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It hurts being left out...


plain jane
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I know this is petty but it's been really hard for me, please be kind?

 

There's a group of us moms who meet regularly every week for a coffee night or a glass of wine.  We've been doing this for a very long time and while some moms come and go there are a few of us who have been consistently with the group.  One of the ladies is someone whom I would call a pretty good friend.  We chat almost every day and our kids play together a lot.  We share curriculum and talk about issues that bother us.  One thing that we had planned to do a couple times was go to GWL with the kids.  We have planned and booked it twice but both times we had to cancel.  Once because her MIL fell down the stairs and injured herself and the second time because her dd ended up quite ill the weekend we booked.  We never got around to booking it for this summer although I had brought it up casually a couple of times.

 

We were out last week and there were 5 of us.  Her and another mom were talking and GWL came up.  It was a group talk and everyone was included. I was part of the conversation when it came up but soon after another lady started talking to me about something else and I guess you could say that I left the conversation.  I was sitting right there, but not part of it.  Their discussion eventually led to them making solid plans to book some rooms there and go up together.  I didn't let this bother me at all although I was a bit disappointed.  I figured they hit it off on some level and wanted to do this, so it's really not a big deal.   The conversation sort of merged into a group talk again as they solidified their plans and dates and then the one woman looks right past me and turns to the lady beside me and says, "Oh, Sheila, you and the kids are more than welcome to join us if you would like."  "Sheila" thought about it and then mentioned that her husband has a conference that weekend and that the date didn't work.  So then the lady promptly goes, oh, well we (gesturing to the lady with whom she made the plans) can also make the next weekend work.  Sheila shrugged and reminded her that they were off to see grandparents that week and still couldn't come.  At that point the first woman made some joking comment about how they weren't "good enough" for her, mentioned how they would just go ahead the two of them and the conversation about GWL ended and went in a completely different direction.

 

I did get a couple of words in here and there about how fun it would be, but I didn't push being invited because at first I thought it was just the two ladies going and I didn't want to force them to accept me.  But by the time I left, I realized that I was really sad that I wasn't included and it was clear that it wasn't just the two of them.  None of the other ladies at the table were interested in GWL (for various reasons) but like I mentioned, the one lady and I had planned twice to do this together and she knew that this is something I really wanted to do.  It was not implied that I was welcome to join them or that inviting myself would necessarily go over well.

 

I've tried to just shrug this off.  It's really not a big deal, right?  But I feel like I'm in junior high again and honestly, at any age, being left out hurts.  It hurts me anyways. :(    Since then I've had to text or call both ladies about various things and both of them have brought up this awesome fun weekend away at GWL.  Not in a way that would seem like I could invite myself but more in a "oh, well I am too busy to get together that Thursday because I have to pack for GWL and I have so much to do" context.

 

Even though this is something that I really wanted to do (go with friends and their kids) I'm trying to move on and just accept that this is petty.  Honestly, if they had made plans in secret and I found out about it, I don't think this would bother me, but they formulated the plan when I was present and part of the conversation and even included others around me.  I know someone will likely tell me to put on my big girl panties and simply talk to the one lady and invite myself but that seems wrong.  I can't explain it, but I don't feel good about doing that.  I'm trying to just move on and even make plans for myself and the kids for that weekend that they are away, but I still feel left out and it hurts.  I haven't told the kids.  They would be even more sad.

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It sucks and you are right to be hurt. You've been excluded and right to your face.  I think that's awful.

 

No, I wouldn't invite myself, because inviting yourself is wrong. Don't do it.  No one should ever invite themselves.

 

I'm sorry that they are leaving you out for some reason.  It's hard when you find out that you are a "lower" level friend in some way. 

 

If you want my advice, take this incident as knowledge of just where you stand in this group and start adjusting your relationships accordingly (that is, put a little distance between you and these people and go make some new friends).  I failed to do this once and it bit me eventually. 

 

Sympathetic story, feel free to skip:

 

I was once part of a group of 4 HS moms.  We did a lot together, etc.  I was at Mom A's house one day (planned visit) and as I'm leaving, Mom B shows up with pumpkins.  Mom A and Mom B had planned to have their kids carve pumpkins that day after I left.  I was not invited to stay with my son.  Another incident: On FB I saw that Mom B had a party at her house with Mom A and some other people.  I was not invited.  There were a few other things like this.

 

I shrugged it off as, "Well, not everyone has to be invited to everything. No one owes me an invitation to everything they do just because we are friends." etc.  Later the whole thing with Moms A and B blew up and basically no one speaks to each other anymore.  The details are stupid and boring, but let's just say that if I had listened to my intuition instead of rationalizing their behavior I would have saved myself a lot of heartache.

