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What to do in this girl friend group situation?


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soulstorm2

I will try to be as concise as I can, although I feel there will be some paragraphs at the end of this.

I am part of a new friend group that formed fairly recently, under a year. There were 4-5 of us who would hang out weekly, 2 guys and 3 girls. Unfortunately, 1 of the guys who was the glue of the group and who for me felt like home, passed away suddenly before the holidays. This news left everyone in shock and personally, I was left shattered, because I started also catching feelings for him, not too much, but something was started inside of me. He was always there for me and I felt a soul connection with him and that I was accepted just the way I am. A feeling I have not experienced that much. He was very friendly and fair with everyone qualities I always admired about him.

When this tragic event happened, me and the other 2 girls from the group started hanging out more, let's call them X and Y. I need to mention that before the event, me and X were closer than she was with Y. What I mean by that is X would call me first for something, or she would come close to me when we were somewhere and take me into her arms or just do small affectionate physical contact. 

But after our friend passed away, she suddenly started hugging Y and be lovey dovey, which did not happen before, they were neutral. And I felt something was off. Y was there for me emotionally, because out of all of them, I was more affected, as in I was sad, I told them crying that I am having a hard time and I cannot get over him not being here with us anymore. X was smiling and cheerful even on the day we received the bad news. Y was more affected, but after a week they got over it meaning that they would laugh, not talk about him or avoid the subject, while  I was in grief. X told me that I can call her to talk about it if I am feeling bad, but when we would talk on the phone, she would change the subject and just say things like it will depend on you to move on etc, things that I did not understand how she could say them so easily when we all went through this together and when someone is mourning and in such pain, it feels dismissive. I felt she told me to call her and talk about it just to seem a good friend, because when I did do this, she would not be patient, although she said it was ok for me to talk. It was such a contradiction. In comparison, Y was much more there emotionally when I would get with them together and the subject would come up. 

For this reason, I tried to keep the pain for myself and not burden them, because I felt they just wanted to skip through this and go on like nothing happened which for me felt unnatural at such short time after his passing. What confused me was that she said I could talk anytime, but when I did do that, it felt like she just wanted to change subject. Felt like she said that only to keep appearance of good friend.

Fast forward, X started complimenting Y a lot, started calling her and talking for hours as I have found out. We also have a whatsapp group, but they talk in private a lot. And Y is the type of person that gets flattered easily and likes to help people and feel needed, so she sticked to her like glue, because X knows what words to use to be charming and in the center of attention (also saw this in our get togethers with other people). When they write in the group chat, it is all so over the top and lovey dovey towards each other that it feels unnatural. Or maybe they do love each other that much. And it would have not hurt me, if X would have not stopped being close to me emotionally and redirected to Y. It's like I was "abandoned" because I was going through grief longer than them and it put her off. And I did try to smile when with them, and be strong. But I would have liked to feel I am worthy even when I am going through bad stuff emotionally. Y has some problems at work and X listens to her a lot and is engaging with her, but when I was going through grief, she was disconnected, although having a dear friend die is a more serious issue than job problems. 

And now another girl joined our group of friends and this girl, Z, is more impartial, gets along with everyone and gives attention equally to everyone, doesn't seem biased. But lately, they have been wanting to go out so much during the week and I started to feel like I don't have motivation emotionally (other than this new girl and some other people in the group that join occasionally) to be with them. and I don't know what to do... Because I was thinking I should leave this group, but I have been to every meeting always and it would start gossip if I decided to leave this situation. On the other hand, this new girl feels good to me and I like when she is around, but being in this group of girls, I could not continue to see just her if I leave, because it would be awkward I guess and they will talk bad about me.

The thing is I felt I belonged when this friend was alive.... Now X has changed towards me and I feel I have to "fight" to be accepted, whereas this friend made me feel like being myself is enough, as everybody should be treated and should feel in a friend group.. I feel my foundation has shaken, because I finally felt stable, I had a friend group where I felt I was ok, but now things have shifted.

I know a common advice would be to start making new friends outside of this group. But I am tired because I will have to start over again... and until I will find new friends...I don't know what to do in this group thing. Because we are in permanent contact, offline and online, I don't have any break, I am constantly reminded of my place. And X is very popular so she is the dominating one. So there is no equality between us. It is kind of eating me inside. I should feel recharged and fuelled up when meeting with them. Yet I am reminded that people will leave me behind , whereas my friend never made me feel this way...but he is gone so... 

