My two closest women friends live near each other and take big walks for fitness almost every morning. I drive half an hour from my apartment just to join them.
On a recent walk, we hatched and discussed a plan to travel, adding two more friends, with two weeks in Portugal as our destination holiday in mid-October. My two daily pals just assumed that the plan would be fine with me.
But I have a few problems with it.
First, we’re all in our late 40s/early 50s, not backpackers. There hasn’t been any group discussion of where we five women will stay, costs involved, etc.
Further, the vacation dates were agreed upon without anyone checking with me. Fortunately, I work from home part-time and usually only need to complete a weekly summary which I can handle from anywhere there’s a computer or cellphone.
Still, I should’ve been asked.
While I don’t have very different interests or circumstances than the others, I have too often been left out of conversations as I rushed to catch up with my closer pals.
Now, I fear that with two more travellers, the group of four will be deep in discussion while I keep asking, “who, what and when.”
I’m not a shy person, and love a good conversation. So, I can’t understand why the addition of two more women to the group has made me so uncomfortable.
Ignored in Portugal
You don’t sound like an insecure person, but rather a forthright woman who is rightly annoyed at not being brought into the conversation and planning, as you should’ve been.
Also, your two closer friends could’ve made sure you were included in important details - e.g., the precise dates of travel, accommodation, costs etc.
I wonder if your two “besties” simply felt they know you well enough to be sure you’d want to join the trip. Also, they wouldn’t be going themselves if the two other women are known to have difficult personalities.
Meanwhile, you seem to have the good fortune regarding work schedules, to be able to take this opportunity to see and enjoy Portugal, widely considered an excellent travel destination.
While away, take some individual time with all your travel-mates: Walk with each one on their own, ask about the people important in their lives, eat local cuisine together and collect some Portuguese recipes to take home.... even arrange a “highlights” menu to cook all together when you return home.
It may extend your friendship circle to one of greater understanding of each other, including the group’s memoirs and enjoyment of the trip.
I’ve always been nice to my brother-in-law who married my older sister 30 years ago. But I never felt he cared for me or my parents. My sister made excuses for his rudeness, so we said nothing.
Recently I overheard him talking “badly” about me and my family. When I confronted him, he admitted that he never liked me or my family.
I can forgive him but don't want to ever see him again.
Some of my relatives feel the same way, as we know we did nothing to offend him. We're not his kind of people. I don't want to be around someone who hates me for no reason.
Not my people
He’s certainly not “your kind of people.”
You have honesty, decency, and the strength of mind to be direct, forgiving him while wisely removed from any further contact with his rudeness. But stay in contact with your sister whenever possible... she’ll need you.
Reader’s Commentary “In response to ‘I'm Done,’ (Aug. 17) the letter-writer should at least hear the friend out before deciding whether the friendship is actually over. An explanation is certainly required from the friend.
“However, we had a similar experience with a long-term friend who suddenly became distant and aloof from our main group, not returning texts and cancelling plans last minute with no reason given. The behaviour was very uncharacteristic.
“They were actually dealing with a personal health matter that they weren’t yet ready to disclose to the rest of us. When they did eventually disclose it, the group was very understanding and supportive.
“Perhaps this friend is dealing with a personal matter that’s either upsetting or even embarrassing, and hasn’t yet felt comfortable communicating that information or facing others.
“Rather than walking away, perhaps the letter writer can reach out and offer support, especially if this isn’t the norm for that person.”
Tip of the day:
Speak up. Close friends will respond to your feeling left out. Others travelling with you will appreciate your reaching out.