I had a "happy hour" yesterday. All people there were between 19 - 26 years old and they are nice people so far.
They chose a brewing place, since they all like beer. I don't like so much. I was not looking forward to going there but they texted me and I went there. I arrived late and planned just a quick conversation and then go home. The moment I got there, everyone seemed to change face expression. The conversation among they was normal until they asked me few questions. My answers triggred some joke about me and everyone was laughing about it. I wouldn't mind, since idgaf anymore. But it was cleary obvious the joke about me was reccurent when I am not around. This was annoying for me because I treat everyone with respect and I try to be friendly as possible. I work everyday with them and I never realized that I am a joke. Well, I am the oldest employee of the company. Been there for 4 years and they work there for about 2 years. I helped them from many bad situations and projects (we work with engineering, circuits boards, mechanical stuff and etc...)
Tomorrow I'll have to face them again and I don't have the same empathy anymore. I should have not went to this happy hour. I am not feeling angry or looking for revenge. On the another hand, I will not help anymore as I used to do before.
I usually find a excuse for this situations. This time I tried to change and came home sad.
Normally I say I have some freelance work to do or some another friend I gotta hang out with.
You could say you are not feeling well due to the travel I guess.
When I could not manage escaping those crap lunch meetings, I try to sit on the corner of the table, so I have just one person by my side and I sit next to someone I most relate to (someone nice and calm). For eating, I choose something easy to eat becuse I am clumsy lol. I always keep some questions in my mind that drive the attention off of me. I ask what they do and ask to tell about some work they did. To sum up, some sort of question that make people talk a lot and to each other but me lol
Those situations are not socially easy.
"Without the knowledge to lead so you just follow the sheep"