Why An Annoying Person May Be Included In A Group, While You're Not

Here's a situation that's frustrated and confused some people: There's a social circle in your life, maybe at school, work, or in a club you go to on Tuesday nights. You try to be friendly to the group members and seem to get along with them okay, but you're still not fully included. Like maybe they'll chat with you in class during the week, but go out together on weekends and never invite you.

That's disappointing for sure, but something you can wrap your head around. Maybe they don't think you're the best match for them. You can't appeal to everyone after all. Where the confusion and discouragement comes in is that while you're left out, another person who seems objectively irritating is part of the clique. They make dumb comments, they have bad conversation habits, they stir up unnecessary drama, and so on. You think, "Okay, I can accept I may not be exactly what the group is looking for, but how can someone annoying like them be included without question, while I get overlooked?"

Here are some possible explanations. They may not fully take the sting out of not being welcomed into the gang, but may at least help you understand what's going on:

The annoying person has some good traits, that do enough to cancel out their irksome qualities

They might not show their good traits much while you're around, or you just may not value them. The group appreciates something about them though. Maybe they're always there when someone is going through a tough time. Maybe they're fun and entertaining, but not in a way that fits your sense of humor.

The annoying person has a lot in common with the group, while you don't

You may be able to make pleasant conversation with the group's members when you see them, but overall they don't view you as having the same interests, values, beliefs, or background as them. On the other hand, they have a lot in common with the irritating member, even if he or she can rub people the wrong way. For example, the group likes to get drunk and go clubbing on weekends, while you don't care about either of those things.

The group members see the person's "annoying" traits as harmless, quirky, or inconsequential

They have different standards. The person is obviously aggravating to you, but their buddies don't see it that way. They may not be everyone's favorite friend, but their irksome features are easy enough to ignore. Like maybe they make lots of ignorant comments that get under your skin, but everyone else just shrugs or chuckles at what they say.

A lot of the group members have the same annoying traits, so they think the person's behavior is fine

They may not possess the irritating traits to the same degree, but they do have them, and don't think they're a problem. For example, a guy who constantly brags and exaggerates his accomplishments. He's by far the worst about it, but the other group members have those tendencies too.

The annoying person mostly stays off to the side when everyone hangs out

For example, the larger group has ten people in it, but the annoying person is only close with two members. When they all get together the three of them spend most of their time in their own side conversation. They're not inflicting the full force of their obnoxiousness on the others, so they're allowed to stick around.

The group feels obligated to include the annoying person

Maybe they're the cousin of one of the core members, or work in the same department as everyone else. The group thinks they're as annoying as you do, but have made peace with the fact that they have to be around.

The annoying person has been part of the group for so long that a sense of inertia or loyalty has set in

The aggravating member may have been in the group since they were all twelve. Yeah, they can get on everyone's nerves, but the possibility of throwing them out isn't on anyone's mind. They've been through so much together. It would be like kicking a brother or sister out of the family.

The annoying person is hard to leave out of plans

The other group members also find them kind of bothersome, but they're around so much, including when plans are being made, that there's no way not to invite them. Maybe they're roommates with two of the members, or they sit in the same area as most of the group at the office. Everyone's resigned themselves to the person being around and doesn't question it anymore.

The annoying person is good at finding out about the group's plans and inviting themselves along

No one has the heart to tell them 'no'. The group may find them a tad irritating, but tolerable enough. They'd rather let them tag along than feel the awkwardness and discomfort of rejecting them outright.

The annoying person plans a lot of the group's get togethers

Planning an outing can feel like a chore, and many people are happy to let someone else be the activity coordinator. The group may not love the annoying person, but they're the glue that keeps everyone together. If it wasn't for them, they'd be too lazy or disorganized to ever meet up.

The group is immature and mean-spirited and keeps the annoying person around as their punching bag

The annoying person does and says lots of odd things, and the group likes to laugh about it. It's like they're an unintentional court jester. They either lack the self-awareness to realize they're the butt of the joke, or they're insecure and desperate to fit in, and tolerate being made fun of.

The annoying person has a practical resource the group wants

This also tends to happen in less-mature groups. The irritating person is the only one with a car, or has access to drugs, or just throws their money around and usually pays when everyone goes out for dinner. If the group wasn't using them for something they wouldn't be included.