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Some Background

I'm a college student, currently a junior. Part of a large-ish diverse group of friends, split across two six person suites. I've been in this group and friends with these people, for a little over 2 years now.

Obviously the entire group doesn't hang out all the time, everyone has different schedules, workloads, lives, etc. But often smaller sets of people hang out, and sometimes larger meetups.

The Problem

I noticed this semester that I wasn't really seeing anyone/hanging out with anyone this semester, and just thought it was because everyone was busy and we we're all only occasionally meeting up.

Well it turns out that a lot of my other friends were meeting up several times a week to hang out, eat, and do stuff, including at night. At first I was a little jealous because I was, for some reason not invited to these, but marked it off as being with just a few select people. Then it turns out that it is quite a bit more people than they let on who are actively getting together/meeting up.

I also noticed that it is only me initiating online conversations, so I just stopped being the one to put in all the effort, and what do you know, nobody messages me.

How do I react to this?

I feel extremely hurt by this, and my first thoughts are that maybe I was an asshole? Offputting? Or something else going on that they not only don't invite me to anything, but kind of cover-up or go out of their way to minimize or not make a big deal out of these things (as well as the fact that nobody is messaging me).

I asked a few people and told them to be brutally honest with me if there was some issue with me/if I was a jerk, etc. And they just said that it wasn't me, it was the group being bad friends, but i'm not really convinced.

Sorry for the long post. I'm not sure what to do, how to handle this, as I'm feeling extremely lonely while theoretically surrounded by people.

To help paint the picture a bit better, earlier in the semester a bunch of them were organizing some massive day-out in the town nearby or something, that was supposed to be a great day of doing some things in town, and drinking and hanging out. When I heard about this all they said was that it was invite only. Later, when I brought it up (they were talking about it) they just ignored me and changed the subject. So realizing I wasn't going to be invited, I planned to go to a conference that weekend. Of course, the day before the weekend, they find out in going off to a conference and then say that I'm missing this event and that I should go, knowing full well that I can't go, and that I was not invited in the first place. I'm pretty sure they just did this so they could act/say I was invited in the first place, knowing full well I never actually was.

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    You sure they're actually your friends? Sounds like a third-wheel kind of deal where they're too polite to cut you off entirely but don't actually want anything to do with you. – Magisch Dec 23 '17 at 21:13
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    I figure it has to do with it being too awkward to cut me out- I do live with several of then in a suite, and I can only imagine how awkward it would be to tell someone that they're not living with you next time we move. – TheRyan722 Dec 23 '17 at 21:24
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    They're not your friends. As soon as you realize this their behavior starts making perfect sense. Find other people to hang out with, you don't need these guys in your life. – AndreiROM Dec 24 '17 at 5:51
  • Pretty upsetting situation. If someone reported back to you by saying that 'they were just being bad friends', and nobody can say you're being a jerk or have the guts to point to a specific problem, then I would suspect they're excluding people (and maybe not just you!) because of some superficial or cosmetic judgement. Religion, clothes, looks, weight, personality eccentricities... people can be jerks about those things. Are they incredibly self absorbed or vain? (I'm assuming you are 100% certain you don't have B.O. or halitosis as well!) – Telosphere Dec 24 '17 at 9:10
  • I try to maintain my hygiene as best I can, so I'm sure it's not that. I think all I can do right now is take the current answers advice and read up/practice on bettering my social skills. Thanks! – TheRyan722 Dec 25 '17 at 1:45
3

Even when there's a large group of friends, not everyone is equally close to everyone else. Many people have one or two close friends whom they call or message frequently.

For example, say you are in a group of 15 people. When 2 of these people plan to meet up, they might call the ones closest to them to join. So, you'd see 5 or 6 people meeting up but not all 15. This is true for other folks in the group as well.

So if you are in the same group for 2 years but not particularly close to anyone, there's a good chance that you are ignored not because there's something wrong with you but because it's always a small group which is meeting up and you are not best friends with any of them.

You have done what you can. You have noticed some problem and asked people if there's some issue with you and unless people tell you something, you really can't guess. Maybe you are different from others in the group or maybe a few of them aren't comfortable around you, it can be anything.

You need to focus on other things you can do with your time (join hobby classes/ gym/ focus more on studies). Over a period of time, you will make new friends. All the best !

2

I would say invite some of these people to a group activity that's also convenient for them to attend within reason. Try this once or twice to gauge their level of interest. If they turn you down or flake more than once, at least you know where you stand.

For how you are feeling right now, all you can do is be patient, and try to be objective. If you think there may be something you are doing that causes them to want to avoid you, try to improve that.

I would definitely recommend reading books on how to improve your social skills. Even if you are good at socializing you could still learn something to improve on.

In the meantime, try not to feel too discouraged. Keep working on yourself and little by little you'll find people wanting to invite you out more often. Who knows, after a little while, those people who didn't invite you before might suddenly take more interest in you.

  • Thanks, do you have any books you would recommend? A lot of the ones that come up are those shady sites where the guys promises you'll land your dream job, etc. etc. – TheRyan722 Dec 25 '17 at 1:45
  • Yes. This one is my favorite, "The Like Switch" by Jack Schafer, Marvin Karlins. It is one of the best I have read and I go back to it frequently. It was written by an FBI agent, and it's packed with solid information that you can apply immediately. Another one is called,"Improve Your Conversations: Think on Your Feet, Witty Banter, and Always Know What to Say with Improv Comedy Techniques", written by Patrick King. In fact anything by Patrick King is excellent. I find these books have given me a solid foundation. I wish you the best! – Perry_M Dec 25 '17 at 14:01

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