‘I’m not choosing it, it’s choosing me.’ The viral friendship video that broke our hearts.

I am so tired of begging people to want me in their life. I don’t understand. I don’t understand. I am trying so hard. I have been trying so hard for so long to connect with people … but it’s so tiring to always be the one reaching out, trying to make plans, just trying to get any sort of interest from people. I’m just tired of begging people to want me in their life.

Those words are hard to read. They’re even harder to watch.

This week a young woman called Jada Jo went viral on TikTok after she posted an emotional video asking the world why nobody wanted to spend time with her.

The video is both deeply uncomfortable and heartbreaking to watch.

It’s also confusing.

You see, Jada Jo HAS friends. That’s not the issue. But her friendships appear to be one-sided. Unless Jada’s the one organising and inviting and arranging get togethers – nothing happens. Her friends never reach out to her or invite her to anything. There are no lunches. No dinners. No ‘let’s go see that new Emma Stone movie’ unless she’s pushing for it. And Jada Jo clearly feels broken and confused and just over it.

Watch: Friendship Break Up. Story continues after video.

Video via Mamamia.

And who can blame her?

So, what’s going on? What do you do if you’ve got a friendship group that shows no interest in seeing you or hanging out? Is that even friendship?


First let me say that if you relate to Jada’s video – you’re not alone.

These are the exact type of questions I talk to tweens and teens and adults about on a weekly basis. We sometimes forget that finding friends and building friendships is inherently vulnerable. We’re putting ourselves out there saying, “I want to spend time with you.” Actually, more than that we’re being completely vulnerable saying, “Please like me.” And when that message isn’t reciprocated, it can lead to incredible feelings of rejection and shame. It plays into our deepest fears that we are unlikeable. That we don’t belong. That we’re not enough.

But before we go into a shame spiral, we need to take a step back and act like social detectives in our own lives.

Realistically we don’t have enough information from Jada Jo is get the full picture. Who are these friends? How long has she known them? What’s the group dynamic? How does Jada Jo behave when she’s around them?

All of this would give us a much better idea of what’s truly going on for Jada.

So, let’s park her for a moment and instead focus on ourselves and our kids. If this is an issue you or your child are going through, here are some questions to ask.

1. Are these really your people?

One of the tenets of friendship is that you feel a sense of belonging. You can be yourself around people. They like you for who you are. And you’re included. If your friendship group is acting indifferent towards you, it sounds to me like it’s not the right fit. Remember the dating book “He’s Just Not That into You”? The same is true for friendship. When people are keen to be your friend AND they’re at a place in their life when they have time for friendships – they’ll show it. If you’re not being invited anywhere or included – that’s a message. They’re just not that into you. Are these situational friendships that possibly don’t extend past a workplace or school? We can be friendly with people in class or at work but that doesn’t mean those people want to hang out with us in their spare time. The fact is, we can’t force people to be friends with us – if we’re not getting cues that people actively want to spend time with us, then we need to move on.


2. Are you looking for more intensity than what your friends can give?

You might be someone who wants to be spending LOTS of time hanging out with your friends whilst they’re more comfortable catching up once a week or fortnight. So, it could be a mismatch if you’re an extrovert who is friends with a few introverts. The next question to ask is are you being needy? There’s a fine between enthusiasm and smothering people. Ask yourself if you’re comfortable being alone in your own company? If you’re not, it could make you quite needy as a friend needing others to entertain you and prop you up. A great book on this topic is The Secret Life of You by Kerri Sackville. The more comfortable you are with your own company, the better a friend you are able to be – because you don’t need others to entertain you.

3. Are you doing something that irritates or turns people off?

This one can be hard to accept but is it possible that you’re doing something that is a turnoff? Are you talking too much? Bragging? Are you too competitive in conversation? Rude or sarcastic? Do you tell offensive jokes? Are you a snob? Are you too quiet? Even things like bad breath and body odour can play a role in people not wanting to spend time with you. Most people won’t actually tell you what you’re doing wrong – they just won’t invite you to anything. So, get reflective and ask yourself if you’re doing anything that’s irritating others.


Listen to No Filter with Mia Freedman, On this episode, TV show Friends would have us believe that we all need a tight-knit group of best friends who will always be there for us. But in reality making, and keeping friends, can get harder and harder as life gets in the way. Post continues below.

4. Are you too quiet?

I completely understand that some people are shy or socially awkward but here’s the thing you cannot expect other people to do all the heavy lifting in conversations. Everyone understands someone being shy at the beginning but if it continues and you fail to participate in conversation, your friends will likely see you as hard work. And they’ll eventually give up. Teaching yourself or your kids to ask questions and join conversation is a life skill we all need to learn.

As for Jada Jo I hope we hear an update on where she’s at. My hope is that the outpouring of love she’s received from the internet helps her realise she’s not alone. I hope she takes the time to reflect on how she’s showing up as a friend and whether she needs to tweak a few things. But more than that – I hope she chooses to ditch those current friends and instead go in search of a new friendship group. A group who sees all she has to offer and who welcome her with open arms.

I wish that for her. And all of us.

Rebecca Sparrow is an author and podcast host who spends her time talking to tweens and teens about friendship. She’s also the co-host of The Friendship Project (with Lise Carlaw and Sarah Wills) – a 6-part audio series for adults on how to find your tribe as an adult. You can learn more about Bec here.

Feature Image: TikTok