In the past few weeks, I have had four out of five friends cancel planned catch-ups. One cancelled a couple of days before, but had originally set the date and made new plans afterwards. Another didn't bother showing up at all or even messaging to say she wasn't coming. The third rescheduled on me several times, only to ultimately disappear at an event we were attending together - and then she left me with one of her other friends I didn't know. And the fourth had a sick teenage son - which is obviously a valid reason to cancel, but still sucks (especially because this has happened several times before).
On their own, I can usually deal with cancellations - and I understand things come up, but I'm really starting to feel defeated and alone. I have a lovely family, and the rest of my life is great, but these events all happening on top of each other has really gotten me down (the same thing seems to happen each year around this time). I feel that because I come across as bubbly and easy-going, people can dismiss me - or assume I can just work around them. I once had someone actually tell me that I would be more understanding than another person they had a conflicting appointment with, so they cancelled on me.
I then start to wonder if people don't want to spend time with me. I have a lot of acquaintances, but I feel like very few actually care enough to see me unless they have nothing better to do. During lockdown last year, I only had one person contact me first to see how I was. I feel if I didn't make the effort to initiate contact, I would never talk to anyone.
(I do have a few women I feel I can rely on most of the time, but one is currently living overseas and another is a fairly new friendship, and I don't want to scare her off by coming on too strong.)
How do other people cope with social rejection? I feel like I've gotten better at understanding it doesn't just happen to me, but it still hurts to feel like you're putting in a lot of effort for little return.