I am a female Engineer in my mid-twenties working in the Engineering department of a mid-sized company. Within my department, there are two other girls around my age that I would consider to be my close friends. We are close at work, but our friendship also extends outside of work (one girl was in my wedding and both attended my bachelorette trip, to put our friendship in perspective). Lately I have been feeling as if I’m becoming something of a third wheel within the group. It always seems that the other two are on the same wavelength and I’m the odd girl out in any given situation. I feel petty and childish even thinking this way, so I’ve kept my feelings to myself up to this point.
Last week our company hosted a function over lunch--something that my two work besties and I would typically attend as a group. We had even discussed the lunch earlier in the day. Shortly before the lunch was scheduled to begin, one of the girls brought up to me that something came up at home and she was going to skip the lunch and go home for her break. I said I hoped everything was okay, but I didn’t give it much thought beyond that, assuming that my other friend and I would still attend the company lunch. When it was time to go, however, I stopped at my friend’s cubicle to see if she was ready and found that she was gone. When I returned to my desk (my office overlooks the parking lot) I saw my two friends driving away together. I later learned that they went to a workout class that they both often attend.
Now, here is where I become conflicted…
I am first and foremost upset that one of my friends obviously lied to me about there being an issue at home that she needed to tend to. I’m not sure why she felt the need to do that. I would have preferred that she had the respect for me to be honest if she wanted to skip the company lunch to attend her workout class, and to tell me so. I know that my friends don’t owe me an explanation as to what they do on their lunch breaks, but I am also hurt that neither of them thought to give me a heads-up that they weren’t going to the lunch we were planning to attend together. Or maybe they did think of it and deliberately chose to leave me in the dark. Either way, I am hurt. I’m wondering if this was a setup against me or if we are just not as close as I thought, because I would have realized in their shoes that I would be leaving someone alone and would have felt bad about it.
I haven’t brought this up to either of them, but instead I have just been a bit standoffish. As I said, I am embarrassed that I am even upset over this. I am an adult and this feel childish, but it does hurt. Does anyone have any experience with this type of occurrence, or have any advice on the best way to handle it? I feel now that if I carry on as if nothing is wrong, that I am allowing myself to be made a fool.
Welcome to the forums! I would just mention it your friends and explain how it made you feel hurt and deceived (which is totally fine to be feeling). They might have just done it unintentionally not realising how much it would hurt your feelings, it sounds like they are great friends but everyone makes mistakes. Maybe they knew you would feel pressured to go and exercise just isn't your thing or maybe they just wanted some one on one time and didn't know how to tell you? I'm sure there is a reasonable explanation but until you bring it up with them you won't know.
Just a heads up that I have noticed that you are in the US and as we are an Australian based forum some of our resources may not be helpful to you, you might be better off finding other supports in your country, but we are always happy to help you where possible
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Firstly, don't deny your emotions or think they're childish!!! Everyone thinks things like this, and I know I'd feel the same if I was in your situation!
Secondly, I want to encourage you not to overthink things just quite yet. They might have had their own (twisted) reasons for it, like they were trying to protect you and not hurt you, but did in the process without realising. I think your best bet is to have a conversation with them asking what happened and let them know how you feel! If things can work out after that and everything starts to make sense, then you'll be happy you didn't jump to conclusions!!