• Handling Breakups

Left Out Of A Friend Group After 35 Years

Published: February 11, 2023 | Last Updated: February 11, 2023 By | Reply Continue Reading
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This reader was left out of a friend group by people who had been her three best friends for 35 years.


Hi Irene,

My three best friends of 35 years unceremoniously dropped me as a friend. 

The only explanation I got was that one person felt that it was not enjoyable to be around me anymore. The other two just seemed to follow her.

Now it is a year and a half later. One friend who said nothing to me said there was a death in her extended family, and she wanted me to know. 

I do not know how to react to this. I am in immeasurable pain from this. They were my family for 35 years and just left me out.

Signed, Hayley


Hi Hayley,

It is painful to lose long-time friends, people who are keepers of so many of our memories. This is especially difficult when someone is left out or “dumped’ without understanding why. You felt like these people were a “virtual family.”

It seems like this group of friends made this decision, as a group, behind your back. Only one of them said anything to you that half resembled an explanation, probably out of embarrassment. 

Keeping lifelong friendships over decades is far less common than you might imagine.

People change, as do their interests, and their lives veer in different directions. It’s remarkable that this group has stuck together this long. But even knowing this doesn’t make your own situation any less painful. 

I couldn’t even begin to speculate about why you were dropped from this group. I imagine this one person reaching out to you about the death in her extended family, even if well-intended, felt like she opened a wound that still wasn’t healed entirely.

How should you handle this unexpected and somewhat strange overture? 

Express your condolences, perhaps in a text or note, and continue your healing journey.

Nurture friendships with other people who value and appreciate you. Don’t let this experience jade you from connecting with other people.

These previous posts about being left out of a friend group might offer some additional thoughts:

Hope this is somewhat helpful.

My best, Irene


Category: Getting over getting dumped

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