We’ve all missed out on at least one hang-out, event, or inside joke at some point in our lives. There are simply too many things to do and too little time to do them. This is a normal part of life, but just because it’s happened to all of us doesn’t mean that it doesn’t hurt when you feel like the one who’s been left out.

Whether it was a missed night out for drinks or a party or event that you didn’t get an invitation to, there are numerous times in our lives that will make us feel like the odd one out. 

Today, we have some tips to help you cope with the feeling of being left out to help you out the next time you feel like you’re stuck on the outside looking in.

Validate Your Emotions

It is okay to feel upset if a group of friends doesn’t include you in their weekend plans or if you don’t get an invitation to your cousin’s wedding. These are situations where we feel like we belong, and when we are not invited, it can make us feel unwanted. These feelings are natural, and it is important to acknowledge them and accept them rather than suppress them.

Avoid Stewing in Negative Emotions

Alright, we said to acknowledge your emotions, but that doesn’t mean subjecting yourself to them endlessly. There is a benefit to accepting and validating your emotions, but if you simply allow yourself to become overwhelmed by them, nothing good will come.

Rather than allowing these emotions to consume you, try setting a certain amount of time that you can allow yourself to feel these feelings openly and freely. Then, once you have experienced them, know that it is time to move on from them.

Talk About It

Sometimes not getting an invite is simply a miscommunication. Make sure that you have clearly conveyed your availability to avoid these misunderstandings. And if you have not been included in something and it is making you feel sad or upset, communicate that to your friends or family who are involved.

It could be that they simply did not think you wanted to come, or they thought you may be busy.

Shift the Narrative

Try to shift your focus from feelings of being rejected to really understanding what you value from your relationships. Maybe take the time to assess if missing out on an event or two is something that is really important to you. Identify whether or not you feel that your needs are being fulfilled in your current relationships and friendships.

Assume the Best

We oftentimes have a tendency to assume the worst in people. Thinking, “oh, they didn’t invite me to the party because they were only pretending to like me,” or “I guess we were not that close in their mind.”

This manner of thinking can be incredibly draining and damaging over time, and if we are able to simply shift our internal thoughts to give others the benefit of the doubt, we’ll all likely be better off.

Pick Up a New Hobby or Interest

You could pick up an old passion you had in your childhood, get lost in a world of wonder and intrigue in a good book or movie, learn a new skill, or even treat yourself to a full-on spa day. There are endless possibilities here. The aim is to find something that you truly enjoy doing with your time.

This way, even if you are not invited to an event, you aren’t going to be wallowing away or pitying yourself while it is going on — you can instead be doing something that you enjoy and enriches your life.

Take Charge of Your Socialization

We can only get so far in life by allowing others to plan everything. Maybe make a plan yourself and invite your friends along rather than waiting for one of them to bring something up. 

It may also be that you and your friends may not share similar schedules or interests anymore, and you may benefit from looking for a different group. If this is the case, try working on making new friends that may be more suited to your life and where you are now.

Work on Your Self-Confidence

Be friends with yourself. We know this sounds cheesy. But, if you really want to work on feelings of exclusion and feel more included and appreciated by your friends, start with yourself.

Be your own best friend. It takes time and lots of work to learn to love and accept ourselves — especially in a society where we are expected to hate ourselves for not being models, actors, or influencers. But, truly accepting and embracing ourselves gives us the freedom and confidence to find others who will also accept us for who we are. These connections are going to be the most fulfilling in the long run. 

If you are looking for additional and more personal guidance on how you can improve your self-confidence and be a friend to yourself, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at Love Heal Grow. Our therapists are trained to help you overcome the obstacles that are in your way to make you more confident and healthy in your life.