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:grouphug: :grouphug: :grouphug:

 

I'd be hurt too. I think you should go with your gut feeling and not say anything, but that would definitely affect my feelings towards those ladies going forward.

 

I hope you plan a really great alternative weekend! And put a trip to GWL on the calendar for your own family!

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I think I would call your friend who you were going to go to GWL with, and say, so are you still hoping to set up a GWL day with my family like we have discussed, or is this ___ (date they decided) going to be it for you this year at GWL?  And see what she says.  Maybe they are planning to go multiple times and have more fun with fewer people vs. a whole caravan.  Or maybe she will say, oh, I got the impression you didn't want to come, of course you are welcome!  Or maybe she will say, gosh, no, sigh, so much work, and then you will know she isn't into it.

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I'm not sure I follow.

 

What is GWL? 

 

And are the only two going your friend and some other woman? Or are there more people going? (That was unclear)

 

I wonder what your friend would say happened at the table? Have you had any reason up to this point to suspect she is really not a friend? Does she initiate contact with you as often as you do with her? 

 

I think the way the thing went down was ripe for misinterpretations and misunderstandings, so I would want to understand whether you had had misgivings about your friend prior to this before assuming that your exclusion was intentional and offering condolences or advice. 

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Do you want to try to salvage this friendship? I think if you do, you need to me honest about how it hurt you. I'd have coffee with the mom who you made plans with before, and just lay it out. "I thought we were good friends. We've made plans for GWL before, and then last week... I want to be friends but I'm very hurt by being left out. I don't want to harbor resentment, and ifi hurt someone I'd want to know, and I respect you enough to talk about this. There may be something I don't know, so maybe you can help me understand what happened." It will be hard. Very hard. But, if you want to try and work it out, there's no other option. Then, when you share your piece, leave it with her. See what she does. I'm sure you'll get invited, and you can decide what to do then. I might not go because it would feel like a mercy invite, but you can see how she deals with it and your friendship. Being honest and talking will save your emotional energy in the long run.

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I'm not sure I follow.

 

What is GWL? 

 

And are the only two going your friend and some other woman? Or are there more people going? (That was unclear)

 

I wonder what your friend would say happened at the table? Have you had any reason up to this point to suspect she is really not a friend? Does she initiate contact with you as often as you do with her? 

 

I think the way the thing went down was ripe for misinterpretations and misunderstandings, so I would want to understand whether you had had misgivings about your friend prior to this before assuming that your exclusion was intentional and offering condolences or advice. 

 

GWL- Great Wolf Lodge

 

I think it's just my friend and my other friend going, but I don't know the second lady as well as her and I have only hung out for a few months. We've gone out for ice cream once and had a couple play dates with the kids.  The two ladies invited the third family to go with them but that family was busy.

 

Yes, my friend contacts me regularly.  I would say almost daily we text each other about something and one of us doesn't initiate more than the other.  Sometimes it's just to share how her day went or ask a question about something.  

 

No, I had no misgivings about her at all and our kids get together to play regularly (weekly).  In fact, I thought we were still planning to go to GWL together until this whole thing.  We even talked about it back at the beginning of April.  I know her well enough to know that she's not going to go twice this summer.  I don't know if it was intentional that she didn't include me.  She couldn't have not seen me- I was sitting right beside her and she looked past me to invite the woman who was on the other side of me.  We've since spoken and things are friendly.  I guess she's decided she didn't want to go with me, which is fine, but I'm hurt by the manner in way the plans were made.  

 

Maybe my hurt is just clouded by the fact that I had really wanted to go and my kids really wanted to go with hers.  We had already tried to go twice together but had to cancel due to unforeseen circumstances.  (I could see it if it had been flakey reasons for not going together, but both instances seemed legit and serious)

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 I am a total "always look from the devil's advocate point of view" reader of posts. But here? I just can't see it.  Can't see the other side. That was just a really, really crappy thing your friend did to you.  I'm sorry.

 

 

I just got back from GWL and it is a parental stress ball.  OMG. I  know it's not really a consolation but I just wanted to throw that out there.  Too few lifeguards, really hard to keep an eye on multiple kids at once, plus it is casino-like in a weird way. I hated it.

Edited by poppy
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Ughughughugh that bites a lot. Its really NOT petty of you. What they did was hurtful.

 

Its true that now you know where you stand, and thats great and all, but dang it hurts to find out that your friends arent so friendly!

 

Big hugs to you.

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One of my pet peeves is people who make plans in front of others and clearly exclude them.  I hate that.  And you have every right to be hurt.

 

But.

I want to offer an alternative point of view here.

