3 May, 2011  |   9 Comments

Healing from feeling left out

Oh, the internet, with all its inclusiveness and everyone has the same voiceness. Oh, internet, you sure do know how to make a girl feel shunned.

Photos of people you THOUGHT were your FRIENDS getting TOGETHER WITHOUT YOU?

They didn’t even think to invite you.

But I read their blogs!
I email them!
I met them at conferences!
How could they LEAVE ME OUT LIKE THAT?

And to rub salt into the wound, they’re posting photos of their good time.

Used to be, you could have a discrete get-together or a small party and the folks that weren’t invited never had to know.

With the internet and accompanying smartphones, photos of every event make their way to Facebook or Flickr or a blog somewhere and sometimes it seems the only purpose was to make me feel left out.

Yep, we’re not ready for this.
Psychologically, we’re not ready for this.
Never before in human history did we have so many parties we were NOT invited to thrown in our faces.

Some people probably are emotionally evolved enough. Barack Obama, maybe, or Tony Robbins. They seem like the kind of people that when not invited to a get-together, they shrug their shoulders and move on.

(Not me.)
(No way.)

And here’s the real pickle, as a person who loves to entertain, I realize that one of the top three ingredients of a great party is the guest list.

And a well-edited guest list can make sure that a good time is had by all the attendees. Inviting everyone isn’t always the best strategy for every event.

So how do I marry my belief that not everyone can be invited to every party with the ripped-out feeling in my heart when I’m not included?

First, I have to notice what exactly is making me feel bad.
Not being invited to something can fire up feelings of anger, jealousy and mean in a way that isn’t always apparent WHY I hate these people.

It’s easy to start attacking the folks or just actively not liking them because you didn’t pay attention to where that hurt feeling came from.

So noticing, “Oh, hey, I’m hurt because they didn’t invite me,” is a huge first step to healing from the hurt.

That’s a big one.

Then I take a big breath and evaluate the actual situation even more closely, asking myself more questions.

Do I really even want to be on the guest list?
It’s easy to feel bad about not being included, but if I didn’t even really want to go in the first place, am I really missing out? I need to check my gut to make sure that I even care about going.

Is it a professional-type event?
Am I not invited to this brand-sponsored party for these particular kinds of bloggers? Am I hurt because of that? If so, what do I need to do to get invited to the next one? Do I need to get on that particular PR person’s list? Is there someone who went that I can ask about how they got invited?

What were the circumstances behind this get-together?
Is it friends that just happened to run into each other? Am I

9 thoughts on “Healing from feeling left out

  1. 1
    Debra says:

    Love your insights! Is there anyone who doesn’t feel this way sometimes? I agree that we’re not ready for all of this. I take facebook/internet hiatus when I feel the anxiety or upset about this getting too strong. Thanks for expressing how many people feel.

  2. 2

    I try and imagine all the fun folks would have had with me there. lol. I feel left out ALL the time. No one ever looks at me as a mom blogger and it’s so weird. I never get invited to the cool things for moms. I am the mother of 3 sons! I am the weird one. It is sometimes hard- but I just try and stay positive. I try. xo

  3. 3
    Pam says:

    I’ll admit to wondering about the not so mysterious invitation process and sometimes wishing I had the opportunity to say yes (or no). I’m interesting! I’m smart! I’m fun, too!

    But then there are several events that make me raise my eyebrows and wonder HOW the invitees could have possibly said “yes” and slept at night. So in that sense I am glad I have the confidence to say “no”.

    It’d just be nice to have the opportunity to say it. 🙂

  4. 4
    Anne says:

    This is a timely musing as I am just finishing up a Masters degree while also working full time and have been feeling really left out by my friends who seemed to have (not really) stopped inviting me to things since it seemed to them that I was always working on projects for school. After spending weeks (Months? Too long!) being mad because they were all having so much fun without me, I decided to say something and what a difference. I’m going to add your questions to my arsenal of things to help me to work through my feelings for the inevitable next time.

  5. 5
    daisy says:

    I had this problem recently when a newer friend who couldn’t make it to my (bigger, everyone invited) birthday cocktails sent me two separate emails demanding to know what I was planning to do on my actual birthday (a low-key dinner with close-friends-only).

    Clearly his eagerness should have been flattering, but instead I felt frustrated that I was now being pressured into including him in a dinner that was already bigger than I would have liked (8 people). When I finally did respond and invite him, he asked if he could bring his girlfriend (who is lovely, but whom I barely know). Going against the Southern girl inside of me, I (politely) told him no.

    Without Facebook or Twitter or Foursquare or all of the rest of it, I could have just politely said I was having a dinner with my boyfriend (a fib to protect his feelings). But since I just KNEW pics would end up on the Internet, I had to invite him.

    I’m sure I’ll be happy he’s there, but I would have liked to never have been in that situation in the first place.

    I guess this is the reverse problem you sometimes have but I love a good vent. xx.

  6. 6
    Jane Gassner says:

    Yep, it’s the “Everyone was invited and I wasn

  7. 7

    I’m OK with not being invited to brand things — by now I realize that the brands tend to invite the same people and I’m simply not on that list. It is what it is.

    But yes, when it happens with friends it hurts. And like you, I can’t invite everyone to everything, and I know this, but it doesn’t stop it from hurting.

    I’m going to try Amy’s solution, “I try and imagine all the fun folks would have had with me there.” Man, that’s brilliant.

  8. 8
    April Damron says:

    If I am feeling left out of a friend’s life (due to Facebook or reality) and I am honestly sad that I missed out on something fun, I think about how I can prioritize them (and their needs). I usually send a birthday note, comment on the photos that I was glad they had a nice celebration and then invite them to do something. I have found by providing friends and colleagues unwavering support, sooner or later they need you.

    P.S. I like to get invites from you HJH! Please keep me on your list. xoxo

  9. 9
    Alyce says:

    I recently relocated and am now within spitting distance of half a dozen of my favorite bloggers. But I don’t blog. So I’ll likely never get invited to anything. It’s weird. I don’t know that I’ll ever get over that feeling of being outside, even though I’ve been online since 1996.

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