Is It Usurping My Friends?

Updated on April 10, 2012
R.H. asks from West Boxford, MA
25 answers

I have hostessd several small 'Girls Night Out'. At each of the three occastions, my friend. I will call 'Sandra' has initiated and exchanged cell numbers with three of my friends that she met there. They have gotten together for bbqs, shopping outlet trips, etc. without inviting me. Do I have a right to be upset at 'Sandra'?

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☆.A.

answers from Pittsburgh on

You have the right to feel whatever you feel about Sandra.
But friends don't come with strings attached.
You would include the hostess friend forever? For a week? A year?
I've met some great women through other friends, and guess what? What I have now with those women IS a friendship. The original friend doesn't need to be included in everything we do, every conversation, etc.
I think if you say something, then you can kiss all of those friendships goodbye. Maybe they are true, great friends, maybe they're not--I don't know. I don't know them. You do!
Good luck!

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M.O.

answers from New York on

Yeah, it's a little rude, and it'd probably bother me too. But friendships aren't monogamous. No one is cheating on anyone here. So, I'd be annoyed and frustrated too, but I'd try to keep a sense of humor about it and not let those feelings overwhelm me.

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K.M.

answers from Chicago on

I am sorry but it sounds like whiney middle school stuff going on here what I hear is "Moooom, Sandra came to play with me and she likes Sally better and they are not inviting me to play with them too!" Sorry, but if you get something out of being friends with Sandra then continue the friendship, but by not inviting her you are just trying to make her feel the same way as you and eventually everyone else will see it for what it is and stop attending as well.

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J.W.

answers from St. Louis on

I can see why you would be upset but what she did really isn't wrong. She just made friends with them as well, ya know?

I wish I could find the right words, I agree, I would be upset too but I don't really think I would have a right to be upset. I guess I see it as if I am upset it means I think I have a right of ownership of my friends. They should not do things without me. Not sure if that makes sense. In the end I would end up mad at myself for being upset.

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S.B.

answers from Houston on

Why aren't you upset with the others as well? Seems they are just a guilty as Sandra.

Personally, my feelings would be hurt by all of them. However, I think you need to really figure out why you are upset. Are you upset with Sandra or all of them? If so, why don't you discuss it with them. Ask why you are being left out. I wouldn't ask Sandra, ask another friend who has gotten together with Sandra. You might find out that Sandra is behind the exclusion.

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C.O.

answers from Washington DC on

ETA: You do know that "usurping" is when someone seizes and holds power BY FORCE over something with no legal right/authority, right? So unless these friends are having guns held to their heads...they aren't doing anything they don't want to do.

Rhonda:

What's wrong with Sandra expanding her social network?

No. I don't think you should be upset with Sandra. Your other friends are inviting her, right? She is not inviting herself?

Do you need to be invited to everything? What does it matter if she has made friends with your friends? She is "new" to them. Maybe they are trying to get to know her better. Heck...maybe your friends like her better - not trying to be mean - but that's entirely possible!

If Sandra is a good friend. Tell her you are upset and bothered that you are not being included in events with friends that you introduced her to....but really? I wouldn't stress over it. I love it when my friends expand their social network!

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H.M.

answers from Denver on

I think some people are being kinda mean to you (on this board). Yes - of course your feelings are hurt - you introduced her to your friends - and she in turn has "taken" your friends and not even given you the courtesy of letting you come along too.

My feelings would be hurt - it's human nature to feel sad when you are excluded.

That said - no - you don't own these friends and they can hang out with whomever they like. If it really bothers you send Sandra an email and ask why she hasn't invited you - or better yet - invite all of them to do something with you and see what happens.

I think it's kinda rude to just take up with your friends friends and not try to include them but sometimes people just click.

Good luck

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S.T.

answers from Washington DC on

oh, i don't think you need to do that. just because you're the contact point doesn't mean you necessarily 'own' the burgeoning friendship. i can totally understand how you might feel a little hurt or left out, but that's not really their issue. if YOU want more time with any of these gals, set it up yourself!
i think you'll come off as petty and immature if you confront her and insist that you have a share in anyone you introduce to her. just relax and let yourself accept that their friendship is different, not superior, to yours.
khairete
S.

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S.R.

answers from Los Angeles on

I haven't read the answers. My first instict is, eh, yeah I would be kind of left out and annoyed. But my gut feeling is oh well, we are too old for these petty jealousies. If you are confident in your friendships with the other women, who cares if they hang out alone without you? Sandra obvisouly knows how to make friends easily and go out on a limb to initiate. Good for her. Whats really wrong with making friends with new people at a mutual pals social event? That's how most people develop relationships... through common people they know.