 

The group discussed GWL.  You exited the conversation.  Those making plans may have thought you weren't interested.  I know you said the other woman started talking to you, but perhaps the GWL discussers didn't realize that.  Maybe they thought you left the conversation on your own once it turned to GWL and assumed you weren't interested.  Your friend may have thought to herself, "hmmm...Jane has been interested in GWL before but didn't say anything now so maybe she isn't interested anymore/the dates don't work/she doesn't want to".

 

I don't think there is anything wrong with saying to any of the ladies going to GWL "I was talking to Sue while you were discussing GWL so I didn't get to respond but my family would love to attend as well." 

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You said that you sort of left the conversation in the middle.  It may be possible that your body language at some point indicated to them that you don't want to be included.  Maybe they asked you something and you didn't hear them and they thought they saw some sign you didn't mean to send.

 

Or maybe your friend has interpreted something you said in the past as "we aren't going this year," even though you didn't mean that.

 

I would ask your friend directly rather than leaving it open to interpretation.  There might be misunderstanding on both sides.

Edited by SKL
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Well, I think I would talk to your friend about it.  But then, that's me.  I prefer being up front with people so that I have a better understanding of a situation.  I didn't used to be this way, but have found that if it can be discussed in a way that isn't confrontational, it often has a good or helpful outcome.

 

I'd probably invite her to coffee, and just say something like,

 

"Hey!  I wanted to talk to you about something that's been on my mind.  It's a little awkward to bring this up, but I'm a little puzzled about this.  I know that you and I had discussed going to GWL together for two summers in a row now, so I was a little confused about the group conversation the other day when you were planning it for this summer.  Was that a group invitation?  I had shifted my focus to another conversation so wasn't hearing everything.  I'm not trying to invite myself if that isn't your plan, but because we had been trying to work it out together in the past, I wanted to clarify this with you."

 

That's how I'd begin.  Then, if it's clear that it was just a miscommunication, and that you are invited but just didn't hear all of that or whatever, it has a happy ending.

 

But if she responds with something like, "Oh no, sorry, this was just between her and me and maybe the other woman, but not you!"  Then I think I'd probably want to put a little distance on the friendship beginning immediately, because that was an inconsiderate thing of her to do.  Of course it doesn't mean she's a bad person, but she is maybe not the kind of friend I would want to have as a close friend.  However, I think I'd give her one last chance to clarify, and continue with something like:  "Okay.  I want to be honest though and admit that I do feel that it was inconsiderate of you, since we had talked about doing this together for so long, and you were discussing it right in front of me and even invited someone else right in front of me.  Can I ask you honestly if there is a reason for excluding me?  I'm just not understanding this very well, and would like to, and you may have some very good reasons.  But for now, it seems kind of strange!"  I wouldn't be saying it angrily, just honestly.

 

I don't think it's junior highish to feel badly when something like this happens.  I think it's okay to want to clarify things.  Hopefully you will find that it was really nothing at all and it will be cleared up or explained easily.

 

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Well, I think I would talk to your friend about it.  But then, that's me.  I prefer being up front with people so that I have a better understanding of a situation.  I didn't used to be this way, but have found that if it can be discussed in a way that isn't confrontational, it often has a good or helpful outcome.

 

I'd probably invite her to coffee, and just say something like,

 

"Hey!  I wanted to talk to you about something that's been on my mind.  It's a little awkward to bring this up, but I'm a little puzzled about this.  I know that you and I had discussed going to GWL together for two summers in a row now, so I was a little confused about the group conversation the other day when you were planning it for this summer.  Was that a group invitation?  I had shifted my focus to another conversation so wasn't hearing everything.  I'm not trying to invite myself if that isn't your plan, but because we had been trying to work it out together in the past, I wanted to clarify this with you."

 

That's how I'd begin.  Then, if it's clear that it was just a miscommunication, and that you are invited but just didn't hear all of that or whatever, it has a happy ending.

 

But if she responds with something like, "Oh no, sorry, this was just between her and me and maybe the other woman, but not you!"  Then I think I'd probably want to put a little distance on the friendship beginning immediately, because that was an inconsiderate thing of her to do.  Of course it doesn't mean she's a bad person, but she is maybe not the kind of friend I would want to have as a close friend.  However, I think I'd give her one last chance to clarify, and continue with something like:  "Okay.  I want to be honest though and admit that I do feel that it was inconsiderate of you, since we had talked about doing this together for so long, and you were discussing it right in front of me and even invited someone else right in front of me.  Can I ask you honestly if there is a reason for excluding me?  I'm just not understanding this very well, and would like to, and you may have some very good reasons.  But for now, it seems kind of strange!"  I wouldn't be saying it angrily, just honestly.

