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What to do when you feel left out by your friends

We’ve all been here. And feeling like your third wheeling your way into oblivion while your friends seem closer than ever is a hard pill to swallow. But don’t panic, and stop imagining all the snaps and #friendshipgoal hashtags they are probably not posting to Instagram without you. We’ve got you covered…

Don’t compete for their attention, allow some space

The more you think and obsess over something, the more unrealistic your thoughts become. Translation: it could be absolutely fine and you’re just feeling extra sensitive about something your friends didn’t mean any harm by. Often though, our intuition is right. Even if you feel like there’s absolutely some sort of issue driving a wedge between you and your BFFs that you can or can’t quite put you finger on, it would still help to take a step back.

You need time to asses the situation either way, and if your friends are already pulling away from you, becoming more intense about the friendship will only push them away faster. You could probably all do with some space to decide whether this is just a blip or a more permanent state of affairs.

Are they really really leaving you out? Or have you all just had different plans on one or two occasions. Are they going to things you have absolutely no interest in or is there something else that means they hang out more, like a sports club?

If something has happened that’s made it completely awks between you and your friends, decide how to approach speaking it out, but only after everyone has had some space. Space is like eating your greens in situations like this, you’d really rather have a Krispy Kreme, but the greens are better for everyone in the end.

Social media is working against you

Stalking your friends who seem to be hanging out without you is a huge no. It will only make you feel worse and draw you into recluse mode where you eat whole tubs of Ben & Jerrys while secretly crying about it all, or thinking about crying. Your life doesn’t stop and end with your friendship circle, and you’re free to make new friends at any time. They’re having a good time, so you should be too.

Try something new, pick up a hobby and be bold, step out and meet new people. Learning how to deal with this sort of situation in a healthy way will only help you in the long run.

Image depicting girl with a friend crush on another girl

Move past the awkwardness and have a calm chat with them

Once you’ve given everyone some space and had time to think about things, be the bigger person and speak to them. They might be completely oblivious and have no idea that you feel this way. Or they might have their own reasons for pulling away slightly. Either way, if it’s a friendship worth having, you’ll work it out.

Don’t jump into this conversation when your emotions are running high, approach it with a cool head. You don’t want things to get crazy or for everyone to start saying things they don’t really mean. Be prepared to walk away if your friends aren’t interested in working through things.

You deserve friends that see your worth and will put in as much effort as you. It’s their loss.

Remember that friendships come and go

Whether you’re all besties again in no time or you’ve decided to keep your distance, the hardest thing this situation will teach you is that friendships can fall apart. Not all of them are forever even though you might find it hard to imagine a time when you’re not partners in crime, painting the town all shades of the rainbow.

Learning this truth now will help you when you make the jump from school to university and then from university to work. It’s likely you’ll lose some friends at each stage, because we naturally grow apart from people and different stages of our life make room for new friends.

Life is all about experiences and connections, and you’ll meet more and more amazing people along the way. Value you yourself, because your friendships don’t define you. You’re sensational. You’re #instagoals all by yourself. And the best part is, the realest friendships, the ones you really need, they are the ones that will stand the test of time.

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