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dearmargaretDear Margaret: My husband died last year, and I'm starting to get back on my feet. I've found new activities that are enjoyable and keep mentally alert and physically challenged. My problem is that friends I've met at various groups when talking about meeting outside of that particular activity generally exclude me in favor of people who are part of a couple. It hurts a little and always reminds me that I'm no longer a couple. I know this is yet another hurdle, but I don't know how to react to feeling left out. It makes me feel lost. Do you have suggestions for handling these situations?
Feeling Left Out

Dea Feeling Left Out: I think you're doing remarkably well in putting yourself out there and engaging with other people after a relatively short period of time. People can be thought-less. That is, they aren't thinking when making plans in front of you, and excluding you. You might consider two options. One is to be the one to initiate by asking one of your group's participants out for coffee, a movie, or other event if they seem amenable to detaching from a partner or don't have a partner. Another option, if you feel comfortable, is to inquire about the event being discussed and ask if anyone minds if you participate. The latter suggestion could feel uncomfortable for you and might feel like a big step requiring a bit of courage, but you'd be surprised how welcoming people can be. Staying in the background clearly isn't working for you, and doing otherwise will get easier with practice. My very best to you as you learn to navigate life in a new way.

Click Here to write to Dear Margaret.  Margaret Snow is a Life Coach in Ithaca, NY.

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