 

I don't think it's junior highish to feel badly when something like this happens.  I think it's okay to want to clarify things.  Hopefully you will find that it was really nothing at all and it will be cleared up or explained easily.

 

I think this is a perfect way to handle it.

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I agree it was wrong to make plans in front of other people that aren't included and I don't think it's petty to be hurt by such behavior. I think the all comments above about ideas on how to bring up the conversation and clear the air are good. We are frequently left out of things because we are different. I was hurt by this some at the homeschool co-op we tried to join. The co-op had co-op planned events but the families often planned additional activities outside of the co-op. Even though our kids played at co-op no one ever offered to include us in any plans they made even if ALL the other families were doing something together. I understood this when they did religious events since we aren't in their religious setting but the other activities it was hurtful. It was really upsetting for my kids when they'd hear about things everyone else had done but not them or when they would see photos pop up on FB of all the kids together. Needless to say we left that co-op and I doubt we'll go back. I'm sure *some* of it was because we were new but yeah... it still hurt especially since I joined so the kids could make friends. That went over great! Ugh.

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I just got back from GWL and it is a parental stress ball. OMG. I know it's not really a consolation but I just wanted to throw that out there. Too few lifeguards, really hard to keep an eye on multiple kids at once, plus it is casino-like in a weird way. I hated it.

LOL, we just went two weeks ago and loved it. (It's our 4th or 5th year.)

We had such a great time that I'm considering going back when it's super-cheap in September. It is a busy, noisy place -- definitely not a relaxing vacation! :D

 

ETA: we like busy, touristy places, though. :p

Edited by alisoncooks
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Well, I think I would talk to your friend about it. But then, that's me. I prefer being up front with people so that I have a better understanding of a situation. I didn't used to be this way, but have found that if it can be discussed in a way that isn't confrontational, it often has a good or helpful outcome.

 

I'd probably invite her to coffee, and just say something like,

 

"Hey! I wanted to talk to you about something that's been on my mind. It's a little awkward to bring this up, but I'm a little puzzled about this. I know that you and I had discussed going to GWL together for two summers in a row now, so I was a little confused about the group conversation the other day when you were planning it for this summer. Was that a group invitation? I had shifted my focus to another conversation so wasn't hearing everything. I'm not trying to invite myself if that isn't your plan, but because we had been trying to work it out together in the past, I wanted to clarify this with you."

 

That's how I'd begin. Then, if it's clear that it was just a miscommunication, and that you are invited but just didn't hear all of that or whatever, it has a happy ending.

 

But if she responds with something like, "Oh no, sorry, this was just between her and me and maybe the other woman, but not you!" Then I think I'd probably want to put a little distance on the friendship beginning immediately, because that was an inconsiderate thing of her to do. Of course it doesn't mean she's a bad person, but she is maybe not the kind of friend I would want to have as a close friend. However, I think I'd give her one last chance to clarify, and continue with something like: "Okay. I want to be honest though and admit that I do feel that it was inconsiderate of you, since we had talked about doing this together for so long, and you were discussing it right in front of me and even invited someone else right in front of me. Can I ask you honestly if there is a reason for excluding me? I'm just not understanding this very well, and would like to, and you may have some very good reasons. But for now, it seems kind of strange!" I wouldn't be saying it angrily, just honestly.

 

I don't think it's junior highish to feel badly when something like this happens. I think it's okay to want to clarify things. Hopefully you will find that it was really nothing at all and it will be cleared up or explained easily.

THIS THIS THIS, a billion times THIS.

 

I was going to come in and write something like the above, but J-Rap did it for me.

 

I am pretty sure that since you got sidetracked and never talked about it when the plans were going down that they thought you didn't want to go. Somehow there was a miscommunication. Somehow they thought they'd asked you and thought you weren't going. You missed your chance to join in. When you didn't jump in, they thought it meant No.

 

I'd bet my shirt on it.

 

But even if not, then you need to clear this up NOW.

 

Quick story:

When my 2nd son was born, I personally called all my dearest friends from the hospital to share the news. I mean, that's what you do, right? It's exciting news and you want to share the excitement with your friends, right?

 

So, when one of my dearest friend's due date came up, a month after my baby was born, I called her on the due date to say, "Hang in there! The baby will be here any day now!"

 

And she said, "Oh, um. My baby was born a week ago. I guess I thought someone would have told you..."

 

And right then and right there, I realized that she might be my dearest friend, but I most certainly was not her dearest friend.

