• Making Friends

Feeling blown off by a group

Published: February 2, 2016 | By | 19 Replies Continue Reading
A woman feels blown off by a group but isn’t sure if she is being overly-sensitive.


Hi Irene:

I have been involved in a social club geared toward my heritage. At first I was very excited to become a part of this group and was even appointed Secretary of the Executive Council. Prior to this I was on another committee and was extremely involved – it’s safe to say some of these people even became my friends.

However, a lot seems to have changed. Every year the club has a beauty pageant – and I didn’t end up winning. This was the second time I ran and everyone was very supportive, however it seems like certain people are starting to distance themselves from me.

I sent out an email with the most recent Executive Committee minutes stating what we were going to do and how they could be involved. I received an email back from one member saying they would discuss it at their next meeting. Thinking I had a lapse in memory, I had asked her if we knew when the next meeting would be – usually, a group text goes out with the date. She told me she would let me know when the meeting was confirmed.

I am starting to feel like I am being blown off – am I being too sensitive and paranoid because of what happened? Or are my feelings and concerns legitimate?

I’m 24. I’ve struggled with this a lot of my life. Please help.

Signed, Alicia


Hi Alicia,

It’s nice that you found a group with whom you share a cultural heritage, one that’s enabled you to make friends and became actively involved.

If you are basing your suspicions on this one email interaction alone, you may be over-reacting. It could be that one person hasn’t gotten back to you or that she has some type of grudge. If you think the confirmation is overdue, I would suggest you pick up the phone and ask someone else you trust about the date of the next meeting.

The last sentence of your letter suggests that your feelings of being “blown off” may be a recurring pattern. If that is the case, especially if you are having persistent difficulties maintaining friendships, you may want to delve deeper into yourself— perhaps with the help of a therapist—to find out why these situations keep recurring.

Hope this helps.

My best, Irene

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Comments (19)

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  1. maudgonne says:

    My husband’ job takes us to new places every few years where I am suppose to actively participate in his co- workers wives ‘ladies club ‘ and monthly outings. I am a potter by profession n love to read, paint and go for long walks. Yes I have a problem with very loud talking and dirty jokes. Continuous chatter about clothes and jewellery also put me off. Compared to other ladies of my social milieu who got married and had children at a v young age, I got married rather late. One reason for me not being able to adjust. I kno the causes, I want the solution to the anger and the boycott I face when I attend all the official parties with my hubby. I m from India.

  2. Melissa says:

    I get this all the time. I’ve always had a difficult time making friends. My co-workers act like my friends, but we have absolutely nothing in common except our job. The youngest co-worker is 19 and the oldest is 85. Most are married (I’ve been divorced for 9 years) with teenage kids which I can’t relate to or grandkids. Those that aren’t married are in their 20s living at home, partying on weekends, watching cartoons and playing violent and/or fantasy video games, watching zombie/horror movies which I’m not into. I’m 36.

  3. Dionne says:

    I don’t see enough information in this letter to know what is going on here.

  4. Francesca says:

    I’m 66, many years older than 24 and these posts even make me sit up and take notice. Unfortunately, making friends or being treated with basic social graces doesn’t get any better as we get older. Even with years of experiences, the same outcomes are still possible. Two years ago, I joined a women’s social club in a suburban California town. All seemed like it was going quite well for a few months. I was asked to serve on the board of directors and volunteered many hours of my time. Nothing about me changed in the intervening two years but I did have the time to observe these ladies. One of the older members who seems to not be up to their high standards in terms of dress and home ownership is openly treated with disrespect. I feel so sad watching this behavior that I make a point of sitting with her and chatting. They react snobbily to new members; they seemed uncomfortable with conversation, easily frightened by new experiences, to the point of calling one of my favorite ladies “eccentric”. Eccentric, I thought! What!? Why she’s intelligent, well-mannered and attractive. Then I realized she must scare these suburban housewives. She is what they are too timid to be as they hide behind their husband’s achievements, large “mac-mansions”, banal conversations, and what I call “dead eyes”. I’ve begun to distance myself from this club that seems to think being social means forming tight cliques and discriminating towards those they deem beneath them. So, what’s the point? It doesn’t get better with age. Be true to who you are because, maybe, just maybe you are in the right.

