Washington Post advice columnist Carolyn Hax wrote about friends who dump you for no good reason at all.
The question was from a woman in her 40s who had come to realize she was on the social B-list of the neighborhood "queen bee." And as she put it, "if you cross her, you are done-for socially."
This is something grownups don't like to talk about; after all, we're supposed to be all evolved and together and well beyond high school ridiculousness like in-groups and out-groups. But I have been in the position of the original writer, suddenly finding myself out in the cold after pissing off the wrong person. And you know what? Even as a certified adult, it hurts.
Much like the situation outlined in Hax's column, I began to realize someone I thought was a friend was ever so slowly edging me out. Over time I'd start hearing about events from mutual friends that we were not invited to, when once we would have been. Those same people no longer came to any of our events. And it sucked, especially since we were all very cordial to each other when we saw each other, but it was clear we'd been stamped with a big old OUT. As Hax put it:
"Not a mean word needs to be said, but you find yourself cut off from the main access point to this particular community. It doesn't change the advice -- you say, 'Oh, well' and work on developing your own, you-friendly network -- but it can feel strange to be excluded where you once were included."
Hax's advice to develop your own network is exactly what we did. We have other circles of friends, including some from the group that booted us, which helps. We're not cast out into the lonely wilderness by any means. Not everybody has to like me ... and of course the most reasonable explanation is that my queen bee decided she didn't ... but to go from "pal" to "persona non grata" for no discernible reason doesn't feel good, especially when it puts you on the out list with a whole host of others.
Have you ever found yourself in the out-group? How did you handle it?
Image via cupcakes2/Flickr