 

And it's gnawed away at me for 11 years. I wish, wish, wish with all my heart that I had said right then and there, "Oh, I kinda thought you would be the one to tell me." It wouldn't have changed anything, but I wish I'd just told her. She didn't do it to be mean, but I just wish I'd been honest that I had gotten hurt. Because for some reason, it just has snowballed inside of me and hurts whenever I see her. It's been 11 years! Why can't I get over it?! It's completely colored the friendship now. And we're just aquaintances now. Which is crummy.

 

 

SO.

 

Tell her how you feel. Don't let the friendship end over this. I could be wrong, but I'll bet you a dollar that she honestly didn't realize you were interested since you stayed silent. And even if I'm wrong, then don't let this fester. I don't think the hurt will easily go away. And then you'll be like me, feeling a twinge everytime you see this person. Just tell her how you feel. Exactly the way J-Rap said to do it. Print it out and call her on the phone and read it verbatim.

 

No--don't do it on the phone. Do it in person. Then your body language can make it seem less confrontational. DO NOT text or message. NO. I've had friends try that with serious conversations and it gets bad fast. Meet in person somewhere where either of you can escape if anyone gets upset. At Panera or something.

Edited by Garga
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GWL- Great Wolf Lodge

 

I think it's just my friend and my other friend going, but I don't know the second lady as well as her and I have only hung out for a few months. We've gone out for ice cream once and had a couple play dates with the kids.  The two ladies invited the third family to go with them but that family was busy.

 

Yes, my friend contacts me regularly.  I would say almost daily we text each other about something and one of us doesn't initiate more than the other.  Sometimes it's just to share how her day went or ask a question about something.  

 

No, I had no misgivings about her at all and our kids get together to play regularly (weekly).  In fact, I thought we were still planning to go to GWL together until this whole thing.  We even talked about it back at the beginning of April.  I know her well enough to know that she's not going to go twice this summer.  I don't know if it was intentional that she didn't include me.  She couldn't have not seen me- I was sitting right beside her and she looked past me to invite the woman who was on the other side of me.  We've since spoken and things are friendly.  I guess she's decided she didn't want to go with me, which is fine, but I'm hurt by the manner in way the plans were made.  

 

Maybe my hurt is just clouded by the fact that I had really wanted to go and my kids really wanted to go with hers.  We had already tried to go twice together but had to cancel due to unforeseen circumstances.  (I could see it if it had been flakey reasons for not going together, but both instances seemed legit and serious)

 

Given this, if she deliberately excluded you, she's really quite the mean girl. If you haven't perceived her that way, then my bet is on a misunderstanding somewhere. 

 

As others have said, I think you should bring it up. I would do something like what J said. Do you remember that old show Columbo? (He was a detective? I think that I've got his name right!) Anyway, Columbo always approached suspects from the point of view of "I'm confused about something." 

 

I have taken a cue from him and it has saved me from sticking my foot in my mouth I don't know how many times, when I was 98% sure something was one way, but I asked the "confused" question and out came a totally plausible explanation that I had just overlooked.  So maybe approach her by saying, " I was confused by the conversation about GWL the other day. I know I got distracted from the conversation about GWL by the conversation with X  but then when you asked X but not me if she wanted to go, I didn't know how to interpret that." 

 

If she's a nice person and there was a misunderstanding, you've treated her respectfully and given her the benefit of the doubt by asking. If she's a nice person and there was a misunderstanding, not asking her is assuming the worst of her and will probably erode the friendship and she may never know why.

 

If she's a mean girl, asking will clarify that right away and you will know to exit stage right asap. But since you have not had an inkling that she's like that until now, I would bring it up.  

Edited by Laurie4b
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I have no advice, just sympathy. 

And I'm vaguely cheered up that I'm not the only one that had stuff like this happen to them. I'm of the opinion now that mothers' groupings and mothers' friendships are very precarious. So much drama. 

And add the children to the  mix. Many mothers imo change their plans because their children will say "I don't want to go with Susy! I like Mike better. I want to go with Mike."  For many mothers, keeping their own children happy is more important than maintaining their adult relationships. 

fwiw, all the social groups of mothers that I used to participate in have pretty much all disbanded. Not sure if that's comforting or not ...but in some ways I now look a these as very transient relationships. 

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I hate this for you.  I have definitely been in similar situations.  It hurts and it sucks and I am the worst for handling it appropriately.  My tendency is to simply write off said friends and find new ones.  My response is not healthy, I know and I'm working on that.  

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Yes, it does.  I'm sorry.  I'm not sure what I would do in your shoes but I'd probably just distance myself instead of sticking my neck out and being more obviously rejected.  If the other ladies are truly my friends, I imagine they'd still seek me out.

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Maybe she thought it was clear that you WERE invited, given your previous interest?