I also thought about talking to X and asking her why did she distance herself emotionally and that it affected me. Because she is holding and being lovey dovey with Y in front of me as if they are a couple and it feels as if it is being rubbed into my face.

I also know that sometimes we need to let things unfold themselves and the right thing will happen for my own good  , but until that happens...I can't back away because they will start asking questions why I don't want to go out as usual.

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introverted1

Much as you want things to go back to the way they were before your friend died, it is often the case that when the group structure changes, so does the internal dynamic. This is the nature of groups even when there is no loss of a group member:  the dynamics change over time. It's impossible to know why X became closer to Y; there are countless possibilities and you will make yourself crazy trying to guess at them.  I'm also not a fan of asking X why she changed.  There is no answer she can give you that will give you a feeling of "oh, that makes sense.'  Instead, whatever she says is likely to cause you additional distress and/or lead to a disagreement.  Plus, regardless what she says, you'd be in the same situation or worse, since it would now be awkward all around.

57 minutes ago, soulstorm2 said:

I know a common advice would be to start making new friends outside of this group.

So yes, start making friends outside this group if you are no longer comfortable with the dynamic inside the group. You can also take steps to distance yourself a bit from the group.  Turn off your whatsapp notifications and check in on your own terms.  Go out with the group slightly less often - you can say you have a big project at work that is taking your time, or that you've started a new hobby (which would be something useful to actually do) or whatever. 

Good luck. 

 

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soulstorm2
56 minutes ago, introverted1 said:

You can also take steps to distance yourself a bit from the group.  Turn off your whatsapp notifications and check in on your own terms.  Go out with the group slightly less often - you can say you have a big project at work that is taking your time, or that you've started a new hobby (which would be something useful to actually do) or whatever. 

Good luck. 

 

I have thought about this and the thing is, they will know and feel something is off, because they have in the past about other stuff, so I don't think they will believe me if I say that. And even if I try to see them less often,. It would still be once per week, because normally until now we have seen each other 2-3 times per week, which is too much already. I wish I could tell them I feel things have changed and I feel out of place and not of value to the group anymore...I would not want them to think and start rumours that I just went cold out of nothing because it is not the truth. It would be ok for me to hang out, just less often, but then I know I will be forgotten and the connection would be lost (and that is sad,because I never felt that with my friend, even if we did not see each other for 2 weeks, I knew nothing would change connection wise, it was a type of security that felt really warm and reassuring).

I also want to keep seeng the new girl because I really feel comfortable in her presence, but that means that I will also have to see the group, because everyone goes together, it is already sealed so to speak. So that is also another thing that is making this complicated. Because finding people who feel good for you are not that often from experience, but I can't enjoy it properly because of this group situation. I really hope things somehow shift for the better. I will try to maybe decline one get together once every 2 weeks, cause that would not raise questions

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stillafool
7 hours ago, soulstorm2 said:

I also want to keep seeng the new girl because I really feel comfortable in her presence, but that means that I will also have to see the group, because everyone goes together, it is already sealed so to speak.

That's terrible if what you say is true about this group.  You should all be able to see each other one on one as well as within or without the group.  "Sealed" sounds controlling the friendships which isn't healthy.  Does anyone in this group have a boyfriend?

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introverted1
7 hours ago, soulstorm2 said:

I have thought about this and the thing is, they will know and feel something is off, because they have in the past about other stuff, so I don't think they will believe me if I say that. And even if I try to see them less often,. It would still be once per week, because normally until now we have seen each other 2-3 times per week, which is too much already. I wish I could tell them I feel things have changed and I feel out of place and not of value to the group anymore...I would not want them to think and start rumours that I just went cold out of nothing because it is not the truth.

You are creating an impossible situation for yourself.  If you are not enjoying the group, simply back off a bit and don't worry about what they think.  Conversely, if the group is important to you, then carry on. It does you no good to maintain a position where you say you don't enjoy the group but also "can't" leave it.  Nor is it helpful to keep wishing that things were different. That just keeps you stuck. 

The only person who can decide what's right for you is you. 

And even if you continue on with this group, it would be a good idea to expand your horizons beyond it so that you have other friends in your life. This alone will make the current group seem less important and you'll be better able to go with the flow as the group dynamics shift and change over time. 

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