This article will look at the fear of being left out. We will look at how it affects an individual and ways to overcome the fear.
The fear of being left out
You see an Instagram post with a photo of your best friends at a party, and you’re not there because you weren’t invited.
Or you could get to work, and everybody is chatting about the fun party they went to the night before, and nobody inquired if you wanted to come.
Anyway, the truth remains, you haven’t got an invite, and you feel horrible. You’re feeling left out.
Why does it feel so hurtful to feel left out? Why is this impacting us so much?
It’s so strong because our sense of belonging is primitive. For our life, it’s essential.
“Human interaction has been essential to our species’ survival.” To be included in a community meant sharing resources and being safeguarded. Being ignored meant missing out on all of this and potentially fatal.
All of us have grown up feeling the agony of being left out in some way or another. Probably you feel left out at home by parents or relatives, or at school or outside of school with friends. Being left out is profoundly devastating as a child. Children are not ready to take anything personally, so it is possible that being ignored leads to our embarrassment and fear.
Your inner child will feel rejected and ignored by you as long as you ignore and condemn yourself by denying your feelings, criticizing yourself, numbing your emotions with addictions, and/or making others liable for your emotions and then offering yourself up obtain their acceptance. Your inner self-abandonment is then transferred into others, and you may feel depressed and assume that you do not fit in this universe. A common consequence of self-abandonment is depression.
Feeling left out is something all of us have experienced. Teenage is labeled as a vulnerable window. This is the time where our behavior and our self-concept change.
When your friends talk about something secretively, and you ask them what they’re talking about, but they say it’s nothing. When your friends ask you to move away so they could talk about some secret. You feel very hurt.
Why don’t they want to share it with me? Why are they not including me in their conversations?
These questions plague you, and slowly insecurities start creeping on you.
Almost all of us feel insecure occasionally, but few feel insecure almost all of the time. The type of upbringing you have had, past traumatic events, recent loss or exclusion experiences, depression, social anxiety, negative attitudes about yourself, perfectionism, or having a judgmental parent or companion may lead to insecurity.
When friends don’t include you in their discussions, outings or don’t want you in their group. When your class needs to choose members for their group, you are left out, the last priority, etc. These instances will very much affect you emotionally. Your self-esteem will be damaged. You feel like no one wants you, you are not a good friend, and no one likes you. You feel like everyone is leaving you, and slowly you begin to feel something is wrong with you. People are leaving you out because you are not worth it. These thoughts keep swirling in your mind increasing your insecurities and leading you to hate your life.
When you start meeting new people, this feeling of being left out will turn into a fear called FOBLO (Fear of being left out).
Being left out negatively affects your confidence for a long time. You find yourself losing trust in friendships, and even if you find yourself in a group, the fear of being left out will lead you to behave, not yourself. This can even cause social anxiety and depression.
You try to mingle into a group even though your interests are not compatible with the group. You force yourself to do what they do, put on a fake persona in front of them, just for them to accept you. Due to the fear of being left out, you lose yourself in the process of getting accepted by others.
Your sense of not belonging, not being important or relevant, or not being good enough can be nurtured by past experience.
Sense of belonging
Our psychological need to belong emerges from most human actions, thinking, and emotions. Other individuals matter. It’s so critical that they’ll be an origin of our self-esteem. “We could even construct our self-concepts on not only our distinctive attributes and traits (individual self) but also on connections we establish with important others (relational self) and the social circles with which we identify (collective self), thus constantly navigating our self-definitions between “I” and “we.
For others, a more substantial motivating factor is belonging and connection to co-workers than earnings. Since becoming part of a community means being part of something bigger, something that stretches well beyond our selves’ limits, thereby fostering a sense of “lastingness” and “constancy,” belonging may also lead to a meaningful existence.
“Belonging is recognized as the most fundamental human needs in Maslow’s hierarchy, after physiological and safety needs such as water, air, etc., and the need for safety.”
We also build our sense of self-worth through our connections with others, a term generated by Heinz Kohut that derives from self-psychology. We do this by replicating, idealization, and twinship, Kohut posited.
That is, others portray our worth back in the mirroring. A mother cooing back to her baby, for example, gives the message that they value. We have someone we admire and think, “I want to be more like that person,” in idealization, and we assume we can also become those characteristics.
An example is when in order to save the day, children would like to be heroes. We see aspects of ourselves in others in twinship, which legitimizes our own life. We’re seeing someone who looks like us, thinks like us or acts like us, and we’re thinking, ‘I’ve got to be okay!'”
We can not distinguish our physical and mental wellbeing from the value of a sense of belonging. A coping mechanism helping to relieve stress is the social relations that follow a sense of belonging. When we know we have aid and are not isolated, we also deal with challenging situations more successfully. The physical and mental effect of these conditions is minimized by dealing well with difficulties.
