We’ve all been there. We see the pictures online, overhear plans on the corridor or even worse get asked about what we’re planning to wear to an occasion that we had no previous knowledge of.
It’s a feeling of intense loneliness and can leave us with an all encompassing series of questions. Why not me? Did I do something wrong? Do they like me? While these feelings are completely normal and valid, they still hurt.
With October being Anti-Bullying month, I have compiled some tips for how best to manage your upset and cope with being excluded.
While it can be extremely easy to fall down a rabbit hole of negativity, sometimes it’s important to ground yourself and be rational. Maybe they simply forgot to ask you. This can be especially true if it is someone that you are especially close friends with who may see your presence as a non negotiable! Equally, you must be rational if this is not the case. Are you particularly friendly with the person organising the event, or do you just want to go because everyone else is? It can be very easy to fall into the trap of FOMO, especially given the heightened impact of social media but sometimes you really wouldn’t be going to this event anyway, and should be honest with yourself about what the true catalyst for your upset is.
Turn off the phone
Yes, it hurts that you haven’t been invited, but do you know what else hurts, seeing the pictures of everyone who did. Realistically, there is absolutely no need for you to be awaiting constant updates of the event or party, to see who is there or what they are doing. It is none of your concern and will only make you feel more left out.
Do something that you enjoy
Don’t spend the evening wallowing in despair. Hang out with friends that are also not attending the event. Watch your comfort movie with your favourite snacks or do something productive like organise your room or study. Just because you aren’t at the event doesn’t mean that you can’t do anything.
Consider your friendship
While sometimes it can be a genuine mistake and they did intend to bring you, if this is a repetitive occurrence, maybe you should consider reevaluating your friendship. If this person cares so little about you that they are repeatedly disincluding you, then maybe it’s time to broaden your circle. While it can be difficult to bid goodbye to someone that you consider yourself close with, sometimes the grass truly is greener on the other side and you deserve to have true people in your life.
Remember this Feeling
This might sound like an unusual one but it’s important to remember this feeling when you are organising any events in the future. You don’t want to make others feel the same way as you do now. Do not leave out one or two people from a friends group- even if they’re not your favourite person. If you dislike someone or want to distance yourself from them, don’t do it by leaving them out. Instead consider a conversation with them to discuss your feelings and maybe seek a compromise.
Most of all, don’t fret. This is ultimately only one event and in twenty years down the line will probably mean nothing. Learn from it and move on!