Hello, Papa Bear,
Its me again and first sorry for another letter I have a lot on my shoulders lately. Anyway, me and my friends are going through some rough ends. Not long ago my best friend (Amanda) had a birthday party and invited me, and 3 other girls. One of them was our best friend. The others I knew just never really hung out with.
Anyways, because me, Amanda and Alyssa (the best friend) haven't seen each other in awhile we decided to have a sleepover. Then Olivia (one of the girls I don't really hang out with) wanted to come. So because I knew her pretty well, and everyone begged me. I said yes. We had some fun, and all, but I felt they weren't including me in anything. They didn't do anything I wanted to do because I thought, since they were my guests we had to do whatever they wanted. So they mostly played on my Wii. Though I didn't join because I only have 3 remotes and there was four of us. So I mostly began to feel sad, and depressed. During the sleepover my two best friends seemed to not act like themselves. Alyssa, who loves animals, started acting as if they were nothing which is something she would never do. Amanda, just hardly noticed me which is normally a first. And Olivia, she is just one of those punk, like girls, and I don't really get along with those type of people very well.
I mentioned this on a furry forum and some of my friends on it said to pull them aside and talk to them about this. So I did and it failed. They started acting mean towards me and saying I just want others’ pity. Which isn't true at all. So we haven't talked and things are awkward between us, and my question is, how can I apologize for all of this? I just want us to be friends again. Thank you.
Sorry this was long.
Topaz (age 12)
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Papabear suspects he knows what’s going on here. It centers around this girl Olivia. She’s kinda the cool kid, I bet. And I bet Amanda and Alyssa wanted to impress her; this explains why their behavior changed. Bet you that Olivia doesn’t share Alyssa’s love of animals, so she suppressed it so that Olivia would like her more. I also suspect the main reason they wanted to come to your home wasn’t because of you but because of your Wii.
You’re not the one who needs to apologize; they are. It was extremely rude of them to hog your Wii and leave you sitting there. Only three controllers? Fine, take turns playing. Have three people play for a while, then low score has to sit out while the next person takes over, and so on. Easy solution, but no one proposed that, did they? And you were too polite and trying too hard to be a good hostess to insist they share your game system.
Topaz, in a way, you are at an unenviable age when you have to deal with social cliques all the time. And social cliques can morph constantly in the school years. One day you may find yourself fully accepted in a certain social group, and the next, without even knowing why, you are given the boot. Usually this is because a certain clique—large or small—gets a new member or members who is envied by the original members and anyone who doesn’t likewise want to be like the cool people will be pushed out. Cliques can grow, or shrink, split into multiple different cliques, or merge into supercliques.
In this interesting article from PsychCentral, Marie Hartwell-Walker, a doctor of education, explains how there can be two types of social groups in school: clicks and cliques. I have been talking about cliques, which are unhealthy, but Hartwell-Walker also explains there can be social groups that are healthy and are composed of friends who “click” together.
What you used to have with Alyssa, Amanda, and you was a click. Three friends who had similar interests and liked hanging out. Now, with the introduction of Olivia, the group is morphing into a clique—an unhealthy group of people with weak self-esteem who want to be part of a “cool” crowd and show themselves as superior to others (read the article, it’s very helpful).
At this point, sadly, it sounds as if you are a click member who now is being slowly squeezed out of a group that has turned into a clique. If you want your friends back, there are two potential options: 1) you can suck up to Olivia and try to be just like her in the same way that Alyssa and Amanda are, or 2) you can try and keep Olivia out of your relationship with Alyssa and Amanda. Invite A and A to do super-fun stuff together without O and reinforce your bond with the two girls and make yourself the cooler choice in their eyes.
The good news is that it sounds like you have other friends. Good for you! In case the two As decide they want to be with O more than you (something you can only try to influence not to happen but have no ultimate control over), you still have other options in friends.
This is not a reflection on you; this doesn’t mean you aren’t friend-worthy. It means that Amanda and Alyssa are becoming social climbers who think it’s more important to look cool than to be genuine friends.
It’s sad, I know. It’s not hopeless yet, but be prepared for the possibility they might not be your friends much longer. It’s one of those painful lessons in life everyone goes through. The longer you live, the more friends you will lose.... But don’t worry!!! You will also make many new friends along the way. As you do, you will learn a lot about friendship, both how to pick better-quality friends and how to be a better friend yourself.
Wish You Luck!
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