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Am I reasonable in chosing to cut out these friends?


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I am going through some tough times at the moment and can't think clearly some of the time. Find myself overreacting and being overly sensitive. So I was hoping that asking people not involved may give me a more objective view of the situation and tell me if I am just overreacting here or not.


I will try and be as brief as I can...


This concerns 5 people in total. I went back to college last fall as a mature student (I'm 29) with a degree under my belt already. I'd made friends during this previous degree and thus thought that I'd make friends at the new college in time too. As it is, I've been finding it bloody hard as people are either 18 and we don't have much in common, or they are closer to my own age but are not interested in getting to know me (and trust me, I've tried chatting to them often enough to be able to tell they're not interested).


I did a 1-year course to qualify for the particular program I'm doing now, and during this course I met a girl who I *thought* I'd become friends with. Not close close pals, but friends. Let's call her A. We are now on the same program here. After the first week or so at college last October I felt very down as I just wasn't getting on with people as well as most others around me (I know, I know, it had only been a week but I'd chatted to people as much as I could during the first week and just sensed overwhelming disinterest which made me panicky as I really want to make friends and have a good time at college). I mentioned this to A and how I was feeling upset and like I wasn't good enough, and she was very sympathetic and told me she was bullied at school and that she herself had worries about not making friends. She was hopeful though that it would eventually happen for her. As the next couple weeks went on, I didn't get any more popular despite trying my best, joining clubs and societies, going out to events, talking to people where and whenever. Noone seemed interested in me. So I felt worse and worse. When I told A, she seemed again sympathetic but when we arranged to have lunch later that week she made sure a group of people from our course came along. This was not for my benefit; we literally walked out of the lecture theatre and were about to set off for lunch when she spotted this group and shot over and asked if they wanted to join us. Almost as if she didn't want to go to lunch with just me. So all of us went and she spent the entire time talking to these other people (never mind that WE had agreed to go to lunch). I thought that was a tad rude.


I let it go however, and we arranged to have coffee the week after. On the day she cancelled saying she wanted to go home and do some work (despite coffee not taking that long). She didn't suggest we reschedule, and when I texted her the week after to do just that she never replied. I thought she was giving me hints to leave her alone, so I did. This is the first time I have done this and accepted that sometimes people change their minds about wanting to be friends with you. Before I would have called and asked what was going on. This time I accepted the decrease in interest. It hurt like hell but now I'm over it. She walked past me the other week and clearly saw me as we made eye contact - and then she just briskly walked past me as if she'd never seen me. That just confirmed that she wants nothing to do with me anymore, and has made me angry enough not to want anything to do with her anymore either. She could have had the guts to tell me why she wants nothing to do with me anymore (e.g. I'm too negative, I'm not popular enough to help her get accepted by the people she wants as friends, or whatever other reason). She chose to avoid and ignore. Ok, her choice. It was then my choice to accept this and not want to be around someone like that.


Now, there is another girl - also on my course. Let's call her B. We started chatting randomly a few weeks into the course and got on. Ok, so we don't go and visit each other's houses but we sometimes go for drinks in the evening or have lunch together, we go to the gym together and we normally sit together in class. She is part of a larger group who I get on with, though none of them socialises with me outside of class (they do with one another). That I can live with though. She mentioned girl A a few weeks back as she remembered me telling her that we'd been on the same course before coming to college. She also said that A had been trying to chat her up. I told B what had happened with A and why I don't want to be around A if I can help it. B seemed to accept that and nothing more was said. Then, last week, I missed a few classes and came into the lecture hall to find A and B sitting together. A knows I am friends with B. I sat down somewhere else and after class texted B to say I would see her at the gym when she's well again but wouldn't be able to sit with her in class as I don't want to be around A. B said I was being silly and should patch up things with A. Thing is, I am done with her and really have no wish to patch things up. B doesn't seem to accept this.


Then, last Friday I walked into a bookstore to find the two of them (and another guy) browsing and chatting away. Ok, I understand that A wants to talk to B because she both fancies her (although B is not gay and A knows this) and because she wants to make friends. And A has had her eye on B and this guy for a while (she mentioned to me right at the start how they seemed really nice people) and I guess now she has the opportunity she was waiting for. And today they were sitting together in class again and I saw them head off for lunch afterwards.


This is the first of two situations I wanted people's opinion on: did I overreact in thinking A didn't want to be friends anymore? I mean, people have the right to stop being your friends, as I far as I can tell A was just exercising that right. Also, was B not a very good friend to me by starting to always hang out with a girl who I don't want to be around because B thinks A and I should make up - and not accepting that me (and A!!) don't WANT to make up and are happy with the status quo?


