The feeling of being left out is a horrible thing anyone can experience. If this is something you’re experiencing right now, then you understand the feeling of misery, anxiety, and doubt this can bring. Don’t worry, though, just as with other social issues, this too can be fixed with effort and in time.
The good thing about this is that you can have a personal hand in fixing this particular issue for yourself. Given how awful the feeling of being left out can be, it will be in your best interest to begin working on it as soon as possible.
Why You Feel Left Out
First things first, in order for you to know what to do if you’re currently feeling left out from your peers and whomever, it is important for you to know why you’re feeling this way at the moment. This emotion can come from different causes. Listed below are the most common ones. Read on and see which one of these could be your reason for being left out.
Your friends do things without you
Your friends may be beginning to do things without you. You hear or see on social media that there’s a particular activity they enjoy doing together, without you, or there’s a particular place they enjoy going. All the while, you’ve never been asked to do that particular activity or been invited to go to that place with them.
This can make anyone feel very left out indeed. And if you don’t like confrontations, getting over this when this one is the reason for you being left out can be difficult.
You spend more time at home
If you’ve been spending more time at home instead of being out and about with your friends, all the while your friends have been hanging out with one another constantly, then this could also be a reason why you’re feeling left out.
Thankfully, for this particular reason, your feelings of being left out can be remedied quite easily: you can simply get out of your house and spend time with your friends. However, that may not be as simple for a lot of people, especially with everything that’s been going on in the world lately. If you’re truly currently stuck at home and there’s nothing you can do about it yet, just wait it out. If your friends are really your friends, they’ll understand your reason for staying home.
You can’t relate to your friends’ conversations
This one can be tough, but it may also just stem from a little misunderstanding. If your friends often converse about certain topics that you just can’t relate to, this may be the cause of you feeling left out.
That’s okay, though. In any friendship, you don’t have to relate to every single thing. There are just some things you can’t be in the same boat with someone, even those you’ve been friends with for years. Everyone has different interests. They may have found new things to enjoy which you haven’t gone into yet.
You don’t enjoy the same things anymore
Similar to the point above, you don’t need to enjoy the same things with your friend in order for you to remain friends. As mentioned, you and your friends can have different interests and hobbies and still remain good friends. You don’t need to be identical with one another.
If there are things your friends enjoy which you just can’t get into, that’s okay. Let them do the things they enjoy on their own time while you do yours. Besides, there are still a couple of things you and your friends can do together. Just focus on those instead.
You feel as though things have changed
The only thing constant in this world is change. If you feel like things between you and your friends have changed, as unfortunate as it sounds, this is a completely normal thing that can happen to anyone.
There are things that can be done about this, though. Adapting is one of them. As time passes by, things are going to change about you and around you. The best thing to do about it is to adapt to the particular change. Being apart for a long time lets you feel that change between you and your friend. That makes the change clearer. If you value that friendship, figure out what that change is and adapt to it.
They’ve distanced themselves from you
If you feel like your friends have been distancing themselves away from you, there are only two things you can do about it. You either talk to them about it to clarify matters. This may just be a case of overthinking and misunderstanding. If it isn’t, then the next step is to look inwards.
It may sound terrible, but if your friends are purposefully distancing themselves from you, then the problem may be yourself. Look inwards and consider why your friends are distancing themselves from you.
One outgrowing the other
One reason why you’re feeling left out and one of the many reasons why a lot of friendships end is the case of one outgrowing the other. It’s either you who has outgrown your friends or they’ve outgrown you.
Whatever the case, this is a very normal thing that can happen to anyone. You can either lift each other up or go your separate ways. As you read further below, if the friendship really matters to you and you believe it’s worth saving, there are things that you can do to get rid of your feelings of being left out. You may just be able to save that friendship yet.
What To Do If You’re Feeling Left Out
Now that you’ve figured out what the reasons are for your feelings of being left out, now it’s time to do something about it. This is an unfortunate event that can and will happen to anyone. Thankfully, it can also be remedied given you know what to do.
Don’t blame yourself
Everyone has got their own preferences and priorities, you can’t please them all. So when you’re in a situation where you’re feeling left out, don’t pin all the blame on yourself. There are a lot of factors that can come into play here and some of them may just be out of your control.