With some of the most vital needs, we start life: attachment to a caretaker. This is the start of our essential need for belonging. Studies show that children have lower self-esteem, a more pessimistic outlook, are deeply distrustful, and may have a sense of rejection because they have not reached a stable attachment in their young lives. The primary mental health problems associated with an inadequate sense of belonging are depression, anxiety, and suicide.
Tips to overcome the fear of being left out
It is entirely utterly natural to feel left out. It is a response that is adaptive. There are many steps we could take in a safe way to cope with feeling left out. To pursue, here are seven techniques.
- Accept your feelings and enable them. It is necessary to grant yourself an opportunity to feel any emotions that may occur, ranging from sorrow to envy to insecurity to distress to frustration. Without criticizing them or criticizing yourself for experiencing them, sit with your emotions.
Tell yourself that this is a moment of pain for you, and do something relaxing to elicit a response to relaxation. For example, this relaxation technique: inhale for a count of five, hold for one, exhale for a count of five, and hold for one. Follow this grounding method:
- Mention five things you notice.
- Four things you can touch (touch and feel).
- Three things you listen to.
- Two things you smell.
- One thing you taste (sip a drink).
It is also necessary to soothe ourselves, for this keeps us from lashing out instinctively and beginning to regret it later, which we can do if we are frustrated that we’re being excluded.
- Reach out to another person. Studies have found that individuals who feel excluded have a sudden increase in their ability to communicate, “so make the most out of it.” Speak about how you feel with a friend. Connect with people in a helpful internet community.
- Serene catastrophic thinking. You may have several devastating thoughts when you feel left out. They’re all mad at me. They all hate me. They omitted me purposely. This is why the proof of your fears must be investigated since they appear to be absurd and unreliable, even if our fears seem genuine.
- Change your attitude. What if your greatest fear turns out to be true? What if you were omitted on intent by your friends? What if they are upset with you? And what if they were gossiping about you? Of course, this is disturbing. And it is an incentive as well. You should take the opportunity to reevaluate what you prioritize in relationships rather than dwelling about how you don’t feel preferred, and question yourself if your relationships represent what’s essential to you.
Plus, “you get to determine how much you permit the judgments of other people or rejection to tell you how you think about yourself.” Do they deserve the right to leave you feeling about yourself a certain way? What renders them so exceptional that they get to have much more say than you do as to how deserving you are?”
- Enhance your faith in yourself. In easy ways, we can do this. This involves self-care practice, beginning with the fundamentals, such as resting well and exercising our bodies. It also involves positive self-talk practice. And it involves affirmations being spoken. “At first, it may seem inauthentic, however the more optimistic words we repeat, the more we can internalize them.
I’m deserving of getting love; I’m going to get through this; I’m deserving of good things; I’m responsible for my life.
- Engage the person. Mort recommended having a one-on-one, face-to-face talk with the individual if you feel left out sometimes or the circumstance feels especially painful. Focus on the result you are looking for, and when you’re calm, address them.
- Assure yourself that the pain is going to be dull. Time is a formidable healer. It is challenging to feel left out, and it can cause a range of emotions, which is absolutely and utterly natural. Everybody feels like this. The feeling of rejection is not an emotion that is in any way connected to your failure. They’re hard-wired into you.
This article looked at the fear of being left out. We also looked at how it affects an individual and ways to overcome the fear.
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FAQ: Fear of being left out
What does being left out mean?
Feeling left out is typically the product of a group of individuals you want to like and support you being excluded or ignored. You might feel left out because a circle of friends or colleagues have excluded you and/or ignored you.
Why are my friends leaving me out?
Your friends might have thought you were too occupied or were not going to enjoy the activity. Question yourself if you are clingy if you always feel as if you’d like more interaction with your friends. Clingy nature includes asking them to invite you to something when you become friends with others.
The Fear of Being Excluded. (n.d.). Retrieved December 10, 2020, from https://margaretpaul.com/relationships/the-fear-of-being-excluded
Pogosyan, M. (2017, April 11). On Belonging. Retrieved December 10, 2020, from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/between-cultures/201704/belonging
Is a sense of belonging important? (n.d.). Retrieved December 10, 2020, from https://www.mayoclinichealthsystem.org/hometown-health/speaking-of-health/is-having-a-sense-of-belonging-important
Tartakovsky, M. (2019, March 28). Why Feeling Left Out Can Feel So Painful-And 7 Healthy Ways to Cope. Retrieved December 10, 2020, from https://psychcentral.com/lib/why-feeling-left-out-can-feel-so-painful-and-7-healthy-ways-to-cope/
Raypole, C. (2020, August 28). Feeling Left Out Sucks — Here’s How to Handle It. Retrieved December 10, 2020, from https://www.healthline.com/health/feeling-left-out
Greenberg, M. (2015, December 06). The 3 Most Common Causes of Insecurity and How to Beat Them. Retrieved December 10, 2020, from https://www.psychologytoday.com/intl/blog/the-mindful-self-express/201512/the-3-most-common-causes-insecurity-and-how-beat-them