    • Salstarat says:

      Francesca, you are spot on .. you are too good for the likes of these pretentious, ostentatious and rather cruel women who have achieved nothing themselves but hang on to the achievements of their husbands. These type of people form cliques in order to “support” other women who have the same narcissistic traits. They are all about EXCLUSION and not inclusion. They are only happy when they are pulling other people down. Basically, deep inside, they KNOW they are as shallow as a car park puddle and their insecurities can only be temporarily waylaid by targeting other women whom they see (incorrectly) as being inferior. I would sever all contact with them. Go and start your OWN welcoming club that treats each and everyone with respect no matter their socioeconomic, cultural background, religion or colour. Cut elitists, snobs and callous individuals out of your life .. they only bring pain and heartache to themselves and everyone around them.

      • Francesca says:

        Salstarat, your comment really resonated with me. Thank you! Who knows why, finally, something clicked in my head and I have realized that I don’t so desperately need more women friends to such a degree that I would take the crumbs of the cliquish women I described. Why would I/we want to have the acceptance of unkind people? How sad is that?
        Well, thanks to this blog I’ll be moving on with a much better perspective. Yippie!

        • Salstarat says:

          Good luck to you, Francesca. I wish you every happiness for the future. You sound like a lovely, positive person who is also compassionate in the way you befriended those who were also victimised by those truly awful women. You won’t find it difficult to meet new friends … life is far too short to suffer the lack of respect and indignity piled on to you by toxic women with a schoolyard, puerile “Mean Girls” attitude. Move on, get happy and surround yourself with like-minded compassionate and nice people who cheer you on and make you feel good about yourself … that’s what REAL friends do. Cheers!

        • Vicki says:

          Thank you for taking the time to post . Blessings

  5. Maddie says:

    Beauty pageant? That’s a bit superficial.

    • Salstarat says:

      I agree. I absolutely LOATHE beauty pageants. They are a tool to make other people and most horrifically, little girls, feel inferior! EVERYONE has their own particular kind of beauty and the BEST type of beauty is the kindness and compassion that shines from within. Mind you, considering the ghastly type of women in this truly awful Club, they are EXACTLY the type of superficial airheads that would use beauty pageant to target someone they didn’t like. I would avoid the Club and its ostentatious members like the plague!

  6. Bridget says:

    I was once part of a group that liked a certain show. It was on local channels, so when someone found out the the time and date it was sent out.

    I saw in an e-mail chain that the time had been found. I asked when the time was and was sent an e-mail where it was obviuos that the schedule was deleted from the e-mail sent to me. People were excited and talkkng about it, but the part that had the time and date was excluded from my e-mail, tacky and made me feel bad. The next sentence in the e-mail was something like thanks for the time, looking forward to watching it.

    Some people never grow out of the school yard. Some people might be jealous, not always.

    I wnet to my 50th highschool reunion and the “queen bee” was still acting like she did in class. Someone asked me if I had heard about any plans. I said no.

    I looked up the old school and found out the records had been sent to another school. I sent a messge to the school and they sent me back and excell sheet, which I could not open. I responded to the person that had asked me that I had a list of the class, but could not open it. She asked a classmate, who knew another classmate who was able to open and print the excell sheet.

    A dinner was set up and I was asked if I was going. I did not know about the dinner, and asked. I went and the “queen bee” talked abour how she had been thinking of this for years and she did a search and came up with the list. The list which I found and was sent to her. She also used the info that I found out about the old school which had reopened under a different name. I informed them that the school was willing to give a tour for the class of 65.

    No acknolwedgement was given to my research. She did it all. Hundreds of picutres were taken and I was not in any of them. Multiple pictures of the same people were taken. Several of my classmates commented on how nice I looked AND asked me if what they heard was true, that I was the one that got the list together and the info about the school tour. I said yes. I was diplomatic in saying that the “queen bee” did a fine job getting a location and dinner for the group. The total of classmate was over 100, about 90% of the class showed up.

