When You Feel Like A Second Tier Member Of Your Social Group
Sometimes someone is part of a group of friends, but can't shake the feeling that they're lower on the totem pole than everyone else. Some reasons they may feel this way are:
- Their friends don't seem to ever invite them out. They're always having to chase everybody down to figure out what the group's plans are. Everyone else seems to be kept in the loop.
- Their friends don't really seem to pay that much attention to them when they're together. They may even feel like their friends go out of their way to ignore them.
- Their friends are always late, or seem unfazed by canceling on them at the last second.
- Their friends tease them a lot.
- They have a role in the group they're not sure about.
This article will talk about the issue of feeling second tier somewhat, but will mostly point you to more specific articles I've written about the above issues. The links are farther down.
In many social groups some members will be closer than others
In a group of friends it's not uncommon for some of the people in it to have tighter bonds. They could have known each other longer, have more in common, or spend more time together. That isn't necessarily a bad thing. As long as you enjoy their company, and they're nice to you, you may have no problem hanging around a bunch of people who grew up together. They might even plan some events that don't include you, but you may be fine only hanging out with them on a more peripheral, casual level. You don't have to be super best friends with everyone you spend time with.
Sometimes a social group can seem to act more mean and exclusionary. You wonder if they're merely tolerating you, or if they're fine with you tagging along, but they won't make an effort to engage you. You wonder if they're trying to tell you they don't want you around, but you just haven't taken the hint. When you're done hanging around with them, you don't feel happy and energized, but unsure of yourself. It's a crappy place to be.
Possible signs of being a second-tier group member
Your friends don't invite you out very often, or seem indifferent to you once you're there
A few things could be happening in this situation. The first is that your friends don't mean to seem exclusionary, but due to crossed wires you feel like that's the case. The second is that you may be liked within your group, but may be a bit easy for people to overlook and ignore at times. The third is that you're not be a good match with the group, and they're showing it by seeming indifferent to you. A more detailed discussion is here:
Your friends are flaky and often cancel plans or show up late
Unreliable behavior is pretty annoying. The issue is whether your friends are being self-centered and disrespectful of your time, or if they just have a more lax and flexible outlook on making plans with people. If it's the latter, friends can have differing and clashing expectations about how they're supposed to treat each other. One person may think all plans are loose and tentative, while the other may think once you agree on something it should be set in stone. Here's the article on that topic:
Your friends tease you a lot
The problem here is usually that the person being teased too much doesn't like it, but may not be sure where they stands with their friends. Are the friends doing it in a good-natured way, but getting carried away, or do they have more mean, disrespectful intentions? I go into the topic here:
You've got a role in the group you're not happy with
For example, you've got a car and are the group's unofficial free taxi. What's going on? Is it that everyone's deliberately using you, and don't respect you as a person? Is it that they have nothing against you, but have slipped into thoughtlessly taking your rides for granted? More details: