Does anyone get severe anxiety and insecure when talking with friends from high school? I’m over ten years out and we all still are on a group chat but I don’t feel like my best self when we do get together or conversations happen. I feel like I put in more effort for so long and I walked away for awhile but always rope myself back in, COVID doesn’t help...

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I’m going through this too, but instead of high school it is a group of girl friends I’ve formed through an old work friend. I love my original friend dearly, but I have found I don’t feel great after hanging with out with her group of friends (I think we are just different but I can’t really put my finger on why I feel that way exactly). Anyway, I think I’ve decided that I will no longer be putting in effort to contribute to that friend group and also won’t be pressured. If I feel like hanging out, I will. And if I slowly phase out of the group, that’s fine too. For context though, I have a couple other friend groups that I really enjoy, so I’m not scared of being lonely if I phase out of this group.

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I feel pretty good as I’m the most successful out of all my high school classmates and I’ve definitely peaked after high school in all aspects of life so I actually think that whenever I talk to them/see them now (which is once in a blue moon, in fairness), I’m way more confident than I used to be back then. Also, I enjoy no longer being in a position where those friends are “forced” upon me by circumstances - I’ve only kept in regular touch with those I truly liked, which is I think what we all should do. Prioritise who’s important and cut off the dead wood! You’ll feel so relieved

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It’s not dramatic to leave the group chat. It’s self betrayal to stay in a group chat that causes you anxiety (a physical symptom!) just because of what other people may think... You have to leave the group chat to both validate how you feel and to communicate to yourself that how you feel is a higher priority than managing other people’s thoughts and potential emotions about you

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Regarding the politicalization of COVID, this opinion was shares somewhere else and felt compelling enough to discuss…..The right wing political parties are using anti-vax, Covid denialism as an isolating issue to radicalize their base. This does not get them more votes, because these were already their supporters, but it does make them far more entrenched in their views because of the social sunk-cost of alienating them from everyone else. The absurdity and high social and real cost of (Cont.)

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Regarding the politicalization of COVID, this opinion was shares somewhere else and felt compelling enough to discuss…..The right wing political parties are using anti-vax, Covid denialism as an isolating issue to radicalize their base. This does not get them more votes, because these were already their supporters, but it does make them far more entrenched in their views because of the social sunk-cost of alienating them from everyone else. The absurdity and high social and real cost of (Cont.)

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