Instead, assess the situation as a whole and ask yourself where it went wrong. The feeling of being left out can also stem from insensitivity, miscommunication, and misunderstandings. These happening aren’t a one-sided affair. Don’t be too hard on yourself or else you’ll just make the situation way harder than it has to be.
Begin with the “Why”
Take a look back and ask yourself “why” all of this happened. You can turn to the list of reasons for being left out written above for your preference. If you can figure out the “why” of the whole situation, then you can proceed with the “how.”
Your approach moving forward should depend on why you’re feeling left out in the first place. If it’s something you can control, like the fact that you’ve been isolating yourself at home for months now, then good. Get on it and be proactive. However, if the circumstance is out of your control, then you can approach accordingly as well, which we’ll get to later on.
Talk to your friends
In a lot of cases, the reason why people start feeling left out could be just due to miscommunication and misunderstanding. To avoid this from happening to you, the best thing to do moving forward is to simply approach your friends and have a conversation with them.
Approach this situation diplomatically and it may be resolved way sooner than you thought. On the other hand, this could also air things out to things that were once unsaid. Either way, just be prepared for what your friends have to say. You should also be prepared to say the things you want to say properly and kindly.
Make the effort to reach out
Talking to your friends is one thing, actually making the effort to reach out to them is another. Make sure you’re able to connect with your friends by letting them know you’re making the effort to be with them. Allocate a few hours in a week to hang out with them. Have lunches or dinner nights with them. Invite them to your place. Whatever you have to do, just do so for the sake of your friendship.
If you were feeling left out before, one of the reasons could be the fact that you’ve been staying home for too long that your friends feel like you’re just going to reject them if they ask you out. Spin this around on them by being the active force.
Understand that this is normal
The feeling of being left out can absolutely happen to anyone. If this is the fact of the matter for you as of the moment, understand that this is a normal happening. This is an unfortunate event that has happened to a lot of people before you and will happen to others after you.
Knowing you’re not alone in this can strengthen your spirit. You should also consider the fact that if others have gone through it and got over it, that means you will too. It may be awful now, but it will not always remain this way. Just keep on thinking about the brighter days ahead of you and make the effort to get out of this situation, just as others have.
Know your strengths
Everyone has their own strengths and weaknesses, and the same can be applied to everyone’s social lives. When it comes to socializing, know what your strengths are and what your weaknesses are. You should then ask yourself if those may have had a hand in you being distant with your friends lately.
If you have a particular weakness when it comes to socializing that others have called out on before, perhaps you can work on that. On the other hand, you can also use your strengths to socialize once again so you can work on your feelings of being left out. All of this can come down to your socializing abilities. Make sure you know what your strengths and weaknesses are in that arena.
The art of listening is something everyone should get into. If you want to reconnect with your friends after you’ve felt you’ve been left out by them, you will be able to do so just by mastering the art of listening.
You should know that listening doesn’t just boil down to listening to someone else’s words. A master listener is someone who actually pays attention to the person they’re conversing with, in terms of words and body language. Listen to what the other person is saying while also paying attention to their body language. You will be able to tell if a person is comfortable, excited, lonely, or anxious just by paying attention to their body language. Sometimes, those can voice out their thoughts better compared to the things that are coming out of their mouths.
If you can be the perfect listener to your friends, you can then proceed to talk about the fact that you’ve been feeling left out lately. Once you’re in that conversation, pay attention to the things they’re saying and their movements as they’re saying them. By doing so, you’ll remove any prior misunderstandings and move forward accordingly.
Know that it’s okay to be alone sometimes
Just because you’re feeling left out now, doesn’t mean you should dedicate every waking free time you have to other people. You also have to allocate time for yourself, if that’s something you’re used to.
If you’re an extrovert, spending most of your time with others should be no problem at all. However, if you’re an introvert, then you know how mentally and physically draining it is just to be around others. This doesn’t mean you hate socializing, it’s just that your social battery drains faster than others and you gather energy whenever you’re alone.
