• Keeping Friends

Shut out by friends

Published: July 29, 2016 | By | 18 Replies Continue Reading
A reader asks how to handle being shut out by a whole group of friends.



Recently, all my friends started avoiding me for no reason at all. It was like one day waking up to a world of loneliness. I would invite them over, ask them to hang out (which we used to do for hours and hours) and they would always say “no “or say they were busy.

I would check Facebook or Instagram and see them all together hanging out. Now, none of them are replying to any messages. I don’t know what to do. I just really miss my friends. Please I really need help.

Signed, Shania


Hi Shania,

I can understand how upsetting it must be to be shut out by a whole group of friends without any explanation.

If you aren’t aware of anything you did or said, I would approach the friend you feel closest to in private (perhaps, by phone or in person). Explain that you feel badly about what happened and you don’t understand why.

You can say you would like to apologize if you did anything wrong that offended anyone. Perhaps, this person will be forthcoming and let you know what happened.

Be prepared that this person may not want to say anything for fear that she’ll be betraying this clique. If she isn’t forthcoming, there probably isn’t anything you can do except act cordially when you see these people and try to connect with others.

Resist the urge to continue to follow them on social media because that will only make you feel worse.

Sadly, cliques are common from adolescence to old age. If you feel like you have been excluded from this one, it may be the perfect time to move on and find friends who appreciate you for the person you are.

Hope this helps.

Best, Irene

P.S. You might find this article about cliques helpful to read, too.

Tags: , , , ,


Comments (18)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Maria says:

    Hi Shania,

    I am so sorry to had to go through this. A lot of good advice has been given. This type of female behavior always happens in groups. Maybe you can find a new friend that’s not part of a group. It does break your trust and the agonizing issue is that you’ll probably never know why you were excluded. I had a similar thing happen to me a while back. The girl I thought was my friend, made remarks that revealed she was jealous of my good grades. Then I got a better job than she did after school ended. God knows what she told the other girls but all of a sudden I was excluded from the group. I’m not a braggert at all and frankly felt very uncomfortable that she had such problems with my good grades. It’s funny how the one excluded is usually the one that doesn’t badmouth others, is more accepting of differences and including others and doesn’t suffer from “green eye”. Before striking up a friendship, I now do the “green eye” test and if I have any reason to believe the other woman is going to see herself as less than me, I don’t hang out with her.

  2. Tracy says:

    It seems mighty odd to be all fine one day and the next, it’s all changed. If it really is the way you say it, I think Irene’s advice is spot on. Ask the girl you are closest to and see if she will shed any light on it. Otherwise, it is time to move on and not keep a lookout on social media. That will definitely just highlight your feelings of rejection. Hold your head up and look for new relationships.

  3. PeachPie says:

    Just to play devil’s advocate for a sec here for *possible* insight, sometimes someone is just misplaced. The others may try to accommodated for the one who doesn’t quite fit, but their resentment builds until something finally gives.

    For example, a straight and narrow type may not work out too well with a group of free-wheeling party girls, who feel like she spoils the mood with her earnest advice to straighten up. But that doesn’t mean that girl wouldn’t fit in seamlessly with a different type of group.

    And we could go on and on with “which one of these girls is not like the others.”

    So, I’m wondering if you see any significant difference between you and them. If so, while this may not be a problem to you it could have become increasingly problem to them, and one they don’t find solvable. Just a thought fwiw. Sorry you’ve found yourself inexplicably ditched.

  4. B says:

    I wouldnt be asking any of them anything, theres no guarentee the person would tell the truth anyway.
    If you cant think of anything major you have done that could have upset them then its probably that they are being mean and nasty because some people enjoy that.
    Really you need to move on and not be chasing them at all. Join some things to meet new people, anything you find interesting just to get you out and about.

  5. Amy F says:

    When seeking out the former friend with whom you’re most comfortable, try to do so in person or over the phone, not over text or email where too much can be misinterpreted or can be forwarded. The object should be to find out what happened so you can learn from the experience. No matter how lonely you are, you cannot trust this won’t happen again, because the group handles conflict poorly and if they were to accept you back into the fold, they won’t have developed better conflict resolution skills. Even if you had no fault in the reason they have moved on without you, you can learn warning signs to prevent befriending girls like this in the future.

  6. Frisbee says:

    Ursula, ur completely right. This sort of thing doesn’t end in high school.
    I pretty much give a friendship a good shot, but once I realize a person just doesn’t want a friendship, I really refuse to chase after them. I know I’m a good person, so It’s HAVE A NICE DAY.

