[SUBMISSION] What Should I Do When I Feel Left Out?

I have this group of very good friends. I love them a lot and I enjoy being with them. But the problem with our friend group dynamic is that my friends are too focused on one person and I feel left out. It always seems like I have to force myself to fit in their dynamic and they always seem happier without me around because they can sense that I’m not the most genuine with my feelings most of the time. I have voiced out my concerns to them but they always assure me that I’m the one overthinking and that I’m the one driving rifts in the friend group. I don’t want to lose my friends but this toxic dynamic is making spending time together with them less enjoyable as it used to be before these problems surfaced. Is there any less aggressive method for me that I can use to suggest and solve this problem? Thanks 🙂

Dear Louie,

Thank you for your submission to Aunt Available!

When you say you feel left out, do you think it’s because you feel that the attention and effort put in is not reciprocal?

If this were to happen to me, I would distant myself from the group for a bit, and see if I actually miss them during our time apart. If I miss them, which part of the friendship do I miss the most? Was it because they were old friends? Was it because they truly understand and accept for who I am, even till today? Personally, I believe a meaningful friendship goes two ways—you have to listen and be listened to. If they have reassured you that you’re the one who is overthinking, do you think what they say is true? Did they reflect and think of what they might have done/said to make you feel this way? You feel how you feel for a reason, and to put the blame all on you is not a healthy way to resolve this issue.

Perhaps what you can do is to speak to your friends individually about how you have been feeling, and see if they are able to understand what you mean on a deeper level. If they say that you’re overthinking, don’t just accept it as it is—bring some past examples that made you feel left out to the table. At the end of the day, how you feel when you are with them is important. If you’re feeling uncomfortable and not really enjoying yourself, why put yourself through all these when you probably feel better when you’re alone? If you’re feeling uncomfortable and not really enjoying yourself, remember you don’t have to put yourself through this. You have the power to walk away from relationships that don’t serve you anymore.

p.s. Also, just curious, why is this one person getting all the attention?

Need to talk to someone about your problems? Submit your issues to Aunt Available here and let her listen and do her best to advise you, like how a friend would to another friend.

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