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When You Feel Lonely and Left Out

When you feel lonely and left out

“She didn’t pick us, Mom.”

Her voice quivered. The tears ran down her cheeks. And my heart hurt so badly.

We were on our way home from a party that both of the girls had been invited to. As soon as they got in the car, I knew something was wrong.

Their faces bore hurt. Their eyes were brimming with tears just waiting to spill out.

I gently asked what was wrong and slowly the story emerged.

I discovered that a fun game had been played and part of the game involved the birthday girl picking individuals to be on her team playing against the other girls at the party.

The only problem was, neither of my girls got picked. And, over the course of playing the game, everyone else did get picked.

They felt intentionally left out and slighted. Like they were the new girls in town and they weren’t good enough. And it stung both of them deeply.

Honestly, as a mom, I wanted to rush in and scoop them up and protect them. I wanted to express anger and frustration and say things like, “That was so rude and mean… You can never play with those girls ever again!!”

I hurt for them. But I knew deep down in my heart that trying coddle and bubble wrap my kids is doing them a disservice. I cannot shield them from hard things forever.

Because there’s a world out there that will crush you in two if you don’t develop backbone, stand strong, know the truth that you’re enough, and lovingly forgive and believe the best about people.

So part of growing up is learning to love others even when they do unloving things to you. It’s forgiving when you are slighted or skipped over — whether intentional or accidental. It’s not harboring bitterness and anger toward people who don’t treat us fairly.

When you feel lonely and left out

We talked about this in the car that day. And I was taken back to many times in my life when I’ve felt lonely and left out, too…

When I was at that dinner with a bunch of Christian speakers and writers and I got the cold shoulder over and over again when people discovered my blog wasn’t expressly “Christian”.

When I was talking to the women at an event who seemed so excited to see me until a Very Important Person walked past and, all of a sudden, she couldn’t care less about me and only wanted to talk to Mrs. Very Important.

When that person I thought was my very good friend wrote a post with all of her very good friends listed and I didn’t make the cut.

When I was at that dinner party where everyone else knew everyone else… and no one seemed to notice that I didn’t know anyone.

When that blogger I thought I had really connected with at that conference went and talked behind my back about how she didn’t like me.

When someone I had invested in for years and years and thought was a close friend didn’t even acknowledge or reach out to me when I went through a very hard season.

…and the list could go on and on. When you feel lonely and left out

In each situation, I have a choice: I can be a victim or a victor. I can choose to be hurt, upset, angry, and bitter. I can feel sorry for myself. I can feel not good enough. I can live in fear of rejection.

Or, I can choose to believe the best. To trust that there was probably an oversight. To realize that the person probably didn’t intentionally mean to hurt me. Or, I can realize that it was a situation I need to walk away from or pull back from so that I can make room for deeper relationships with other people.

I also told the girls that the best remedy for times when you feel lonely and left out is to do something for someone else. Reach out to someone else. Be interested in other people’s lives. Look for ways to serve. Find opportunities to show love.

When you’re in a situation where you start to feel left out, look for someone else who might be hanging back by themselves, too. Strike up a conversation with them. Be the first to reach out.

When you’re tempted to feel hurt and upset that you got passed over for an opportunity, instead of taking it personally, look for the blessings in the situation and take the focus off yourself.

When you feel lonely and left out

Just recently, we were having dinner with friends from out of town. At the end of the meal, they told us that they wanted to tell us thank you for what we did for them 5 years ago.

Honestly, I barely remembered what we had done. It was a gift we had given them during a hard time in their life. And, 5 years later, they traveled from out of town and took us out to dinner at this nice restaurant because they wanted to personally express just how much it meant to them.

As they shared with us what they were going through at the time and just how deeply our gift had touched them and inspired them over the years to give to others, I was taken aback. I had no idea that a simple gift would make such an impact.

But more than that, I realized why we had given them the gift. You see, the day I’d sent them the email saying we wanted to gift this thing to them, I was at one of the lowest times of my life. I’d just experienced a very hurtful and messy relationship breakup with a friend whom I’d thought was one of my closest friends.

It was ugly and hurtful and painful… there were misunderstandings, missteps, and miscommunications on both sides, and I was left feeling shredded and gutted and bleeding.

I wanted to run away from the pain. But I couldn’t. I woke up each day for months, with hurt and sorrow and sadness and a sick feeling in my stomach.

That day that I’d reached out to these out-of-town friends I’d hit one of my lowest spots. And I distinctly remember telling Jesse, “I have to do something for someone else! I just have to. Because I can’t sit here and wallow in this pain any longer.”

So he and I talked about what we could do and we hatched a plan to bless our friends. Taking the focus off of myself was one of the most healing things I could do.

It gave me perspective. It gave me a flicker of excitement again. And it helped me to stop focusing on how hurt I felt.

Little did we dream that our gift would deeply touch our friends in such a way that it would inspire them to pass on the blessing over and over again.

When you feel lonely and left out

Here’s the thing: many times in my life, I haven’t chosen to be a victor, to reach past the pain and hurt and look for ways to bless others. I’ve sat and sulked. I’ve let the pain overtake me. I’ve held numerous pity-parties.

And I’ve missed out on many blessings as a result. Which is why I couldn’t let my girls just sit in the car and feel hurt and upset that they didn’t get picked at the party.

We acknowledged that it hurt. We talked about situations where they could inadvertently do the same thing to others and how they need to always be on the lookout for this. And then we talked about ways they could reach out to others who might also feel lonely and left out.

Just two weeks later, we were in the car again. And this time, Kathrynne said, “Mom, you know my friend so-and-so? I’ve noticed that they’ve seemed sad and out-of-place in situations recently. Could we invite them over to play? Because I really want them to be a better friend to them.”

There couldn’t have been a bigger beaming smile on my face if I had tried. Yes! This is what it’s all about.

The more you focus on others, the less time you’ll have to feel lonely and left out.


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162 Comments

  • Suzi says:

    Crystal,

    What a great blog post! I think as a parent in the situations like these it’s often difficult to find the right, comforting words for your children, while at the same time instilling good values and meaning. You’ve clearly done so here and I will remember this post not only for my children but for myself.
    Thanks for posting.

    • Thank you so much for your kind encouragement! Parenting is HARD… and so many times, it’s difficult to know what the right response should be and I definitely don’t always choose the right one. But I’m grateful in those moments when I do stop, think, and pray before just responding in a way that would be more harmful than helpful when my kids are going through a hard time or struggling.

  • Tina says:

    This is excellent, Crystal. I rarely comment, but I have read your posts since your earliest days of blogging. Do you remember giving our family a shout out when we were in the Chick-fila contest? That was so kind of you, and your support pushed us over the edge 🙂 You are a wise woman and it blesses me immensely to read how you are teaching your children grace. Certainly, more is caught than taught. They see us love, forgive, and serve and they want to do the same. It’s easy when relationally all is well. When we’ve been hurt, however, our reaction is a true testimony of our character. I’ve experienced a dear friend turning on me. It’s terribly painful. And I remember that without Christ, I am so much worse. I’ve been forgiven so I can certainly forgive. Sometimes we have to serve or forgive when we don’t feel like it. Your post is an excellent reminder that little eyes are watching. May we live in such a way to show them Christ in us.

  • I couldn’t love this more! Thank you for sharing with us, Crystal!

  • Jessica Valentino says:

    I love this! It really hits home with some moments I’ve had when I’ve felt left out or hurt over one of my kids being left out. Reading this has helped me analyze those feelings, realize that everyone feels that way from time to time, and think of ways that I can move forward instead of ruminating on those hurts. Thank you.