Ok, the second situation concerns my birthday. I turn 30 next week and to me this is a milestone birthday and I want to celebrate it with my friends. We have exams early next week (they don't count as such but indicate how well you're getting on, so most people take them seriously). As my birthday is in the middle of the exams AND on a weekday, I decided to celebrate on the weekend closest to my birthday. Also, exams finish on Wednesday and people tend to go away for the rest of the week so people would have been out of town if I wanted to celebrate the weekend of exam week. Plus my non-college friends don't have a problem with celebrating this weekend as they don't have exams next week.


I asked 4 people from college (B, 2 other girls and the guy that A and B were in the bookstore with) if they wanted to come for a few drinks and dinner on the Saturday I was thinking of celebrating. All four said yes, despite knowing that this was two days before exams. Now, when I set out to book a table a couple days ago I contacted these four people to make sure they could still make it to get a correct number of guests for the reservation. And guess what? None of them can make it:


- the bf of B has suddenly decided that he wants to come and visit her (and she doesn't want to bring him to the meal because she doesn't see him a lot and wants to spend the weekend alone with him)

- one girl is working (she works as a tutor at short notice though, can't predict when she's working and can't afford to turn work down as she's not exactly flush),

- the other two are citing revision (surely there is only so much work you can do between 6 and 10pm - and if you're working that late two days before exams will this really make a difference? If you were well prepared you could probably work Saturday daytime and take the evening off if you wanted to?!)


So this to me shows I'm not that important to him as I thought I was. If a friend of mine had their 30th birthday and invited me 3 weeks beforehand and I'd said I'd be there, I would be. If I didn't want to go, I wouldn't agree to it first and then drop out later. If I wanted to go, I would make sure I could - that means letting my bf know what I'm up to so he doesn't decide to surprise me with a visit when I have agreed to go somewhere, making sure I'm up-to-date enough with work so I could take the evening off and go to the birthday. The girl who needed to work is the only one I sympathise with - I have to work myself to put myself through college.


I'm just offended that I'm not important enough to the other three to not prioritize my birthday meal in their calendars and schedules. They do go to other people's events, come hell and high water - I knows because I've heard them say things like "I went to X's party and shouldn't have because I needed to do college work, but there was no way I wasn't going to go!"


So I am tempted to accept what happened as a wake-up call and accept that these people are not as good friends as I thought they were, and that they mean more to me than I mean to them. I'm tempted to not call them anymore, to "have other things to do" if they ask me to do something and just treat them with the same interest level they are extending me. Keep it light and class-only, develop a thicker skin and not be bothered so much what they think of me.


Is this mean, or would this be a reasonable thing to do?


I am a kind person, but if someone upsets me, humiliates me or makes me feel bad about myself I tend not to give many chances. "You hurt me twice, you're out" kinda mentality. It saves me from more hurt. Is this a wise thing to do though, or should you keep giving chances instead of protecting yourself?


I have other friends outside college who I think care about me more, and I have a very supportive bf. I am also in counselling but it's early days yet and we'll have to see if it'll help. I am thinking of trying to make friends not connected with college - if there isn't something majorly wrong with me which would scupper those plans. The disinterest shown by people in my first few weeks doesn't bode well when it comes to being interesting enough for people to want to be friends with But we'll see how it goes, as there is no alternative really. I want to make friends in this city...if these have to come from outside college then that's life.


Thanks for reading this novel, and if you have any thoughts for me I would hightly welcome them. Thanks!!

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It's good that you have other friends outside college, and a good bf. Maybe making lots of friends at college isn't to be, not if most of the people there are 18ish. Perhaps you should give B another chance though. It is a bit harsh that she stood you up on your birthday and you should be annoyed, but at least she had a reason unlike the others. And she probably wasn't hanging out with A just to spite you... sometimes your friends are also friends of people who you don't get on with at all. I fell out with a friend a while back and I still have friends that are friends with him... it's just how the world is.

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I agree with Carnatic, it's good you have a good boyfriend & good supportive friends outside of college. From my experience, college friends just don't last long. So I didn't invest much of myself into the friendships or took them too seriously cause the main thing is -I'm there for school, for my education. and I saw how fickel most of the friendships were.


Regarding friend A, I think you're taking it a bit too far when you avoid friend B just cause she's sitting with A. I think that sounds a little immature, reminded me of highschool. I agree that if you don't want to "patch things up" with A, don't bother. Especially since there isn't really much to patch. But I think you can & probably should still be confident & civil with her, since you both now share a friend. I agree with Carnatic about friend B, her reason for missing your party does seem like a very good one and as her friend you should probably try to understand this. If my bf lived afar & I only got to see him casually I wouldn't want to take him to a party where he will know no one, I'd want to spend as much quality time alone with him as I could.

