Alright, I need to keep it real here and say that I don’t necessarily like everyone I meet — and everyone I meet doesn’t necessarily like me (but what’s not to like? I mean, come on..). But what happens when a close friend introduces you to one of their other close friends and you quickly find that you’re just simply not a fan? To me, this has happened quite a few times. Maybe it’s my intuition, maybe it’s cause I can read people in the matter of 5 minutes, or maybe it’s cause I’m not afraid to call bullshit on someone. For whatever the reason, once I get that bad vibe it’s game over. I can’t create a fake friendship for the sake of my best friend; It’s just not me and makes me feel like I’m not being authentic. Thus, I become the “odd man out” as this article on Thought Catalog explains.
I love this article because it’s something many of feel in our day-to-day lives but no one ever wants to talk about it. And we all know that if no one will talk about it, me & my team will! I’m guilty of telling my friends I’m not a fan of their other friends and like the article describes, I’ve been met with horror — as if I just shot Santa Clause. I’m clearly a horrible friend if I don’t like someone you’re friends with. Uh no. And if you think that, then we really need to reevaluate our friendship here. Here’s how I go about these odd man out situations and you can share your tactics as well!
1) Be honest. You don’t like the person? Tell the truth when your friend asks “So how did you like Jane/Mary/Bob/etc?” If you want your friends to keep it real with you, you need to lead by example. And even then, sometimes they still won’t keep it real because possible conflict scares people.
2) If you’re honest about not liking “Mary” expect your friend to defend them. It’s what a good friend does. If Mary didn’t like you, wouldn’t you want your friend to defend you? It’s only normal. Most of the time the feeling is mutual and both parties do not like each other. BUT. If that person is disrespecting you and your friend does not defend you, we have a problem. I’ve been in a situation where Mary didn’t like me and talked shit to my BEST friend. Here’s the icing on the cake, I didn’t even know who this chick was (but she clearly had tabs on who I was) — I had just heard her name through other mutual friends. Like, are you for real? What kind of fucked in the head moron are you? My girl obviously came and told me what’s up and there it was: game over. Now, every time I see Mary (with my best friend or not), I always have that encounter in the back of my head. The point of me telling this story is that respect is EVERYTHING in these situations. Which brings me to my next point…
3) Act appropriately. Whether you like them or not, you sometimes need to suck it up and be cordial. This is hard for me sometimes because why should I be fake? But I’m a lady. And ladies act appropriately. You smile, say hello, make small talk and move on with your life. It’s tough when you feel like the person has wronged you and wasn’t fair to you, but if you care about your relationship with your friend sometimes you have to bite the bullet.
4) Pick & choose your battles. One of my girls wanted me to go to dinner with her boyfriend and another couple (who never really take the time to sit down and get to know me or include me in convo). I was honest and said I really didn’t feel like sitting at a dinner with people who don’t care if I’m there or not. 24 hours in a day, why should I waste time sitting at a dinner where I feel uncomfortable? Sometimes you just want to let loose and enjoy without feeling like you can’t be yourself. I obviously opted out of the dinner which hurt my friend’s feelings, but sometimes you just gotta put yourself first. Obviously you can’t say no ALL the time, but when you’re just not feelin’ it say no.
5) Everyone feels like the odd man out at one point or another. It’s normal. Don’t beat yourself up over it. Even the most wonderful people I know don’t like at least 2 or 3 people.
6) It’s not the end of the world! So what, you don’t like a few people or a few people don’t like you…who the eff cares? Difference of opinion is what makes the world go ’round. I like to think of myself as a very friendly and nice (sometimes too nice) person, I’m an open book who’s not afraid to be myself, but that does not float everyone’s boat. People like what they like. Don’t fight it. Accept it and move forward accordingly. If it’s one thing I’ve learned is that you can’t change people. You have to see them for who they are and decide how to move forward accordingly. Once you do that, who knows? You actually might form a friendship with one of the people you didn’t like in the beginning. It’s happened to me. It’s happened to all my friends. Sometimes we are just misunderstood for a while until the truth comes out. And believe me, the truth ALWAYS comes out.
Keep it real with me and tell me your stories! xo NM