• Resolving Problems

Feeling Left Out By Friends On Holidays

Published: April 11, 2024 | Last Updated: April 11, 2024 By | Reply Continue Reading
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A woman feels left out by friends on holidays. It’s natural to feel the sting when this happens.

QUESTION

Hi,

I have a question regarding important days of the year and friends. Should I be able to count on my close friends on holidays and other special days? 

Specifically, I am wondering about New Year’s Eve. This year, I asked two close friends if I could be with them that day. 

One of them has two smaller kids and had a recent difficult divorce and breakup with her ex-husband. She said she couldn’t promise anything (she ended up being with her ex-husband and the kids). 

I was disappointed but also understood the situation, so I have not “downgraded” her as a friend. 

But the other one I asked doesn’t have any kids. She only has a husband, and I have also been good friends with him. I thought she was the kind of friend I could always come to for important dates, but she said no when I asked her to be together that day. 

She said that they had invited another couple to stay with them for New Year’s Eve. My friend lives in another part of the country, so I emphasized that I wouldn’t have to stay with them. I could arrange to stay at a hotel. But she still said no. 

I feel so rejected by this. The only thing she would have to do is put another plate on the table, which would mean so much for me to have been invited. 

I have downgraded other friends in the past because they never wanted to meet on important dates or even on weekends (only on weekdays). What can I realistically expect? Am I expecting too much of people?

Thanks

Allie

ANSWER

Hi Allie,

Yes, it would have been a nice gesture if each of these friends had invited you to join them on New Year’s Eve. Holidays and other special occasions can be lonely for people who are single or don’t have close family ties.

But your friends were under no obligation to do so. They should be able to choose how and with whom they want to spend their holidays. Any maybe you feel closer to them than they feel to you.

While it might seem like just another plate at the table from your perspective, the friend with the ex-husband may have wanted to make New Year’s Eve a family event for her child.

The friend with out-of-town guests may have decided that adding another person would make the visit less intimate for her guests or that she would have trouble juggling friends from two different spheres of her life.

No friend can fulfill all of a person’s needs all the time. If you feel close to these friends, try to accept that their life circumstances and priorities might differ from yours. In addition, you may need to nurture other friendships to build a robust support system to fill the friendship gaps you are experiencing.

Hope this is helpful.

Best, Irene


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Category: RESOLVING PROBLEMS

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