I feel like a middle school mom...
Dear Happiness Coach,
Recently, I found out that a small group of women who I thought were my friends got together without me. Sometimes I feel like I’m back in middle school! I know that I shouldn’t feel left out but I do. Should I say something to them? I want to be friends with them but I also don’t want them to invite me just because I asked.
MIDDLE SCHOOL MOM
Dear Middle School Mom,
First, I want to acknowledge that these situations can be difficult! You got your feelings hurt and that doesn’t feel good. I would guess that you are telling yourself some stories about how they feel about you. Here’s the thing, you actually have no idea what they are thinking. Our feelings are driven by the stories we tell ourselves about a situation. Think back on your own life. Have you ever gone somewhere with just one or two friends? Does that mean you don’t like all of your other friends? Probably not!
I would also guess that you may have a top Character Strength of Fairness. This means that you like things to be fair and you go out of your way to include people and make things fair. When people have this strength as one of their top strengths it’s hard for them to see how someone else may do something they consider not to be fair. Remember that we all have different top strengths. Maybe the person organizing the get together feels more comfortable in a smaller group or had another reason for not inviting more people. If you want to learn more about your strengths click the link at the end of this email.
Get curious why this bothered you so much. Does it bring up times you were left out as a child? Remember that you don’t have to hang on to these old stories. Choose thoughts that make you feel good. Think about how reaching out to your friend would feel. If you do reach out to the friend make sure you listen to their side of the story and be honest with how you felt. Maybe sometime soon organize your own outing and invite as many people as you want.
THE HAPPINESS COACH