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When You Feel Like A Second Tier Member Of Your Social Group

Sometimes a person is part of a group of friends, but can't shake the feeling that they're lower on the totem pole than everyone else. Some reasons they may feel this way are:

This article will talk about the issue of feeling second tier somewhat, but will mostly point you to more specific articles I've written about the above issues. The links are farther down.

In many social groups some members will be closer than others

In a group of friends it's not uncommon for some of the people in it to have tighter bonds. They could have known each other longer, have more in common, or spend more time together. This isn't necessarily a bad thing. As long as you enjoy their company, and they're nice to you, you may have no problem hanging around with a bunch of people who all went to high school together or something like that. They may even plan some events that don't include you, but you may be fine only hanging out with them on a more peripheral, casual level. You don't have to be super best friends with everyone you spend time with.

Sometimes a group of friends can seem to act more mean and exclusionary to you. You wonder if they're merely tolerating you, or if they're fine with you tagging along, but they won't make an effort to engage you. You wonder if they're trying to tell you they don't want you around, but you just haven't taken the hint. When you're done hanging around with them, you don't feel happy and energized, but unsure of yourself. It's a crappy place to be.

Your friends don't invite you out very often, or seem indifferent to you once you're there

A few things could be happening in this situation. The first is that the person's friends don't mean to seem exclusionary, but due to crossed wires they feel like that's the case. The second is that the person may be liked within their group, but maybe a bit easy for people to overlook and ignore at times. The third is that the person may not be a good match with their group, and they're showing it by seeming indifferent to them. A more detailed discussion is here:

When You Feel Like Your Social Circle Is Indifferent To You

Your friends tease you a lot

The problem here is usually that the person being teased too much doesn't like it, but may not be sure where he stands with his friends. Are the friends doing it in a good-natured way, but getting carried away, or do they have more mean, disrespectful intentions? I go into the topic here:

When Your Friends Tease You A Lot

Your friends are flaky and often cancel plans or show up late

Unreliable behavior is pretty annoying. The issue is whether your friends are being self-centered and disrespectful of your time, or if they just have a more lax and flexible outlook on making plans with people. If it's the latter, friends can have differing and clashing expectations about how they're supposed to treat each other. One person may think all plans are loose and tentative, while the other may think once you agree on something it should be set in stone. Here's the article on that topic:

When Friends Are Unreliable