  • Janey says:

    I needed to hear this tonight. I moved onto a dead-end street where all of the houses know each other for years and years. The woman frequently have parties at their houses and while I was invited at first, they stopped asking me for whatever reason. It is uncomfortable and hurts my feelings to watch people have these get-togethers and not ask me if I’d like to join them. Recently I was jumping in the puddles with my four-year-old and all of the women on the block slowly gathered in the open garage directly across the street (only a few feet away from us) and had a happy hour. I was so uncomfortable and upset I made my daughter go inside. I let them win and ruined a perfectly great moment with my child because I felt left out. I am printing out this blog entry and keeping it with me the next time it happens.
    Thanks Crystal

    • Linda Higgy says:

      Janey, they were probably wishing they had the joy to do something so much fun! Have you invited one or two over to your home for coffee, happy hour or just to “get to know you” time? Maybe you need to make the first step of the not so long journey. Good luck and keep jumping in those puddles!

    • Kat says:

      Janey, I am so sorry this happened to you. I thought as you did too, and still do. I felt isolated and different growing up. When I had kids I thought it would be better. But somehow, the other women in my community made me feel different and unwanted. I suppose in many ways I do march to the beat of a different drummer. Despite that I tried making playdates, and going to things for my son, and even having birthday parties for him where I invited his whole class, the women still formed those cliques and left me out and I watched the children often do that to my son.

      I sort of wonder, if over time, people do that enough and make you feel low self-worth…to the point where it can be sensed by others, and then they wind up treating you that way. Sort of like a self-fulfilling prophecy. I think for myself personally, there are only four ways I can combat that. One, above all else remember that I am loved…and to think I am not lovable, puts down those that do love me. Two, everyone is unique and special. Three, remember to myself, or even write down, all that I have to be grateful for. And four, the lesson that Crystal reminded me here today…to reach out to others, beyond my own self and what I am feeling, and lift them up…thereby lifting myself too…a win-win.

      Several times I have lived in communities where others made me feel as you feel. They often still do. Yes, I am different, maybe even weird by some people’s definitions. But that has to be okay, with anyone that wants anything to do with me, and especially with myself. I think that is something I will need to keep learning and re-learning as long as I live. You are not alone.

      I am going to remind myself today, as I hope it will anyone else, that there are people that love me, and there are reasons why. I have good in me, and worth, and things worth knowing and loving. I just have to see what they see, and know they are there. And if all else fails, perhaps you or anyone can do what I used to do when my son was growing up. Every time I would treat myself badly, or get down on myself, I would remind myself of my son, and think would I want him to do this or feel this way? How would I treat him? What would I tell him? What would I want him to know or believe or feel? Do I deserve any different? I would repeat to myself over and over, I should treat myself as I would my own son, with pure love and care. I really do believe the do unto others goes both ways. I know I need to do unto myself, what I would do unto others, as well as the reverse. We are all connected.

      I wish you love and peace today and always, and hope you find friends who see your worth. I hope your daughter does too. Feel free to reach out to me too. I would be honored to make a friend like you, who sees the value in just jumping in puddles with their kid! =)

      All my best,
      Kat :@

  • Charity Fauls says:

    <3. I have so much to say about this blog, but I will keep it short and sweet…..Love it!

  • Thank you for writing this! I really needed to hear it tonight. It’s been a hard year relationally, and brought up other broken relationships from the past 5 years. I have really struggled with feeling like a victim, instead of a victor. Thank you for the encouragement and personal stories. They mean a lot to me.

  • Darcy Hicks says:

    What a wonderful post and perspective! I love that you gave out of your hurt and did something positive with it. That is not always easy. But from reading your blog a while, it’s clear you have a generous heart, Crystal. Thanks for sharing it with us and teaching your children well! Blessings!

  • Sarah C says:

    Wow, thanks so much for your honesty and transparency. I’ve recently experienced several situations like this. The loss of people I thought were friends. The feeling that I’m being excluded. I’ve wondered if it means I’m a poor friend. I love how you used it as a teaching opportunity for your girls.

  • T sharpe says:

    Thanks! This article couldn’t have come at a better time. I was just struggling with knowing how to parent my daughter through a similar situation. It is tough to see your kids hurting. Thanks for the perspective!

  • Cheryl (from Kansas) says:

    Dear Crystal,

    Truth is sometimes a hard choice we have to actually “do”. I think often times that passing these truths off to our children is even harder because we know the pain of growth and of course we don’t like to inflict pain on our children – especially when they have already been stung.

    You and I have been friends for a long time now – I can say without a trace of doubt that you have taken so much wisdom out of this journey you have been on (that I know you from) and have returned it 10 fold to anyone willing to listen.

    You made my heart peaceful reading this at 0218…..because I too, am straining over situations that are causing pain AND growth for Samuel & Isaac in their little lives. I’m encouraged and relived to know I’m not the only one trying to make sense of unkindness and confusion in my own life and how to explain/find the blessing to focus on.

    I miss you dear friend and think of you often…. Wisdom yes – fear no. Thank you for the reminder. C. 🙂

  • Bonnie says:

    This was beautifully written. Very wise and thoughtful advice. Thank you.

  • sheherzad says:

    I am a regular reader but never comment on your blog.However this post made me reach out and thank you for the amazing beautiful thought.I go through these feelings a little too much.I am mom of two and had to stay at home for 3 years.Resulting in a career break and my husband not being very social we were cut off from social life as well.Result was excruciating estrangement when I joined work.Everything had changed.My juniors by 4 years were my seniors.I had to learn from them.It was insulting but the most painful thing was standing alone.All by myself.No friend no colleague.There were times when i would go days without talking to anyone.I am a frank person and love to chat so you can imagine how this cold treatment withered me.Your words have given me strength.I do need to work on standing alone and focusing on those who are being left out like me.Thankyou so much .xoxo

  • Jaclyn says:

    Beautiful post. I’m going to print this out to save. Lately, you always seem to post things that I really need to hear, thank you.

  • Jackie says:

    You are a wonderful mother! You are teaching your children how to find happiness in life, and to not allow others, whether hurtful purposefully or accidentally, to define who they are. Bravo!

  • Vkkarri says:

    Lovely article. Thanks for sharing your heart!

  • Elizabeth says:

    It always hurts me more when my child is left out. Thank you for good tools to use in the situation. I have felt left out so many times and it still stings, but I’ve realized that many times I’m feeling hurt when truly I wouldn’t have wanted to go to whatever the outing was anyway! The invitations don’t come because people realize I’m happiest at home with my family–not because they are leaving me out.

  • zoranian says:

    This was beautiful. Thank you for taking the opportunity to be so open and share your heart as a parent and a woman.

    I’ve recently moved to another state myself, and I’ve told my husband that my desire right now is to be “open” to all friendships. So if someone doesn’t call me back or seems like we don’t have anything in common, I’m not closing myself off to the possibilities of the future. We all have our weaknesses and our personality differences, and until we are more settled, I’m not going to take any of it personally, because I might write off a beautiful friendship because of an awkward acquaintance.

    • Addy says:

      You never know! Years ago we tried to connect with a new couple in our church and they kind of blew us off. I was sorta hurt and thought that was that and we would never be friends. Fast forward….they turned out to be some of our closest friends that we have treasured for years. Just so happened that particular day they had some stuff going on and did not intend to be rude or hurtful, but were needing to deal with what was going on.

    • Guest says:

      This is great advice and very wise. I can think of several friendships that most definitely did not start with that instant spark/feels-like-we’ve-been-friends-forever. I’m a social person and one of the new moms at our school a few years ago seemed kind of standoffish and not easy to get to know. Fast forward and she’s one of my favorite and closest local friends. She’s an introvert, from a different area of the country (i.e., not a southerner :-)) and takes a little more time to warm up to folks. She’s AMAZING, though, and I’m glad I didn’t write her off because I would have been a big loss for me.

  • Kariane says:

    Whether we’re 5 or 35 (or older, I’m sure), we all have times when we feel left out or unappreciated. I love that when this happens, you shift the focus to serving someone else. What a beautiful way to help regain perspective. This will definitely happen the next time this comes up in my home. Thank you for sharing.

  • Maryalene says:

    Great post Crystal!

