MariaFebruary 9, 2024 at 11:41 am #1128074
I want to celebrate my 18th but my best friends seem to not be available for it. It annoys me because it’s so important to me.
I really don’t want to celebrate my 18th on my own.
Their reasons for not coming are so silly. Like one says she can’t come because her brother is visiting; mind you he is visiting for over 7 WEEKS. It’s not even the day he returns and he visits every holiday he gets bc he’s at uni, he sometimes even comes home at weekends.
I always message all of them first and they hardly ever come to any of my plans. They say we are best friends though – and they are really nice genuine people. It’s not like I’ve done anything wrong either.
I really don’t know what I’m supposed to do. I’ve expressed my upset at the situation and asked if there was any other reasons why they wouldn’t. I’ve asked if they would celebrate it another time but they brush it off with, “maybe sometime in the summer” — this is many many months after my bday and is a very non-committal response that makes me think they will not be planning to do anything in the summer.
I have no other friends. Is there anything I can even do? Should I just suck it up and carry on as normal? I feel very lonely, but I am surrounded by people.AnonymousseFebruary 9, 2024 at 2:13 pm #1128075
I’m really sorry it seems like your friends don’t understand how important your birthday is to you. Do you think you could explain you really want them to come to whatever and do what herb fun birthday thing with you?
If that’s not something you want to do or think would work, I would do is focus on people who you know love and care for you and see if they’d be interested in celebrating with you. Tell your parents, see if anyone’s eyes light up when you mention what fun thing you are doing – make fun plans for you, even if no one is coming. I know it seems lonely and lame, that’s what social media would have you believe, but one of life’s skills is to figure out how to be happy and have fun alone. Use this as an opportunity to plan the best day you can, and don’t worry about them. Think about yourself. Are you going to uni soon?AnonymousseFebruary 9, 2024 at 2:13 pm #1128076
Ever, not herb
Ugh. That stinks, LW, and it’s ok if your feelings are hurt. Mine would be, too!
I was listening to a podcast this morning. The episode was a compilation of listener grudges. One of the hosts pointed out that he thinks that at younger ages, people may not really understand the impact of showing up. I had that thought reading this. Your friends may actually be clueless. Or, since it sounds like you’ve already expressed your hurt feelings, you might be friends with mean girls. If you’ve already tried talking to them, I’m not sure there’s much else you can do. You can, however, choose where your energy goes and how much of it you give to these friends. Heck, I’m in my mid-30s and still sometimes find myself reevaluating friendships if they start to feel lopsided. When someone lets me down or doesn’t reciprocate my effort, I’ll stop making the effort and will invest more of my time in other friends and making new ones.
You can still celebrate your birthday without these friends! I know it’s not what you had in mind, but fun ideas include going out for dinner or doing a game night with your family, splurging on something like a trip to the nail salon, buying yourself concert tickets, etc. I can’t recall what I did on my 18th, but I suspect I celebrated in a small way with my nuclear family.LisforLeslieFebruary 10, 2024 at 8:23 am #1128079
That sucks and I’m sorry you’re so down about it.
I have two not entirely aligned thoughts on your situation:
1. Tell your friends directly that you understand that they are busy, but that this is very important to you and you are really sad that they can’t make a little time for you on this important day. Put it out there “I’m disappointed and sad that you can’t make time for me on this important day. I know that you aren’t responsible for my feelings, but it seems you’re putting in no effort on this and it really makes me sad to know I mean so little to you.”
2. Is there any – and I mean any – chance that they are planning something and all of this is some ruse to make you think they don’t care? Because while people may think “Hee, we’ll make her think we don’t care and then we’ll surprise her to show how much we care” is fun – it’s cruel.AnonymousseFebruary 10, 2024 at 10:37 am #1128094
If you feel lonely around your friends, you need to find more friends. These aren’t your people.ronFebruary 10, 2024 at 10:45 pm #1128096
“I always message all of them first and they hardly ever come to any of my plans. They say we are best friends though – and they are really nice genuine people. It’s not like I’ve done anything wrong either.”
Definitely not best friends. Sounds like they’re barely friends at all.KateFebruary 11, 2024 at 8:15 am #1128106
I had the same thought as Ron. Generally if you are always the one to initiate contact, message first, and people are turning down your invitations, it’s not a friendship or a relationship. It’s lacking a real connection, genuine affection, enjoyment and appreciation. I wondered if there may be something about young people’s friendships today that’s different from social norms 20 years ago, where they’re less likely to do things together in person. Do these people get together regularly? Do they go to each other’s birthday parties? If that’s a normal thing for them but they won’t go to yours, that’s something to think about. What are the typical things they do for birthdays, and are your plans different from what’s usual and maybe it’s something they don’t want to do? Or are you suggesting the same type of thing they would do for their birthdays? Do they invite you to theirs? I’m trying to better understand, like is there something about the birthday plans you’re trying to make that they’re just not into, or in general are they leaving you out of things? Given the reaction you’re getting so far, I wouldn’t try to push them more to celebrate your birthday, but I do think you can tell them your feelings are hurt and you’re disappointed. That said, I would start to look at how you can branch out and meet new people you might have a better connection with. These don’t seem, from an objective third party perspective, like close friends.MariaFebruary 13, 2024 at 4:24 am #1128142
Hey everyone, thank you so much for your messages. I’m sorry I’ve been super busy and haven’t replied to you all — it’s my first time on here and I’m not sure how to reply individually sorry. I have read and re-read all your advice and I really want to thank you all for it. I was feeling really really bad about the whole thing but you guys have made me feel better.
Also!!! I have a great update —- I do have a best friend who lives very very far away, so I understood why she couldn’t come. But, since hearing about my other friends she said she would come celebrate my birthday with me 🙂
I am so so happy!!! We are planning to just have a cosy night in 🙂 My mum also said she would buy us a nice meal to celebrate because of my friends not coming.
I know most people are of the opinion that my other friends are bad friends — which is fair based on the information given — but it’s really hard to explain. The points I said about them are 100% true, including the part about them being friendly, kind people. Hence my confusion about why they wouldn’t come. We have known each other my whole life and our families are very close. I don’t really know why they are against coming as they have gone to many other 18ths which I wasn’t invited to. But I’m going to stop thinking about it now all together and just look forward to a cosy night with my friend.
We still talk in person if I see them, but I am no longer making extensive efforts to reach out to them. I’ve found that when I spend hours upon hours trying to plan trips for us all it usually goes to waste so I’m not going to be doing that for them anymore. I hope I’ll stick to what I’m saying but only time will tell!
(Also is it weird if I stay on this site and reply to other peoples questions when I have the time? I’ve realised I’m younger than the people who’ve stated their age. But I really appreciate how lovely you all seem and I feel like that’s hard to come by in spaces created for young people. I’m probably not that experienced in a lot of these advice questions but I just won’t put my input into those.)MariaFebruary 13, 2024 at 4:25 am #1128143
Oops it made my smiley faces look a bit strange — sorry!!KateFebruary 13, 2024 at 5:42 am #1128144
Of course you can stick around and give advice! We’re happy to have you, and happy you now have birthday plans. Have fun!
I’m glad your bday plans are taking shape and that you seem excited for them. One quick note that someone can be a generally nice and good person, but still not a good friend.
I’ve been reading this site for something like a decade now, commenting on and off over the years. I’ve learned so much from Wendy/other commenters. You might, too, if you stick around.