The term "Third Wheel" is the referring to the idea of being in the company of a couple, who don't really want you there but invited you out of pity. But what if it feels like you're the third wheel with your friends?
School can be a hard place to make friends, especially if your known as a quiet person. It can be hard to start conversations with people, and it's easy to feel like the odd one out. When your with your friends, sometimes it's still hard to be yourself. Although they are your friends, you might feel the need to act a certain way to impress them, or to fit in with them. It can be especially hard when it feels like you are just the tag along friend, and that you don't have as much in common.
I've managed to become the "third wheel" friend quite a few times during my life, even in primary school. The most upsetting time was when my best friend who I'd known since I was little suddenly found a new friend, which I was fine with until they both began ignoring me. It started off with us all being friends, and then they both gradually started cutting me out more and more. I think people don't see it as a big issue, and you feel childish for complaining about how they are "ditching" you. It is such a horrible feeling when the teacher says to get into partners and you end up being the one without a partner every single time. Although this was a bad experience, I learnt that I didn't need friends like that. It also gave me the chance to make new friends, who accept me for who I am and would never abandon me.
If you feel like you are the "third wheel" of your friends, you should try telling them. Don't tell them in a way that could cause an argument, but just simply tell them how you feel. Sometimes people can leave people out without realising. If your friend has made friends with someone else, you should try get to know them too. Despite the fact that it could be awkward, friend groups of three can work! And you might even end up forming an even bigger friend group. If you are left alone for things like partner work, ask your friends if you can take in turns who goes with who each lesson. Make it a three-way swap so everyone has the chance to work with everyone! If your friends are aware of how you feel, and still don't acknowledge it, then it might be time to cut ties with them. But don't cause an argument, simply try and make new friends and hang around with them!
You might feel like you have to put with them because otherwise you will have no other friends, but remember that friendships often change over your school life. Just be nice to everyone and you never know who you will end forming a friendship with!
Teenagers With Experience is an online platform ran by teenagers for teenagers. We provide support through sharing our own experiences and providing advice based from this. If you need support, feel free to reach out to us on one of our social media platforms. We will do our best to support you and if we feel we cannot we will direct you to more suited, professional support.