Q: "I am a part of a group of four and we are (kinda) friends with another group. I am closer to one of the girls in my group of four, and I am not really close to the other group. But they are all hanging out together and I feel like I am slipping out of the friend group. Advice?" - Anonymous
A: Alright here we go. I’d say in general, the social scene at most schools is defined by various cliques, rigid friend groups that rarely intermix. However, there are many schools (especially small schools) where there is a lot more fluidity with the friend group situation. At my school, people will get closer with other girls in their classes, sports teams, on their bus, or who are a part of the same club. In turn, many friend groups mix together whether it be at lunch, on separate group chats, etc. It’s nice most of the time but can get complicated when some get invited to a birthday party, a hangout, etc but not the others.
The reality of combining friend groups is all very dependent on the way you are introduced. If your one friend is super excited about a few new friendships she has developed and wants you to meet them, she’ll make an effort to include you all the time. Be open to integrating these girls into the group but also let your friend have some separate friendships too if that’s what’s happening. However, that situation is different to the one where your friend literally drops your booty to go hang with another group. Then it’s just obvious she is moving on, losing the connection, or needs space.
Let’s start off with the pros of your situation
It’s nice to have a big friend group because you may have one person you really trust and then a bunch of great people to go out with and do ‘friend group-y’ things with… these groups mixing is a chance to have more friends (who wouldn’t want that?).
There are people who you will immediately click with, girls who you naturally gravitate towards based on common interests and other factors. But, when you mix friend groups and meet new people, it’s normal that you might not have that connection with everyone… initially. I say give them a chance. How will you get closer to everyone? Time and shared experience. While they might be different from you, these girls could turn into some of your best friends. It’s sometimes the people that you take a friendship slow with and have the time to open up to later on turn out to be the most impactful.
The best way to get closer with the new girls is by making plans ONE ON ONE. Just you two. I know it’s uncomfortable to reach out like that but the individual relationships will surely bring you closer to each girl and the group as a whole.
I understand how mixing friend groups is all fun and games until you're the one who is all of sudden being excluded or you start to feel uncomfortable with the choices and conversations fostered by these ‘new’ people. It sucks when your place in the group is different now.
In my experience, a big friend group is just not sustainable. Closer friends will break off and form mini friend groups. You just don’t see groups of 7-10 people having sleepovers all the time. Big friend groups really said survival of the fittest. One person causes drama or 2 go off and start hanging alone. This new friend group is more of a nice idea rather than something you have to be concerned about in the long run. Your only job is to stay out of drama and wait to see the process of natural selection at it’s finest.
The truth is that if your friend makes plans with the new group and ‘forgets’ to include you, it’s because she A. has been wanting to drop you for a while OR B. she feels like there's a void in the friendship that she’s looking to fill with new people. Either way, if your best friend wanted you guys to become friends, she would be including everyone and going out of her way to make the bigger friend group dynamic work seamlessly.
If you're just not vibing with the whole merging friend group thing after giving it a shot, you have to make a decision about your place in the group. Be honest with your friend but know that it’s not their responsibility to form their social life around your interests.
The one thing you always hear people say is that friend groups change in high school. You don’t need 10 friends to be happy. Most of the time one or two will do the trick :)
We got this,