    I wore a black sleevels dress with silver sparkle heels ( ages since I had to wear heels ), a silver bracelet, silver necklace, silver earings and a silver sparked clutch purse. I was told by several that I looked very nice and did not look my age.

    Some of the classmates had a harder life than others, but they were there and some were dressed up for the event, and others wore slacks and a top.

    It had been ages since I got to “play” dressup and I enjoyed how I looked. The dinner that I showed up without being invited originally was jeans, boots and sweater, quite a difference at the reunion.

    There had always been talk about how we had 7 Frances in the class. They were taking group pictures of tose who went to grammar schools together and other similaritues. When I asked about taking a picture of the Frances’s that were present, I was told it was no big deal. No need for a picture. Pictures were taken even when there were only 3 people.

    We had pizza after the tour and I sat at one of the table and this classmate had the same name as my mother’s best friend. They were also graduates of the same high school . I asked her about her last name, and she in a chilly artic blast said she didn’t know and proceded to ingnore me for the next hour.

    I was shy in highschool and through out most of my life. I wondered why i had trouble making friends. I talked about subjects that were of interest to them. They coudn’t be bothered, but with someone else they went on mindlessly about the same topics. I thought it was me. It WAS NOT!

    I have since found out that I am in the 20% of people who think differently. My vocabulary was college level in the seventh grade. I spoke using the best words I could. That apparently irritated people. To make up for their feelings of low self worth, they attack verbally those they resent.

    At the reunion, it did hurt that my efforts were not acknowledged and that I was deleiberately being shut out of the pictures, but i had realized that my mother was right. People are jealous, snobbish, down right mean because their self worth makes them jealous and want to hurt those they foolishly perceive as better than them.

    Sometimes it may be you, but sometimes it may be them. Women’s rights, Civil rights down South were not wanted by a majority. That did not mean that those rights of those people should not be granted. Sometime the majority might be wrong and sometimes a person might be over reacting.

    I finally left a group after 10 yrs. Their attitude was definitely their problem, not mine. They knew I liked taking photos of the stars on stage. Every seat I sat in for the previous session, someone sat in until the session started. Then they went back to their seats. Obnoxious, arrogant 2 yr old behavior. I felt pity for them, that their life was not fulfilling unless they were being nasty to someone for no reason.

    My room mates at one of the conventions, deliberately deleted my pictures of the stars I took from my camera. They left the pictures of the local sites (Las Vegas) but deleted all pictures of the stars. I had knowthese people for years and was taken aback that they would do that. One of them suggested I walk down to Freemont street and look at the ight display. I found out it was a dangerous walk. Given that my photos were deleted, that was NOT a mistake on their part. They knew. They also changed my room reservation without informing me. It was my room and they asked if they could room with me. When the convention was over, they gave my room to someone who was not leaving AND they refused to give their hotel key to the person they gave my room to. I was told, give her your key or stay all day in the hotel room. I did not have the attitude to shut the girl out. People take advantage of my good nature. I did not want to leave the girl out, so I gave her my key and spent the day doing something. Thas’s the hard part, knowing if it is you or are they being inconsiderate.

    You should look at how you react. Maybe some think you are being bossy know it all, or they may be people who never grew up and are still stuck in their adolescent, chidlish behavior.

    When I was 24 I looked like I was 14. When I was 19 I looked like I was in grammar school. Looking like a kid back then did not do much for my esteem or my confidence. Now I need that looking younger than I am. Wasted on the youth

    Alicia, I hope things go better for you. People have put their feelings as my feelings. A co-worker who wanted a job that i also applied for was feeling guilty. He said I looked mad. I was thrilled and told him. His manager said he shouldn’t put in for the job, he was useless. He proved his manager wrong and I was delighted. His guilt gave him the wrong impression of me.

    • IBikeNYC says:

      About ninety percent of what you say here resonates with me.

      It’s like we’re living the same life!

      My favourite is when I’m the OBVIOUS new person in a group, and the leader never so much as says “hello.”

