Being left out is something that we have all experienced within our friendship groups.
Whether you can count your friends on one hand or you have a big group of mates, it is inevitable you’re not going to be invited to every single social event. That all seems reasonable enough to say and easy enough to accept right, because most of the time it’s not personal? But why when we see pictures on Instagram or Snapchat Stories of a couple of our friends enjoying themselves, do we feel that pang of sadness and FOMO?
Why is it, that when you see your mate’s Snapchat story and they’re all at the park, do you instantly want to be there? Sometimes its even a case of just wanting to be invited, even though you know that you probably won’t even go… but we’ve all been there, right!?
Is it FOMO?
FOMO is the fear of missing out. FOMO is that horrible feeling you get when you have to stay home sick, while your mates all go out and enjoy themselves and all you can do is think about how much fun you’re not having right now 😒
The odd time when you don’t make it to the party guest list is something we can all deal with and get over but what if you’re being excluded by your ‘friends’ all the time?
It’s amazing how you never really get FOMO when you’re off school sick though…
Rejection is a normal part of life
Remember that everyone feels left out sometimes. It’s unlikely to be a common thing to happen unless you have fallen out with your friends, or they are socially isolating you. Know that being left out is usually temporary and that you won’t be left out all of the time.
If you want to learn more about rejection, check out this article:
This is a painful thing to have to go through indeed, and can even feel worse than outright bullying. What lots of people don’t realise is that purposely leaving someone out to hurt their feelings is a form of indirect bullying and it’s called social exclusion.
Social exclusion comes in many different forms:
- Being regularly excluded from events/parties/outings
- Getting left out of general conversation. For example, not being listened to or constantly spoken over.
- Being told to go away or being told you’re unwelcome
- The overuse of ‘in’ jokes between friends which purposely makes you feel isolated
Do any of these sound familiar?
It’s a grey area because the truth is, you can’t force someone to like you. If you have conflicting personalities, different opinions, different interests and you just don’t get on, fine – don’t force a friendship just because you’re in the same group of friends or the same year group.
Sometimes it is more than that though, sometimes people go out of their way to make us feel isolated, and that’s just not cool.
So what can I do about it?
If you’re being excluded here are some things you can try.
Talk to your actual friends about it. True friends won’t be influenced by other people’s opinions of you.
Talk to the person who is excluding you and tell them how it makes you feel. In doing so you are addressing the issue head-on and opening up a dialogue. This is all probably sounds pretty daunting but by doing this, you are taking a proactive approach.
Just make sure it’s done right: a good place to start might be asking the person, ‘have I done something to offend you?’. Before you do that, read this guide on speaking to someone.
The best way to deal with social exclusion is to strengthen other relationships. If you have other friends who aren’t as close, try hanging out with them a bit more. Strengthen friendships with people who value you for who you are.
Join a club, take up a team sport or learn an instrument. These things are incredible social activities which will open up many opportunities to meet new people and provide chances to get involved in socials.
Always remember that you don’t deserve to be treated badly by people who are supposed to be your friends! Check out the articles below for more tips and join our community where there are a whole bunch of like-minded people waiting to chat!
How can I feel better about it?
The best way to feel better about being left out, is to treat yourself. Do something that makes you happy or something you enjoy doing. This could be working on a project, diving into a hobby, having a long bath or practising self-care.
Looking for more ways to look after yourself? Here’s 25 tips to practice self-care.