Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Used by Everyone

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  • #848270 Reply

    I’ve been manipulated by everyone I’ve met since starting highschool. My elementary school friend abandoned me less than a month after beginning grade 8 because she wanted to hang out with “more popular people”. I was apathetic to her breaking our relationship off because her reason was stupid as crap — I thought I’d be better off without her. I had changed schools due to a family issue and she happened to change schools the same time as me, so we naturally became friends. Maybe it wasn’t natural. Maybe she just kept me around for the sake of having someone. I didn’t make any friends after that. There was another elementary school friend in my English class whom blatantly copied my work. She’s still around, and the second person I can closely interact with (banter, anything past polite small talk). The first keeps me around to make her feel good (makes me take photos for her, compliment her), and to help her with her work. I feel warm around them and ecstatic when we joke around, but the happier I feel in the moment, the worse my heart aches later. I don’t exist to them outside of their needs. They abandon me as soon as class ends, and only text me if they want help. I keep getting disappointed, and I’ve realized that this has been going on for nearly five years. I couldn’t cut them out because they were in my classes, but I’m not completely spineless. Instead of letting them copy whatever, I tried to take the long route and teach them. They never appreciated it. Basically, I have not had a friend for years and have been used consistently. It’s an awful feeling and I’ve skipped school just to escape it.

    I had a chance at making a new friend one year (her usual group of friends weren’t in her class), and I was completely open to it. I tried my best to talk to her, and she included another person who had just transferred to our school. I thought I was doing well, but gradually, those two began to exclude me from groups, and when I tried to join their conversations, they turned away. I had no idea what I did wrong. I was being as friendly as I possibly could. Eventually, I stopped trying. The worst part is, they don’t even acknowledge me, and when they do, they pretend to be nice. One of them asked me to vote for them for some student council position with a big smile on her face. I don’t know what I did wrong. I hate myself for it. Objectively, I’m average in looks and weight. I’m not dumb. I’m not rude. I don’t know why they reject me. Halfway through the year, I was so exhausted and frustrated that I broke down in front of my father, whom I’ve only known for a few years. I was trying to joke with him about it, but ended up crying.

    I’ve tried talking to people online about this but they end up calling me pathetic, useless, and worse. Some of my teachers ostracize me for not having friends. I have hobbies, personal projects and goals, and studying takes up my time during the school year so I’m usually fine with being alone, but I have to cry it out a few times a year. I wake up crying sometimes, or I just start to want to cry out of nowhere. It does sound pathetic. I know people have worse problems than this. I don’t know what triggered it since the school year is over, but it’s happening again and I’ve decided to post my problem here. I hope to hear from someone. Thank you for reading.

    #848272 Reply

    Oof, this post brings me back.

    High School is really hard. Suddenly the rules for friendship kind of change but no one tells you what they are. Old friends find new groups and ditch you without explanation.

    The good news is what you’re going through is pretty common, so you can stop beating yourself up.

    The thing that got me through high school was having interests and hobbies that weren’t connected to school at all. Extracurriculars are great but if you have interests you can pursue outside of the school that would be better. It seems to me that bonds forged outside of places you are required to be like school or work tend to last longer.

    For me it was punk rock and D&D. For others I know it was theatre, cars, animals, or outdoorsy stuff.

    Good luck!

    #848274 Reply

    Damn school is on a different level now than it used to be during the 90’s.

    It’s sad what you are going through but this is what life is handing you right now. My best advice is fuck them all, you need to find away to make friends outside of school. Join a sports club, Tae Kwon Doe, pick up a hoddy, there are plenty of ways to make new friends outside of school and i suggest real physical friends not online friends.

    #848277 Reply

    High school is the worst. I’m sorry you’re having a hard time.

    You know, I can’t tell you what it is. There doesn’t have to be anything wrong with you for you to not quite fit in. What did your dad say, when you opened up to him? Have you considered talking through these feelings with your school counselor, or even asking your dad if you could see a therapist?

    To me, it sounds like you’re taking all of these incidences of exclusion very personally and it’s maybe even starting to make you feel bitter. When you’re at a new school, it’s normal to befriend the other new kid. It’s also normal for that person to find their people. I’m not saying it shouldn’t hurt, but it’s natural for things to progress or change like this. Yes, it could have happened in a better way, a softer way. That person really wasn’t very empathetic to your feelings at all. I’m sorry about that.

    I think instead of going scorched earth and cutting people out, you should focus on yourself right now. You need to find activities that you enjoy and find a way to get involved in them. If you can, find a job. Maybe that’s babysitting. Maybe it’s working at the school store a few hours a week, or a library. These things might suck, they might be boring, but at least you’ll make some money and potentially meet other kids who aren’t assholes.

