Dealing with social rejection
On their own, I can usually deal with cancellations - and I understand things come up, but I'm really starting to feel defeated and alone. I have a lovely family, and the rest of my life is great, but these events all happening on top of each other has really gotten me down (the same thing seems to happen each year around this time). I feel that because I come across as bubbly and easy-going, people can dismiss me - or assume I can just work around them. I once had someone actually tell me that I would be more understanding than another person they had a conflicting appointment with, so they cancelled on me.
I then start to wonder if people don't want to spend time with me. I have a lot of acquaintances, but I feel like very few actually care enough to see me unless they have nothing better to do. During lockdown last year, I only had one person contact me first to see how I was. I feel if I didn't make the effort to initiate contact, I would never talk to anyone.
(I do have a few women I feel I can rely on most of the time, but one is currently living overseas and another is a fairly new friendship, and I don't want to scare her off by coming on too strong.)
How do other people cope with social rejection? I feel like I've gotten better at understanding it doesn't just happen to me, but it still hurts to feel like you're putting in a lot of effort for little return.
If it helps, I have definitely felt similar in the past. It does hurt, but most of the time it isn't personal. Our brains are very good at overthinking and making something out of nothing. They are probably truly busy.
The good thing is that you tried and made the effort and that makes you look like a nice and outgoing person, it can take a lot to even ask a friend to catch up because of that rejection fear looming behind you. We are social animals - being social has a lot of impact on our well-being and self-worth, so what you are feeling is probably normal. I know I have felt like that before.
My advice would be to focus more strongly on those reliable friends, you could even schedule regular facetime calls with your overseas friend, or organise a coffee catch up every few months with that new friend. One of my best friends has been putting off a catch up because she was busy with uni, once she rejected me a handful of times I felt terrible, but I then realised it was crunch time for her at uni, and that she did message me saying she would text me when she has time to catch up. Often it is not personal - people are just trying to juggle their life and when it gets busy - catching up can be difficult to do. That's it.
I wouldn't give up on these somewhat flakey friends - I do not think it is personal. But if it keeps happening, ask yourself whether it is worth it to continue making the effort with this person and see what they do in return - if they make no effort that probably gives you your answer.
All the best and you're not alone,
I am so sorry for what you are going through. It must be so hard.
Social rejection hurts so much. I hope you are feeling okay.
As Jaz said, you need to focus on more reliable friends. The only way you can know who your true friends are is if they put in the same amount of effort as you do. It takes both of your efforts to count. One thing that I also realised is that it takes time to find who your true friends are.
Please stay safe and i am here to chat whenever you need 🙂
That is true, but unfortunately, a lot of people are inherently and ignorantly selfish at times - not on purpose, but they sometimes do not realise that they are hurting you by doing this. I am sure if you confronted them and told them how it makes you feel, they would immediately feel bad and apologise. Again, I don't think it's personal, but focus on reliable friends for sure!
I’m sorry to hear you’re dealing with this. While incredibly hurtful, you can at least take consolation in the fact that it likely has very little to do with you. I am guilty of letting friendships slide at times and it’s not really anything to do with the other person but is more often than not a function of how I’m feeling. Life is so fast-paced these days and work is so demanding that it really does leave very little time for everything else, and so I know I find myself just collapsing into the couch of an evening with very little motivation to do anything, let alone get dressed and go out. When you consider that coupled with the demands of having a family (or even pets), that feeling that we should be trying to eat better and cook at home, and exercise a few times a week and I must admit that I have often cancelled plans at the last minute because I am simply exhausted. Not only that but everything is so expensive at the moment, fuel is at record highs, restaurant prices are obscene, and now the pandemic has complicated things and I think more of us are spending most of our time at home. That being said, I don’t think that asking to catch up one or two times a year is unreasonable. And presumably you have been friends with these people for long enough that you can drop over and hang out at home etc? If you do enjoy these friendships, I don’t think you should necessarily give up on these people but maybe discuss the potential barriers to meeting up and maybe then you can find ways around it. Or get a gym buddy so you both have scheduled catch-ups? I know that it doesn’t overcome the hurt of always having to be the person initiating things but I find that one person usually does take that role in a friendship usually anyway?