Feeling left out can be really hard. You can be happily scrolling through Snapchat and suddenly see a picture of your two best friends enjoying a day out together – without inviting you. Or maybe you’re finding it hard to integrate yourself into a group of friends at school, constantly being cast out in most situations.
Althoughit isn’t uncommon for these things to happen, that still doesn’t make them any less hurtful. Many psychologists would argue that the feeling of being left out is so hurtful because the action of inclusion is so primal to us. We’re social beings, and so being isolated from spending quality time with others, for whatever reason is a threat to our existence.
While being left out can have a negative impact on your self-worth, it’s important to know that just because this might happen to you doesn’t make you any less lovable, or worthy, or fun to be around. Sadly, exclusion is a part of life that most people face (even if they don’t talk about it), but there are ways to handle it that can help to soothe the sting.
Usually, when you see something that hurts your feelings online or in real life the first thing your mind does is jump to conclusions. Try to avoid doing that as it’ll likely only make the situation worse for yourself.
Instead, in situations where you think you’ve been left out, deliberately or not, try to take a logical approach. Step back, assess what is happening and maybe you’ll realise that there’s a pretty good reason why you weren’t invited along, or that the people doing the leaving out were left with no other choice.
Let Out Your Feelings
If you are being left out for no other reason than just being left out, this is of course hurtful. One of the best things you can do for yourself in that event is to let out all your feelings. Cry it out, write it down in a journal, vent to your sister, do whatever you can in that situation to make yourself feel better, becuase bottling up your emotions will only do you more damage.
Know It’s Temporary
You may be having a hard time in school or with your friendship circle right now, but that doesn’t mean it will be this way forever. It may not seem like it, but everyone feels left out or forgotten about from time to time, so you should take comfort in the fact that although it feels like it, you’re in fact not alone.
The rejection and hurt you feel right now is just temporary and is not how you will feel for the rest of your life. There are plenty of friends and adventures out there waiting for you, things won’t always feel this way, we promise.
Loving and having a friendship with yourself is one of the most important things you can do in life, regardless of whether you’re feeling left out or not. Spend time (it could take months, or maybe even years) getting to know yourself, being kind to yourself, and ultimately becomming best friends with yourself.
This can be done through listening to your feelings and working through them in your head, finding hobbies that you enjoy doing alone, becomming comfortable with your own identity, and reminding yourself that you are beautiful and worthy at every given opportunity. If you don’t get invited to a party? So what! You have yourself to chill with anyway.
If you feel like you’re being consistently left out or forgotten about, maybe it’s time to look inward. This may not be something you want to do, but it can be helpful to be critical when it comes to your own actions sometimes. Are you maybe sending out the wrong signals making people think you don’t want to be invited places? Are you making no effort in taking the first step to strike up a friendship?
These could all be contibuting factors to you feeling left out, and while exclusion is never only your fault, sometimes you may need to give yourself an extra little push to put yourself out there. Ask if you can be invited to something, strike up a conversation with someone in your year, organise trips yourself – all of these things will help you to become more proactive in reclaiming your social life.