Being the Subject of Gossip

Hi guys. I write to you all with a heavy heart, as lately, my personal life has been rife with petty drama surrounding a new friend circle I involved myself in.

I want to preface this post by letting y’all know that I am, largely, a drama-free person. I vehemently dislike conflict and find it very difficult to get mad at others, even if I have every right to do so. Instead, I internalize the conflict and ruminate over all possible things I could have done to instigate such discord, leaving me distraught and very upset.

Ever since coming to college and putting myself out there socially, I know people talk about me behind my back, be it good or bad things. That’s the price of being socially uninhibited– you open yourself to the judgement of others. You climb out of the safety of the trenches into No Man’s Land, completely unshielded from the open fire. But let my qualify that metaphor. High self-esteem, thick skin, and disregard for the haters serve as impenetrable, invisible shields to the blows. The only problem is, I am lacking in all three! Mind you, I am a very sensitive person, and tend to take criticism and negative judgement very personally. That’s where the rub is– I take strides to be as open and genuine as I can with everyone, expecting (hoping) that I will be accepted by all; but the reality is, not everyone will like you back.

Let’s get on with the story, shall we?

I recently began hanging out with a new friend group that I was introduced to by a good friend from class. I began spending more time at this friend’s place, first to study, then to just chill and have nice conversations with him and his friends.

Two days ago, my friend invited several members of his group out to eat sushi. He listed out the names of everyone he invited, to my face. My name was not amongst them.

Now, on a normal basis, this would not have bothered me— I understand that I am new to the friend group, and existing “members” might not be comfortable with me being all chummy and hanging out with them quite just yet. However, in this case, there were two other girls who were also new to the group. Yet the two of them were invited, but not me! I definitely felt left out that night.

The next day was Thursday. Earlier in the week, my friend had promised me that we would drink and party together Thursday night. The whole week, then, I had been looking forward to that night.

At around 8:20pm, I texted my friend, asking him what time I should come over. Twenty minutes later he replied, telling me that, as a collective, they had decided that it would be a “small group” thing. I was, in other words, disinvited.

I was hurt. I felt… unwanted… rejected… alienated. This is why I never liked cliques— the exclusivity of it all is, in my opinion, immature and too reminiscent of high school. Why can’t everyone just get along with one another? I love meeting new people, and I love that my current friend group is so open to inviting others to hang out with us.

I didn’t come to college to experience high school drama all over again. My close friends all told me to forget them; that I have enough genuine friends, and that I don’t need them. It’s so important to know who your true friends in life are, and to cherish them dearly.

All of this drama, as insubstantial it may seem, is still pretty fresh, and I still feel sad at the thought of it all. I keep wondering if I did anything to make these people not want me in their group. I was informed by an insider that they had a group chat, and that on the chat, they were talking about me. They said that I always left my things at my friend’s apartment on purpose, as an excuse to hang out with them.

This could not be further from the truth. Don’t worry guys, I am not that desperate. Yes, I did leave my things at my friend’s apartment on two different occasions, but it was out of sheer ignorance and forgetfulness on my part— absolutely no ulterior motives involved. I’m a very straightforward kinda gal, and I don’t believe in playing petty games.

Being rejected hurts. But friends, know this, and know it good. It is never your fault if someone else decides they don’t like you. That’s on them, and it is in no way a reflection of your own worth. Trust.

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