I don't think it means she doesn't value you or your frienship, I think it just means that her priority is to her man her love, which is where it should be & but she still cares for you & values you.

I can't say whether your reasons for dropping these friends are reasonable. Because it all comes down to how much you value them & how much your birthday really means to you. Personally I don't find birthdays too important myself & probably wouldn't be offended if they missed my party. I'd look at the bright side, the less people that are there, the more quality time i can spend with each of them. Plus I find the time I spend with people in every day life what matters most.

It's really your call. maybe just invest less of yourself into these friendships if you don't feel they will be long lasting. A friendship is more about learning about & loveing others.

But whatever you do, I wish you happiness - And happy early birthday!!!


Oh one thing Be sure that if you cut them from your life, don't hold on to the offence - it will become bitterness & harm you more than anything.

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"So I am tempted to accept what happened as a wake-up call and accept that these people are not as good friends as I thought they were, and that they mean more to me than I mean to them. I'm tempted to not call them anymore, to "have other things to do" if they ask me to do something and just treat them with the same interest level they are extending me. Keep it light and class-only, develop a thicker skin and not be bothered so much what they think of me."


I think this would be the right thing to do. Why? Because I have exactly the same problem. These are the conclusions I've come to after a lot of sadness. Friendship is a two way thing and there is no point trying when the other person clearly does'nt care (ignoring you is unacceptable!). Its a waste of your time and feelings! At the end of the day, not everyone in life will like you and you have to accept that and continue to look for those with whom you just click. You won't click with everyone. I also think you (and me!) are trying too hard - I've come to realise the more you try, the less likely you are to build friendships. I guess its like when one if looking for a bf, you scare people off, for whatever reasons, intensity maybe - I don't know. Adopt the attitude of I don't care with those that don't care about you (because you should'nt care about people like that) and concentrate on those people who do care about you and finding those friends you click with. Good luck. Fingers crossed we'll both find those friends we're searching for. Luckily we both have bf's - you see mine is my best friend.

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Also good advice. Especially the trying to hard part.


however I'm confused here? "there is no point trying when the other person clearly does'nt care (ignoring you is unacceptable!)."

Ignoring a friend is very rude & personally i'd also find it unaceeptable, BUT I dont' think that applies here. Unless I missed it in the thread- when have they been ignoring her???

From what i understood they just aren't making it to the birthday party when before they said they could. But they have now let her know they can't.

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when we arranged to have lunch later that week she made sure a group of people from our course came along. This was not for my benefit


I'm sorry but I would have thought it was for your benefit after you were complaining that you weren't making friends, she invited a group of people out for lunch for you to get to know. Why didn't you join in the conversation? You probably gave off a bad impression because you were angry that your friend had invited all these people to your 'private' lunch.


I don't mean to offend, but at 29 you shouldn't be behaving in an exclusionary manner to people and making it so that they can only talk to people you approve of. No wonder they don't want to be friendly with you.


Why are you so insecure? Why didn't you ASK A why she hasn't wanted to spend time with you. As for B's actions, I also would be totally turned off by someone with so much drama after such a short time knowing them. yuck! Grow up and stop trying to control your friends by excluding those who you don't approve of. I think I behaved like that in elementary school not COLLEGE geeeez

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Originally Posted by varecia

when we arranged to have lunch later that week she made sure a group of people from our course came along. This was not for my benefit



I'm sorry but I would have thought it was for your benefit after you were complaining that you weren't making friends, she invited a group of people out for lunch for you to get to know. Why didn't you join in the conversation? You probably gave off a bad impression because you were angry that your friend had invited all these people to your 'private' lunch

Good point handsdown - Yes i was thinking that as well.

I think inviting the group Was to benefit you. Since you were telling her you were having trouble making friends, she gave you the prime oppurtunity to make many friends. Perhaps she was put off by your lack of effort that day. She was trying to help you & instead you got offended & upset by it.

just a thought.

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I did try talking to some of the people in the group she invited along, but they were more interested in talking to her and you could see a clear difference in how animated they were when talking to me as compared to her. No matter how damn hard I tried.