I guess my final look at the situation, is: Does she invite ONE of your friends out to hang without you? No big deal. By no means do you need to be included. She's connecting with people. Great. Good job on you for being the social madam bringing women together. Is she getting the entire same group to hang out together (several women plus her but not you)? THEN that's a little different and I might consider telling her your feelings are hurt.

But if she is just hanging out with one person at a time, I think you keep your feelings to yourself and quietly stop inviting her if you must. That seems petty to me though.

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J.S.

answers from Hartford on

So... since Sandra has made new friends independently of you who just happen to also be your friends, you're going to stop inviting her to group events in your home? She has every right to go out with friends, mutual or not, and not include you in every event. It's part of normal adult interaction and you don't have to include the person who originally introduced you even if you met in the host's home.

I don't understand why it's so complicated or why your feelings are so hurt. Not when your personal idea about social rules are not actual social rules for other people.

You could also try talking to Sandra. "I've noticed since we both started going to the town GNO events that we've stopped hanging out together quite so much. I miss that. I'd like to try to plan some one-on-one friend time with you soon. What do you think?"

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C.P.

answers from Columbia on

No you don't have any right to be upset about it.

There are any number of reasons you weren't invited. Schedules, interests, whatever. It doesn't matter.

Continue to invite her. Be a good friend, or you stand to lose even more friends than just her.

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S.R.

answers from Washington DC on

Yes, I think Sandra is being a bit rude. Granted, you don't "own" your friends, but it is rather rude and hurtful for her to not invite you. I know it's hard to say something because you don't want to appear desperate, but perhaps you could say something like....oh, I heard you're getting together with ______, may I join you? Or...you could jokingly say...."Oh! You went and didn't invite me? Shame on you! I love that place...next time, put me on speed dial!"

This sounds much like all the girl stuff that goes on all through school...some things never change.

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K.P.

answers from New York on

You don't "own" people. If they enjoy eachothers company, they don't have to invite you simply because you happened to be the common factor. You can feel whatever you feel... jealousy, anger, hurt, etc but you don't have the right to make them feel guilty for making new friends.

If I met someone at a friend's party and hit it off as friends, I would not feel obligated in any way to include the hostess if we went on an adventure together. I would thank that person for inviting me to her home and mention how much I enjoyed ____ and that I am so glad I got a chance to meet her. If the hostess then stopped inviting me over b/c I was "stealing" her friends... well, probably not a good friend to have in the first place!

Yes, I have met friends through other friends before and no, I have not been then excluded from their lives because we had lunch without the "hostess". I have also had friends meet at my home/party and go on to enjoy things together. My BIL met a dear friend of ours at our house (while living with us) and they all love hiking. We don't. They go hiking together and don't invite us. On the flip side, we golf with them and don't include my BIL. Different interests... different pairings.

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L.M.

answers from Chicago on

I agree with the people who say she is being rude. I'd think, at least on the first get together, she should invite you. If she connects with some of the other girls and wants to be their friends, she can pursue that and not have to include you each time.

It does seem a little like she is using your get togethers for the purpose of making new friends, and not necessarily being YOUR friend. I wouldn't invite her each time from now on, maybe every other time or once in a while. I'd also mention to her that you heard she had fun with so-and-so, that way she knows you are aware that you are not being included. She may think she's getting together with your friends without your knowledge.

I wouldn't disregard your post as being childish or anything like that. I think it's normal to feel this way about your friends and acquaintences. I think we'd all like to think we're "above" those thoughts, but I don't think any of us are.

4 moms found this helpful

T.S.

answers from San Francisco on

Friends find each other naturally and they hang out because they WANT to, not because they SHOULD. Sounds like you expect people to include you just because you invited them to a party (and yes, that does sound childish.)
Spend time with people who like you and forget about the rest. It's the same thing I tell my 12 year old when she feels bad about not being included/invited to something.

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G.B.

answers from Oklahoma City on

I don't think it's really your place to be upset. You sound jealous of them becoming friends. You like her, you like your friends, why wouldn't they have things in common.

Plus, as far as I can tell you have these in your hometown, that's not where you live now? If you do still live there then perhaps that would be awkward. But if you live out of town even a little bit then there are going to be activities they have all the time that you don't get invitations too.

That may be the issue. You have parties and invite them but they have parties and don't invite you? That would make me feel sad but the hostess of that party would need to tell you why you didn't get invited.

You don't really sound like you're very connected to this group of friends. That you only get together when YOU plan something. That would say to me they like to be around you occasionally but not every day?

Could you explain your living distance and why your friends don't invite you to their activities?

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A.G.

answers from Houston on

What a rotten thing to do. We all know noone likes to be left out for any reason. But 1st be objective and find out the whole story. I would simply tell her you heard she got together with the others and was there a reason you weren't invited? You can base your actions from her response at that time.

