I am a college girl who currently feels really under appreciated. In my main group of friends, there are four guys and three girls (including me). I feel this way because there seems to be favorites in our group. All the guys seem to deeply care about this one girl, whom I’ll call “K” in this case. She’s always the center of attention and whenever she has a problem, the guys basically flock to her to check on her “Are you okay?” “Do you need help?” “What can I do?”. Whether it be homework, giving her a place to stay, or giving her a ride to a place that’s an hour away, they just seem oh so willing to offer their assistance. It’s as if she’s a damsel-in-distress that constantly needs saving. Now look; this wouldn’t be a problem if they treated everyone this way.
Whenever I have a problem, the guys tend to say things like “Oh that sucks” or “How are you going to fix that?” Sure, they care, but in my opinion, there’s a big difference in how I’m treated. It’s like they’re not even willing to help me when I need it. Even when K’s not around, her name always ends up in conversation. We could be talking about movies and then one of the guys would say “Oh, I wonder if K likes this movie”, and then there it is! K’s part of the conversation and she’s not even there! I feel like some of them are obsessed with her. Like, can we please last a day without someone bringing K into a conversation? K is my best friend, and she really is a great person to be around. She’s charismatic, kind-hearted, and pretty. We’re both juniors and we’ve been close friends ever since freshman year.
She realizes that sometimes I’m moody after hanging out with her and the other guys, and asks me about it, but what am I supposed to say? I’ve hinted to her about the guys talking about her a lot, but she always says that she doesn’t notice. It really sucks. The other girl, L, in the group does notice that K gets brought up, but she doesn’t think much of it. But I really think it’s because L’s a very “independent” type of person that likes doing things on her own. So if no one tried to help her come up with a solution, she’d be totally fine with it. In fact, L’s the one that many of us go to for advice. I feel like I only get the guys’ full attention when I get fed up and walk away from the group because I feel ignored. Like, do I really need to storm off to get some attention? Sometimes I feel as if I’m not as important to my friends as K is. I’m not saying that I want the guys to go out of their way to make sure that my life is perfect, but can they show me the same amount of attention and concern that they show K? I just don’t know how to feel and now I feel like it’s tearing me apart from my friends because I want to hang out with them less often. I don’t know if I should bring this up to the group because I’m scared that I’ll sound super jealous. Zoe, what do I do?
Dear Under Appreciated:
I completely understand where you are coming from. I’ve been in a similar situation like this before and have had close friends who have been in them as well.
For starters, you are 100% allowed to be feeling this way so don’t let anyone tell you that your feelings are invalid – if they have been or if you feel that they are.
In terms of what you should do, you need to talk to them. Maybe not everyone all at once, but think about who would really listen to you – of the guys in the group mostly since that seems to be where the big problem lies. Be mature about it. Explain that “hey, you guys flock to K’s side the minute she’s having a problem but if I’m ever having a problem it seems like you all could care less about helping me out”. Keep in mind that guys and girls are very different people and their thoughts and emotions work a lot different. With that in mind you need to try and get them to see it from your shoes, which can be a challenge all on its own if they aren’t open to understanding. But try placing them in your shoes. Ask them how they would feel if person X (another guy in the group) was having a problem and everyone acknowledged it with a shoulder to cry on but then if they the moment they have a problem no shoulders are around to help. See if you can get them to understand.
I know the fear of wanting to address this problem because you don’t want to be told that you’re just being jealous or a baby, but you guys are in college and have been friends for a long time so I would hope that these friends would hear you out and not make you feel invalid – however, if they do make you feel invalid for trying to be mature and communicate how they’ve been making you feel, then sadly, they are not true friends.
I hope this helps! Let me know how it goes 🙂