Advice: left out…
Lately my friends seem to be leaving me out of stuff. On the weekend one of them invited everyone in our group over to her house except me. Apparently some of the girls said I bitched behind their backs, but I didn’t. I never said anything mean or did anything bad. I don’t really know what to do.
Shell Belle, 15. Newcastle, NSW.
Our psychologist says: Whenever we do or say anything, it is open to interpretation by others. Sometimes our words and actions can be read the wrong way creating confusion and misunderstanding. While you haven’t meant to be nasty to anyone, it seems that somewhere along the line, someone has viewed something as bitchiness. Do you know what they may have seen or heard that’s mistakenly given them this impression? If you’re unsure, approach one of your closer friends individually and ask them to fill you in on what’s been interpreted as ‘meanness’. It’s possible a passing comment you made has been taken the wrong way. If you can at least find out what’s behind it, you’ll have more of an opportunity to try to set the record straight, explain what you really meant and apologise if necessary. If you do this but the social exclusion continues, chances are something else is going on. Open up to your friends about what you’ve noticed about the group dynamics lately (ie. you being left out of things) and how you’re feeling about it. Encourage everyone to communicate and find a way to resolve any issues so you can start getting back on track together. Most friendships have ups and downs and misunderstandings at times. Ideally, these can be talked through and sorted out. To be happy in a group you need to feel comfortable, wanted and included. If ultimately you’re not, you may need to re-think whether this is really the right crew for for you.
(image credit of kevin dooley)
Over to you: Our psychologist has given some suggestions, but what do you think? Have you ever felt left out from your friendship group? Has something you’ve said or done ever been misinterpreted as ‘bitchiness’? What ideas do you have for Shell Belle for how she can deal with this?