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E.E.

answers from Denver on

I have a best friend "Q" who had this other friend "K" I was jealous of. She'd rave about K and I felt slighted somehow. I knew it was immature, but it was what I felt.

Q finally got us together...and now I am a bit closer to K than Q is. I didn't steal her friend. They still get together as they like. Q and I are still best friends too.

We can also get together - all 3 of us - but I don't feel obligated to *always* do that. K and I have interests that Q does not share. Q and I have insterests that K does does not share. And all of us are crazy busy, so coordinating 3 schedules is near impossible. We *all* get that. And I feel silly for my initial jealousy.

Now we are *3* people that are mutual friends - and I see now why Q raved about K. And now I get to have them *both* as friends! How awesome is that?

So me? I wouldn't say anything. I'd be glad my friend were friends and know that would enrich our gatherings together. I'd deal with my feelings - knowing that maybe they weren't fair - and enjoy my friends.

As to my story: Q and I are quite close - she'd tell me if she felt I'd done something wrong. And I am grateful to her for adding K to my life.

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J.H.

answers from San Antonio on

So your friend has made friends that she just happened to meet at your house and you're upset that she didn't invite you to hang out with her and her new friends? Am I reading that right?

I say let it go. What if you meet someone at your kids' school, really hit it off and exchange numbers with the promise to get coffee later in the week. You're then talking to another friend and find out that your friend has been friends with this new friend for years...and now she's really upset because you're going out for coffee with her old friend and she wasn't invited. How would you feel?

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E.T.

answers from Albuquerque on

I can understand your hurt at not being invited, but it sounds like Sandra wanted to expand her social network and you provided the perfect opportunity. That's sort of what happens when you bring your different groups of friends together, right? All different people who are connected through friends get to meet each other. I don't think I'd be mad at Sandra, and I'd continue to invite her to things. She obviously gets along with everyone... and it's not like you "own" your friends anyway. Instead, I think I'd mention to Sandra that you heard that she and the other ladies are getting together and that you'd like to join them for the shopping trips and stuff. Sandra may think you're too busy or wouldn't be interested because that's not stuff you currently do with her.

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J.T.

answers from New York on

Damn some people can be harsh but I've seen you say you like that... But IMO, it depends how many of these outings that exclude you there are. One or two with one friend does seem ok and I'm really sensitive. Maybe Sandra needs to make some new friends... Maybe she doesn't want to be too reliant on you. That would be understandable. I think it depends if you see her really trying to pull these friends from you over time though. I made a friend through a neighbor and have always been really conscious of making sure she doesn't feel like you do. But at one point, our schedules really did work better so maybe she did feel like you do even though there was no attempt to purposely shut her out. Over time, we all made sure to do 3-way things etc. So I really think it depends on more details and what this Sandra is like. She may be the childish one trying to steal friends or it may all work out. I'd give it more time or more details.

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V.M.

answers from Cleveland on

Apparently from prev posters, no you don't have a right, but i'll tell you what, i would be pretty hurt. I guess i do just feel an obligation to the hostess. I value loylaty alot, and i'm guessing, Sanda has done or said things in the past that color how you see this situatiion.
just my 2 cents i doubt talking to her about it will help.

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C.C.

answers from Houston on

I, without a doubt, think that she has done you a wrong...what nerve!!!! And, no, I would not invite her to future get togethers. Pfooy on her.

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J.H.

answers from Boston on

I say tell her. If she is a good friend she will care about how you feel. Don't be accusatory or play the vicitim. Stay away from things like "you made me feel..." or "because of you...". Instead try opening with "I felt *insert emotion here* when you and so-and-so didn't invite me to go shopping". Ask her what you both can do different to change this. She definitely needs to know your side.

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L.R.

answers from Washington DC on

I understand your hurt feelings. But do you know what really went on between them? Isn't it possible that, for instance, Sandra and friend Y discovered that they share some mutual interest and went out together to pursue that? Or that Sandra and friend X found out they both just love to shop at a certain place, and set up a shoppting date together based on that common interest? Or that she and friend Z discovered their husbands/boyfriends/whatever had a common business connection and decided to get together with the guys to introduce them? The potential list could go on and on. In other words -- there could be many common interests and connections between Sandra and friends X, Y and Z that don't include your own interests or connections. They may never have consciously thought, "Let's exclude Rhonda," but instead may have been thinking, "We have so much in common between us, let's do something based on that common interest." Yes, it would have been nice to be invited to something with them, but I think you could assume the best, and not the worst, of the friends involved.

And as someone else noted -- why the anger toward Sandra and not the other three friends? Is she a particularly close friend with whom you expect to spend time? Or conversely, are the other friends closer to you than she is, and you expect them to spend time with you and not the new person they just met? Either way -- You do have a right to feeling upset, but try thinking through the many reasons they might have wanted to get together without someone else there. It very likely is not an intentional slight.

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