Hey Harmony: Left Out


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Hey Harmony,

This is my first year at a new school, and it’s been going okay so far. It took a few months to figure out who my friends are, but since December I’ve been hanging out with 4 girls I really like. They’ve been friends for 2 years, so I’m new to to the group. They are really fun and easy to talk to, and we have the same style and sense of humor. We sit together at lunch, walk to classes together, and sign up for clubs together.

The only thing that’s kind of bothered me is that they don’t usually ask me to hang out over the weekends or school breaks. Every time I say we should hang out, they talk about how busy they are with family and sports, and they seem honest, so I have no reason not to believe them. Until now.

Last week, they were weirdly quiet at lunch, but I noticed that when I got up they would start talking and whispering. I couldn’t take it anymore, so I borrowed my friend’s phone during study hall and looked at her DMs (I know her password). It turns out my whole friend group had a sleepover last weekend, and didn’t invite me. On top of that, they have a group chat that I didn’t even know about. It’s not like they said anything bad about me in the chat, but it feels even worse not to be included. I don’t know how long the chat and sleepovers have been going on, but it’s started to make me feel paranoid and sad around my friends. I want to confront them about excluding me, but I don’t want to seem mad or be kicked out of the friend group for going on my friend’s phone. What should I do?!

Sincerely,

Excluded


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Harmony:

Take a deep breath, turn on a calming song, and look in the mirror. Repeat three times: everything is going to be okay. Because it is, I promise. You’re in a sticky situation right now, but you can solve this one by looking within. Your spiritual guide (me) is here to lead the way!

Friendships are nothing without trust. I’ve learned this lesson the easy way (knowing Sky will keep my secrets = good) and the hard way (keeping secrets from Sky = not good). What happens when there’s no trust? Insecurity, panic, and fear. You are suffering from a major dose of fear, but don’t worry: Dr. Harmony is here to help.

Being new to the friend group (understandably) makes you feel insecure. The good part is that you seem to have found friends who make you feel comfortable and happy. Some people take years to find their crew, especially in a new school. So, consider yourself lucky.

Now, you just need to be patient. When people have been friends for years, they have their own dynamics, traditions, and inside jokes. I remember when my sister Rhyme had to add new people to the Chicken Girls. It was scary at first, because it meant that things were changing. Thankfully, she had me to give her sage advice, and now you do, too.

Your friends are probably pumped to let you in, but they want to take the time to get to know you before officially adding you to the group (even the group chat and the sleepovers). Keep being your beautiful self, and they’ll accept the change in no time. What you shouldn’t do is turn into a paranoid version of yourself, who stoops low to do things like sneak on your friend’s phone and read their messages. That person doesn’t belong in a friendship based on trust.

Your friends obviously care enough about you to keep the group text and sleepover from you (it may seem like a weird way of caring, but it does come from a good place). Don't confront them until you feel like yourself again, and at that point it might not be worth it. In the meantime, invite the group over to your house for a spa night or get ready for the spring dance together. If they say they’re busy, suggest another date until they can’t say no. When you hang out after school, just relax and be the same person you are at lunch and in your classes. Trust them with your vulnerability and your loyalty. Over time, your new friends will adjust to you being another member of the crew, and another person to call for sleepovers, group texts, or rap battles (oh wait, maybe that’s just me). If they keep saying no, then it’s time to branch out and find another crew - you did it before, you can do it again!

The greatest friendships are the irreplaceable ones, the ones that can get through any moment of distrust, heartache, or drama.It's sappy, but true friendships take work, and sometimes leave you dealing with tough emotions. I have that with Sky - I can’t say every day has been easy, but it’s always been worth it. Don’t lose sight of yourself, and stay kind and positive toward the people around you. Give yourself a hug, take care of yourself, and keep being you. Spiritual guide out!

Hugs,

Harmony