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I don’t really know what to say to my friend or what to do in this situation


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I try to keep this short, but it might get a bit long nonetheless because I feel like I need to give some details.


So I have this friend from high school, let’s call her Felicity. After graduation we haven’t really been able to keep in touch as she works a lot and I focus on my studies, but we do talk and meet whenever we have the opportunity/time. It’s really easy to get along with her, whenever we meet it’s like we have only seen each other yesterday. In high school I tried my best to get along with my classmates and have a decent relationship with them, and while everyone had their own little clique, we did hang out together every now and then. But I thought that Felicity was the nicest in the class and it was the easiest to hang out with her so we soon became close friends.


There were only 3 of my classmates that I really absolutely couldn’t get along with, and these 3 people ended up being friends with Felicity. (For simplicity, let’s call them Julia, Emma and Alex.) At first I would try striking up conversations with them, getting to know them better, do the stuff you do when you meet your new class (this was long before I even made friends with Felicity) and in the first year things were okay between us. I eventually got along with Emma for a while but then she left school so now it was only Felicity, Alex and Julia. After the first year, in the beginning of the second year, Alex and Julia started to outright freeze me out and ignore me, even though I tried to be friendly and talk to them, but it seemed like they really disliked me. It felt like I was a ghost or something.

I thought a lot about what I could have possibly done to make them feel this way, but I honestly couldn’t come up with anything. Afterwards I just tried to keep things civil mainly for Felicity’s sake but it sucked to be freezed out and seemingly hated for no apparent reason. And I was always too chicken to ask them or do anything, really. They didn’t really bully me in a sense that they never made any comments, just the way they would be very passive aggressive around me and avoid me like the plague just made me feel so bad and I never really knew why I endured it. I always told myself that I was scared to not being able to stay friends with Felicity if I said something or left because she seemed just very fond of Alex and Julia and spent so much of her time with them.


They were often very weird around Felicity too, but she never realized it, or maybe it didn’t bother her (as she also never seemed to notice how they were to me, or again, maybe she didn’t think much of it) I was also too chicken to do anything in a situation that made me feel crappy and rejected. I regretted so many times that I did not leave this group to look for people that actually were nice to me, but I guess at the time I really thought that I wasn’t going to be able to spend as much time with Felicity as when I was also in her group. She was in the middle, wanting everyone to tag along etc etc. But towards end of high school I literally had no direct contact with Julia and Alex. After graduation, I thought a lot about why I didn’t say anything, or if I actually did something wrong and their behavior towards me was justified, but maybe I just never realized it. Either way, it was so embarrassing that I used to be such a coward and I guess I still am because I haven’t been able to say anything to them or Felicity either. (At that one time when I attempted to she completely dismissed the idea of Alex and Julia not liking me and even though I reasoned with her, she thought I was wrong.)


They haven’t kept in touch either, they only message each other in our group chat like twice a year to meet up, but I haven’t been to any of those gatherings ever since graduation and I haven’t spoken a word to Emma, Julia or Alex since we left high school. And it feels so much better this way, but whenever one of them gets the idea that it’s time for them to meet I feel so stressed again, because I still can’t seem to be straightforward.


Last year while I met up with Felicity at the local university we accidentally ran into Alex. I didn’t even know that she studied at the very same campus as me, that’s how zero contact I had with her/them. Either way, we ran into her, and she wouldn’t even say hi to me. I was standing there in front of her, and she did say hello to Felicity, even hugged her, but she wouldn’t look at me, wouldn’t say hi back, and kept only looking at Felicity, as if I was totally invisible. It felt so embarrassing again, so after standing there awkwardly for about 5 minutes I went to class and hated myself passionately for being so lame. I don’t know what I could have possibly said or done or anything, but it feels like it’s too late to do or say anything after putting up with these stuff for years like a complete idiot.

Anyway, they started planning another gathering this week, and I didn’t even open the group chat, because I’m 100 % sure that I don’t want to go and meet them, because I would just be like my high school-version of me, awkward, trying to engage in a conversation without much luck, even though the only person that genuinely wants to see me is Felicity.


