You know how when there’s a group of three people walking on the sidewalk, there’s always one person who ends up walking behind the other two? That was me growing up. Because I was just a tiny bit less assertive and outgoing than my friends (not to mention I moved every 2-3 years), I ended up being the third wheel in a lot of my friendships. And once in a while, I would find myself in an unhealthy situation where I was being left out on purpose. It sucked but I found ways to work with, around, and without it. You can find five of my tips for dealing with being the third best friend below:
Talk About It
A lot of the time, your friends don’t mean to make you the third wheel. Something as simple as “Hey, I’ve been feeling a little left out” might change your entire friendship. Even if it feels lame, communication is key—how can you expect anyone to read your mind?
Hang Out Individually
Sometimes, you’re just not as close with someone and the next person and that’s totally okay. If it bugs you, try and hang out with each of your friends one-on-one. It’ll give each of you a chance to develop new connections.
Hang As A (Larger) Group
There’s a reason it’s called being a third wheel and not a fourth wheel: Human beings just really like to pair off. That’s why it may be smart to invite a larger gang to your next hang out sesh—hopefully your friends will find other people to talk to and you will too.
Know You’ll Be Okay
Regardless of how the situation turns out, you’re going to be fine. It might be hard and it might be painful, but whatever happens, you’ll be all the better for it. Even if you have to let go of a couple friends, I promise you there will be more that will make you the priority you deserve to be.
Let Them Go
If you know the situation you’re in is toxic and unhealthy, then it’s okay to back off and take yourself away from the situation. Although it’s sad, remember my last point—you’re going to be okay.