Why do my friends leave me out?

A member of our community got in touch to say they feel like all their friends are leaving them out. They noticed that their friends were always ‘busy’ but the next day there would be posts on their instagram with each other. So they wanted to know: What should I do? Why do my friends leave me out? The Mix is here to answer those questions and more.

A group of friends is at a football match. One of the young women are thinking about her close friends leaving her out. This is a wide-angle image.

What to do when your friends leave you out

If you’re constantly thinking ‘why do my friends leave me out?’ It might be time to have a think about your friend situation.

Friendship groups can be difficult to manage sometimes, especially because there’s often so many different personalities and moods to balance. Whatever the dynamic, it’s still extremely hurtful if you feel like your friends are leaving you out.

Loneliness is a very real and painful feeling, but you don’t have to stay in that place. You can get to the point where you stop questioning ‘why do friends leave me out?’ There are plenty of people out there to listen to you and offer support, both in person and online. In society there’s a huge stigma about feeling lonely, but just know that those emotions are completely valid and worth exploring.

If you’re still thinking ‘I feel like all my friends are leaving me’ read our article on dealing with loneliness, or head over to our discussion boards to chat anonymously with our friendly community. Sometimes just sharing your feelings can help take some of the weight off your shoulders.

Friends deliberately leaving you out is bullying

The Mix spoke with psychotherapist Dr Aaron Balick to get advice about this particular type of bullying and how to deal with it.

Dr Balick says: “What’s happening here is a very subtle form of bullying, often called ‘bullying by exclusion‘. You can often be left puzzled thinking ‘I feel like all my friends are leaving me out’ but you don’t have solid evidence. Even though it’s less obvious than more visible forms of bullying, it’s still real. Especially in the age of social media when every outing is extensively documented. But don’t lose hope. This is something you can solve, as long as you seek help.”

Dealing with friends leaving you out, a.k.a, bullying by exclusion

“Try approaching one of your close friends in the group. At a good moment, take them aside and share with them that you’ve been feeling hurt and left out. Try to give them the benefit of the doubt and watch to see if things start changing. Getting one person away from the crowd often helps in situations like this. If that feels too scary, it’s worth confiding in a parent or teacher. Explain what’s been happening and then, hopefully, think up a solution together.”

“Like all instances of bullying, the more you’re able to identify what your needs are and articulate them, the better you’ll be at managing situations like this. I recognise that this is really hard because when we get bullied we’re more likely to withdraw and go quiet, but sadly that only helps the bullies. That’s why, if you ever find yourself questioning ‘why do my friends leave me out?’, it’s time to get help.”

Support with bullying and being left out

If you’re being bullied at school, college or anywhere else The Mix offers plenty of resources to help you break free of your bullies. The hardest thing to do is taking the first step to reach out and ask for help – we’re here to help make it easier. You can reach us anonymously 24/7 through our crisis messenger here. What’s more, plenty of our volunteers have been victims of bullying themselves. They’ve been in the exact position of wondering ‘why do friends leave me out?’. So they’re always happy to lend an understanding ear.

You can also take a look at our article on how to beat bullying. If you want external help you can contact charities such as The Samaritans for non-judgemental, free support.

Next Steps

  • BullyingUK offers advice and support to victims of bullying. Call on 0808 800 2222.
  • If you're under 25 and would like free confidential telephone counselling from The Mix to help you figure things out complete this form and we'll call you to arrange your first session.
  • Anyone can contact the Samaritans on their 24-hour helpline to talk things through. 116 123
  • Chat about this subject on our Discussion Boards.



By Nishika Melwani

Updated on 16-Oct-2021