  • Great post and teaching moment for your family.

  • Leanne says:

    I recently went through a situation of feeling “left out” because of a church split (we chose to stay…) and deciding to homeschool our children (we withdrew them from Christian School)…. those two events left me feeling “friendless” after investing in several relationships…. and then I PRAYED… prayed for new friends, prayed that I would not be bitter, prayed that I could be gracious when I had some contact with those old relationships… I now have a good, solid group of Christian friends who homeschool…and we meet for a bible study once a week… I try to remember that God supplies what we NEED and not necessarily what we WANT… ALL of these experiences have helped me value my friendships more; but, also acknowledge that it is only GOD that can fill me up….
    what a great article, Crystal!!!

  • Emily H. says:

    This is a fantastic post. I’m going through something similar myself and doing something for someone else seems like the perfect plan. Thank you.

  • Jenny M says:

    It would have been so much easier to go ruin relationships or say bitter things to your children about the cruelty of people in the world. But you didn’t. Instead you gave them tools so that they could manage a situation they will undoubtedly face again and again throughout the rest of their years. It’s amazing how many times we face that same situation in life- in grade school, in our teens, as 20 somethings, and now even as a 30 something I faced a similar one just last week.

    I was not invited to a gathering with my coworkers. My first thought– maybe I’m not as close to these people as I thought I was? Maybe they don’t like my cooking– it had a potluck component? I hoped that the case was that they spontaneously planned this event, the day before it occurred when I was not at work, and therefore didn’t extend the invite to me in time to attend.

    But it still hurt to hear about it the next day and wonder why I was not included. It’s a lifelong battle. Giving your daughters the tools to make a good situation from a bad one is inspirational Crystal. Thanks for sharing.

  • Susan says:

    Great post. I love that your daughter wanted to reach out in friendship to another child.

    I would add, however, that kids can benefit from coaching on how to speak up for themselves and find their voice in a situation. Playing a little bit of devil’s advocate here — a kid can easily get caught up in the excitement of their birthday party and not realize they didn’t treat every guest consistently. Had your girls’ had simply said something like “hey, can I have turn on your team?” the response could gone two ways, either “no” (in word or action), or “yea, sure! if birthday girl proceeds to ignore them, that’s hurtful. But chances are it would have gone the other way.

    Speaking up for themselves is tough for many kids, especially if they are naturally shy, but learning how to do this and developing confidence in this area will serve them well throughout life.

    • Thanks for sharing! And I so agree that it is good to know how to speak up for yourself and when it’s appropriate to do so.

    • Guest says:

      Great advice! As an extrovert myself, I have to very consciously work to include introverts/quieter folks (not saying Crystal’s daughters are!) because otherwise it’s easy to overlook them and engage with those who are more talkative or social. My daughter is an observer and isn’t as quick to jump into social situations as I am. I want her to be true to who SHE is yet I also want her to understand how putting herself out there a little more may help her get what she wants/need in some situations.

  • Kat says:

    this is beautiful! I’ll take this with me, as I come into similar situations, parenting my children. THANK YOU!

  • dawn ousley says:

    love! Thank you!

  • Amanda says:

    This is such a great post. I want to save it, print it out, and remember it for when I have kids of my own to share with them. <3 Reaching out to others and thinking of others, even in my own times of need and hurt, has helped me too.

  • Such a human experience, and so difficult to go through. The times of hurt you listed, made me feel not quite so alone. I’m sure everyone relates. Thanks for writing on this.

  • Karissa says:

    Thank you for this!

  • Sarah says:

    Thank you for this beautiful post. I’ve struggled with this issue all my life. I was a very shy and insecure child and this spilled into my adult years. It’s taken me a long time to overcome a lot of it and I’m in my forties!

    It’s difficult for me to make friends as I always feel I’m being judged harshly for my looks, etc. I know it’s mostly in my head but it’s so hard to overcome those feelings, especially when people you thought were your friends have voiced those very things in the past.

    Thank you for always putting things in perspective. I will work on blessing others instead of dwelling in my own feelings.

  • Emily says:

    This is so incredibly timely for me! Just yesterday I was talking to my husband about being excluding and not feeling “good enough”. I prayed for guidance and strength to get through it and reading this post seems like an answer to my prayers. Thank you so much for your perspective and being completely open. Have a blessed day!

  • Anita F says:

    Thank you for sharing!

  • Deb says:

    I needed to read this today. Thank you!

  • Rachel says:

    Crystal I recently experienced a similar friendship wound and I really needed to hear how you pushed out of it. I too feel gutted and bleeding. I have a question. Do you still have this person in your life? I guess I’ve put up boundaries because this friend was not able to admit her wrongs or apologize at all during our 8+ yrs of friendship. Thanks

    • Jessica says:

      Rachel, I just wanted to tell you that I lost a precious friendship myself, and experienced something similar – she never apologized. She never acknowledged the wrong she had done. The pain that she caused – repeatedly – damaged our friendship beyond repair, and yet she could never tell me in any manner that she was sorry,

      I forgave her. I still forgive her. But she couldn’t be in my life any longer, because she was not willing to acknowledge – even in the smallest measurement – how terribly she had hurt me.

      She was the best friend I ever had. From girlhood to womanhood, we endured so much happiness – and so much sadness, too.

      I will tell you, with all my heart, that I never got over it – I am still not over it. The “bleeding” never stopped. I know that isn’t what you want to hear.

      But I do what I can, what our Savior would want me to do – which is to love her, and pray for her, and give her over to Him, the One Who is our only Hope. And I ask Him to help me teach my children to do better, and love better, than she did.

      God bless you. Sending you so many hugs.

      • Rachel says:

        Jessica
        Thank you for your kind words of encouragement and your gentle answer! It means so Much to me. I agree. I Need to lift her up in prayer and walk in love towards her beccause at this point I only feel bitterness about the whole situation. May the Lord bless You and keep you and your family!

  • Mackenzie says:

    Love this post Crystal! Thank you for expressing the feelings of situations we have been in at one time or another.

  • Staci says:

    Thank you for this wonderful article!

  • Sam says:

    What a great piece of advice for your girls. Your girls are entering an age where children can be come very “cliquey” and mean to others. I am a teacher and we really start to see these behaviors come through in the middle grades. This isn’t totally related, but I think I will share:

    Bullying that happens with young people is often initiated by very few children. One reason that it becomes such a problem is because most kids will sit around and watch it happen, even if they know it is wrong–they don’t want to be the kid that gets bullied next. Teaching our children to show love and care for others is extremely powerful. This will be a skill that serves your girls well and those around them.

    I also like Susan’s comment above about teaching them to stand up for themselves. An ability to stand up for one’s self along with sharing compassion for other kids, even when it is hard, will really serve them well in the difficult years ahead as a pre-teen and teenager.

    (I am not implying your daughters’ friend is a bully, I just wanted to explain another situation in which your advice would be helpful) 🙂

    • L says:

      I agree with the bullying issue and it hits home with me, actually strikes a nerve. I myself was bullied as a child (for a short period of time and it’s crazy how a person remembers those things…) but my daughter was also bullied in her 5th and 6th grade years of school. If the exclusion continues or is deliberate, or if negative comments to a child are continued, then it is time to step in. I waited too long, partly because my daughter kept much of this to herself and when we knew more, we tried to teach her to be assertive and teach her what to say in certain situations. In hindsight, we should have talked to the teacher and principal sooner as things got worse over a couple months and continued for over a year until she moved on to 7th grade in a middle school setting and was able to meet new friends. Unfortunately, it has lasting memories for her and has affected her confidence.

  • Sue says:

    THANK YOU ! THANK YOU ! THANK YOU ! THANK YOU ! THANK YOU ! THANK YOU ! THANK YOU ! THANK YOU ! THANK YOU ! THANK YOU ! THANK YOU ! THANK YOU ! THANK YOU ! THANK YOU ! THANK YOU ! THANK YOU ! THANK YOU ! THANK YOU ! THANK YOU ! THANK YOU ! THANK YOU !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • A.S. says:

    I have been reading your blog since the BW days and rarely comment (no reason, just not a blog commenter). This was beautifully written, thank you.

