Social Circle

by Apple Peterson in , , ,


"The opposite of love is not hate, it's indifference."
 --Elie Wiesel

Occasionally we plan to go out with a group of friends and we neglect to invite a friend ... accidentally or purposely. Often times, this happens to you and you can be the kind of person who feels totally left out or the kind of person who goes on their merry way and go about your day. It happens. It happens to the best of us. 

Nonetheless, this leaves someone wondering and asking the question, "Are we even friends?” Personally, age plays a big part and dictates how you handle and cope with such a diss. 

As a teenager, I must admit that I lost plenty of sleep wondering why I wasn't invited? Why wasn't I told? And or why doesn't she like me?  Looking back now coming from a different vantage point (aka from a mother's point-of-view), it was easy to feel sad, out of place or feel such intense emotions.

Scientifically speaking, our limbic system goes through major changes during our pubescent years; the amygdala is thought to connect sensory information to emotional responses. There are certain portions of our brain that helps process emotions, they found that older teens gain some equilibrium and have an easier time interpreting others. But until then, they often misinterpret parents, friends and higher authority. So with all the teenage angst like peer pressure, trying to fit in and insecurities ... not being invited feels like a death sentence. 

It was not until my late 20's with toddlers of my own and playdates to schedule that I've come to realize that sometimes, it makes sense not to be invited or preclude someone. You will meet people from different walks of life; with different upbringing and moral values ... as a parent you have a better perspective of what makes sense for you and your child. There have been occasions when a parent called or knocked on my door demanding why their child wasn't invited to one of my kid’s party. I can't fathom how their child feels about forcing themselves into a party and I'm not sure what these parents are trying to teach their children. The bottom line is this; we just can't possibly invite everybody!

Furthermore, at some point we all have to trust our kid’s judgment. As adults, we know which person causes drama, which says the most inappropriate things, who doesn't get along with whoever and don't we subconsciously create our guest list from there? By no means, it's a form of bullying because you have the best intentions for your occasion but if at some point you've noticed that the same person never makes the list, then perhaps it’s time to take a hard look on that relationship. 

There's nothing anyone can say that will help clear up each individual's situation. If you are in this predicament and you don't agree with your friend's decision to leave you out then I suggest that you lay out some possibilities and ideas for you to think about. Take a hard look at all the factors for your own circumstance. Perhaps by doing so you'll realize your feelings of being left out were a misunderstanding, or there are things you can work on to feel more included. Or decide altogether that this particular group of friends is not the right fit for you. 

It may well be somewhat harsh to say this but sometimes when you're not well matched with a set of people, you'll never end up becoming true friends with them in the first place. There could be a variety of reasons why people just don't quite hit it off or jibe with everyone and these are symptoms of indifference. These indifferences or seemingly exclusive behaviors normally don't have bad intentions behind them.

Sometimes there are certain social dynamics that force people and groups of friends together that ultimately, in the end -- probably shouldn't mix in the first place. These friends could very well be the nicest people you've ever met and genuinely like you as a person, but when it comes down to it, you're just different from each other.