No one likes to feel left out, especially when hanging out with your friends. Even as I get older and supposedly wiser the emotions some friends generate within me brings me straight back to my childhood. The feeling of being left out can turn the most confident individual into an insecure and emotional mess. Why did they not include me? Is it something that I said? Is it something about my personality that they don’t like? Most of these types of questions only result in negative answers.
When 3 friends are together there will always be times when one person will feel they are being left out. The emotion is contagious and can spread throughout the group with everyone wishing they were not the person being left out. Recently I had coffee with 2 friends and for the most part, the conversation was shared evenly about our weekends, children and the week ahead. When a story was shared about catching up over the weekend, a catch up I was not privy to, I admit I felt hurt that I was not included. My mind raced about why they had not included me – I’m fun, I’m good for a laugh, I was around all they needed to do was call. Even 20 years later, feeling left out still hurts.
I over compensate with my friendship groups by involving everyone, never wanting anyone to feel left out. When you have many friends, this is not always practical. I understand I cannot always be involved in everyone’s lives all the time – no one can. It has taken many years to truly understand this. Often there is a logical reason as to why I was not included in a catch up, none of which are ever intentional. Surrounding myself with friends that love me for me is the best way to over come feeling left out. It’s those friends that continually make me feel like I did when I was in high school, are the friends that I no longer need in my life. Letting go is easier said than done sometimes.
When people say threes a crowd, I don’t always agree. In fact, more times than not I would’ve said that being in a group of three is fun and there is never a lull in conversation. However, the more I think about it, the more awkward a group of three sounds. Personal experience has shown me that sometimes, being in a group of three is not always as good as it seems. When doing a project at school, there is always that one person who feels left out and unimportant in the group. If you went to the movies with two other people, there are always times when someone feels like they are being ignored. Someone would always have their back to someone else making the feeling of exclusion rise. I know how it feels to be that third wheeler and i can tell you it doesn’t feel nice.
To me, the worst part is not having something to add when they are talking, especially if they both recently did something together that I didn’t, giving them a perfect topic to talk about but one I can’t relate to. The feeling I get when people sit there and discuss what they did or are going to do without me, is like a punch in the stomach and makes me feel like I don’t belong. Why didn’t they invite me? Did I do something wrong? Maybe they don’t like me as I much as i thought… Situations like these always make me question myself and my behaviour, even if i know i did nothing wrong.
For a teenage girl, self doubt doesn’t always just extend to questioning what I said or did, quickly it becomes a question of what I wear or my appearance. I know that being left out, whether on purpose or completely accidental, hurts and can often bring out the worst of me. Although most times groups of threes aren’t always the best option for people, I will admit that sometimes they work out fine and allow people to people to have much more fun than they would if it was just a duo.
Ciao Bella, Ashlea