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I'm male, in my twenties and my definition of friendship is extremely strict. In fact, my friends are what most people would consider their "best friends". As such, I have very few of them. I think I'm making a new friend. However, something recently happened that made me think that perhaps I was mistaken and we're not friends at all.

The specific thing that happened was them suddenly making travel plans with other people after they promised they would do something with me. What they did hurt quite a bit because our trip was dismissed in the same way as a co-worker would dismiss a lunch. It made me feel like I wasn't important, that I'm not considered their friend and it made me feel like they didn't really want to go on a trip with me anyway and were just lying until something better came along.

They've done something that I'd never do to someone I consider a friend, but they might not think it's that big of a deal. I feel offended/defensive because I would have discussed the situation with the person I already had plans with, even if they weren't concrete. Something like "hey, some of my friends invited me to X and we booked it, so let's postpone our plans to Y".

I'd like to figure out what happened here, whether this person considers themselves my friend to my standard or not. Whether they think it's okay to do this kind of stuff to me, so that I can take it into account in the future. But I'm kind of worried that if I bring this up to and they're just considering me an acquaintance instead of a friend, it'll be useless and awkward. It feels kind of awkward to say to an acquaintance "hey that really hurt", but I wouldn't hesitate to that if they're my friend. So, I'd rather not disclose my feelings on the matter

I'm also worried they might say I'm being too sensitive, or that it's not a big deal. They might think they did nothing wrong and they would be right if they also don't consider me a friend. It might make things awkward or make me seem needy. I just dislike fakeness and would like to avoid it in the future.

I also feel like it should have been something I should have approached in the moment. (It happened yesterday.) Now that it's gone, it might be awkward to bring it up again because I would be making a big deal out of something that's already done and over with. Ideally, I would acknowledge that without making it awkward.

I would like to try to find a way that I can approach them about it in a non-judgmental way which won't make them be defensive about it. Hopefully, I'd get an apology and a bit more consideration in the future, or a clarification that I should treat future plans the same as the already mentioned "co-worker lunch".

How can I approach this person about what they did to me, and find out what happened?

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I would suggest that you don’t approach this person about this situation, certainly not in the way your post comes across. Effectively you’re asking this person “how could you do that to me?” which no matter how you word it, it’s going to come across as needy if this person only considers you an acquaintance

They did nothing wrong and they would be right if they also don't consider me a friend. It might make things awkward or make me seem needy.

Relationships vary in scale, which you recognise in the difference between acquaintance and friendship, but even within those “sections” there varying degrees of trust, respect, likeability etc. You say your definition of friendship is quite strict and have certain standards

whether this person considers themselves my friend to my standard or not.

What if this person doesn’t want to meet your standards at this time, new relationships take time to grow and develop understanding of each other. My girlfriend had a similar all or nothing approach when it came to making new friends and as a result spent a lot of her 20’s feeling very alone.

She recently met a woman at a mother & baby group which she got on with quite well, until one day this person cancelled lunch plans at short notice. Her wee girl wasn’t well. My GF was fine with that until later this person put pictures on FB showing she’d gone a walk with another friend. My GF was extremely hurt and felt that this person didn’t like her or want to be her friend. That wasn’t the case at all though, her friends daughter was unwell and she took her a walk round the park for some fresh air. A year later on my gf and this women are good friends and spend a lot of time together, but that wouldn’t be the case if my GF had went with her first instinct, asking for answers and an apology.

Ask yourself what you want from this, do you want to continue to grow this friendship with this person or are you happy to leave it? If you’re happy to leave it by all means asks the question, if you want to continue to grow it, I would put this instance to one side. That’s not to say forget it, but just don’t make a big deal of it. As you’re friendship grows so will your importance to each other and these things will hopefully happen less often. If this person continues to do this, then you know where you stand and can decided if you want to be friends or not.

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The only thing you can do, is just talk to the person one-on-one and see what's up with them. I expect that you will find that your definition of friendship is different from theirs. Maybe they have a lot of friends whom they do this to. It might just be their personality.

I would just meet them and say "Hey, we had some plans the other day that didn't work out. It bummed me out because I had been looking forward to it. What happened?"

If they say "Eh, I'm terrible with plans", then I would expect for this to happen again. If you really want to be friends with them, then you may have to take it for what it is, and potentially not be their friend, to your definition.

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my definition of friendship is extremely strict

Well, you are right to have your own definition of friendship. Perhaps everyone does so, consciously or subconsciously, and friendship happens between individuals who share a similar definition of friendship, by and large.

our trip was dismissed in the same way as a co-worker would dismiss a lunch. It made me feel like I wasn't important, that I'm not considered their friend and it made me feel like they didn't really want to go on a trip with me anyway and were just lying until something better came along.

You are right to feel that way. Leave alone a friend, one shouldn't treat any person that way. You can't take someone else's time for granted and should not accept it if someone does it with you.

They've done something that I'd never do to someone I consider a friend, but they might not think it's that big of a deal.

If they don't think it's a big deal, it obviously means their definition of friendship is far from yours. Do you want to invest your friendship in this person?

I feel offended/defensive because I would have discussed the situation with the person I already had plans with, even if they weren't concrete. Something like "hey, some of my friends invited me to X and we booked it, so let's postpone our plans to Y".

Yes, that's the right expectation between two mutually respecting individuals, leave alone friends.

I'd like to figure out what happened here, whether this person considers themselves my friend to my standard or not... I'd rather not disclose my feelings on the matter

You can still ask without inferring to friendship at all. Like Hey, I thought we had a plan for the weekend and I've organized some of my other important chores with that in mind, meaning I had to delay some of them. In the end, our plan didn't work out and my other chores are left unfinished too. In future, I'd appreciate if you tell me in advance if our mutual plan isn't working out from your side. Does that make sense to you? Their response, both the content and the way it is said will give you ample hint of what's in store. If they apologize and promise to make amends, you can give this friendship another chance. Else, that person at best stays as an acquaintance.

I'm also worried they might say I'm being too sensitive, or that it's not a big deal. They might think they did nothing wrong and they would be right if they also don't consider me a friend.

Yes, it is important to not disclose your feeling of a wronged friend and then you are good. And their behavior is not justified even with a non-friend.

I also feel like it should have been something I should have approached in the moment. (It happened yesterday.) ...

As I said above, if the question is asked in a non-emotional way and as a means to chalk out a future course of action rather than to complain over what happened, it's never too late to ask this question. If it matters that much, may be you can ask this question the next time your friend proposes a plan with you. Look, this is what happened last time; I didn't want to make it an issue back then, but I don't want it to repeat, so I would like to know why you did what you did. The response should help you decide...

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