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I am an adult in the "Mean Girl" world

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Hello, this is my first post here and I am looking for some advice on how to deal with being an "outcast" in my own home town.


I have tried to be an active member in the community and own a successful small busines... that takes a lot out of me and my family. We work at it constantly, and we are big enough to be confident and have a decent life (we are not flashy nor can we afford to be) and we do our part in giving back to local schools and charities. IMO, we are good people with a good reputation in both personal and business. We are not wealthy but do have a nice home and we are able to take a nice vacation each year. I feel that we are very down to earth and mind our own business. Due to our work schedule, we do not have a lot of time for close friends but do enjoy going out to dinner with others when we can.


I have noticed, however, that many of my former friends and even my own extended family choose not to do business with us and all have become distant over the last year. It is hurtful and I do not understand why. I have not had the guts to ask but I think it may have something to do with that we appear to have grown and become more successful. What other do not see is that we work 7 days a week and lose sleep and family time making it all work :( I think people wanted us to fall on our face.


We (I say "we" as I work with my husband) are members of local small businesses associations that often entail dinners. There many other small business owners that are around our same age as (35-45) and we all have either been self start up or taken over the family business. I have noticed that we are being excluded from functions and finding out about it after the fact thanks to the Facebook Post. It is seriously like we are intentionally left out and/or "included" last minute out of obligation or as an after thought.


Just this evening, I found out about a local charity event that other businesses are sponsoring and we knew nothing of it. Many of my other business "friends" will be there and I just feel so bad as I would have loved to have participated and helped out. Last weekend, many of them were together for a big dinner...and we were left out. I have asked my husband and he just tells me to let it go, he thinks it is funny. There should be no jealousy as they all seem to be doing well and are happy. I have tried to organize my own events but cannot get the participation or support and have been ridiculed that it is a "bad idea". I am just upset and confused why adults...all of us with this fragile thing called self employment would do another business this way..especially since we all have had ties our whole lives growing up in the same place.


At first, when we opened our second location, this same ground was all about it. They would come in and chat and feel us out and then I just feel dropped. I seriously feel like I am 15 being left out at the lunch table with no where to sit and not a friend to talk to. I have always supported them and now I just feel awful and worry that they may be bad-mouthing us and I do not know why.


What should I do?

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I think the only way to know is to ask...


That said...

Don’t assume they want you to fail

Don’t assume it was deliberate

Don’t assume they all hate you, etc


Assume it was an innocent mistake

Assume they just have an email group that they forgot to put you on

Assume that you may have offended someone along the way

Assume it was an innocent oversight

Assume they just thought you were busy, etc


In other words, be humble and nice - not angry and bitter.


No one wants to be confronted in a bad way. Most people are open and would love to hear praise for their efforts and an offer of support.


I’m not saying you have to kiss their bums - but I am saying that you catch more flies with honey.


If that doesn’t work - meh - not everyone will be your friend. I wouldn’t sweat it.

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If it was just one or two people, I’d say screw them, live your best life, but if everyone’s ostracizing you, it may be time to look within and see if maybe you and your husband are unwittingly doing something to make you not liked.


Yeah, this.


If “everyone” is “accidentally on purpose” losing your invitations, then you’ll need to look within and figure out if you are doing or saying anything, or acting in any way, offensively. Or a bit holier than thou, better than, etc.


I’m part of several groups of females, some based on business, and I can tell you without a doubt, when people are excluded, there is a reason. There’s always something they’re doing, saying, or acting that puts off the rest.


No one ever thinks they do anything wrong. None of these excluded women ever “get it”, even after they’ve asked and been told, point blank: You come off like you’re above everyone else, or You’re always late....whatever. I’ve been the one who’s been asked, and I’ve been honest, and all I get is a blank stare.


All I’m saying is, there’s something off-putting about you. Be honest and you’ll figure it out.

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