... To be upset with my friends?(84 Posts)
We are expats and as such friendships are perhaps more intense and important than it would be at home.
We are very good friends with two other local couples and often do things as a six some. We are all outgoing and a bit hedonistic. Childcare is no problem as we have maids we can leave the children with on an evening when they are asleep so we can go out a lot. We also do things with the children too I hasten to add, and this is important.
My youngest daughter is friends with couple b's only child. They go to the same school and play at the playground together most evenings before supper. They are very similar in personality. Tbh they are both "spirited children" and tend to be a bit noisy together at parties.
The six of us have a whatsapp group where we send jokes and discuss events and things we have planned.
Sometimes we also do things as a foursome in the different combinations, but it is always something the other couple wouldn't like, for example the non native English speaking couple didn't come and watch a British comedian with us as it wouldn't be funny to them.
Yesterday afternoon and night though couples B and C had a large BBQ with lots of other people and loss of kids. And they didn't invite us. Deliberately so. The kids started earlier and swam first.
I don't know why exactly we weren't invited other than their daughter had a strop about my daughter and didn't want her there. But who lets a small child dictate what adults attend? And with so many people there were lots of other options for them to play with if they really were having a tiff.
I felt very hurt tbh as I had been alone all week with DH working abroad and I felt so relaxed and happy in our mutual friendship, I wouldn't ever have guessed we'd be cut out of something.
I know catering for a few more or less would not have been the issue.
I had a bit of a cry about it actually as I felt it was a bit mean of them. Of course they are free to invite or not whomever they like, but it seemed to be just so deliberate that I was shocked about it. Earlier occasions this sort of thing happened, it sort of happened by accident and more spontaneously and I shrugged it off as nothing personal. But this time wasn't.
In the evening I took both me and DH off the whatsapp group.
I know that was petty of me and I feel awful about it now. I wish I hadn't.
Nobody has said anything about it since.
How do I say I regret having a flounce? Should I just leave it for now as a bit of a break might be the best thing? Like a week or so?
The idea of never doing anything with them again makes me feel sad.
We DO have other friends, but not as close. I am also friendly with loads more I occasionally socialise with, like school mums.
Tbh it's been a day and I miss them and what we had already 😔 I wish I hadn't have been so petty as I am ready to just laugh it off today. But I still don't really understand why they did that.
As a former expat, I would say that you need to try not to get so caught up in the expat "bubble". I always worked when we lived abroad so possibly had some distance from it but it was always a source of amazement how very intelligent women could get into such a strop about seemingly insignificant events in friendships. I think the naturally restricted pool of friends and social events throws together people into intense friendships which they might not naturally enter at home. Don't overthink this, maintain the friendship with the people although maybe not be as closely involved as before and branch out a bit with other people.
I do want to ask but I am actually a bit scared to
And I just haven't liked anyone else as much here or got on with them in the same way, although I do have more friends, not just these. But these felt like best friends I would always be in touch with. We have lived elsewhere often and max you keep two or three friends from each place. It's impossible to stay friends other than on FB with everyone! From experience, I kept a couple from each place who later became things like my kids godparents and the friends I stay with in the summer, etc.
I know I need to branch out, but I actually don't want to. I haven't liked anyone else nearly so much!
I think in the circumstances Id be hurt too. I agree that letting a child dictate adult social arrangements is a bit odd and not a great idea.
If it were me I would wait and see what they had to say. You haven't done anything wrong!
That was actually very pointed of them. I certainly wouldn't just try and re-join the group, I'd ask what happened.
Thank you everyone btw
So leave it and see is the best option whatever happens I think?
It sounds like you need a bit of a break from them. You're over invested and rely on them too much. That's why you're feeling so hurt, if you had lots of other things going on, it would be diluted and not be so painful.
Not giving a fuck has worked wonders for me.
YANBU to be hurt but your reaction was more playground than theirs.
It's not actually fair to expect that you will be invited to everything your friends do together. It's better actually not to be because it means that when you are invited you're really wanted.
Have you ever really liked someone but just needed a bit of a break from them? Like a friend you see 6 days in a row and you get to the end of the week and you think "I love Lucy but right now I don't even want to see her face?"
And in this case, I doubt it was that. It was probably genuinely about the spat the children had and maybe thinking that it's not fair on the kids to force them to interact when they're on the outs and that they'll see you soon enough anyway.
If you want to walk this back you could contact your friends and say "oops, I've accidentally deleted myself off the whatsapp group which messing with my settings, can someone add me back - and does anyone fancy [insert activity] next week?"
I probably am slightly over invested but it didn't feel like it. It just felt like we were all having fun together eating and (lots of) drinking.