I should add that the week before this group-lunch thing happened, A and most of the people in the above group had gone for dinner at a restaurant and A had invited me along as she happened to bump into me on campus and mentioned it. When I got to the restaurant (I was a little late due to transport delays), A and these people were chatting away over starters and I sat at the end of the table (free spare seat cos big tables always seem to fill from the middle outwards) and tried my best to enter the conversation and be friendly and smiley and introduced myself to those sitting closest to me (hadn't met most of the people on that table before). And no, I didn't just barge into the conversation, I waited for an opening and proper context and everything. Again, the 4 people sitting closest to me who I tried talking to responded as much as politeness would require - but were not interested in chatting to me above and beyond that. Whereas they were very into chatting with A, telling her how much they loved her accent, laughing at her jokes, smiling at her etc. I heard somewhere that people love it when others are interested in them...well I WAS interested in getting to know these 4 women and they were not interested in that. They were far more interested in talking to A and to each other. And A could see that cos it was fairly obvious and she was sitting 2 seats away from me.


So...A inviting these people along to our lunch was not for my benefit I think. She saw at dinner that these people were more into her than into me, and she as probably happy because she wants to make friends. So inviting them to lunch has little to do with me I think. If she really cared that much about me that she'd invite people for my sake, then why did she start ignoring me (not replying to texts, as well as flat out ignoring me in the street last week) after I told her two times in the first few weeks that I wasn't settling in as well as I'd hoped and that I was finding things tough? I think she felt as though I was a dead weight and that I was going to slow her down, so she dropped me. And things worked out for her as she now has one friend, and she has also seemingly hooked B as they are now going for lunch every day, sit together in all classes and hang around together between classes.


I'm not trying to refute people's comments btw, and I do appreciate what you have all written. And I really wish that A had my best interests at heart. I don't think she does though, she wants a good life for herself and I wasn't helping. She's not a saint.


I think I will just let those 4 people go and try and find other friends. B must have noticed that I sit somewhere else in class now and has not once asked me if anything is up. And I agree that I shouldn't dictate to people who they can and can't talk to. But I told her I don't want to be around A, and now she hangs around with A all the time. Ergo (in my mind) she doesn't care about hanging out with me anymore.


I really wish I didn't have to post all this at 29!!! It sounds so elementary school. But from experience I have learnt that when it comes to competing with another person for someone's time or affection, I lose. I hate those friendships where there are three or four people, because when I was a kid and had those triangle friendships I was always the least popular friend in them. That's why I try and stick to one-on-one friendships because that way there is no immediate competition. And spending time with B now would mean a triangle situation as A is always around B. It's hard enough knowing that my friends all have friends who they consider more important than me (I am noone's best friend) - I don't need to reminder of this in groups at college everyday. So I've accepted that I have lost to A, and I will not try and ask for B's time anymore. If she wants to spend time with me, she knows where I am. But I don't think I'll hear from her much more. A is just much more fun to be around (which of course she would be, starting to make friends with someone she wanted to make friends with for ages...that would of course make a person happy!).


I will have to just leave these people to their own devices and find new friends outside college...I just feel like I'm about 15 when I hang around these 4 people. With my other friends and non-college people at least I feel like an adult!


Thanks to everyone for their answers though, I really appreciate it.

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Sigh...I really don't know what is wrong with me lately. Now I am starting to get jealous with friends who I know are my friends but who are better friends with each other than they are with me. I am talking about two women in particular here (not A and B!).


I have been friends with one of them for about 5 years now (let's call her Susan) and with the other for 4 years (let's call her Laura). We all attended the same college but I was friends with Susan before we met Laura. Laura and I are friends too, and we all get along great and have stayed in touch since graduating (we live quite far apart). There is a third woman who is part of this small group - call her Rebecca - who I lived with for a year after college and I would say I am good friends with her. Rebecca would most likely say I am as good friends with her as she is with Susan and Laura - she doesn't consider me a closer friend despite having lived together and seeing more of me nowadays than of Susan or Laura.


Now, it is obvious that Laura and Susan are closer friends than either Laura and I or Susan and I. You can just tell from what they write on Facebook, what they say to each other in group emails etc. They have a lot of affection for each other. Now Susan has gone on holiday and updated her Facebook page to say "I want Laura to be out here with me!!" None of my friends would feel strongly enough about me to write something like that about me on Facebook. And for some reason that hurts


These three women and I are planning to meet up in Europe this summer for a holiday. We have been exchanging lots of group emails to organise things and the emails usually are lively and full of banter and can go on for a while. And despite Susan really looking forward to us all going away together, now that she IS on holiday with some other friends she only wants *Laura* out there with them and makes this clear on FB for everyone to see. When stuff like that happens I can fully understand why having friends who have no qualms about telling the world how much they like and value you can make a person feel great. If one of my friends said/wrote something about me like Susan wrote about Laura I'd be walking on air. It makes you feel so valued and appreciated.


I want to feel valued and appreciated by my friends. And finding out that they value and appreciate others - and this never happening to me - is getting me really down. It ties into me not having a best friend where this is mutual. The person I'd consider my best friend has another best friend. I just don't feel like I matter to people much.