      • Lisa says:

        IBikeNYC, I am sorry you have to also deal with these type of people. What is wrong with people? My neighbor across the street has targetrd myself and my fiance. We built a new home in a new neighborhood, this woman was already living there. (Second or third one to move into neighborhood) She has NEVER once said hello and when we moved in I tried talking to her many times, she turns her head and pretends she doesn’t hear me. She went s far as approaching my son at school to say Hi remember me? I am your neighbor!! This woman is a crazy person. As each neighbor moved in she got to them before we could say hello and is telling horrible stories about us. We found this out through one of the neighbors. I have dealt with jealous people before but, she goes beyond jealous, she is on the verge of torture. She also uses the other kids in the neighborhood to go along with her antics, like she marches in from of our home and acts like a soldier wth!! We also had our yard landscaped and her kids never cme near our house, the minute it was completed her 2 boys trampled through the fresh landscape and I yelled at them to get off the flowers. She comes out with her BF and looks to see who said what. I was cleaning the spare room and saw h
        them trample the shrubs and flowers. AND to boot she brought her dog over to do his business on our lawn. I had enough and went outside and told her if she wanted to play dirty it’s ON. I will be bringing my Boxer over to her yard to do his business since she feels its ok to bring her dog on our newly landscaped yard. I finally had it and I said I am not taking it any more. Since that episode, she doesn’t do that anymore. People need to be dealt with , if you don’t they will continue to step all over you. Stand up for yourself and cowards back down.

      • Bridget says:

        Cheers to the idiots 🙂

    • Lisa says:

      Bridget, my god, your life is my life. I always think it’s me and that I am being too critical of people when they act this way, but no I am not. Mean spirited people are dealing with low self-esteem period! I too look much younger than I am and that is a trigger point for jealous women! It is easier to just walk away from small minded people like this. Thank you for clarifying all my feelings with your post. Reading this is like reading my own life. Scary lol.

  7. Nancy James says:

    You mention that you’re in your early twenties, and for many women, that’s often a time of doubt and uncertainty. However, I agree with the others who suggest you look into therapy to see why feelings of rejection (or being “blown off”) are a pattern for you. This is only a guess, but I wonder if you have an overreaching need for getting approval and accolades? Not that you shouldn’t reach high and aim for success. But the fact that you are entering a beauty contest in addition to being very involved and holding leadership roles might be a hint that you need a lot of approval, and perhaps need to look deeper into this issue.

  8. Ruth says:

    My husband struggles with thinking he is being rejected. The entire time I’ve known him he’s thought this in social circles and in the office. Sometimes it is legitimate and sometimes it’s all in his head. One thing that comes to mind is if you were in a beauty pageant, whether you won or not, some ladies may find themselves jealous. Same for being a woman in an elected position. If it’s jealousy then there’s not much you can do. It’s an insecurity within themselves.

    It may be helpful to go back and ask yourself when exactly did this behavior start? And ask yourself what specific event occurred that may have triggered this behavior from them?

    If you have a trusted friend in this group you could politely ask for their opinion but you must be careful to not cross the line and start gossiping. Keep it about you.

    A counselor is always a great idea. Even just a few visits can be helpful but make that decision on how long to see a counselor once you meet them. It may take a few to find the one you’re most comfortable with.

    The one text incident you described seems like a small thing at first but it was enough to trigger you to contact Irene so I’m guessing there’s a piece of the puzzle or two that we are missing.

    You are young and frankly I think wise to ask, is it me or what? I wish more people would do that rather than presume they know everything.

    Best wishes!

  9. Amy F says:

    Being excluded, whether intentional or by mistake, can feel hurtful. Since you say this has happened all your life, there may be something about your personality of which you are not aware that could be off putting to people. Some people don’t have the communication skills to tell you if there is something bothering them or if they no longer want to be your friend. Irene gave you great advice about therapy being a wonderful tool to help you identify the cause of negative patterns in your life and take steps to change them.

    I’m not sure if the beauty pageant was something you were involved in organizing as well as participating, but if you were part of the organization or are seen as part of the governing body of the group, folks may have felt like your participation in the contest was inappropriate, but that’s mere speculation on my part.

    Good luck figuring things out.

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