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NYstateOfMind88's avatar

I have many different groups of friends. I like to keep the groups of friends seperate for personal reasons. How can I control this?

Asked by NYstateOfMind88 (76points) December 22nd, 2008

Sometimes I’ll have plans with a friend to just hang out, see a movie, go to the bar, etc. But then that night another friend from a separate group will call and ask what I’m up to. I’ll usually be honest with them, and tell them that I have plans to hang out with a friend and maybe we can do something the next night. I think they take offense though that I did not include/invite them to come along with whatever I was doing.

The thing is, instead of having one big group of friends, I have many different friends from many separate groups. I like to keep it that way – and usually each friend (or small group of friends) from each group is familiar with completely different sides of me and we all have different things in common. I intend to keep it this way.

But I hate offending people. How can I tastefully and maturely let friends know that they are not invited to hang out with me and my other friends, and without hurting anyone’s feelings?

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12 Answers

kfingerman's avatar

I think “I’m busy to night but let’s set a time to hang out later this week” should always be fine. Most mature people understand that we all have various relationships and that not everyone is invited everywhere. Maybe you’re over-sensitive. Maybe your friends are. This does not qualify as “bad person” behavior.

NYstateOfMind88's avatar

That is a great answer kfingerman but I think I feel so bad about it because my other friends invite me to hang out with their other friends all the time. The problem is, with my friends I just feel like it is more complicated, and that is something that they will not understand. How could I articulate it to help them understand if one of them were to take offense?

charliecompany34's avatar

i really know how you feel on this one. some friends or associates do one thing and the other group, another way and the other other group, a “way-out” way. but you (and me) have so many personalities and talents and our diversities can pretty much set the pace at any gathering no matter what group.

you are a chameleon, but everybody can not color in the lines as well as you.

charliecompany34's avatar

in other words, be as tactfully discreet about your plans and then have fun. it ain’t easy being green, or, red, oh yeah, blue, oh i mean, yellow, etc. you chameleon you!

AlfredaPrufrock's avatar

Do you have different personas with different groups, or do your groups have a stereotype of how they think you are? It’s taken about 25 years for my husband to allow his high school friends mingle with his law school friends. Nothing untoward happened; they get along just fine.

emilyrose's avatar

I have a lot of different social groups as well. I think what you are doing is exactly what you should be doing. If they are offended, that is their deal. You offered up a time you were free, they can either decide to hang out with you, or not. But what do you do when you organize something? Like your birthday for example?

kfingerman's avatar

Just to follow up on this, I think there’s a lot of room for tact here that avoids having the “I really don’t want you to meet my other friends” conversation. For example, are you single? If so, and you say “I’m busy,” people will assume it’s a date and no one will expect to be invited. Do you really find that when you say “tonight’s no good” people pry?

seekingwolf's avatar

I have 2 small groups of friends and neither has any knowledge of the other (they live in different towns) nor have they ever mixed (same goes for my family, friends + family = a no-no IMO)

Just say you’re busy that night or something. If they pry and you feel that they’ll get offended if you tell them that you’re with other friends, then make something up but make sure they can’t disprove it/find out the truth.

windex's avatar

cmd + G
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cmd + G

amandala's avatar

@seekingwolf: Sorry, but I have to disagree with your suggestion to lie to friends. I know that that’s sometimes the easiest way to deal with things, but (at least with my friends) I feel that it’s important to be honest. That is, after all, a large part of what friendship is based on.

seekingwolf's avatar


Yeah that’s totally fine. Honestly, I would rather be honest and not lie, but I think for those friends who are rude and pry, a white lie could be used. But I certainly wouldn’t lie to ALL of my friends.

pathfinder's avatar

If each group of them like deferend kinde of activityes then control what you are talking about.

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