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I feel second best around those who call me their best friend

Community Member

I’ve been friends with these guys for ages now I’m in 11th grade and known most since grade 3-4 some longer but I can’t help but feel second best it’s like I’m tolerable but not wanted I go to school and it’s just “hey” or “sup” but quite often when someone else comes to school they all get excited it’s like I can’t get it right like am I the issue I try my best I’m the only one who organises days out I’m the one who calms down arguments he’ll I’m the one who try’s the hardest so why the hell can some of these guys tell me that I’m their best friend when they treat me like a substitute like I’m only good when someone else isn’t there but idk I guess I’ve just felt this way for ages now and it’s really starting to effect me the closer and closer we get to the end of school bc who will I have after that

6 Replies 6

Dear Leftwater,
Firstly, let us welcome you to the forums. Thank you for having the courage to share your experiences and concerns. Please feel free to express yourself and your concerns openly and without fear of judgement as this is a safe space.
Sorry to hear that you have been feeling this way with your friends, have you tried to talk to them about how you feel? As you are in year 11, does your school provide access to a school counsellor to discuss what has been happening? Sometimes the actions of others including friends can seem to be negative and intentional, although this can be the case through discussion with others, we can see a different perspective and realize that these actions were not intended to be hurtful. We hope that through discussion with your friends, school counsellor and the forum community it will assist in processing and minimizing feeling second to your friends.
Please remember it can help to talk through how you are feeling and our counselors are available 24/7, you can contact Beyond Blue either via phone  1300 22 4636 or through Beyond Blue Online Chat.
If you have not engaged with them before we would also recommend Kids helpline on 1800 55 1800 or at Kids Helpline . This service is available to anyone 25 years old and under.
Thank you for trusting our supportive community and sharing your experiences, we hope you find the shared insights and advice of our members helpful.
Warm regards
Sophie M

Community Champion
Community Champion

Dear Leftwater~

I'd like to join Sophie_M in welcoming you here to the forum. I'm glad you have already met her as she does give good advice. I particularly like the idea of the Kids Helpline who have a 24/7 web chat line as well as normal phones. They are pretty inderstanding and can be very friendly.


From what you have said you take a pretty active role in keeping the group together, smoothing down arguments and organizing days out. I think if you were not there you would be badly missed. It may well be that the others do not show their appreciation as they should becuse they are very comfortable with you (which is a compliment)


They also may well not realise it makes you feel excluded and unappreciated, and seeing new people being made a fuss of can hurt you. Maybe it is lack of maturity and basic consideration on your freinds' part, rather than not liking you. Perception can take a fair while to grow.


It is a worry when the end of school is approaching, though it would be a mistake to think everything simply stops at that point. True you no longer have a daily gathering point, but that does always mean you loose contact wiht freinds and meetings can still be arranged.


Of course there will be new things and new potential friends too. Do you mind if I ask what your plans are after you leave school?



Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hello Leftwater,


I'm sorry that you're feeling underappreciated in your friend group, especially when it seems like you are a central part of the group. If they do truly care about you, and you express to your friends how you're feeling as Croix suggested, hopefully they will change their behaviour. If it seems like they won't change, you don't deserve to feel second best to the people that you are putting so much time and energy into. Perhaps spend recess and lunches sitting with new people such as acquaintances that you haven't had the chance to get to know better. There are also many opportunities to make new friends after school, including university, TAFE and workplaces. I think it's often rare that people actually remain close friends with school friends, once having graduated. 


Wishing the best,


Community Champion
Community Champion



Thank you for being so open with us, welcome to the forums. I'm so sorry to hear about your experience with friends at school. School can be very tough socially. I'm several years out of school now, and I can confidently say that I've only really kept in contact with two or three people I knew during school, and I wasn't even close friends with them when we were there. 


I can relate to your struggles - when I was in school, I couldn't shake the feeling that in most if not all of my friendships, I was "replaceable". I mostly felt like I was the only one putting in effort and organising things, so I understand where you're coming from... it sucks, it's not a good feeling. 


One thing that really helped me socially when I was in school (year 11 and 12 specifically) was starting a part-time job where I was surrounded by people who were my age or older. I had a very small social circle when I was in school, so it was super helpful to have people outside of school who I could turn to and confide in. 


What are your hobbies or passions? Are there any clubs either at your school or externally that you could yourself joining that fit in with your interests? Sport, debating, gaming etc. can all be fantastic opportunities to meet likeminded people that you can bond with.


I'm wishing you all the best in your situation. Just hang in there, you're nearly at the end of your schooling life too, and your adult life will bring about many more opportunities to meet people, as Beeee has said.


Take care, SB

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hello Leftwater, even the closest friends at school who promise they 'll keep in touch once school ends, have a tendency to go their own ways.

They may go to different uni's and then develop new friends who they begin to associate with and the same applies with their mates, and once they meet partners then the friendship dwindles.

At the moment it feels sad to think you won't see them again, but your life will also be different and have no need to contact any of them, as your whole life will head in another direction.

They do say that they will give each other a ring, but over time the new friendships dominate, especially when a partner comes into the equation.


Life Member.

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hey Leftwater, 


Thank you for sharing how you are feeling. I really empathise as I too would bend over backwards for friends who didn't recognise my efforts or return the energy. It's a miserable feeling. I found it helpful to write about what caused me to feel like they don't care. I answered questions like what motivates me to continue putting in this effort and what do I need from them to prove to me that they want to be my friend? I came to realise that I was deeply motivated by my insecurities of not being good enough/ abandoned/ being replaceable. I thought the only way they would stay friends with me was if I did things for them. 


In some cases, our own insecurities can impact how we think, feel and act so as hard as it is, it's important to be aware of them and work through them. It's also important to recognise and remind yourself of the amazing qualities that you possess. I believe that there will be people who appreciate what you do for them but might not know how to show/return it. There are also those who expect rather than appreciate what you do for them. Whether we mean to or not, we can take people and things for granted. 


I know it can be hard to share how you are feeling, but it might be really beneficial to let your friends know. It's clear that they mean a lot to you so you can even start off with telling them how much you appreciate them and your friendship. I know that personally, I didn't share how I was feeling and began to act passive aggressively towards them, which didn't help anything. When I was finally able to share how I was feeling, I felt relieved and also received more effort and consideration on their parts. 


It's true, when you leave school you might realise that you were friends with some people because you saw them everyday. It's sad but it gave me time and appreciation for those that continued to make the effort. It also allowed me to gain incredible friendships with new people. I may not have as many friends as I once did but I no longer doubt the ones that I do have. 


I really wish you all the best and hope that you can get to a place where you feel your friendship is appreciated and reciprocated. 😊