  • Jennifer says:

    Obviously this is something that a lot of people needed to hear. I’m in the midst of some family issues that have left me hurt in a similar way. It was perfect timing for me and a good reminder of how to deal with the hurt and move forward. Thank you.

  • Jo says:

    Crystal, thanks so much for sharing! It is such a blessing to get a peek into the lives of other women who love the Lord and are seeking to bless others with that love, even when it hurts. I love the challenge to reach out to someone else when you’re hurting and I want to practice that. Thanks for all the work you put into this blog!

  • Cassandra says:

    Wow, what a beautiful post! Thank you so much for sharing this-it’s exactly what I needed. Sometimes it hurts so much and it’s so hard to let go and move on. This was such a gentle reminder and great advice. Thank you Crystal! Blessings to you and your sweet family!

  • Heather says:

    What a great idea and a great post! I’m going to remember this next time I or my family is in this type of situation. Thank you!

  • Valerie says:

    Beautifully written post! Thank you for sharing your heart!

  • Kristy H says:

    I soooo needed this! TODAY! Thank you a thousand times over, thanks!!!

  • I remember as child there was a Christmas book by Max Lucado called “The Crippled Lamb.” In it the little lamb was, well, crippled. He couldn’t keep up with his friends and the other animals ignored him except for one cow. The cow kept reminding him “God has a special place for those who feel left out.” I remember as a kid crying when I read that. And as an adult it still brings me to tears, God truly has a place for those who feel left out. Sometimes it’s not the place we expected but it is beautiful none the less.

  • lizzy says:

    new favorite post (my current one had been about the criticism you’ve received, photos, etc…). SO appreciate your honesty, humility–how it all points back to sufficiency in Christ…keep these kind coming!

  • Thanks for an amazing post!! I really needed to hear that encouraging word. I wrote on a similiar vein—https://thisgeorgiagirl.wordpress.com/2015/07/09/asking-for-forgiveness-the-husband-journal-entry-9/

  • Darcy Dugan says:

    Great post! Perfect timing, too, because I was feeling some of these same things recently after close friends were busy and I felt forgotten. I had to remind myself that I also hadn’t reached out to them – so it’s not their fault! Thank you for writing and sharing this post!

    Also — Probably the main reason why I have actually remained a faithful reader and follower to your blog is that you are NOT expressly Christian in every single post. So thank you for that 🙂

  • Heather says:

    Beautiful post. As a non-Christian your writing draws me in and is engaging. You, thru your own faith, put universal words to your thoughts that reaches beyond any religious borders.

    Reaching out to others, volunteering, and understanding that what may have hurt you, may never have been about you, builds a sense of self. So not only do children learn how to feel better during difficult times but it will take progressively more to hurt them.

    Wish I had been as smart as you are at your age!

  • Kate says:

    Crystal,

    I really needed this today. My daughter has been having a tough time transitioning to camp because she was feeling lonely and left out. I was struggling with whether or not to pull her from the camp because my heart hurt so much to see her in pain. But then I read your line, “we can choose to become victims or victors”, and I know that she has to go through the difficult situation and come out the other side in order to know what she is capable of. I can be here to cheerlead her and hold her hand, but pulling her out of the difficulty will not help her in the long run. Thank you for this post!

  • Kelly says:

    I have been in a season of feeling left out and at times INVISIBLE. Thanks for this! I have been praying…this past week two women-my sister and a long-time friend…asked me for advice. Both asked “what do you think?” regarding situations they were unsure about. I am mostly introverted but enjoy meaningful company of others, and I am a very observant person. This simple asking my advice means they value my opinion…they value me! What a boost to my self-worth and faith in God using me. My daughters are the same as me, but a little wiser because they are comfortable in only having a small circle of friends. When I dropped my older girl off at camp, another girl hugged her when she saw my daughter. My girl isn’t the huggy type, but this brought me joy. 3yrs in a row my daughter roomed by herself…her choice she said…but this yr she roomed with another girl, and I could tell by her text that she was happy. Oh I could continue rambling on, but THANK YOU. If you’re ever in northwest OH contact me!!

  • Kristine says:

    Crystal-

    You have talked about how to establish authentic friendships and how that has been a challenge for you over the years. Situations like this is why so many of us are scared to open our hearts and take that chance. Sometimes it is easier to stay in our safe houses and not take a chance of getting hurt. But the consequences of that is having no friends. This was a great post that shows your integrity as a person and how important it is to face these types of situations rather than run away. I have experienced selfless and selfish relationships over the years. What I have learned is to always be the better person and its better to take the chance of getting hurt rather than isolating yourself. Your children will and are learning from your integrity. Thank you for sharing!

  • Melanie says:

    Thank you for sharing your teaching moments with your kids. Its so important that we grow through our own challenges of life so we can teach our kids. Serving is always good therapy! Its no fun living in the pit of our own insecurities. The sooner kids learn how to reverse those hurt feelings the better and when things happen to them the next time they will have a more healthy perspective about it.

  • Charity says:

    Best. Post. Ever. Thanks Crystal. You will never know how deeply this has touched me. Reading this just made me feel like you have me the biggest, most understanding hug. (tears) Thank you so much. I needed to read this.

  • Becky says:

    Thank you for sharing so openly. I headed over to your blog this afternoon looking for deals on school supplies but happened to see this post over to the side … and it was perfect. As so many others have commented on here, the timing of this post was perfect for me. Thanks again.

  • Lisa says:

    This is so beautifully written!! Thank you!!

  • Carol says:

    Crystal: These are such wise words and I am going to print it out to remember it. Thank you.

  • tina says:

    Just in tears as I read this. Thank you for this encouragement today. Coulldnt have come at a better time.

  • This post made my day. Thank you Crystal!

    “I also told the girls that the best remedy for times when you feel lonely and left out is to do something for someone else.”

    This is soooo true.

    The last 2 years have been really hard for my family. 16 months ago, I almost dropped out of school because of anxiety. It was really hard, but I became a French tutor for two students who had difficulty with writing (here in Quebec, a lot of college students still make many writing mistakes). That’s how I met my boyfriend. God put him on my path at the right moment. I helped him, and he helped me.

  • Melinda says:

    I love this post, it came at the perfect time! I’ve been praying for wisdom in a situation where my children have been rejected. In our situation I think it comes along with the territory of being a homeschooler, we have standards that other people sometimes reject and my children get rejected and seem to get the brunt of it. I am going to read this post to them…THANKS!!

  • Stephanie says:

    Excellent post, just excellent! I will take these points to heart in both my life and my daugher’s because these situations are universal to everyone.

    I went to a birthday party as a kid where we played hide and seek outside. Nobody came to find me, and they all went inside (quietly so I wouldn’t know) and turned the outside light off on me. It didn’t appear to be a practical joke, but who knows.

    As as an adult I’ve had relatives I’ve been close to my entire life say awful things about me, ignore and be hateful towards me. I have since embraced my husband’s family and have sought out more female Christian friends, and more service in the church.

    The enemy seeks to destroy us by holding an emotional control over us, reminding us over and over again about past hurt in our lives. It’s time to break free!

    Crystal’s advice is so true and so applicable. These are truths and advice I can share with my daughter when (not if) the time arises.

  • As a mom, wife, person, Christian, blogger, etc.. I just love this post! You touched my heart and I have been in your shoes, so has my son, rest of the family, friends, etc.. I’m just speechless. This post is going to help so many children and families all around the world.

  • Tanya says:

    I can relate to this post in many ways. I can relate to it in my personal life and in my blogger life. Many times in my childhood and adulthood I have felt these things and thought I was the only one. Why didn’t my friend reach out to me when I was hurting? Why does it seem everyone else is succeeding in the blog world except me. No one understands the challenges I face dealing with a chronic illness.

