Reader Q & A: Dumped by a group—what to do?

October 7, 2008 | By | 4 Replies Continue Reading

QUESTION:

Hi Irene,

I found your blog and it is very interesting!! I recently had a break up with a group of friends. Due to circumstances beyond my control I didn’t have much time to spend with them during the spring. Instead of understanding and being happy with weekly dinners or phone calls, they alienated me because I was never free to share a few beers on Fridays or Saturdays. When asked how I had hurt them enough to end a friendship I received nasty lip service that I did not even know these women had in them.

Prior to all of this happening, I was promoted at work and started dating a fantastic guy. Never once in our friendship have I been congratulated on any success I’ve had. They have never been kind to any men I have dated, and I’ve always been the first to call and catch-up.

I think due to my age (25) they are extremely immature which has led to cattiness and jealously. Regardless, of my discovery this situation is still very painful. Do you have any suggestions on how to get over this?

Thanks!
Anonymous

ANSWER:

Hi Anonymous,

I’m glad that you stumbled upon my blog and hope that I can give you a few thoughts that may be helpful.

It is always hard to be dumped by a friend but to be dumped by a group is wicked. It reminds me of a scene from Desperate Housewives. It is quite peculiar for grown women to gang up on someone the way these "friends" have on you. It sounds like you’ve made every effort to stay in contact with your friends even though you have less time available—for good reasons (dating a fantastic guy and getting a promotion at work.)

You have several options:

1) Are you certain that you haven’t been flaunting your good luck to friends who are envious of you? It doesn’t sound like this is the case but it’s always good to step back and think about how you come across to others.

2) Are you sure that you really want to be friends with this group of women? You’ve characterized them as jealous and catty, and it sounds like they may be more intent on seeing you fail than seeing you succeed.

3) If you are confident that you want to remain friends, here is one strategy to try: Sometimes people show their worst sides in a group—they may be far less willing to act the same way in a one-on-one situation. Take advantage of this. Is there one person to whom you feel closer to than the rest, someone you would feel comfortable approaching and talking to honestly about how badly this situation has made you feel? Or could you develop a relationship with one of the women apart from the group?

4) Another option would simply be watchful waiting: Can you take a breather from this group and see if the problem resolves itself on its own over time? In the meantime, it sounds like you have a full life with work and the guy you are dating. Consider yourself very fortunate. Of course, that doesn’t substitute for close female friendships, so try to nurture new friendships with other women.

Finally, don’t feel guilty. Friendships often change over time as people grow and mature. You may be entering a new phase in your life; perhaps, it is time to assess these female friendships that you currently have to see if they are still worthwhile pursuing.

I hope you’ll let us know how things work out.

My best,
Irene

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  1. Anonymous says:

    10 years ago I set out to create a group of friends who were inseparable. I created a band, and joined with a lot of separate people I met and managed to get people out together in huge volumes. I started setting up parties and beach gatherings, and camping and nights out, and my crew had started to emerge.

    Now comes the stupid bit. I went out with one girl in the group for three years, she cheated on me, then she turned my best mate at the time against me. I still stayed in the group though as the founding father so to speak.

    Several attempts later at people usurping my group building and controlling abilities, we had all moved into a 7 bedroom house together, with 12 people living under the same roof. So it felt like I was unstoppable at creating my friends episode in real life. I had made everything that I wanted.

    I then got a second girlfriend within the group, after a year and a half gap of singlehood. Another three years later, the same thing happened. Except this time, my girlfriend’s took all of my friends, and my group with her. Why? Because my best friend at the time, my best friend of 14 years, decided it would be a good idea to side with her and one of my other mates who was calling me a prick for being down about the break up. Obviously, I kicked off, lost control and everyone used it as an opportune moment as I was cheated on and dumped, to kick me whilst I was down.

    Now they are all going out and not inviting me out, even though I made it clear I still want to be friends with everyone. Now I am seeing photos of two of my ex girlfriends partying it up, 3 weeks after I have been dumped, with all of MY old friends. I HATE FACEBOOK.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I somewhat relate. A few years ago, my boyfriend died suddenly. When we were together, I became friends with some of his friends. One person stopped talking to me out of the blue. I thought we were good friends, but apparently not. What I find so interesting is this group treated her like crap and she consistently badmouthed those people. Come to find out, she is buddies with these people. A mutual friend, who I thought was neutral, was badmouthing this same person. Comes to find out, they are a tight nit group. IMO, its two faced, but whatever. I still talk to a couple of people from that group, but not very often. I was no longer invited to parties or get-togethers. The way I see it, it hurt, but not a huge loss. This person I am no longer friends with has had problems with others in the past. Good riddance.

  3. Irene says:

    Please see my latest post which responds to your note. Thanks for reading my blog and writing. Hope you get over this soon.

    My best,
    Irene

  4. Anonymous says:

    Hi Irene,

    I telephoned a girlfriend today for a chat and see how see was doing and she hit me with a bombshell. She politely told me that she saw no point in continuing in our friendship. She said she was making positive changes in her life and I wasn’t included.

    We have had one disagreement in the six years we have known eachother. We are both busy moms and living in different towns so most of our friendship is long phone calls. We are both American living abroad and we have found creature comfort in talking to a fellow country woman. Though I understand that we were never best, best friends we- our interests are different-we were always there for eachother to share joys and tears.

    I told her that I had to respect her decision but I admitted I was confused why she felt the need to cut it off entirely. We didn’t have some screaming fight ever. We laughed with eachother, gave support when the other needed. I babysat when she asked and included her daughter in all my kids parties. She said she was looking for a best friend. Someone who could go out and have a drink with. She said she didn’t feel like putting any energy into a friend just over the phone. I understand what she was saying but I don’t get why she had to dump me as a friend totally. She can only have one friend at a time?

    I am a mom with three little boys and a husband who comes home late. I rarely have an option of a babysitter, so nights out are even rarer still. My friend is a single mom who has one day during the week and every other weekend child-free because of visitation with the child’s father. I understand her need to let loose but I thought she understood my situation too.

    I am sad. I miss our girl chats and agony aunt. I miss being her Dr. Freud. I know a lot of people in this foreign country but she was my touchstone to home and I didn’t have to explain who I was because she already knew. I really feel alone.

    Sincerely

    Dumpee

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