I just don't know how to change how I feel about this. Does anyone here feel the same sometimes? How do you deal with this?

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It's not unusual to feel paranoid about how much your friends like you, and I'm not surprised that your worries about A and B have spilled over into Laura, Susan and Rebecca. You say you are in counselling so that suggests you are more likely to get these feelings of low self-worth, even though it isn't unusual for anyone to feel that way.


More often than not a small seed plants the paranoia... maybe one time when you met your friends socially you weren't feeling in the best of moods, you were a bit quiet and you got ignored. Then you become paranoid and it becomes a vicious circle because when you go into social situations with your friends and you are worried that they don't like you much, then you can't socialise properly and you get ignored even more.


Unfortunately I get these feelings myself and I have no idea how to make them go away, they usually pass with time with me... or I get drunk and go out and be really sociable but it would be highly irresponsible of me to put alcohol forward as a solution to all life's problems


Don't give up cos your birthday didn't go to plan though, you don't need a special event to arrange something... arrange something else and invite your friends so that everyone's getting together on your terms... if you can pick the venue etc. then you are more likely to shine.

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Yeah I feel the same way you do. I would like to know if I mean a lot to my friends or not. I am struggling with this issue myself. I am looking for a best friend also who I could/can relate to. I feel upset when I express how much so and so means to me and they don't do the same back. But as I been told. You CAN'T control how others react and you can't control others period. All you can do is control yourself. A while back I been accusing a few of my friends of not caring very much or seeming to be real friends. Well I went back to some things I have wrote on my myspace blogs and re-read some of there comments and forgot how much they DO really care and seem to be my real friends and after realzing that I feel horrible for accusing them of not being caring. If I was in there shoes I wouldn't want a friend like me and I am lucky enough they forgive me and my mistakes and flaws but you know what? We ALL have them. None of us are perfect and nobody is ever going to be perfect. Also if people can't accept you for being who you truly are then F* them! You don't need to waste your time and energy on people who don't matter. If they don't care why should you? I skimmed through your posting, but when it comes to your friends and then their friends, you have to be willing to sacrafice some things. I mean look at it this way lets say you have a group of friends and one of your friends gets mad at you and acted like you did? How would that make you feel? I think if one of my friends did that to me they'd seem possesive and clingy and that would be a turn off. I used to be like you in these situations too, jealous, feeling left out, etc etc. But I realized that if I want this person as my friend I have to accept the fact that they have other friends too and the the world does not revlove around me! I have to try and accept that my friend likes this person for whatever reason and try and give their friends a chance( they say if your friend has other friends, its more likely you all have something in common somewhere, so try and find that commonality). If I don't like them and my friend invites me out with them again, ill just kindly pass and look for other things to do for the day. If it wasn't so bad then I'll probably go out again and just try and get to know them. I'm just learning to try and not get upset about each and everything little thing that happens. You'll never be happy if you always look for a flaw in something. Have to try and think positive and I know it's very hard. My biggest problem with me right now is taking every little thing someone does or says so personally. It drives me nuts! I wish I can overcome this but it's very hard. For instance, if someone hasn't emailed me in a long time. I tend to think I offended them in some way and take it very personally. Anyway, I hope this helped a little bit. I am trying to get over the same obstacle your going through so I wish us BOTH the best of luck!

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I wanted to add. Have you ever thought that maybe Laura and Susan may have more things in common with each other then You and Laura or You and Susan?? It could very well be and it doesn't necessarly mean that they don't appreciate you or value you any less. It just means those two have a lot in common and want to spend time with each other, in which has nothing to do with you at all. Like they're long lost sisters. I felt this way too with friends. I guess you just have to accept that your friends are going to have different levels of friendships with other people then what you and your friends have. There is nothing wrong with that, it just happens. I know that with my friends, friend A is going to have a different friendship with B.. then with me. And I accept that. It's doesn't mean A is not my friend, it just means we have a different kind of friendship then A has with B. With that realization that has helped me, get over the fact that I may not be someones best friend but thats ok. I wasn't jealous tho. I just felt like I didn't mean as much to them.

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i think there are some people who like a lot of "not so close" friends, and some people who like a few, close friends. sometimes these groups of people can clash. when you notice how these people interact with others in comparison to you, you are searching for flaws...i think that's why you notice them so much. however, i don't have advice on how to "not search". i do the same thing. good friends are hard to find these days.

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Just a quick update. Thanks for everyone who replied since my last post.