    I really like the idea of helping someone else to help us get outside of ourselves. Thank you for being real and being honest!

  • Natalie says:

    Wonderful, wonderful post. Thank you so much for sharing and for helping us all feel less alone when we go through things and for the reminder of how to best deal with them!!

  • Brittany says:

    This post really touched me. There were tears by the end. Today has been a really hard day and it’s one of those days that feels like the world is against you. I was at a really low point square in the middle of a pity party and i really needed this to snap me out of it. You are so right that the best way out is to do something for others or even just treat others as you wish you were being treated. I definitely have been letting the darkness win lately and it’s time I shine a little light. Thank you

  • E.Blake says:

    I have to share my favorite song!
    HE KNOWS MY NAME

  • Julia says:

    What a well-written and thoughtful post. I thought I was the only one who felt as if I were “invisible” sometimes. I also wanted to add that your girls can be on my “team” any day of the week. You know, I don’t like games where folks pick people to be on a team. It seems simpler to just do “A,B,A,B”, etc for team assignment. I know being left out is inevitable, but there’s plenty of time for that when we are grown-ups. (I also don’t like the game at Christmas where you get to “steal” someone else’s white elephant gift depending on your number assigned–not sure if anyone else here has played it, but just seems designed to stir up hurt feelings). And finally, for some reason this post made me think of one of my very favorite “I love Lucy” episodes. It’s called “Lucy’s Last Birthday” and she thinks everyone has forgotten her birthday. She joins up with the “Friends of the Friendless”. It’s really sweet and very funny. Sorry for the long comment, but thanks for such a wonderful post and for keeping your blog so real and authentic.

    • This comment touched me so much. Thank you for sharing! {Hugs!}

    • Kat says:

      Julia, your comment really stood out to me. I am a Lucy fan and I knew right away the episode you referred to. =) I also want you to know you are not alone on feeling invisible. And you are not because I see ya! And I am sure I am not alone in that too.

      I also related about the team thing. I hated that growing up. I recall it for Dodge ball, and other things like that. I also remember when I was 13 and had a birthday party and invited a lot of people in my school…a lot of them were from the “popular clique.” None of them showed up. The only ones there were my three neighborhood friends and my cousin. That hurt a lot. But I went on to have fun, because the 4 friends there I knew cared about me. It also hurt many years later to see my son go through some of that, and even bullying. I also came to see that my experiences, even those hurtful, had so much value in what I could teach my son. That alone brings me comfort! =)

      As an adult now, it often still feels like that type of isolation, like you are the odd man out. I just try to remind myself that I am better off having few friends that really care and understand, then a ton of them who do not. It does not always work mind you, but deep down, I know it to be true.

      I wish you well, and hope you find comfort in knowing what you mean to those close to you. =)
      All my best,
      Kat :@

  • W says:

    Crystal, thank you so much for this post! I just came out of a relationship breakup just like you described. It feels very betraying and very sad becaus you know there are misunderstandings and misinterpretings on both sides. It hurts when you can see so much good, but at the same time know that there is just a very unhealthy piece in the relationship. It feels like a death because essentially it is. It is horribly painful. I am just this month starting to come out of it after 7 months. It’s doubly hard when your kids don’t understand why they never get invited over anymore. I love her kids as my own niece and nephew and I never wanted them to feel that I just stopped loving them or that they did anything wrong. I know I can trust God and I know He is always redeeming whether it’s individually or together, He is working although times may be dark and silent. You can feel like such a failure and try to take too much responsibility for the failure of the relationship. I keep asking God to keep healing my heart, to show me how to keep trusting Him and, as Elisabth Elliot has said, to do what the next thing is to do. I want to love well. It is easy to become angry, but I must love. To do that, I must keep my eyes fixed on Jesus and yield to the power of the Holy Spirit because I cannot do it on my own. But God helps me and He has brought a new friend into my life to help me heal. He has truly put a new song in my mouth! Thank you again for sharing and I’m so sorry you have had that experience.

  • mel says:

    This was just what i needed to hear today. What a blessing you are, Crystal!

  • adrienne says:

    LOVE this post, Crystal. I’ve been on that side of the fence too.

    Bless you and yours.

  • Debbie says:

    Loved this post. This is a feeling we all have more than once in life and at any age. My mother passed away five years ago and since then I have been the one to cause my own loneliness. I feel as though I don’t quite fit in any where. I love the idea of of choosing someone and blessing them with something nice. I know the blessings will really be mine. :0)

    • Kat says:

      Hi Debbie! Sorry to hear about your loss. I completely relate there. (Lost both parents in the last 10 years or so.) Also about fitting in. I hope you find comfort, especially in people that care about you. I just wanted to wish you well today. =)

  • Dita says:

    I really loved this post because at any age or station in life, we can feel at times that we might not fit in or have anything in common with a certain group maybe or feel insecure about ourselves because we were ignored or felt mistreated. It is always so easy to feel sorry for ourselves and not gain any lesson from it.

    As parents especially, you are so right, that it is that much more painful to watch our children or loved ones go through this rejection and not want to swoop in and fix things for them. Take away the hurt if we can. But we grow when we forgive, give, and move on. I love this. Thanks for sharing this today. It’s an important lesson to remember. And so very vital to the growth of our children.

  • BethC says:

    This is one of the wisest posts that you have ever written (and I have been a reader since the early days of MSM). I remember feeling lonely as a high school student and getting similar advice about reaching out to others from a priest/counselor at my high school. I reached out to a classmate who was even more shy than I was-and ended up spending lots of time with her large, fun and loving family. Through that friendship, I met another friend who is still one of my very dearest friends years and years later, even though we have not lived in the same area for more than 25 years. From what you write about them, your girls are each so lovely and talented in their own unique ways. If they take your advice to heart, they will be blessed with true friendship throughout their lives,

  • I love this post – thank you!! My daughter is introverted and very non-confrontational, (neither of which is a bad thing in my mind), but I’ve been struggling to find a way to teach her to gently stand up for herself and not let these types of situations damage her sense of self-worth. I’m so grateful to have some other language to use with her!

  • Jana says:

    I love this post. There are several of your posts I feel I should just print out and keep them handy. I feel like it’s so easy to carry bitterness and upset. Thank you for this!

  • Brynn says:

    Just what I needed. I have recently been feeling like I don’t have that many friends and this definitely reminds me to focus on initiating friendships myself. The only way to have friends is to be a friend!

  • Cheryl Clifton says:

    Crystal, I subscribed to get your emails several months ago mainly to save money and find good deals but began to read your posts and they touched me deeply. I have learned a lot of the lessons that you talk about when I was older than you mostly because I wasn’t seeking God at that time in my life. I have experienced several relationship breakups in my life and have felt like there was something wrong with me but I realized after I sought God for healing that it truly wasn’t me. I truly feel people either are just thoughtless or they have something really hurting them in their life and the only thing that makes them feel better about themselves is to hurt someone else. I have had “friends” when I was a little girl and “friends” as an adult who have done things that I simply couldn’t understand why they wanted to act like that. I have always tried to be understanding and heal the relationship but have gotten turned away every time. My daughter is a young adult and has had the same thing happen to her but even though I’ve tried to show her how to forgive, she has held onto some of the hurt from her “friends” that have hurt her. She has even turned it back on me and has hurt me deeply. Your post today made me think of a lot of the ladies at the church that I go to. My husband and I have been going to this church now for about 6 years and only one of the ladies has ever talked to me as an equal and made me feel like a friend. I have tried to have conversations and get to know them but I just don’t fit in, so I have given up and am just letting God love me. I have a lot of friends outside of church from the homeschooling and Girl Scout communities, so I am not letting it worry me anymore but it does hurt from time to time when I overhear a conversation about getting together for a movie, or cards, or even a vacation. God bless you and keep sharing, you do touch other peoples lives in positive ways!! We are all human and we all have to learn in our own ways and in God’s timing. Thank you for putting it all out there!!

