SparkNotes Blog

Auntie SparkNotes: Do My Friends Not Like Me?

Dear Auntie,

I have these two best friends, “Hale” and “Marie.” I have other friends, but these are my best friends. I’m a freshman in high school and I’ve kind of changed who my friends are, even though I stay in touch with old friends. Hale and Marie also did the school musical this year while I did track. I’m great friends with both of them, but I feel like a third wheel.

Recently, we all made plans to hang out together in town and do fun stuff before going to a school event. A few days before, Hale told me we’d have to change our plans and do that stuff next weekend because she was too busy. Well, a couple days later, Marie and Hale posted pictures on social media of them hanging out together doing the things that were included in the plans I was supposed to be in. They’re normally great people that I have a good time with, but this has also happened before. Am I being crazy, or do they not like me?

Ehhh, I’m not sure I’d put it exactly that way, Sparkler. Because from the sound of it, your friends do like you! Really! They’re still spending time with you, you guys still have fun together, and you yourself still think they’re great friends despite those occasional third-wheel feelings. So the issue isn’t so much that they don’t like you, but that they like each other a little bit more, which is the unfortunate (but not entirely unexpected) outcome when a group of three goes splitsville on extracurriculars. You did track, they did the musical—and while you were running with your teammates, they were bonding with their castmates, including each other.

And obviously, that’s not the greatest, especially when coupled with super-rude and inconsiderate behavior like cancelling plans with you so that they can hang out with each other (which we’ll talk about more in a second). But if you still appreciate their company, and if you can be cool with the knowledge that they’re better friends with each other, at least for the moment, than they are with you—in other words, if you think the friendship is worth hanging on to for whatever positives it still brings to your life? There’s no reason why you can’t keep hanging out with them.

That said, there’s also no reason why you should tolerate being treated inconsiderately by these girls, even if you remain friends and even if they didn’t mean to hurt your feelings. And in fact, if you’re not sure where to go from here, then a good next step would be to approach whichever girl you’re closer with, and say, “It really hurt my feelings that you guys cancelled our plans and then hung out without me”—because a person who’s worth your time and energy will apologize for that, and make sure it doesn’t happen again. And if your best friends are still worth that moniker, apologizing is what they’ll do.

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