Recently a young reader asked this question:
What do you do if you always feel out-of-place when you’re with your friends and whatever you do, you still feel left out?
I think every young woman experiences feeling left out from time to time, and to be honest, I think adult women sometimes feel the same way.
Just recently, a friend of mine planned a birthday party for another friend. I wasn’t invited. I’m not as close a friend with the person whose birthday it was, but I felt like I was close enough to be invited to her party. After all, she was invited and came to my baby shower.
Regardless, I felt left out.
Whenever we feel mistreated by our friends, it is always wise to first evaluate ourselves before pointing fingers.
Prayerfully ask God to reveal something you may have done, either intentionally or unintentionally, to hurt them. Maybe it was something you said or didn’t say. Maybe it was something you did or didn’t do. Maybe it was a perceived attitude and you came across as rude in either tone of voice or body language.
Humbly ask yourself how you could have been a better friend.
Better yet, go to your friends and ask them how you could be a better friend. The Bible tells us to go to our neighbors when we have a conflict and talk to them. Go to your friends and simply tell them what you are feeling. Ask them if they feel the same tension in your relationship. See if changes can be made so that you feel included.
If, after evaluating yourself and talking to your friends, you still feel left out with no just reason, then ask yourself if these are the close friends God wants you to have. There may be a reason for you feeling out-of-place. God may be pruning your friendships so that you can build new ones which lead you closer to Him.
When I was a teenager I often felt out-of-place, even with my friends. I was blessed to come into a relationship with Jesus as a preteen, and even though I fought it because I didn’t want to be different, God recklessly pursued me from that point on.
Which meant that I didn’t always enjoy the same activities as other people my age and some things that didn’t bother them really bothered me.
Now I know that I felt out-of-place not because my friends were treating me badly, but because as a Christian I was, in fact, different from them. I was different in a good way. God used these differences to prune from my life close friendships that would be stumbling blocks for me as a young believer.
I once heard this saying:
[Tweet ” Friends are either in your life for a season, for a reason, or for a lifetime.”]
Sometimes this makes me sad because I want all my friends for a lifetime!
However, the older I get I realize how true these words are. It’s okay for friendships to change, become less important, and even end. That doesn’t make them any less special. It just means they were in your life for a season or for a reason–not for a lifetime.
Ask God to give you wisdom and courage in your friendships–wisdom to discern what is the true cause of your feelings.
Is it something you’ve done? Is it something they’ve done? Or is it simply an insecurity on your part?
Then, ask God to give you the courage to continue being who you are in Him, even if that means you have to let some friendships go. I know this is hard as a young woman, but you will find that when you continue to be faithful to God and be the person He’s created you to be, you will find the most joy and peace.
And trust me, He will bless you with new friendships.
Have you ever had to talk with a friend about feeling left out? Have you ever had to let go of a friendship that was causing more harm than good? How did God work in your life through those circumstances?