Carnatic, you have a good point and you are right. I get into a vicious circle like you describe - unfortunately I have gotten in too deep and cannot get out without help from a professional (counsellor). I am in group therapy but can't feel it working. I would prefer individual counselling but my college counselling service does not think I would benefit from one-to-one therapy because I have had several counsellors in the past but still have issues. Hence it obviously hasn't worked for me. I explained that I moved around a number of times due to school/work and never had the chance to see any one of those counsellors for long enough to resolve all my major issues, but they didn't think that was relevant. I asked them about going for individual counselling outside the college service and there are services (albeit at cost and with a wait list) but then this would go onto my official record here at med school and I don't want to raise any doubts as to my suitability for the program. So I'm stuck with group therapy, and while I would love love LOVE for this to work I can go an entire session just talking about others' problems without getting a chance to talk about stuff that bothers me. So far it's been two weeks without a chance like that and I feel like I'm about to explode because I need to talk about stuff I feel stuck.


Also just an additional update regarding A (the girl who was friendly with me initially but then started to ignore me and walked past me on the street a number of weeks ago despite seeing me) and B (the girl who I was friendly with before A started hanging around her all the time and who thinks A and I should "make up"). A and B are still stuck to each other like glue and I haven't heard a peep from B. Also, I left the lecture hall today and just as I pushed the door open A tried to open the door from the other side. She looked me square in the face, I smiled (she didn't) but didn't say anything and she just walked on without so much as a "hi" or a smile or anything.


Also, none of the 4 people from this college who I invited to my birthday (and who all couldn't make it) remembered my birthday. We are all on Facebook plus they knew when my birthday was b/c we had exams that day, but zilch. No call, no text, no FB message. That really hammered home that I don't matter to these people.


So, much as it pains me, I have made a decision. I think in the long run it will cause me more damage than benefit, but I cannot go on as is and this decision will enable me to last a little longer before I end up "damaged" (something that would happen anyway):


I have decided to stop caring about things as much as possible. This means I will try and not have any feelings apart from neutrality. I won't feel happy, upset, disappointed, angry or any other feeling. If I don't care about things and have no expectations, people and situations won't be able to disappoint me. I will try my utmost to not let this decision affect my relationship with my boyfriend or my older, pre-college friends, but I think that veering between "don't care" and "do care" depending on whom I'm with will take its toll. I've started to develop eczema on my legs and lie awake feeling worried some nights with a weird feeling in my stomach (I'm usually a very good sleeper), and I suspect that this is partly due to the emotional stress I've been under.


This decision WILL mean that I'll find it hard to be enthusiastic about things because I'll be struggling enough switching back and forth between others and bf/existing friends without having to switch between being apathetic and enthusiastic about hobbies etc as well. This may well have an impact on forming new friendships. But I see this as the only way to live at the moment and have no choice but to take that risk.


I cannot go on as is. At the moment, I get so incredibly upset by people deciding they'd rather be friends with other people, forgetting my birthday, not replying to texts, ignoring me when running into me, etc. If I don't care, at least *I* won't get upset (even if my not caring won't make a difference to others). So I will try and anaesthetise my feelings when it comes to people other than my family, bf and pre-college friends. I won't expect anything from people because that way noone can disappoint me. I will still try and make friends outside of college and I hope that being "numb" won't have too huge an impact on this.


I feel sad that it's come to this. I feel like I'm actively choosing to engage in a behaviour which is emotionally unhealthy (ie becoming "numb" in terms of feelings) and that years done the line this decision may be something which I will struggle to heal from and painfully have to reverse with the help of a therapist - once I'm out of med school and won't have to worry about my record when seeing a counsellor. But I feel like there is nowhere else to go. I cannot seek the one-to-one help I need because I can't afford to have this on my record. But I also cannot keep beating myself up because of what others do (or don't do!!). So I am effectively freezing myself emotionally. Ok, I won't feel joy but at least I won't feel pain. And I am resenting the people in my life who have contributed to me seeing no other way but the one I am choosing with this decision.


Wish me luck...

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Hey I am new here, but I read what you had to say and I am going through something very similar.


I also began to feel that I should put no expectations with anything so I won't be disappointed. At the same time, it sucks I have to resort to feeling like this because that kills my enthusiasm as a person. But, maybe it's just better that way


I guess, good luck to both of us.

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What happened in your life to trigger this decision (you can PM me if you don't want to post it for everyone to see)?


You've summed up very neatly how I feel:


"I also began to feel that I should put no expectations with anything so I won't be disappointed. At the same time, it sucks I have to resort to feeling like this because that kills my enthusiasm as a person."


