One Way Street

I sometimes comment on confessions but have never had one of my own posted. I expect negative feedback, but I am really interested in a reality check. I am going to keep everything gender-neutral because the dynamic is what matters, not the individuals. Am I being too sensitive or am I seeing a problem? Here goes: I have a very very close friend who is very insecure and needs a lot of affirmation and support. I give those things freely. All I ask in return is good company and conversation. This friend is also a very kind and emotionally open person so I enjoy the friendship. I include the friend in my own social activities and have nurtured connections between this friend and the rest of my (less close) friends. I take a “more the merrier” approach to socializing. Here's what bugs me: My friend and I share a passion for a certain hobby. The friend has built a huge network around this hobby and I've asked if I could join in and meet some of the people in the network. EVERY SINGLE TIME they get together, I am put off, lied to, left out, or “forgotten” to be invited. I always let it roll off my back and say something like, “Oh, darn, I wish I'd known. That sounds like it would have been fun.” This friend constantly keeps me sequestered from the rest of these people. I feel insulted and used. We have been “besties” for 15 years, hanging out together – always alone – at least twice a week. The friend truly thinks that I don't see what is going on. I suspect the friend thinks that I will somehow become more important to the hobby group, although I would never let that happen. Is it time to take the hint and ditch the relationship? What am I doing to deserve this exclusion? I can't bring it up because the friend's insecure self will just deny it.

15 Comments

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Annoying

Jan 23, 2024 at 9:42am

Let it go. Find something else that doesn't include your friend. I get the impression from your post they are insecure and feel territorial about this other hobby. If you take the initiative and join this group on your own you risk alienating your friend. Personally, I would join just to find out why they are not including you but that's just me. Can certainly understand your feelings. Weird.

6 0Rating: +6

Anonymous

Jan 23, 2024 at 10:22am

This "friend" of yours is a toxic user.

The stuff you write about reads like high school crap.

Being excluded = not your true friend.

8 2Rating: +6

Be brave

Jan 23, 2024 at 2:00pm

I have been in similar situations. You need to take a deep breath and ask them about it. It can be casual. If they deny it, ask when the next outing is so you can plan to be there. If it’s to the point where you’re thinking of ending the relationship anyway, then there’s not much to lose. I can almost guarantee it’s an insecurity or a way they’re looking at things that’s more about them than you. They see you all the time and it sounds like they’re a valuable friend. Don’t let a lack of communication (from both them and you) ruin that. People have their own stuff going on and may not even be truly aware of why they do things. It’s nice sometimes to allow space for humans to act like the perfectly imperfect beings we are. True friends are gold.

6 0Rating: +6

Simple translation

Jan 23, 2024 at 2:53pm

You have contempt for your friend and feel superior to them. They read your generosity as veiled grandiosity and are punishing you for it.

These dynamics can last a long time, as both egos are being fed in different ways and passive aggression is cranked to full volume.

5 10Rating: -5

go greige

Jan 23, 2024 at 3:03pm

In this day and age, life is too short to waste energy on people who don't give back. Leeches be gone! Just slow fade and find other friends (though nice genuine people seemed to have disappeared even the ones I thought were good, the masks fell off when covid hit). Or volunteer with interests that align with your values. If you have self respect then take the sunk cost as a tough lesson in the true meaning of friendship.

6 0Rating: +6

@op

Jan 23, 2024 at 4:23pm

I think your confession already begins to answer your own question. Your friend's fears and insecurities prevent them from introducing you to a new circle of people. Your friend is afraid that you will be more popular, appealing, attractive, intelligent, and your friend will be left behind in the dust. Speaking from personal experience, a friend's insecurities can really weigh a friendship down. I've been in the situation where friends have made constant comparisons between us, and it makes me really uncomfortable when a friend puts themselves down and compliments me. It also makes me feel uncomfortable when a person's insecurities compel them to put me down to make themselves feel better. I think you just need to take a honest gut check here. Is your life better because of this friendship? Do you feel there is equality in what you give and receive? I think you know deep down whether or not you want to keep this person in your life or not. Oh and just to add: you aren't ever meeting this new friend group. It's never going to happen, unless you directly reach out to these people. So you have to make peace with that. You will never meet them and you continue being friends with this person. How does that sit with you? Only you can know.

12 0Rating: +12

Seems obvious

Jan 23, 2024 at 7:19pm

Of course I don’t really know why your friend doesn’t want you to be part of that group, but I can make a couple of good guesses: 1) perhaps they feel that you might take over? Maybe you have a habit of needing to be the centre of attention or that you’re someone who tends to kind of suck up all the air in the room. 2) Maybe your friend feels a little insecure about their own place in the group and prefers not to share it with you. I’m not saying that you are this type of person, but believe me I’ve known a few in my life, and while they can be lots of fun at times, they can also be exhausting. Somehow everything becomes about them in social situations, making it difficult for someone who’s less extroverted or ebullient to participate the way they would like to. Perhaps a little self-reflection on your part could answer your question.

8 0Rating: +8

Yeah

Jan 23, 2024 at 8:11pm

Generally speaking, I find people in Vancouver not particularly social, despite them saying they are social. They will do exactly as you describe: keep you sequestered and separated from their social groups. It’s a control thing. “I want my social relationships all to myself, without anyone stealing the spotlight from me.” Case in point: one friend refuses to allow me to invite others when we socialize. However she will consistently invite “her friends” if we hang out. Controlling the outcome so that the balance weighs always in her favour. To me, if you’re hanging with this person twice a week for 15 years, and they never allow you into this hobby group, you’re going to have to break into this group without any aid from them. Your interests are obviously very low on the scale for them. Which is pretty typical for people in Vancouver.

9 3Rating: +6

Anonymous

Jan 24, 2024 at 9:49am

Having different friends for different things is healthier .That way if some unpleasantness happens between two different people in the group the cohesive friendships aren’t affected.Someone in that hobby group doesn’t care for you and has asked the “leader” to exclude you.If it’s truly the hobby you enjoy find another group of the same and join it !

4 0Rating: +4

Thank you all

Jan 24, 2024 at 12:39pm

I read and appreciate every one of these responses. Will think a lot about the advice. Thank you.

7 0Rating: +7

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