Having said that, there is no problem with dedicating a few days off just for yourself. Just make sure you also spend a few days with your friends. Pay attention to your needs, but don’t neglect to spend time with your friends. The less time you spend with them, the more left out you will feel in the long run.
Build new friendships
While the best thing to do now if you’re feeling left out is to spend time with your friends and reconnect with them, it also will do you good if you start to build new friendships. Don’t treat this as a way of replacing your old friends. That’s not what this is about. Instead, this is to expand your social circle and make you better as a social person.
The more people you know, the better you’ll be at handling social interactions. For as long as you build meaningful friendships with other decent people, it will help you become a better person and a better friend as a whole.
Don’t lose sight of your personal health
Although getting rid of the feeling of being left out is good for your personal and mental health, overdoing and overthinking will do you no good either. With that said, make sure you maintain a healthy mental fortitude throughout all of this. Don’t go out of your way to do things you’re uncomfortable with or things that may be harmful to your mental health.
While it’s good to maintain a good relationship with others, you should always put your safety first. Watch out for your sanity and mental well-being while you’re reconnecting with your friends. You don’t need to rush things, you just need to be effective.
Don’t lose sight of your goals
Aside from watching out for your personal health, you should also keep an eye out for your professional life. Never disregard your personal and professional goals for the sake of your social life. These aspects of your life should be symbiotic with one another, meaning one benefits the other, instead of one ruining the other.
While you’re figuring out how to stop feeling left out, you should also keep your professional goals in check. Make sure you aren’t harming or disregarding your career throughout all of this. On the other hand, you also shouldn’t disregard your friends as you make your way to the top of your field.
However, if there are people in your life who seem to bring you down or purposefully dissuade you from being successful, then that’s another story.
One important aspect you should consider throughout all this is the idea of realism. What this means is that you should keep your expectations in check as well as understand that there are some things that are bound to happen, things that are beyond your control.
For one thing, you need to keep your expectations in check in terms of timeline and response. Sometimes, things may not go the way you want them to and that’s okay. It may also take time for you to stop feeling left out. There’s a very good chance you won’t be able to fix this after one attempt. That’s fine. This can take time and you should accept that.
There will also be things that are out of your control. For example, if you did something wrong to someone in the past and they’ve decided to cut you out of their lives, be respectful and accept their decision. There’s no need to linger on the past, you should just take that as an opportunity to better yourself so that it won’t happen again.
Meditation is a very helpful and healthy activity for your mind and body. If you’re someone who doesn’t meditate, now may be a good time to learn this useful and spiritual activity. Studies have actually shown that meditation is good for your self-awareness, self-esteem, and your overall mental health. It also helps you stay calm and relaxed. The calmer and more relaxed you are, the better you’ll be at handling any situations, including your feelings of being left out.
Dedicate a couple of minutes to an hour of your day for medication. Free your mind and relax, assess your situation and emotions, and think about what you’re going to do moving forward. Make a habit out of it and you’ll be better for it.
Seek professional help, if you need it
If all of this becomes too difficult for you to bear mentally, then you should waste no time in seeking professional help, for the sake of your mental health. Talk to a professional and just air out your frustrations. You’ll be surprised just how good it can be for you.
Know what’s best for you
At the end of the day, you need to know that everything you’re going to do in regards to you feeling left out should benefit you. You’re doing the things you’re doing for the sake of your health and emotions. If it’s best for you to reconnect with your friends, then do your best to make that happen.
However, if the other parties concerned do more harm than good to you, then it may be time to reassess the whole situation. If someone who was once toxic has distanced themselves from you, the best course of action may be to just let it happen. You may be feeling left out because of the lingering memories without considering the harm that was once done. If this is indeed the case for you, the best action right now is to let them go and move on.
There are going to be people in your life who will treat you badly. They may be purposefully making you feel left out so you’ll eventually stay away from them. This is an unfortunate reality and if it is the case for you, you’ll be better off somewhere else. Move on and make new friends who will actually treat you right and well.
Feeling left out is something that can happen, and when it does, it will leave you with a bad taste in your mouth. There are things that can be done about it, but the result will depend on the situation. You can either fix a situation or just leave it be to move on. At the end of the day, it will all be for your sake. The important thing is there are things that you can do about it actively.