    • Dawn says:

      Hi Cheryl,

      I have walked where you have walked and it is so hurtful and so very difficult to get past that. I have said numerous times that I understand why I wasn’t included, and have always justified snubs to me with some excuse or another. I have many times resorted to the fact that maybe I am just not a good friend, hostess, etc. Unfortunately, being a Christian can automatically leave you out of a lot of things if your “friends” (Christian or not) are not on the same road you are. This has been a challenge for me throughout my life, and I, too, have decided to just let God love me and keep investing in my immediate family and the long-distance friendships that I do have, while still keeping an eye out for “loners” wherever I go. Experiencing life as many of us have, being on the “outside”, can help us minister to somebody else, because we would never want them to feel what we have felt. Let’s keep up the love! <3

    • Bonnie says:

      Does your daughter understand how much she has been forgiven through Jesus’ sacrifice? Once I fully comprehended how much I was loved and forgiven for EVERYTHING then I had such amazing love and forgiveness toward people. Only Jesus can make that transformation by the Holy Spirit.

  • Christal says:

    Hi Crystal,

    Your post really reached me, because I felt hurt by a missed opportunity at work two years ago. There was a new position that opened at work and I was very hurt to be told that I wouldn’t be granted interview for the job. A woman that I work with who had been there for less time than me was given the job I was pining for. I have worked with her for the last two years, and it’s been hard for me to like her, because of all this. I think I’ve spent too much time being the victim, and not the victor. Thank you for opening my eyes.

  • Carrie says:

    Well said.

    I’ve frequently been the one left-out and I would never want anyone to feel the same because of my actions. Now that I have a daughter I’ve been pondering how to handle the same left-out situation when it arises. I think your response is spot on.

    I plan on writing the last line of this post on a paper so I can see it often. Its inspiring.

  • Jill says:

    This post couldn’t have come at a better time! My daughter is dealing with a hurtful situation caused by her grandmother, aunt and cousin. As mom, it was refreshing to see you advise was in line with mine. Definitely “a God thing”. Thank you!

  • Amen! I love this post, it is very encouraging and touches on something very hard to hear sometimes. We need to let our children hurt sometimes instead of fight their battles. I can’t stand seeing my kids hurting but I know that the only way they will learn to be gracious and kind is by seeing what happens when you aren’t. This is also why I love Romans 5:1-5 which reminds me that although hurting can be awful, it ultimately draws us closer to the Lord. Thank you for this post!

  • Deborah says:

    Yes! Reaching out to others is such a great antidote! Doing a kindness to cause joy for someone else. And it can be the smallest, simplest act. It is double joy, because it brings joy to me too.

    I related to all your scenarios. Oh mine wear different faces, but the feelings are the same. Many times I’ve been in conversations and watched as people scanned the crowd for someone better or more important.

    I’ve felt scorned and belittled and left out. We all have these times. And they are real and they do hurt. A lot. Focusing on forgiving and on feeling empathy for others helps heal the sting.

    I also resonated with what a great thing saying thank-you is. You may have mostly forgotten the kind deed you passed on to your friends but they remembered and will always remember. They in turn blessed you by saying thank-you again years later and bringing this memory to your mind. God works wonders in little things and in kind words.

    And hugs for you and your girls! It’s harder even to watch it happen to your children than to walk it yourself. At least I think so. That mama bear instinct! Yet, knowing how important it is to teach right responses too. Oh my.

  • Corinne says:

    Have to agree with all the “best post ever” posts. You have such a beautiful way of capturing and expressing important things. Your insightful words bless not only your kids, but your readers. Living Christianity/religion is far more important than putting a banner or a bumper sticker on it.

  • This brings tears to my eyes! Absolutely wonderful post!

  • Jay says:

    Thank you Crystal. I needed to hear this today too. I’m still struggling with a friendship that has drifted apart. Thank you for this.

  • Amanda says:

    God’s timing is always right. This post encouraged me after coming away from our eight-year-old son’s All-Star Baseball Tournament last night and feeling a little lonely, a little left-out, and a lot like neither my son nor myself measured up. Today I will pray for grace and choose to be a victor. Choose to reach out to those who are waiting to be picked, to be noticed, to be loved. As Philippians says, “Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.” Just like Jesus did. Just like our son did when I heard him build up his teammate after an error. I heard his small voice call out from right field, “It’s ok! You’ll get it next time!” And my heart swelled. He was a champion!

  • Donna Ingoldsby says:

    Thank you for sharing this today. I really needed to read this!

  • Alisha says:

    Crystal, I read your post out loud to my two girls (9 and 8) We recently moved overseas as missionaries, and my girls have really struggled with making new friendships when they don’t know the language….and every kid around them has friends…and they are the only Christians in their non-English speaking school…etc, etc. My heart has ached for them, but like you said…I can’t shield them from life’s hard. What I am trying to do is walk with them THROUGH it…I am trying to be thankful that I have this opportunity to point them to Christ IN their difficulty, instead of feeling sorry for them. 🙂 Thank you for your example!

  • Deana says:

    (((((((hug)))))))) My son experienced this in church of all places. One day a girl decided to be cute by sending everyone, except for my son, a message telling them to wear green to on an upcoming trip. She even told the leaders to wear green. You guessed it, the day came and he was the only one not wearing green. He was upset. I said something to the youth pastor who literally said it was not important. While I was very mad at that, we all just went on the trip and tried to ignore it. At the very least, I wanted him to make the girl apologize and possibly not let her participate in the trip. But she was a favored one and my son was not, so nothing was done.

    After my son died, I saw in his journal that he took experiences like that and decided that when he saw people in the youth group being slighted, he’d be the one to talk to them. Even if it meant that once they were accepted by the “in” crowd and eventually dumped him as a friend, he made sure he would be the one who spoke to them and included them right away.

    Hang in there sweet girls……you sound like awesome people.

    • Kat says:

      I am so sorry for your loss. I read this and my eyes welled up. I am so glad you found that journal and how he handled things. I am betting because you took the time to notice, think on it, and comment here…that it is likely your son derived a lot of that beautiful heart from you.

      I wish you so much love, joy, and peace.

      • Deana says:

        Thanks, that is so sweet.

        Honestly, when it first happened, my first thought was to go Mama Bear on the girl. It took some prayer and patience to be able to step back and not say something wrong to her.

        Andrew was a genuine good person, and that came from him. We did what we could, but made tons of mistakes with him.

        Thank you for your kind reply. (((hug))) and joy and peace to you too.

  • Jennifer says:

    Thank you for this. I have been struggling with this most of my life. I have one friend who lives 4+ hours away. I am an introvert and I enjoy people, but I feel ignored most of the time. Even by my family. I have a hard time inviting people to hang out because it would feel so random and I feel like no one likes me anyway. I’m never invited to hang out and I feel so excluded and like ‘what is wrong with me?’ I will try and keep the hints in mind you shared and focus on making others happy, which I usually do anyway.

    • Dawn says:

      Hi Jennifer,
      I just wanted to reach out and let you know that you are important and your life does matter. And I don’t know you, but I do know that each of us are special and have a great purpose in life. When I feel left out or literally am left out, I just try to think of whether or not I truly enjoy the company of the leaver-outers or the activity they partook in. And, even if you do feel awkward inviting people to hang out, just know that if they truly want to get to know you that they will say yes. If they don’t then you will excuses a few times in a row. I, personally, would give it at least 2 tries before you move along and try hanging out with somebody else new. I totally struggle with this, but I do know that when somebody is meant to be your friend, whether for life or just a short season, that your time spent together will not be awkward. You don’t have to make somebody laugh or hold their interest the entire time you are together; it takes 2 people to make a friendship. You don’t have to do all the talking or all the entertaining like they are there for a show. Just be yourself and be relaxed and things will be great.

