How to talk to someone whose party you skipped

problempup asks: My friend had this birthday party and invited all my friends, including me, and everyone said yes except me. So everyone went and I didn’t, and now I feel that none will talk to me anymore. This was the biggest party ever –she even got a limo for it. How should I react to this?

Hi problempup –

Thanks for your question about your friend’s party (and I really apologize for taking so long to answer it; Handsome was out of town for the holidays and I couldn’t turn the computer on with my paws!).

I guess I’m a little confused here.  Your friend had a really great party, and invited you, and you didn’t go?  Why was that?  I’ll throw a few thoughts at you, but until I know why you didn’t want to be there, I’m not sure if my ideas will be right.
First of all, there’s a really important issue here, that I talk about a lot, because it’s so important.  When children’s bodies grow, so do their brains.  And when a human reaches about sixteen years old, their brains are fully developed, with one exception.  And that’s the part of their brain that has a conception of Time.  Teenagers are brilliant and passionate and creative and glorious – but don’t have the sense that adults do of the effects and meanings of time.  (This is why Shakespeare made Romeo and Juliet teenagers.  If they’d been in their 20s, they would have just made plans to sneak away, get married, wait for their parents to cool off about it, and all would have been fine; instead, they had that “It’s now or never, there’s no tomorrow, we have to get married tonight” attitude, which was good for the play, but pretty rotten for them!)

So my initial advice to you is to stop worrying so much; while this is a big deal today, there’ll be another big deal tomorrow, and no one will even remember that you weren’t at the party.  In fact, over time, I’ll bet a number of the guests will remember you were at the party, even though you weren’t!

Secondly, though, if you offended anyone, it is only the birthday girl.  All the rest just got more leg-room in the limo, and more cake at the party.  So she’s the only one you really should apologize or explain to.

And that’s where my ignorance comes in:  Did you skip this because you were mad at her?  Were you nervous about being out at a party?  Did you think it was going to be a bore?  Whatever it was, it sounds like you learned a lesson from this experience, and so hopefully you can talk with her and explain what you’ve gone through, and make things better between you.  In fact, this could be what cements your friendship forever!

But my biggest suggestion to you goes back to that Time thing: RELAX.  Try acting with your friends as though it never happened.  Most likely the one who’s most stressed-out about all this is you.  And by moving on from it, you’ll find that the problem just dimply disappears.

Best of luck with this.  And trust me – there will be other parties that are even better!  Just give it time!



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