latter is a no-no.

    So.. here are the things you will start doing NOW to turn this ALL around the other way (I nkow.. I did them. I've made the change.. and it works!):
    1. Only ever volunteer to do something for somebody else because you SINCERELY want to do it - aka.. if they never "pay it back" to you no problem. In fact, you never even thought of wanting them to pay you back for it!
    2. Even with #1 above, catch yourself and force yourself to sometimes STOP yourself from volunteering to do somethign for somebody .. JUST to practice saying "no" until it's 2nd nature. VERY IMPORTANT!
    3. Start to see things as a transaction and make sure "what's in this for me" is satisfied before you do it - don't do it an hope/expect payback later.

    You will be SHOCKED (I was!) just how cool people are about it when you say "no" and how they don't hate you, look badly upon you, and how quickly they move on about it. aka.. "wow.. it actually wasn't a real big deal to them I said 'no'.. "
    Youl will be SHOCKED at how peopel on't automatically see you as a bad horrible person simply because you said "no" and aren't volunteering to help out so much. (I myself hardly ever volunteer to help much at all now, once in a while i do it because it's the right thing to do.... and it's never wrong to do the right thing...). But realize, there aren't that many times when "its the right thing to do" b/c most things just AREN'T nearly as big of a deal as you think (when you're in "nice, winning them over" mode).
    You will be SHOCKED at how people instead, start to do for YOU instead! (yes. part of this is to start asking for help from others.... for sure... but don't abuse this.. just when you truly could use the help).

    Sounds crazy doen'st it?
    It isn't.

    Give it a shot and stick to it for a while and you'll see.


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