Receiving news of a dear friend or close family member’s engagement can leave you feeling excited and thrilled about the good news. However, when you find out that you aren't going to be included in the wedding party, those feelings of happiness can turn to hurt and disappointment. It's important to face those feelings head on, rather than let them fester and ruin your enjoyment of attending the wedding, or your relationship with your friend.
Talking About Your Feelings
Verbalize your feelings and help ease some of the sting you may feel because of your exclusion. It's not impolite to assertively tell the bride or groom how you feel as long as you do so in a non-inflammatory and non-accusatory way. Don't call the person and start yelling on the phone. Instead, tell your friend that you feel hurt but that you won't let it affect your friendship. Not only does saying how you feel make you feel better but it also reassures the other party that even though you may feel unhappy, it won't be an issue that will plague your friendship for years to come.
Listen. Though it may be true that one of the hardest things to do in life is listen, especially when you are hurt and upset, it's crucial to allow the bride or groom to explain the rationale behind excluding you from the wedding party. Even though the person has been your best friend for the last 20 years, budgetary issues or having four sisters or brothers may mean they have had to cut you from the wedding party. Though what the person has to say may be hard to hear, try to listen honestly to the explanation and don't read more into what your friend is saying because of your own hurt feelings.
Manage your feeling of sadness in a way that is both healthy and healing. Exercise can reduce feelings of depression, according to the Mayo Clinic, and while you may not have a feeling this severe, the same principal still applies. Biking, swimming, jogging or other forms of exercise releases brain chemicals that contribute to a better mood, which helps ease your pain. Therefore, if you still feel hurt after talking to the bride or groom, head to the gym for a workout and try to sweat away those feelings of disappointment.
Avoid making any rash decisions soon after realizing you aren't going to be included in the wedding party. Strong emotions like feeling hurt or left out don't always result in good decisions, so it's best to avoid making decisions until you have cooled off a bit, according to Dr. Edward T. Creagan at the Mayo Clinic. In addition, deal with your feelings long before the wedding shower, bachelorette or bachelor party and actual wedding begin. You don't want to attend those events with any chip on your shoulder and possibly take away from the celebration at hand.
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Based in Texas, Lucie Westminster has been a writer and researcher since 1975. Her work has been published in journals such as "Psychological Reports" and "Journal of Verbal Learning and Verbal Behavior." Westminster's interests include developmental psychology, children, pets and crafting. She holds a Ph.D. in psychology from Miami University.
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