That's how I would have interpreted it. I would have interpreted it that everyone at the table was invited and if you didn't speak up and say, "Oh that date won't work for me," then they figured you didn't want to come and didn't want to press you and make it awkward.

 

If this is someone you text every single day, and if you already had plans to go that got derailed, and she made plans right in front of you....then you were invited. You dropped the ball and made everyone think you were declining the invite by not chiming in.

 

I could be wrong, but it seems unlikely being that you two are such close friends.

 

And if I'm wrong, then it's better to know now and have it out in the open so that you don't waste more time and run into more ambigous situations like this. If she didn't like you, she wouldn't text you every day.

Edited by Garga
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I agree with those who are wondering if you inadvertently signaled disinterest when you turned to the other conversation.  It seems so odd that you would be planning the trip with one friend and then right in front of you she plans it with someone else.  I'm sure people do that but it doesn't sound like your relationship is like that, or hasn't been.

 

I'd talk to her about it.  You'll know by her response if she really is a good friend or not. 

 

:grouphug: :grouphug:

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thinking more about this, I'd just call & ask "which dates did you guys decide on for GWL? Cause I think I'd like to come if I can make it." and just assume it's all ok.

 

 

Anyway, it's a public place (not a play date at their house or a birthday party - btdt with being not invited to those ./sigh/ .) so it's not like you can't go there if you want to, kwim?  Sounds like your kids would really enjoy it so just do it, even if it's only for the kids....

 

Edited by hornblower
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I wondered this myself.  But I would be inclined to do just like OP and not ask about it unless I was specifically asked so I understand where she's coming from.  

 

I hope this is what happened, OP!

 

It seems a natural flow to the conversation for your friend to have mentioned to the other mom that she has had two prior attempts to attend GWL that fell through - since you were present, it'd seem plausible that she mention these attempts had been planned with your family.

Is the Other Mom a stronger or more direct personality type? Like, she assumed you were invited based on your prior attempts with Friend ... so she asked Sheila directly because Sheila was 100% new to the idea of a GWL trip? And so Other Mom assumed you knew you were invited or that Friend would continue talks with you about setting it up? Or that you'd chime in then if a given date didn't work for you?

 

Is Friend a more easy-going type who could have interpreted Other Mom's direct invitation to Sheila as a slight to you that she (Friend) isn't assertive enough to correct - and so she's following what she perceives to be the lead of Other Mom in excluding you? (Like, is it possible she's  ... not intimidated, but maybe less confrontational even in small, harmless situations ... so she's riding back seat to Other Mom's planning? I'm guessing a personality more similar to yours, based on how you handled this situation in the moment. If so, at least her role is more understandable, though still hurtful, and the friendship can heal because intent is eliminated.)

 

I'm a stronger personality. It's easy for me to assert (or insert!) myself into a situation or conversation. It's taken me years to appreciate that not everyone is like this. Along the way I've inadvertently hurt people's feelings because I'd have assumed you would've jumped in if you were interested.

 

These days I make a point to directly ask people who are quiet in a setting like this - but it's taken some hurt feelings and honest conversations for me to get here. It's easy to forget that not everyone is like 'us' ... whatever our personality type is. We tend to assume people are like us and we act accordingly. Someone who would've jumped in will ask (when confronted), "Why didn't you say something then??" because it's foreign to us that someone wouldn't. Someone like you who thought it might be rude to assume or insert herself into plans will feel as you did - that you weren't directly invited, and therefore not invited.

 

I hope it's just a miscommunication chalked up to different personality types. :grouphug:

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I can imagine a possible scenario in which the two other ladies thought (wrongly) that you were avoiding jumping in on the plans because you don't want to go. Also not wanting to be rejected, they didn't say, "Jane, you're welcome to come, too..." Because either one or both might have been wondering, "why isn't Jane mentioning that she would like to go, too?"

 

I'm saying all this, though I have been in exactly your place, but with someone who was once my best friend. She made plans right next to me with another friend on several ocassions. I think it is possible she was making plans near me, thinking if I wanted to join, I would say so, but I had recently suffered a tragedy and I think she didn't want to ask directly. So it ended up as a thing where I was thinking, "you never invite me anymore," but it is possible she was thiking, "you act disinterested in life since you suffered a tragedy, so I never know if I should just leave you alone or what."

