Happy New Year 2019 everyone! (Belated, I know). I am doing my best to add more content to this blog, as I have many ideas, experiences, and stories that I want to share with everyone. Today’s Q&A comes from a user on a forum I visit about “social dynamics”.

The Question

The question is from Lupe, who seems to have “friends”, but did not feel accepted or welcome in that group of friends. Sounds strange? Here is Lupe’s question:

Hey I have a group of friends but I’m usually that quiet guy that doesn’t really say much but once in a blue moon says something very random/funny. The problem I have with these group of friends is that they have different interests than me and they usually go hang out with each other and don’t invite me out.

It just feels like I’m the oddball out and my brother is apart of this group and the way they interact with him and me is just vastly different. My brother is an extrovert while I’m an introvert so they all tend to invite my brother everywhere and joke around with him more. I feel like the only reason they invite me anywhere is because they feel sorry for me. This always happens every time I make a friend group. I also just feel like they make funny of me behind my back or just talk shit.

Can you offer any advice on what to do. I don’t want to be someone I’m not and most friends I make just end up liking my brother more or finding new ones. I don’t know what to do

Summary: I hang out with my brother’s friends, but I don’t feel welcome. 

The Answer


Yes, that’s right — I believe “friend” is a powerful term, but ultimately a generic one and we should really start viewing our “friends” in different levels. I guess I can explore this in a more scientific way, but I can see it in 4 levels:

  1. People you know
  2. People you like and want to get to know better for non-business reasons
  3. People you trust
  4. People you would want by your side at your wedding

In Lupe’s scenario, it sounds like his “friends” are Level 1 friends, or basically, “acquaintances.”


The reason I need to distinguish types of friends is because you need to better understand the nature and depth of your relationships. This is learned over time, even with people who you think of as social butterflies. With Lupe, I can feel his pain, because I basically see this group as not respecting him, and without the connection of his brother, they would not be friends at all. At this point, I think that it even might be better to be without friends than with friends that don’t respect you (this is where “toxic friends” form).


We are designed to have hierarchies in our societies and social groups. You will see this in families, companies, sports teams, and even within a group of friends. You might think this is uniquely human, but actually, hierarchies can be seen in a lot of animals, including ants, bees, and lions. Celebrity professor of psychology Jordan Peterson even theorizes that lobsters, which are millions of years old, also use the same brain chemical serotonin as we do to help structure their dominance hierarchy (the nervous system similarity is fact, the impact on hierarchy is theory).

In Lupe’s situation, he is low in that friend group hierarchy. And as such, he is mistreated. When I replied to him and suggested that he needs to find friends that can appreciate his presence, this is what he replied with:

The only issue for me is meeting new people. I recently moved into a new city, but I’m planning to leave in 6 months, I’ve made some acquaintances but not any friends( just hi and bye people) They already have their own established group of friends or if I hang out with them it comes at a price( drive them, pay for food, etc). That’s why I kinda feel stuck with these guys because I don’t have anyone else to hang out with.

Ouch. I feel for you, Lupe. Even if your friends are celebrities and beautiful people, it impacts your self-esteem negatively when you’re constantly feeling like you’re mistreated and need to compensate to be part of the group.


I believe part of fulfillment and enjoyment of life will largely be dependent on you having friendships that are meaningful where your friends respect you and you respect them. To do so, you will need to develop social skills! The most visited article on my blog is How to Make Friends When You Have None, and I understand why — it’s lonely, boring, and you feel like life is passing you by when you have none! I relate completely, as someone with no social skills and graduating high school with zero friends. But the next step after that is even more important: how to find good friends. As Lupe’s question points out, sometimes you are desperate for friends you will take anyone, but that doesn’t always mean the friendship is any good. You want “personal leverage” (another great term I made) so that you can choose who you want in your life and who you want to get to know more. Having followers, Facebook friends, likes, messages in your inbox, or having a lot of shallow friendships is 100% bullshit! Quality is greater than quantity when it comes to fulfilling relationships!