      Remember, it’s not just about if others want to hang out with YOU, it’s also about whether or not YOU want to hang out with them. Think about that whenever you are excluded.

      <3

  • Christy C. says:

    Thank you for writing about this life dilemma so masterfully! These are situations very familiar to all humans if you live long enough. 🙂 You encapsulated the best ways to deal with this so well. I’m saving this to my Pinterest board called “Blog Posts Worth Re-Reading” so I can refer back to it when times are tough. Thanks again. What a great lesson you taught your kids through this situation!

  • Tasha says:

    Thank you for this article, Crystal. I can relate to many of the experiences you shared. I’ve always had a hard time making friends. I thought that when I had a child things would change and I would become part of a mom’s group. However, in all the mom’s groups and Bible studies that I have been a part of, I just can’t connect with anyone. I am always the odd mom out. Sometimes I think I focus too much on what I don’t have instead of what I do have. I do have a good friend that has stuck by me for 11 years and also an amazing husband who is my best friend. I am going to try and focus on being a friend and helping other people instead of feeling sorry for myself.

  • William says:

    Lovely story, absolutely agree. We have a choice – victim or victor as well as choosing to do good despite the wrong others may have unintentionally or intentionally have done.
    Thank you for sharing.

  • Kat says:

    Crystal,

    Your post is so timely. After abandoning my blog a few months ago, I attempted once again to connect to others via other internet means, like instagram. I don’t think I have been very successful.

    You see I moved completely across country about three years or so ago, and had lost everything, including family, my home, and well just about literally everything except for belongings. And as you well know, that means nothing when you’ve lost all else. My mom had passed in a terrible way years prior, then I slowly lost most family, including my own son. Then last fall I lost my father too. I had made only one friend out west here, but had to move one more time and though we talk via phone or internet, I felt like I lost someone dear again. If not for my other half, I would be completely alone.

    Since I know no one around this area, and finding it hard to meet people, I attempted to connect to others via the internet, but that can be hard too. So, I have started feeling very down and alone. Reading this post today helped a lot.

    I was in the charity club in school growing up, and I know how good it felt to give to others. So, your words hit home. My mother was a giving and loving person too, so I know all too well the things she taught me definitely align with what I read here, and what I know deep down.

    I thought about how alone I have felt, how I felt no one read my blog or cared. I gave up on it and it took a huge hit to my confidence, like I had nothing worth reading, or that I must be bad at it. I remember feeling left out growing up. I remember later on, my son feeling left out and also bullied, and the lessons I tried to teach him as well. So much of that wisdom can get easily put aside or forgotten, especially when times get hard. I have been feeling very alone. But I think rather than focus on how I am feeling, it is a good idea to extend outside myself once again, and just give.

    Do unto others was taught to me over and over growing up, and it will always be such a huge foundation in my life. So, I took your words to heart and right away started with that premise. I thought, when I was writing my blog (I stopped back in February) what would I have liked most? What was I looking for? I wanted people to read, to respond, and to connect with them. I wasn’t looking to sell anything. I just wanted to connect again, as all I had been through had left me completely isolated, alone, and feeling no hope. Living in a new area and having to start over can also solidify those feelings of isolation. So, going on your words, which resonated from all I had been taught all my life, I took that to heart right away.

    I clicked on a bunch of links here to go read other people’s blogs, to respond to them, and to you. I made an effort to connect. I am reminding myself to switch on that awareness switch of people who might be in need…of anything. I am going to remind myself to keep it on when I go out too.

    Years ago, I would just watch people in the supermarket as I passed. I would remind myself to keep myself open and reach out when I saw the need. I even remember one time merely seeing an elderly woman struggle to reach something on an upper shelf. I walked down to the other side of the isle and reached up, since I am taller, and handed the item to her. She just beamed at me and said thank you. It is a tiny act, and really not even that noteworthy, but years later I still remember the warmth on her face, and in turn how it made me feel.

    Over the years I had forgotten those simple principles, or buried them beneath all I had been through. Thank you for reminding me again, and giving me the chance to unbury those very lessons my own mother drummed into me all my life. I am glad she did…and glad I found this link in your email, glad I subscribed to you, and glad I decided to turn the table on my own feelings. Every time I do feel alone and down, getting outside of myself, I know is the best thing I can do. Even in small ways, I know reaching out is the best remedy. You have such an eloquent way of putting this, and it really got to the heart of me today.

    So, if you see me responding to a few people here today, you know why. =) It is time to break through this shell, and find a better place. It is funny how even though I had taught these very things to my own son, I had simply buried and forgotten them for myself.

    I am very grateful to you today, for helping me do some unburying! I am sorry to hear about the times you have felt left out, for your children feeling that way. But I celebrate and cheer the wisdom you shared with your children, and the wisdom you share here today, and remind us all of. It also reminds me that some of the hard times we go through also serve to teach us so much, and give more than we realize.

    Thank you, and I wish you so much joy, love, and peace, =)
    Kat :@

    • This is SUCH a beautiful comment! I’m so sorry for all of the loss and pain you’ve been through. Your spirit of reaching out both in this comment and in the comments you left today truly blessed me! Thank you for taking the time to respond to those comments… you have no idea how much of a blessing that was to those who needed an uplifting word!

  • Kindra says:

    I love this. I need to remember all this and re-read it frequently. I want to be someone who makes sure people don’t feel left out. I recently did feel left out. I talked with a good friend about it and realized that no one had intentionally left me out of the situation. She asked me why I had not texted anyone or reached out. I told her I didn’t know. If I had, I would have found out that everyone just met up spur of the moment and would have been included had I texted her. Now I know and will reach out before feeling left out next time.

  • Deb kepiro says:

    Needed this so much. Currently gutted and bleeding by a friend, and these words help give a new perspective to things. Thanks for your honesty!!

  • Stacey says:

    This post was such a blessing to me. Thank you.

  • Olivia says:

    Yes! You hit the mark right on. Thank you for the encouragement! This is a lesson I’ve learned, but I find I have to relearn it often! I don’t think there is anyone out there who hasn’t felt left out or slighted by others at some point, but for some reason, when it happens to me I think I’m the only one. I’ve felt let down by people that I thought were good friends before, but then I have to look at myself and see that I’m sure I’ve let people down a lot too. I just try to serve others anyway and try to be for them what I would want them to be to me.
    And since you’ve encouraged me today, I’ll try to return the favor: You know, I only started reading your blog to get tips on great deals and how to save money, but over the last year or two that I’ve been visiting your blog (on almost a daily basis) I’ve found my reasons for reading it have changed… I come here for encouragement and truth more than anything else. Thank you for being a positive voice in my life.

  • Linda Martin says:

    Thank you – I needed this today!

    • Mandy says:

      Great post!!
      Thank you for sharing so candidly, that reached deep down to my soul. I’ve been through such similar things, as have my kids.
      This wisdom, I needed to be reminded of. It is just SO true!!

    • Dena Hartman says:

      I’ve been there and so have my kids. I hate reliving these lessons through them. You can only control your own behavior, not others’. Very good read. I would have had words with the girls’ mother but that is just me. People need to be aware.

    • Mary says:

      Thank you for being so honest with us. It is very inspiring.

  • Dolly Casko says:

    Your insights are great I can benefit even now after many years.

  • Georgette Hall says:

    This story made my day. A many times I felt left out and hurt. I never knew what to do with that hurt. So, thanks. God bless.

  • Kristi says:

    Absolutely love this! I was crying reading it because this is life. It is messy. It is painful sometimes but you hit the nail on the head – reach out and bless others. Man, God can do amazing things in us when we focus on others. Thank you for this beautiful and well written reminder!

  • Amanda Sutherland says:

    I just wanted to say thank you for this post. Sometimes, we just need to know that these things don’t just happen to us but to everyone of us at some time or another. Thank you for sharing your experiences and insight! I sincerely hope you have a blessed and happy day!