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Do you want to try to salvage this friendship? I think if you do, you need to me honest about how it hurt you. I'd have coffee with the mom who you made plans with before, and just lay it out. "I thought we were good friends. We've made plans for GWL before, and then last week... I want to be friends but I'm very hurt by being left out. I don't want to harbor resentment, and ifi hurt someone I'd want to know, and I respect you enough to talk about this. There may be something I don't know, so maybe you can help me understand what happened." It will be hard. Very hard. But, if you want to try and work it out, there's no other option. Then, when you share your piece, leave it with her. See what she does. I'm sure you'll get invited, and you can decide what to do then. I might not go because it would feel like a mercy invite, but you can see how she deals with it and your friendship. Being honest and talking will save your emotional energy in the long run.

 

I think this advice is good, except I would talk to your friend after the GWL trip.  That way it doesn't look like you're hunting for an invitation.  And really it isn't about not going, it is the way it was handled.

 

Was it your friend who invited the person next to you or the other lady?  This is important.  If it was the other lady, then perhaps your friend was embarrassed but didn't know how to handle it.

 

Anyway, hugs.  I hate stuff like that.

Edited by PrincessMommy
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One of my pet peeves is people who make plans in front of others and clearly exclude them. I hate that. And you have every right to be hurt.

 

But.

I want to offer an alternative point of view here.

 

The group discussed GWL. You exited the conversation. Those making plans may have thought you weren't interested. I know you said the other woman started talking to you, but perhaps the GWL discussers didn't realize that. Maybe they thought you left the conversation on your own once it turned to GWL and assumed you weren't interested. Your friend may have thought to herself, "hmmm...Jane has been interested in GWL before but didn't say anything now so maybe she isn't interested anymore/the dates don't work/she doesn't want to".

 

I don't think there is anything wrong with saying to any of the ladies going to GWL "I was talking to Sue while you were discussing GWL so I didn't get to respond but my family would love to attend as well."

It's true. So often, feelings can be spared if someone is simply direct.

 

One time, I had some sort of get-together and invited a group of homeschool friends. I fully planned to invite this one friend, "Sue"; in fact, I viewed her as my closest friend from that circle. But somehow or other, her invitation never came through. When she heard this event was happening, she asked me directly, "did you mean to invite me, because I didn't know about this." This could have been a big rift right ther, but I am *so thankful* she just came to me and asked.

 

I say this, although I know there have been instances of people intentionally being non-invited, who then did ask, and the non-inviter denied the non-invitation. In that case, I would look for a pattern emerging; the non-invitee was also not invited to future things, so in that case, it probably is a "get a hint, lady" moment.

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It sucks and you are right to be hurt. You've been excluded and right to your face.  I think that's awful.

 

No, I wouldn't invite myself, because inviting yourself is wrong. Don't do it.  No one should ever invite themselves.

 

I'm sorry that they are leaving you out for some reason.  It's hard when you find out that you are a "lower" level friend in some way. 

 

If you want my advice, take this incident as knowledge of just where you stand in this group and start adjusting your relationships accordingly (that is, put a little distance between you and these people and go make some new friends).  I failed to do this once and it bit me eventually. 

 

Sympathetic story, feel free to skip:

 

I was once part of a group of 4 HS moms.  We did a lot together, etc.  I was at Mom A's house one day (planned visit) and as I'm leaving, Mom B shows up with pumpkins.  Mom A and Mom B had planned to have their kids carve pumpkins that day after I left.  I was not invited to stay with my son.  Another incident: On FB I saw that Mom B had a party at her house with Mom A and some other people.  I was not invited.  There were a few other things like this.

 

I shrugged it off as, "Well, not everyone has to be invited to everything. No one owes me an invitation to everything they do just because we are friends." etc.  Later the whole thing with Moms A and B blew up and basically no one speaks to each other anymore.  The details are stupid and boring, but let's just say that if I had listened to my intuition instead of rationalizing their behavior I would have saved myself a lot of heartache.

 

Totally thread-jacking... but what was your intuition telling you that you wish you'd listened to? How would that have saved all the heartache? 

 

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I sure doesn't look good from what you describe. But, I will say that I have had discussions with good friends where we both had completely different experiences of a situation. It is possible something like that has happened here. If you are reading the situation correctly then the relationship is pretty much over, correct? (Because that is super mean). What do you have to lose by speaking up?

 

If I had the nerve I would address it. I think you would be able to tell by body language whether it truly was a misunderstanding or if she was really was excluding you. The older I get the more I value relationships and tend to lay my cards on the table (gently and lovingly) to err on the side of clearing up misunderstandings.

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I'm a stronger personality. It's easy for me to assert (or insert!) myself into a situation or conversation. It's taken me years to appreciate that not everyone is like this. Along the way I've inadvertently hurt people's feelings because I'd have assumed you would've jumped in if you were interested.