  7. Ursula says:

    This is very typical female group behavior. Never ever chase after their friendship; that is the power game they want to play with you and beat you at. For some reason, they have decided to make you their whipping girl; the only power you hold here it to refuse. The only solution is to completely ignore them. Never again invite them to hang out or do anything with you. You have already lost their friendship. You can do one of 2 things: (1) Face the fact and move on with your head held high or (2) keep groveling for their attention and friendship and let them enjoy withholding it from you.

    • Ursula says:

      I would also suggest to not beat yourself up mentally about “what you did” that caused them to do this. People discount what a powerful motivator that envy is. It could be envy, or you could have a personality trait/quirk that one person decided to rally around and get the others to hold against you. Self-reflection is good, but, again, don’t hold yourself hostage to any negative thoughts.

    • Ursula says:

      Shania, most importantly: Don’t allow this to cause you to spiral into self-pity or depression. That is a very natural tendency to losing friends that you thought cared about you. But be strong. Be the most amazing Shania you can be. Use all these extra hours that you spent with them improving yourself. Work out, learn to dance, do yoga, meditate, learn to shop for and cook healthy food, watch tv that makes you smarter, read/listen to self-improvement books. Any kind of self-improvement is an excellent remedy to being dumped by friend or lover. Keep your chin up, girl.

    • Lisa says:

      Exactly!!! I agree 100 %.

      • Ursula says:

        Thank you. Hard-earned experience talking here. It’s one of life’s harsh lessons that nobody cares deeply about you. Sure, people care on some level, but they have their own problems and concerns that in their minds far outweigh any concern they have about you. It’s sobering and powerful to realize that no one will ever care about us like we think we need to be cared for. Therefore, you care for yourself. And then the next step in personal evolution is to still care about people even though you realize their (and your) limited capacity to help fulfill you (and you, them).

  8. Lisa says:

    Shania, I am so sorry to hear you are being treated this way. I will say that people are unpredictable. And, all it takes is one person to be jealous of you for any reason and they are the ones to spread gossip and poison the pot so to speak. I’ll give you an example. We moved into a new neighborhood and the woman whose dad built it moved in one of the house, well, the neighbor next door to me came over and said guess who is moving on here, and I said who? she said the builder’s daughter. I liked the daughter she never did anything to me. Well, the neighbor said we all are not going to talk to her we will shut her out. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. I told her I don’t treat people like that and she never did anything to me to treat her this way. So, that was all she needed to hear, she reports to the woman across the street who I call the “leader” the others are her followers. So, because I refused to follow in their childish games, we are now the outsiders and the woman across the street poisoned the new neighbors against us when they have never even met us. I say good riddance to rubbish. We do not need to mix with people like that and neither do you. Make some new friends and do not give them a second thought. You are better than that and deserve better. Best of luck to you.

  9. Frisbee says:

    If a bunch of mutual friends suddenly dump you for no reason, I would begin to wonder if I was back in middle school. I guess there’s plenty of good, decent people to go around that you can just dump one of them for no reason. I know it hurts, but once you’re past feeling bad, you might see things in these people you hadn’t seen before. And it all might be a blessing in disguise.

    • Lisa says:

      Frisbee, I say that all the time. Haven’t you grown up yet? LOL people get mad when you call them out on their childish behaviors. These are not true friends, and it is better to have lost fake friends than to have lost your self-esteem, which they would have slowly taken from you. We live in a sad world where people are vicious and backstabbing. Don’t we have enough ugliness in the world without this petty behavior?

  10. JAM says:

    I second Marie’s comments about seeing their true heart and releasing. Life is calling for a change, presenting you with a gift.
    Seriously consider checking out Melanie Tonia Evans – she talks about that mysterious invisible energy we and others give out, and how we are a match for certain energies and not others. And she describes it in very simple, concrete ways. If it’s not fitting, go out and find your real people. You can do it!

  11. Mary says:

    As awkward as it is Shania, asking the person you feel will be the most honest is the best solution. (As Irene said)

    Otherwise a) you’ll go years wondering and b) you might repeat the same mistake (if indeed there was a mistake on your part) with your new friends.

    Think of it as a test: If they aren’t open and sincere in their response, they were not truly a friend after all. Their true heart has been revealed to you. Although painful, I see this information as a positive since you can release that friendship and work towards finding true and authentic friendships of substance.

Leave a Reply