  • Melanie says:

    Beautifully said! I’ve been feeling this a lot lately. It’s always good to hear you’re not alone in feeling that way sometimes. Now it’s time to reach out to others.

  • Lynn says:

    Thank you! I really needed this right now. My daughter feels so left out because she doesn’t have a sibling, and I really can’t blame her for wanting one. I would want one too. I keep trying, but after five failed IVF’s I realize it’s probably not going to happen. It’s good for me to focus on doing something nice for someone else to get me out of this funk. Thanks again!

  • Diane Romo says:

    Beautiful post. As a mom of two teenage boys I struggle often with this very same thing.
    Diane

  • Maxine Slater says:

    I’m 81. Perhaps you think this was meant for younger people, but believe me those of us who are old know this kind of pain also. Many of us feel left out more than ever–including myself. Thank you for this message. It is hard for me to do for others because I am disabled, but I can write and send emails, and post positive messages on Facebook, and that is what i try to do daily.

    • Sandy says:

      Hi Maxine,
      Your comment touched me. And yes, we can feel left out at any age. I am 52 and I’m reading this story because money saving mom shared it with me because of what I expressed to her about feeling rejected. Whether by family or other women. Even in a bible study. This story only confirms what I believe God has been trying to tell me. That I need to reach out to others and not focus on myself. Not to focus on my pain. Its not worth it or the time wasted. What you said proves that no matter who you are or what age you are, or how many obstacles there may be, we can always do something to touch other’s lives. God bless you Maxine.

  • Esther says:

    I am reading a book by a neuroscientist that says one of the best ways to stay sharp mentally is to focus on listening to others and have empathy. That helping others creates joy that can be measured in the brain. Too bad most of the world seems to be out for themselves, there is a lot of happiness that is lost in selfishness.

  • Michelle says:

    I also felt this way recently with a group of ‘friends’ who intentionally leave me out of events because I don’t drink alcohol on a regular basis. Why is alcohol needed to get together and chat and chew?? I’m fun to talk to, hang out with, regardless if I have a cocktail or not.
    I sulked for a day and decided the loss was theirs; not mine.

    I reached out to a friend who has been unemployed and had a long, long talk. She told me my call was just what she needed. It made me realize a lot about my current situation and how I turned this negative, into a positive.

  • Lydia Joy Slater says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this. I struggle with mulling over those kinds of things, sometimes without fully realizing that I am doing it. Its good to be reminded that we don’t need to replay those “left out tapes” in our minds and we can focus on loving others instead. I only want to remember pain from those situations if it helps me to have compassion toward others that find themselves in the same situations.

  • Beth Pasquali says:

    Thank you! This was just what I needed today! I appreciate you writing from your heart.

  • Dee says:

    Wonderful words! I hope I have the opportunity to share them with someone who needs t hear them. Plus I’ll take them to heart myself. I’ve been there and done that.

  • Laura says:

    Thank you! I needed to hear this today.

  • Becca says:

    Thank you for this wonderful advice! I have been praying how to talk to my daughter about a kid that moved in next door who just does not seem to want to be her friend and she keeps trying. Now I can talk to her about being kind to others. Thank you again!

  • THANK you!
    may you always KNOW that HUGS of appreciation and love follow you!

  • Emily says:

    Could not love this more. My husband is very introverted, and he recently was very slighted by his (so be thought) best friend. They had planned to take out son and my husband’s friend’s son camping as a father/son experience and had talked about it for a couple of years. His friend chose to do that with someone else and lie to my husband about it. I want to protect my husband, but I know I can’t fully. So, I’ve been introducing him to some of the guys at work I think he’d get along with, and he’s loved the new friends.

    On a completely different note: to the ones who slighted you, I just wish I could tell them that you don’t have to talk about Christ only to be expressly. I live in Texas where the coach was fired for praying on the 50 yard line (he never asked anyone to join. They sometimes would, though). My pastor today said, ‘as long as there are final exams, there will be prayer in school!’ Loved the perspective. 🙂

  • Shannon says:

    You are such a good mom, Crystal! You gave your girls just what they needed, and they will never forget it.

  • Zarina says:

    This is so beautiful. What a great gift to be able to teach our children.

  • Rachel says:

    What a wonderful article. I really needed some direction with this issue and that is a lovely approach for my children and I.

  • Carla says:

    I read this before but I needed it today, when you posted it on Facebook.

    I’m going through a really rough time right now. My boyfriend recently passed away, and his family has repeatedly hurt me the entire time we were together, and even more so after he died. He never felt like they cared about him, and always said my son and I were the only family he needed. It has been so hard watching them handle things in a way he wouldn’t have wanted. And having them say things like “He didn’t have a girlfriend.” He asked me to marry him. We were planning a life together. He was supposed to be living with me, but was 1100 miles away with his family when it happened. They didn’t even call me to tell me. I got the news in a text from a friend, 2 days later.

    It’s been four weeks now, and I came to the conclusion today that what his family says or thinks about me shouldn’t matter to me. They will never be part of my family now. And I know how much we loved each other and that’s important part. If they reach out to me, I will respond in love. But I will no longer give them the power to hurt me.

    I will move forward and do the things that would make him proud. I will bless others in his memory.

  • Beth Anne says:

    Oh Crystal, I was hurting for you and your girls as I read this post. But you’re exactly right. And oh, aren’t those people on the fringes some of the most interesting people around? I love the fringe folks 🙂 I’m always drawn to them!

  • Delitedbygrace says:

    Thanks Crystal for wise words. I’ve had a very similar situation as you did with your friend. It is like a death, and I have grieved it for the past year. God has given me a great new circle of friends for which I am grateful. It’s hard when you have to still see someone who is/was like a sister to you. You know when things aren’t good with them just from seeing them, but you know you can’t ask about it. There is clearly a high wall with a sign that says, “Keep Out!” It’s difficult to know the truth, but know you will not have the opportunity to tell it. It is sad, but only God can change hearts and minds and the lenses of those who view us. He will give us what we need, but we must let Him fill us first. And yes, reaching out and doing things for others is a piece of the healing process.

  • Julie says:

    I sent this post to both of my daughters (merging adult – 19; and tween – 11). And then we talked. Thank you for such a wonderful post. It’s easy to see your heart in your stories/posts, and it’s nice to glean from someone who’s been there and knows how it feels and isn’t afraid to address it. This came at a perfect time <3 Thank you!

    • Julie says:

      My daughter loves the courage necklace displayed here and asked about getting one. Did you make this? Or can you share where you got it?

  • Michele says:

    I’ve read this before… but after just recently experiencing this exact thing from someone I never expected to… I truly needed it today. Thank you. Thank you for your words and your encouragement!

  • Kelly says:

    I needed to read this today. Thank you.

  • Hannah says:

    Thank you thank you thank you for this!!! Just what I needed to hear today.

  • Jill says:

    Excellent & timely, my daughter has been going through much of the same things mentioned in the article. It’s hard, as moms, to always get these talks with our kids right. I went back & added a few things to our conversation after reading this. Thank you!

  • Rick says:

    This fell on me like a brick wall. For various reasons–birth order, choice of religion as opposed to a majority of my family, one or two key childhood experiences–I have a lifelong struggle with feeling “left out”. In addition to helping others, I must also remind myself that I am a husband and father, and the only “clique” I should concern myself with is my own family.

  • Kim says:

    THANK YOU
    THANK YOU
    THANK YOU for this perspective!!!! This is what I’ve always tried to do & teach my kids. And it goes counter to the culture of our society….even our Christian society. So many times, I see well-intentioned parents coddle their kids (or themselves) and hide under the Victim label. All that does is make us more of a narcissistic society. The next right thing to do when you are hurt is to help others. It is a perspective-changer and a life-changer!

    So thank you so much for this article!

  • Maria says:

    I love this! Since we moved to TN 7 years ago, I’ve been having a tough time socially. My husband has developed mental health issues that limit our social situations. I have been struggling with this.

    Blessing others is the pick me up I need. Thank you!

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