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How to leave the group chat.
I’m not even sure they’ve noticed my disappearance from the convos. What should I do??
Here’s The Thing is an advice column/newsletter where I mostly yell at people to stop dating someone, ask their crush out, or I talk about weird things that came to my mind that no one is paying me to write about. (Mostly horniness). I can never decide if I should capitalize the “the” in Here’s The Thing or not.
A BIG SWEETIE:
In college, I dreamed of being friends with these girls I thought were cool, popular, and fun. I ended up getting into their friend group, but I was always a group hang friend not an individual hang friend.
After graduation, I realized that no matter the amount of effort I put into nurturing these relationships, these girls would always see me as the “other,” the girl they’ve known for the shortest amount of time, and a girl they didn’t know in high school. More importantly, I realized we have little to nothing in common.
COVID has given me the opportunity to stop hanging out with them but I’m still in every group chat, snap group, and IG DM. I never talk in them and feel creepy knowing I have access to their convos but I think leaving the chats would cause more drama than it’s worth. TBQH I’m not even sure they’ve noticed my disappearance from the convos. What should I do??
I googled “group of cool girls” stock images and this came up and I’m laughin’ so here it is!
First a hearty hell yeah! to realizing that some people who are cool are not good friends, or at least not good friends for you. It’s an incredibly difficult realization and one you will likely have over and over again if you’re anything like me. (Likely in the future, it won’t take as long as it did this time to realize, but even if it does take a while—growth!)
One of the worst truths is that no matter how much effort you put in with some people, they are never going to see/notice/care about that effort. It sucks and often it makes us want to try harder, to work more, to figure out just exactly what might appease or attract them. I’m so so glad for you that you’ve let this go. This is a thrill and an accomplishment in its own right! [confetti emoji]
Now, onto the awkward group chat shit. I fucking haaaattttee group chats that don’t have a purpose, or where people are conversing daily/hourly/etc. I hate them. I don’t understand, although I of course don’t need to. One of the biggest reasons I hate them is that there is no way to leave without it being at the very least a little odd and at worst kind of dramatic. At least, it feels like there is no way to leave without discomfort. It can be done, and I’ll offer suggestions below, but god almighty do I empathize with the awkwardness of being in the silent outskirts of a group chat.
I stayed in one group chat for YEARS and simply muted the notifications and just never said anything and eventually the whole thing fell off and I was free. That is one option you have—the wait ‘em out option. Although, if these women have been friends for years and years, I think you’re gonna be in for the long-haul.
I would like to say that I don’t think you’re being a weird creepy voyeur or anything by staying in a group chat you’re not active in; you were invited in once, and it’s not like they don’t know you’re in there. I’m sure one or two people has remembered you’re in there and been like, “Ahh does she want to be in here or not? I don’t want to remove her and seem mean but I also don’t want her to feel like we’re spamming her.” Unless there are like 46 friends in this group, they’re aware and they remember that you’re in the chat. (And if there are 46 members in the group, then don’t worry at all about leaving; that’s too many people in a chat and it should be assumed that people will leave such a large chat).
If, instead, you want to say something before you leave, a simple, “Hey guys, love you all but I’m getting too many notifications on my phone and I’m trying to unplug from everything so I’m going to leave this chat. Talk to you later! ❤️” will do. It can be a lie! Lying is great in awkward situations! I’m a huge proponent of lies that grease the wheels of social situations!
You can also just leave, assume it’s going to be weird, brace for impact and move forward. I’m not really sure what kind of “drama” it could possibly cause for someone to leave a group chat, but if you really don’t care about being friends with these people anymore than who cares about it! Will it feel awful? Probably! Will you think about the things being said behind your back? I’m sure. Will anyone actually say anything behind your back about you leaving some group chats? NO. Unless their lives are the size of a pin head.
The good news for you is this is one of those problems where, despite what it may feel, the longer you wait, the less awkward it becomes to leave. If you wait, say four years, after having said nothing, everyone’s going to assume you had this all muted and weren’t paying attention and of course you’re leaving the chat because you’re not friends with them.
Please remember how you would feel on the other side of this. I’m sure you’d feel relief that a potentially awkward situation (again, they have memories; they know you’re not talking in their group chat) has taken care of itself. They’re clearly not all that bothered that you’re in the chat—maybe even some of them are glad you’re there and think very fondly of you! But this is an incredibly small deal for them. It may catch their attention for 12 minutes and then they will never think about you leaving the chat ever again. I swear to god. Climate change is about to render large swaths of the earth uninhabitable; no one is going to get too caught up in you not wanting to see their inane IG messages.
God bless you for trying so hard to be a good, kind friend. I’m sure you do have and will have many, many wonderful friends in your life. I’m glad you figured out these people aren’t part of that elite group!
No matter what you do, you can’t mess this up! It’s not weird; it’s a normal part of our lives these days!
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