I want to just leave that group chat altogether, and I definitely don’t want to meet Alex or Julia again. But I also don’t know what to do or how to do this. I thought about telling everything honestly to Felicity once and for all, if she asks me if I want to come or if she notices me leaving the chat or anything, but knowing her she would be just oblivious about the whole thing, very surprised that I felt this way, start asking me questions and wouldn’t understand me. It feels like whenever I’m around these people I turn into this pushover again, and I don't want that. I’m trying so hard to get more determined and straightforward, but I don't know how.


What should I do in this situation? Is there anything that I can do to be less scared of getting into conflicts and arguments, or saying what I actually want to say and not what others want me to say? I’m sorry for this whole rant, but any kind of advice, insight, thought would be very much appreciated.

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It's time to broaden your circle of friends. Start by getting more involved in your current adult life. Take classes and courses you enjoy and join some clubs and groups to reflect your interests. People grow apart, people grow up and no everyone needs to hang out together forever or get along with everyone forever.


Stay in touch with old classmates/friends through social media but leave more room for making friends in your current life. Maintain boundaries, avoid gossip, politics and playing referee. Let people resolve their own issues among themselves. Stay out of it.

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If you don’t get anything out of a friendship then don’t be friends.

It’s normal to get something out of a friendship and mutually so like between you and felicity.

But you don’t really gel with these other girls and vice versa.

So what? It doesn’t matter!

It’s not that anyone (you or them) did anything “wrong”

Enjoy your friendship with felicity and expand your friendships with others who you interact well with.

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Try to make new friends, and don’t hang out with people you don’t like or someone who makes you feel bad. You can stay friends with Felicity, but you don't have to hang out with the other girls. If you want to leave the group chat, then do it, you don’t have to explain why. Maybe it’s time to leave the high school drama behind and look for new friends who will like you and treat you well. I’m a little shy myself but once you get out there, meeting new people will be fun!

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You need to assert yourself.


You stated that Alex didn't even speak to you, but did you speak to her? This group of girls still includes you on the invitation when they get together, yet you never respond. They probably think that you don't like them! Where is your tenacity?


If you do not like these girls, why do you care so much that they are leaving you out? Chances are they know that you don't like them; you are probably acting put-out or meek around them and they easily pick up on that. It's not fun to hang out with someone who thinks that everyone hates them. It's a big downer.


If you want to leave the chat group, do it. Simply remove yourself. Don't worry about how they will react. If you are at a university, you are an adult. Time to start acting like one.

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Young women (girls) can be petty and mean. There's just no explanation. I witnessed it as a kid, an adult woman and then as a mother.


Young boys tend to all get along for the most part and girls seem to have to divide the group and create drama. I suspect there is something primal about it, not sure what it is though.


Looking back when I was young, there was always the girl of the week that was on the `out' Everyone talked badly about her and it got pretty ugly at times.. Then the wheel would turn and it was someone else's turn to be picked on. To my recollection I was only outed once. But I never went back after that.


Advise my mother gave me. `expect to change your circle of friends about every five years' Give or take. There are some articles about it.


Basically, you are not going to be everyone's cup of tea and vice versa. Get comfortable with it and keep your focus on the positive and keep expanding your circle of friends. You will continue to evolve and mature and what fits today will no longer fit the same tomorrow.


*Don't take it personally. They don't sound very nice to begin with.

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High school is a form of forced socialization, and most of us have eaten our fair share of crow just to keep peace. You've graduated and are no longer forced to be around anyone with whom you don't want to spend time. If the one friend you like wants to see you, she knows how to reach you. If she asks you to attend a gathering with the others, you can simply decline--and without a defense.


Frankly the likable friend doesn't sound all that likable to me. She dismissed your concerns because they were not convenient for her, and I wouldn't consider that great friend material--maybe an acquaintance who can step up to see you without the others if she's inclined, but beyond that, she's not worth pretzeling yourself for.


It's time to spread your wings and cultivate new friendships. The good news is, you get to be choosy and skip people who are are unkind.


Head high.

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