Rejected by new school friends

They’ve all known each other since 5th grade… how can I get them to let me into their conversations?

It’s not easy when you’re new, says our elder. But there are some ways to penetrate their cliques.

Dear EWC

I am a senior in high school and I go to a very small school, only about 40 total in my entire class. Last year I was new to the school and made a group of friends easily and it seemed like it was working out until later on when I started going downhill because they were bad friends to me. I dropped them over the summer and started talking to other people from my school. I got very close to a girl and she invited me to sit with her group and I was excited because they’re fun people. Since school started my hope of new friendships quickly vanished as I found myself feeling extremely left out and rejected constantly. The girl I got close with over summer only talks to me via Snapchat and ignores me at school to talk to her close girlfriends. It feels like she’ll talk to anyone but me and the same with the girls. They’re all super close and always whisper things to each other and giggle about stuff that I’m clueless about. They’ve all been together since 5th grade so I never know what old drama or memories they’re talking about. I’ve gotten aggravated at her and confronted her over text and she denied not talking to me when I told her I feel like she doesn’t talk to me at all during school which frustrated me deeply and made me feel invalidated. The only people trying to help me with the situation is my dad (who teaches there), a guy in the group, and a girl who used to be close with everyone until she made some mistakes last year and is not very well-liked among them but she’s changed a lot. If I act visually upset at school no one cares but if anyone else in the group acts sad for five minutes everyone is quick to ask them if they’re OK.

I’m beyond tired of feeling this rejected and left out of everything and I don’t know what to do anymore because my school is too small to find new friends and I’m sick of losing friends. I keep trying to talk to them and tell them how I feel but I can never find a good time or place because they can’t stay after school so I don’t know when to talk to them about it. I feel like they would just tell me to include myself more in the conversation but I do try to include myself it’s just that I typically never know what they’re talking about because of the history. I’ve tried to stop texting them to see if they talk to me more in person but that made it worse. I keep getting different advice and I don’t know what to do anymore I’m beyond confused on what I did wrong and I’m tired of having so much anxiety and stress over it, I don’t even wanna go to school anymore because I wanna cry every day.

Mrs G replies

Don’t give up, because I think this situation at school will work itself out; but it might take a little time and not happen overnight. What you are experiencing is very common, unfortunately, for some kids in high school. This is a rough time because so many girls are in cliques and simply don’t understand the importance of letting a new girl be a part. As you said, they have been together for years so they are comfortable and just don’t have a clue as to how you feel. This is terribly miserable for you, but you certainly can’t blame yourself. You are at a disadvantage because you don’t share their memories, but there are ways to handle this.

You alluded to the idea of sharing more in their conversations, and one way to do this is to ask them questions. Show them that you are interested in everything they are talking about, even though I know you really aren’t. Try to put a smile on your face and get them talking, even more than they do now, about themselves. While doing this, however, don’t try to include yourself in the conversation by talking about something you did once. In other words, keep them talking about themselves, asking questions along the way, and quit trying to get them to include your experiences or opinion. It’s totally unfair to you, but I think it’s necessary right now. They seem to be a bit selfish, but since they are fun to be around (as opposed to the bad friends you had last year) try to stick with them.

I also suggest you stop trying to explain your feelings to them. I know you would like to have everything out in the open, but it doesn’t sound possible with this group. As I said, they are self-centered enough to not really care all that much about how you feel. Based on this, I don’t think you will find a best friend among them, but just tell yourself that’s okay. Plus, you never know, one of them could change and become really interested in you if you can act happy and be a lot of fun. I know that’s hard when you’re crying on the inside, but just give it a try. It’s a known fact that happy people are attracted to happy people — sad people to sad people; so put yourself in a happy frame of mind and keep trying to have fun.

I think one thing in your favor, my dear, is that this is your last year in high school. I’m sure it feels like an eternity until the year ends but it’s really not that far away. I look back on my high school days and remember I had a lot of sad and lonely times; but when I went on to college, my world changed. I just have to repeat, high school can be a tough time.

To conclude, I really think if you quit trying to make them understand you, or even like you, you will discover that they will end up including you eventually. They are not into having a serious conversation, so stop trying to have one. Just be content within yourself to more or less go with the flow and see what happens.

I sure hope my words have helped you a little bit, and hope your school year gets better.

Letter #: 448708
Category: Friendship

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