My friends purposely excluded me from group chats and when I confronted them they kept bringing up something I did by accident a year ago. Lately they feel less like my friends, and more like my bullies, but I have no other friends to go to. What do I do? – Out of the loop
Dear Out of the loop,
First, I’d like to start by saying I’m sorry that you’re going through that. No one deserves to be bullied or lose friends the way you are. Friend groups are always complicated. As much as I hate to say it, I think a lot of other people are going through exactly what you’re going through, especially during quarantine. Everyone is different, therefore this situation’s outcome won’t be guaranteed. I’m going to try my best to try and give you advice on what to do.
There are many different reasons why people bully one another. Some of them can be lost, feeling powerless, being bullied themselves, or have the need to hurt other people to make themselves feel better. If your friends are starting to treat you like that, then they are the ones with problems. My suggestion is to try and not care what they are saying or what they think. I know that it can be difficult to not care- you need to feel the things you need to feel. Try to distance yourself from them to figure out what you want. You might discover that maybe they were never really your friends, maybe they were just the ¨easy¨ choice. Perhaps they were the people who made the biggest impression on you and they put on a good façade but when you get more comfortable, they show you who they really are. Unfortunately, in your case, they were bullies.
Another thing you can do is to try and talk to each of them one by one. They all might have a different perspective on the situation that’s happening.
“I was in a friend group and I started to feel like they were using me. When I talked to one of them they said that one person treating me like that. ‘I don’t like asking people for things. I just like guilting this one person to constantly buy me things.’ I took time apart from him and decided to see what would happen. I talked to each of my friends and listened to what they thought. I found out that I had just chosen a bad friend. I don’t talk to him anymore, and I still got to keep my friends who were in the friend group. I guess I just needed time.”
When this was all happening, this person got to see what a fake friend was truly like. They have trust issues because of things that happened before and they still do have trust issues, but they are taking things one step at a time and still figuring it out as they go.
This person proved that simply talking to someone without the presence of others helped them find out the truth. When you confront people in a group, there is a chance that most of them won’t tell you the truth and will feel pressured into telling you what the other people want them to say. If you talked to them alone you might find out that they don’t think any of the stuff that the others are saying but they felt pressured into saying they did because of the way they treated you.
The final, and what I think is the best solution, is to just leave them. Stop talking to them. They don’t deserve the awesome person that you are. I know leaving friends can be hard, especially when you think you don’t have other friends, but trust me, you do, even if you don’t know it.
You don’t have to be a social person, you just have to be truthful to who you are. In some cases the reason why most people don’t have friends is not because they don’t try, it’s because they think that they don’t deserve it. Socializing is something that we humans need to survive. Therefore when people think that they don’t deserve to have friends, when they think they deserve to be alone, it contradicts our human nature. The nature to love, to laugh, to hope, to feel. Make friends, yes it can be hard, yes it will take some tries, but in the end I can almost guarantee you, they will most likely turn out to be better friends than ones you had before.
Don’t forget that you are loved, you are cared for, and you deserve to be happy. Try figuring out if it’s you that did something wrong, or if it’s them who are showing you who they really are. If not, talk to them one by one, you might find out some things you couldn’t have if they were all together. Most importantly leave them, especially if they are starting to make you doubt yourself. Everyone needs a friend, whether it’s a whole friend group or just one person who you know will have back. Like they say “You’re my ride or die” .