    And I would highly, highly recommend seeing your school counselor or someone outside of school. It can really help to get these feelings out and have a totally uninvested third party to bounce things off of. If you vent with a professional that can free you up a little bit emotionally. Maybe you’ll stop noticing every slight.

    I wish you luck in finding your people and strength to deal with the assholes and shitheads. These are a lot of those around. You’ve dealt with a lot already, but trust that it continues after school, although you aren’t forced to be with them 5/7 days a week. Most people hate high school. A lot of the ones who don’t literally peak at high school. And then afterwards struggle. Don’t be too hard on yourself. Keep you head up and let most of this roll off your back if you can.

    #848278 Reply

    It sounds like you are trying to hang with the popular crowd. Instead, try to make friends with the less popular — those in the same position as yourself. Since you say you spend a lot of time on school work, perhaps focus on serious students whose interests might align more with your own, or those whose hobbies/outside school activities are similar.

    When you say that the one ex-friend frequently copied your school work, she obviously isn’t into being a student and her interests/activities probably aren’t compatible with yours. Your other friend deliberately focused in on joining the most popular group of girls. You should focus your interests elsewhere. You’ll likely find less in-fighting, more loyalty, more substance. I see all of the other commenters have given some version of ‘high school is tough’. I got by with a handful of like-minded friends, definitely not the in crowd, all serious students. I think part of high school survival is finding your niche and not trying to bust into the closed ‘in’ circles.

    You might also find friends in school activities. What interests you? Drama? Intramural sports? School newspaper? Choir? My wife survived high school largely on choir and drama club.

    #848286 Reply

    Ugh. That hurts, and it’s hard. I’m sorry you are going through this, but please know you aren’t alone. You’d be surprised to learn how many people, adults and teens alike, often feel like outsiders…never in the center of the circle. I will say two things: 1) you will find your people. They may not share every interest you have, but a friend is someone you like who also likes you. That’s it. Remain open, and as above commenters have said, take yourself to new places where you might encounter your people. It will happen, and all it takes is one or two like-minded people. 2) accept the good things about being an ‘outsider’. You are doubtless rich in empathy, sensitive, and caring, and I bet you’re very a good observer, too. Embrace creative hobbies like writing or drawing that require those qualities. Look into volunteer work at an animal shelter or nursing home where your desire to care for others csn have an outlet that helps others while lifting you up as well. And keep your chin up. You sound like a great kid, and you are going to be okay.

    #848287 Reply

    “You will find your people.”

    I love that, @Convexexile. It’s so true. LW, you WILL find your people. It might not be in high school. I started to find my people in college. I found some in online communities. I found more at work. And those friends introduced me to other friends.

    How do you find them? Just be yourself. And do things you enjoy doing. That puts you in contact with people who have things in common with you, and it flows from there.

    I’ll just add, people change a lot between elementary school and high school. Sometimes they change into better people. Kinder, more empathetic. Unfortunately, sometimes they change into selfish jerks like your friends did.

    It’s OK. It’s not you. Your future friends are out there. You’ll find them.

    #848315 Reply

    Thank you everyone for your responses. I felt a lot better reading them, and I’ll try to take all your advice as best as I can. I’ll volunteer outside of school, maybe join a new club, and stop taking things personally. I value all of your replies and I’m really glad I decided to post my problem here. I’m sure I’ll be coming back to read them again if I need cheering up in the future. Thank you so much.

    #848319 Reply

    this has happened to me all through high school! people are mean, and sometimes you have to realize that its not you, its them. throughout high school I tried my best to be nice to everybody. I would invite everybody over to my house for parties, I would plan get togethers, I would call people to sing to them on their birthdays, I would honestly go out of my way to make sure everybody else was happy. I would listen to people talk to me about their problems for hours, and they wouldn’t ask once how I was doing. I have had 3 friend groups drop me like a hot potato. I didn’t do anything wrong. years after the people started treating me like dirt (made group chats to talk about me while I was literally at their table group in class, tell me I’m a b*tch, etc.) they came and apologized to me and told me that they didn’t like me “because highschoolers like to bond over a common enemy and since you are so sweet and let people be mean to you because you’re too Nice to be mean back you were an easy target”. I hated myself throughout high school thinking everybody hated me, but turns out they just hate themselves even more. forget all those people! easier said than done but trust me, the world has a plan for u! everything happens for a reason. these challenges make you stronger, so you can take on the world!

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