The weather has just got cool enough to enjoy being outside and tbh I was looking forward to BBQ season and planning what we'd do when we've replaced the sodding grass that died in the summer.
I know the uk has snow today but it's 29 degrees and feeling just lovely. I would have loved to have been in the garden with them at their BBQ and not at home alone at the end of the street...
Sorry, arghh hate a drip feed but I need to say my daughter has NO idea they have even supposedly had an argument! So it wasn't a big deal I thought. They are just lovely and lively together normally and are both the rebel rule breakers that dive bomb the pool to splash the others for example. My kid doesn't think they argued at all.
And unfortunately I work in social media and am frequently the one asked about settings and how things work Nobody would even pretend to buy it was an accident.
YANBU to feel hurt. They have been unkind/thoughtless.
I'm sure it'll all blow over OP, but it's worth remembering that they DO have the capacity to make you feel like shit and aren't quite as "lovely" as you thought they were.
Self preservation is the key here. By all means maintain the friendship but keep in the back of your mind that they're not all that.
And you are all being lovely. Thank you.
I wouldn't be able to just leave it because I would dwell on it constantly. I would msg them as a group and say I'm a bit hurt that I was left out of a social occasion. Because of that I acted in haste by removing ourselves from the group. I would say I really enjoy the friendship and don't want it to end on a sour note but would appreciate an explanation about why I'd been left out.
I don't think you've been childish with it and totally get why you reacted how you did.
Maybe your dd is more "spirited" than you think and her rambunctious behavior was annoying people? I don't mean that unkindly just grasping for explanation.
The rebel/pool thing sounds obnoxious not cute.
I will definitely report back in time. But leave it a bit...
I know- I was childish in deleting us though I actually feel rather embarrassed I did. It was a spur of the moment feeling of hurt that I wish I hadn't done.
LeaLeander they are both a bit like that.
Urm, yes. It could be annoying though, I do agree. But kids here are generally so atrociously badly behaved, they actually both seem rather angelic in comparison! And they are just excitable, and not rude to adults.
Could you not start a conversation with your friend about how embarrassed you are that you were so petty and add that you were upset because you'd been excluded and didn't know why, then ask what you can do to make it OK between you both again.
You may find that a bit one sided, ie, taking all the responsibility on to yourself, but sometimes if you start with mollification and what you can do to make peace, it's more effective. You give a bit, so they feel OK about giving a bit etc. It can take the negative emotions right out of a situation.
There seem to have been a lot of these threads on MN lately, where there's a group and then one family are left out. Perhaps all these groups are full of really mean people who deliberately like excluding people, even their very good friends they normally get on with...or...
Perhaps it's ok that you don't get asked every time to everything. Perhaps the dd was a bit fed up with your dd and the parents thought a bit of a break might be good for them. Perhaps they fancied a different mix of people, including some new ones. Perhaps it's ok for these things to be mixed up and not everyone go to everything all the time.
When I look in my own friendship groups, we often go out together but also definitely mix it up a lot too- my colleague is a good friend of mine and we get together a lot with the children, plus parties, plus coffee but quite often she invites a slightly different mix to her dinner parties, and I don't feel put out if I don't get invited every time.
I used to tell my children that people can invite who they want to their parties, and sometimes that wouldn't be them. It wasn't- sometimes their good friends would have a party for three children, they wouldn't be one of the three, sometimes they invited them back to their parties anyway. It ebbs and flows, but you don't have a 'right' to go to someone's party ever!
This six-some sounds a tiny bit stifling, if I'm honest.
Of course, it could be there's something brewing and they have a genuine issue with you or your dd's behaviour, and if so, hopefully if they are good friends they will let you know. But I also think it's fine to mix friends differently and I can't imagine being in such a claustrophobic group that if I didn't invite someone over to an event, I would get defriended/they would strop off a group. I can't imagine this happening tbh.
I would just put yourself back in the group and say nothing more about it!
This kind of thing does hurt, it brings back all the insecurities of being young again, doesn't it?
Are you a very extrovert person that gets lonely without a group of others and a bit of a social whirl?
I suspect I'm in the same region of the world as you, not long here and to be honest I'm deliberately keeping myself a bit aloof as I don't want to get sucked into one of those quick, intense expat group dynamics that have the potential to go horribly tits-up.
Me and DH had a friendship group like this in our 20s and it was a bit stifling tbh. There was a "main" couple if that makes sense. We nearly always ended up doing what they wanted. Also, it was "ok" for them to see us without couple B or see couple B without us but if we got together with couple B and didn't include them they would throw their toys out of the pram and there would be full blown "how dare you" histrionics. We put up with it like mugs for years until one night DH just refused to go out with them as he said it was giving him nightmares. We are still very good friends with couple B incidentally.
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