I have already started to notice how my enthusiasm is starting to decrease in general even with things I really used to love or really wanted to do. I hate it. I had so much enthusiasm going into medical school and making a life in a new city and meeting new people and doing worthwhile things with my time. Not anymore. The people I *thought* I had befriended here turned out to be couldn't-care-less-about-you and I've discovered that I'm not outgoing enough and don't have the level of social skills required to be a popular member of my year group. I'm not a wall-flower and I do have social skills, but not enough for the people I am around all day. Oh, and I'm 10-12 years older than most people and those slightly older (22-25ish - those who already have a first degree) don't find me interesting enough to want me around. A lot of the extracurricular I wanted to do at med school requires working with others but I have lost all confidence that I would fit into those groups or become an accepted and valued member. I'm just not enough on several levels. And this ain't self-pity...it seems to be the sad truth judging by people's reactions to me when I tried my best and was friendly and enthusiastic and interested etc.


I had clinical depression 10 years ago and it kinda feels a little like that, ie no enthusiasm about anything and finding no joy in whatever you do...it's a horrific experience.


I'm not clinically depressed (yet), as I know what *that* feels like and would be on Prozac ASAP because there is no way I am going through that again. But I resent that there is no way out of this but to become numb emotionally and possibly trigger another episode of depression. I wish there was another way out of this, a less damaging way, but I can't see one. And God knows I've looked.


I hope I don't have to go on Prozac though...the med school won't like that one at all!

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Hi Lauren


Thanks for your post. You make some good points.


If one of my friends acted the way I do/did, I would try and find out why they were behaving that way (and yes, I would feel annoyed too, but I would still try and find out why they were acting the way they were). The people here at college could see that I was becoming more and more upset and unhappy, but instead of trying to find out why they just decided to spend their time with others and ignore me. I know those people can do as they please, but if I'm someone's friend I'd hate to see them unhappy. If I felt that they seemed down and sad and upset, I would try and find out why and see if I could do anything to help or just listen to them talk about it. They have come through as all talk and no action, saying we're friends but not acting like that when the chips were down.


I wish I could see things like you do and think "well, if A and B are friends, and B and I are friends, then maybe A and I have something in common and it would be good to get to know her?" I could maybe do that if I hadn't known A before the start of med school and if she hadn't made a 180 from being friends to flat-out ignoring me. She made it very clear she wants nothing more to do with me, and I don't want to annoy her and embarrass myself by not accepting that and trying to befriend her again because we have (well, *had*) B as a friend in common.


I know what you mean about taking everything personally, as I do that too. How are you getting on with trying to be a little less stressed-out about friendship situations?

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after reading your post, i believe your expecting too much from people. i have a friend now, who i consider a 3rd tier friend, and she will try and pinpoint me to dinner, drinks, etc a couple of times a week. she insist i call her back if she leaves a message. it annoys me, and i have to ignore her in order to live my life. it drives me insane. i want to yell 'get some other friends! you are not my best friend!'....it's going to be hard, but you need to back off. let friendship occur naturally. noone wants to be smothered and have all these expectations put upon them...especially as you get older. do activities that you love, and you will find friends...

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How do I back off and relax though without automatically becoming a third-tier friend?


I just feel that if I was to leave it up to others to contact me, I'd never hear from anyone...I'm not high-tier enough. Won't backing off relegate me even further? If your friend was to back off, would you actually want to see her more or would you just think "whew, glad I can get on with things now she's off my back!"

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What happened in your life to trigger this decision (you can PM me if you don't want to post it for everyone to see)?


It's a series of events that led me to this decision. Some of those that really stand out:


-I used to hang out with this guy who runs his own business. I helped him outsource some stuff to his company where I previously worked. I thought that helping a friend was a good thing and all you know? Well, when I left my previous job, I couldn't outsource work to him anymore, and poof, he just kinda disappeared. Me, him and this other guy used to hang out occasionally, get some drinks, talk about our common interests. But now he only hangs out with the other guy since he still outsources a lot of stuff to him. In retrospect, he just wanted to get buddy-buddy for the sake of getting work


-Currently I am in a different company. I've clicked with a few people at the workplace, so I decided to invite some people and hang out on the weekends. Most people were making excuses and I figured I needed to back out unfortunately. One person also keeps talking to me like, "Oh I want more friends. I only have like 2 friends to hang out in the weekend." And to that I thought, well, gee thanks...I could have been one


So stuff like this, really kills my enthusiasm.


I had clinical depression 10 years ago and it kinda feels a little like that, ie no enthusiasm about anything and finding no joy in whatever you do...it's a horrific experience.