 

These days I make a point to directly ask people who are quiet in a setting like this - but it's taken some hurt feelings and honest conversations for me to get here. It's easy to forget that not everyone is like 'us' ... whatever our personality type is. We tend to assume people are like us and we act accordingly. Someone who would've jumped in will ask (when confronted), "Why didn't you say something then??" because it's foreign to us that someone wouldn't. Someone like you who thought it might be rude to assume or insert herself into plans will feel as you did - that you weren't directly invited, and therefore not invited.

 

This is a perfect description of how things probably went down with my ex-best friend. She is a direct person, an extreme extrovert. She would never, ever, in a million years sit quietly thinking, "I'm not invited, so I must be unwanted." If she wanted in on an invitation, she would immediatley say so, so surely she would not understand how I could have sat quietly by while fun plans to Nashville were being made right beside me. When you write what you did, you make it more clear than ever that she thought by not chiming in, I was saying, "Don't include me!"

 

Sad, realizing such things far too late.

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This is a perfect description of how things probably went down with my ex-best friend. She is a direct person, an extreme extrovert. She would never, ever, in a million years sit quietly thinking, "I'm not invited, so I must be unwanted." If she wanted in on an invitation, she would immediatley say so, so surely she would not understand how I could have sat quietly by while fun plans to Nashville were being made right beside me. When you write what you did, you make it more clear than ever that she thought by not chiming in, I was saying, "Don't include me!"

 

Sad, realizing such things far too late.

 

It really is sad.

 

And when I think of how hard it was for people to bring it to my attention, I felt horrible for all those people I must've hurt who just drifted into the background because they felt I didn't value them as my friends.

 

I guess the best consolation for all of us is that however painful, we've grown from these experiences. And while we can't get back what we've lost, hopefully we can hold onto the friendships we enjoy now when similar misunderstandings arise.

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Yes, it does.  I'm sorry.  I'm not sure what I would do in your shoes but I'd probably just distance myself instead of sticking my neck out and being more obviously rejected.  If the other ladies are truly my friends, I imagine they'd still seek me out.

 

Yeah I don't know.  This is my usual tactic, but maybe it's not the best tactic.  For example, I may not be one to seek someone out.  This doesn't mean I don't like them.  Basically I'm just kinda crappy at certain social things.  So if someone said to me hey I feel like you left me out, I'd say OMG no...  I seriously would not be friends with people who rolled like that (excluding people right in front of them!!!).  What would be the harm in more people joining in that situation?  Whether they are my BFF or not. 

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Wow - that is extremely rude behavior.  I think it's fine to make whatever plans you want with whomever you want and don't need to include the universe every time.  I'm very live and let live about that kind of thing.  Doing it right in front of people you have no intention of including is incredibly mean spirited and rude.  I can imagine some of the scenarios where it would go down that way, but sorry, I have problems cutting them much slack especially since they asked the 3rd woman right in front of you. 

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I'll be honest, I can totally picture myself doing this. Not because I want to deliberately exclude someone, but because I'd think "you were right there when we were making plans, you were chiming in and seemed interested, but then you started talkign to someone else and then when we mentioned dates you didn't mention if it worked for you or not, so.... I guess she doesn't want to hang out with us?" I wouldn't bring it up with you directly for the same reason you're not brining it up with them directly; because it feels like you're being shot down and no one likes that. Realistically though... they started making the plans with you actively involved in the conversation. They continued the conversation right beside you while you spoke with someone else, and then they drew your new conversation partner in to their conversation as well. It sounds like they didn't feel the need to specifically invite you because they felt you were as much a part of the idea as they were, and then you stepped back.

I genuinely don't think a good friend deliberately excluded you. I think this is just social awkwardness and no one having quite the same perspective on social/power dynamics in a conversation. The only way to move past it is to address the awkward head on, move past it, and deal with the truth once it's laid out on the table. I wouldn't let a little awkwardness keep you from a fun trip with a good friend. Seriously. Talk it out with her, it'll be worth it. And if they ARE deliberately excluding you, well, better you know that sort of thing about your friendship.

 

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Oh, my crapness. GACK! I would totally have hurt feelings. Then again, everyone tells me I'm too sensitive....

 

That said, because it's someone you thought was a close friend, it's better to talk and get it out in the open, if for no other reason than to see where you stand in your friendship. I do agree with PrincessMommy---wait until after they come back so it doesn't look like you're fishing for an invitation.

 

I'm sorry that happened. It really does suck.

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I just got back from GWL and it is a parental stress ball. OMG. I know it's not really a consolation but I just wanted to throw that out there. Too few lifeguards, really hard to keep an eye on multiple kids at once, plus it is casino-like in a weird way. I hated it.

THANK YOU for putting this here.. I'll remember this next time I start thinking about taking the kids to gwl

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