Because exclusion is one of the worst feelings.
Feeling left out sucks.
I’ve been hearing (and over-hearing conversations lately) about getting left out. Maybe having a falling out with a friend group, maybe seeing something that you’re not invited to on social media, or maybe getting kicked out of a group message. No matter the form, it all hurts the same.
Sometimes I wish Instagram had a “don’t see things I wasn’t invited to” filter. I find social media would be a much more joyful, lively experience.
And I’ve struggled with feeling excluded, too. I sometimes forget that you can’t be best friends with everyone, and you can’t be “in” on everything. But low moments like this guide me to where I belong.
In the sting of rejection, I’ve found that seeking understanding is a huge form of relief. To help you through the healing process, check out the points below.
1. Reflect on your own efforts
It’s easy to think that other people are the problem. And they very well could be. But before you start to think that this group of people hates your guts, or never wants to speak with you again, press pause and reflect on your own efforts.
Do you ever invite them to things? Do you text them back? Do you respond in the group message? Do you make an effort to keep that friendship afloat?
Sometimes the issue has less to do with them, and more to do with your lack of effort.
You may be putting in effort, and if so, the friendship could just not be working out. But I say this for starters, because friendship is a two-way street.
2. You can’t be besties with everyone
Sometimes when we feel left out of something, it signifies that it’s not really our place to begin with.
Sometimes we can think that we would be perfect friends with someone, and it just doesn’t really click. Maybe it’s a great idea in theory, but who knows why things do or don’t happen. Maybe it’s that you don’t have much in common, maybe you’re not involved in the same things, maybe you just have different values. Either way, you can’t really force something that’s not meant to be.
Pray that you meet people that you vibe with just as well as this group vibes with each other. This way, you’ll appreciate when you do feel included in a group, and you do feel understood.
3. Evaluate your friendship
So you’ve considered whether or not you put in the effort into this friendship. You also realized that this group is probably closer because they vibe more. Now, it’s time to evaluate your friendship and see if it’s worth your time.
The other day, I watched a Transformation church sermon that really changed how I look at all my relationships. The pastor suggested looking at relationships as either an asset, or a liability.
Relationships are either an asset or a liability.
A asset-friendship is someone who encourages you, makes you a better version of yourself, and who you feel super joyful after hanging out.
A liability-friendship is one where you feel like dog doo after hanging out with them, they gossip about you, exclusive, full of drama, and drive you to feel insecure.
If this friendship is a liability, I encourage you to leave it. I know that this is really hard, and much easier said than done. But your mental health and well-being are both worth it. It’s better to be alone than to surround yourself with people who make you feel horrible about yourself.
So whether that’s an organization, friend-group, sorority, or team – really take the time to consider if this is worth your time.
And I know for certain that when one door closes, when you shut that door and lock it, then another window will open somewhere. Leaving this friendship will provide time for a new one.
When one door closes, another opens.
Feeling excluded is one of the worst feelings. However, sometimes it’s necessary in realizing who we should be spending our time with, and lead us in the direction where we were meant to be. The truth is, God cares about our friendships, but because of this we certainly can’t be friends with everyone. Because if you were friends with everyone, you wouldn’t really be friends with anyone.
Appreciate the people right in front of you, and cultivate the friendships that are assets in your life. And if it’s time to leave a friendship, don’t be afraid to shut the door. Who knows, that new friend could be right in front of you. But you just might need to look.