I'm really sorry to hear that. I've never diagnosed myself whether I actually suffer from a type of depression, but perhaps I do. I sometimes feel like I am not having fun in a supposedly fun situation like parties. But I do have personal moments where a gush of enthusiasm flows when I engage in something I truly like (watching Asian movies for example), and I realized, what I consider fun is different from the people I hang out with. I realized I need to find more people that I can truly connect with, in common interests and what not. Perhaps that is also what you need to be doing. Whether you are in a school or work environment, it's the same. It is hard to find someone you can truly click with but keep working on it. I am doing that too


after reading your post, i believe your expecting too much from people. i have a friend now, who i consider a 3rd tier friend, and she will try and pinpoint me to dinner, drinks, etc a couple of times a week. she insist i call her back if she leaves a message. it annoys me, and i have to ignore her in order to live my life. it drives me insane. i want to yell 'get some other friends! you are not my best friend!'....it's going to be hard, but you need to back off. let friendship occur naturally. noone wants to be smothered and have all these expectations put upon them...especially as you get older. do activities that you love, and you will find friends...


I am probably the opposite of this. While I do make effort in making friends, I don't really take much initiative in calling them and ask to hang out. I only do it on special ooccasions like someone's birthday or someone is in town. Actually what bothers me is that when they do something, they don't call me. I've just accepted the fact that I am like their 3rd-tier friend or something.


But I know what you mean...this one guy sees me as his best friend, but I only met him just last year! (To me, becoming best friends take years and years to build...) But I play it cool and I don't give him cold shoulders or anything, I decline an offer politely and say maybe next time. It's like I am not giving him a chance...I would invite him to hang out with a group of my friends, and if he feels comfortable, that's good. If not, then I'd have to think about what to do next time. Some people just don't click with one another so I am careful about mixing group of friends. It's difficult to keep it cool and be polite about it I can imagine...some people just suck at it and that's why we get offended by their actions.

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So I bumped into B on her own (!) today and she was all "oh, how have you been, not seen you for so long" etc etc and we had a chat for a few mins.


Except I have just logged into FB for the first time since the weekend and she has either removed herself from my FB friends list or blocked me as I can't see her account anymore and can't find her in any searches. And she's not in the friends list of friends we have in common, which I guess is what happens when she removed herself as my friend/blocked me.


I am so upset about this. The only reason I can think of why she'd do this is because she: a) thinks I'm not worth her time anymore and there is no point in being on my friends list anymore (nevermind her never spending any face-to-face time with me anymore), or b) girl A has said something that made B not want to be friends with me anymore (A blanked me in the corridor for the third time in 2 weeks now so I can safely assume she wants nothing more to do with me and dislikes me for whatever reason).


I feel pathetic. I am 29 and feel incredibly hurt and upset about something that is sooo pre-school


Has this ever happened to anyone? How did you deal?


And Kinetics, I will reply to your post later when I'm home from work...thanks for your reply though

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are you kidding about anyone else going through this? oh God yes! and it only happens when you down and depressed. that's the signal you're sending out. i was so devestated after my finace dumped me, then my close friends started hanging around this other group...and i found them to be pretentious and rude...i made a comment to my close friends, but the made the choice to hang with her. they had parties accross the street from me! they wouldn't even wave when they saw me. my best friend had just moved to fla, and i was totally alone...and 35 years old, mind you. it was awful. i would cry every day and every night, not knowing how to get around this. and, in the meantime, my ex husband...we were friends....started hanging out with my couple friends with his new girlfriend...and she felt uncomfortable around me....hellooo...ALONE!!! so...i started going out of my way to find music festivals, social clubs (for couples, singles etc...anybody could join), working out...and guess what? my old friends, who choose my snooty friend instead of me, runs into me, and 15 of my new friends...and says''' oh, i miss you, you were right about that girl and her friends...we are so sorry we treated you like that...let's get together'...and i stood there and said 'that is in the past, and there is no need to pretend we mean anything to each other, because you proved that years ago. good luck with your life'.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I'm not really sure how to explain it. I guess when I realized that my friends have different friendships with their friends, I know I can't control that and there is nothing really I can do except accept it, so why beat myself up over it?? It's dumb to sit here and worry that X has this type of friendship with Z then what X and I have. Z is a different person then me so of course that friendship is going to be different. Then once I opened my eyes up to that, I got over it. Also I have adopted to that "not caring" thing. If nobody is going to care about me, why in the hell should I care about them?? No point in wasting my time. I've learned who my true friends are and who aren't and it hurts that the few whom I thought was, wasn't, and I don't have as many friends as I used to. It sucks, but I am so much happier, even if I only have a couple friends, at least I know they're true friends and that's all that matters. I don't need 285656 friends in order to be happy. 2-3 is good enough for me! Its VERY hard to find TRUE friends these days. I wish you luck!

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