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It can be challenging to sustain a close- knit group of friends, but with lots of openness and willingness to tolerate and forgive friendship can be long- lasting and amazing. On the other hand, sidelining and competitiveness within a group can take root, when things take on a negative edge, causing some members in the group to feel victimized and left out.

Such negative behavior can be overt or subtle, and though it may not be directed toward you, still it can leave a sour taste in your mouth.

While slight disharmony or occasional disagreements are expected in a group friendship, but if belonging to this group leaves you anxious and depressed most of the time, it is a clear sign that this group may be harmful to your well- being.

To feel consistently unhappy or upset after spending time with your group of friends is the biggest sign that something needs changing. You may be wondering if you really belong to this group when there are cracks in the cohesion.

Ask yourself questions like: Do you feel that comments or actions are being directed against you to keep you on the outer edge of the group? Do you start the day feeling positive and happy but end up feeling upset after spending time with this group? Does the group seem to thrive on put- down antics or constant drama? If so, then more likely the group has transformed into a hotbed of distrust and competitiveness.

Think back to how your group friendship formed and try to understand what’s happened since. This can be complicated because group friendships tend to morph over time, unlike a single friend, as a new friend can be added here and there. However, to understand what brought you together in the first place can enlighten you to whether that reason is still there and whether its loss means the loss of friendship.


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