When the FOMO is Real

You hear a lot of talk today of FOMO (the fear of missing out) these days. People think something is wrong because they are anxious about not being included.

Truth is that it’s a normal feeling that most of us will experience in our lifetime. In fact, chances are that fear will come true.

Social media makes both the fear and the reality happen. We wonder what’s going on when we see certain postings and then we see evidence over and over when friends get together without us.

Sometimes we’re unwittingly a part of it. We are invited, and go, take pictures, and find out the feelings of others are hurt because they were not invited.

Other times we invite people and forget to invite someone we would have loved to be part of things. Or, sometimes it’s intentional because we don’t want them there at that time. What do they think when they find out? How do we repair the damage?

When we’re the one on the outside, we question the relationships and ourselves. Is there a reason we’re excluded? Are they really our friends?

I probably spend more time pondering all this stuff than is healthy. My usual conclusion? Move on.

If you’re excluded for a reason, but no one cares to tell you, whose issue is that? If they do tell you, is that something that you really want to know?

There are a lot of people in this world. Keep open to those who exclude you, as they are human and probably intended nothing hurtful. Still, especially if this happens more than once, don’t put all of your friendship eggs in one basket. Especially a basket with holes.

Reach out to others and be inclusive as often as possible. When you screw up and forget them, find a way to make amends. Plan something special and make sure they know they are important to you. Don’t forget them next time.

Live such a life that you won’t know what you miss because you’re too busy creating joy for yourself and others. Spend more time making sure those you care about don’t miss out than worrying about you.

If they want to exclude you, they’re not worth your time, Or they don’t know what they’re missing. Or they’re human just like you, who surely has hurt someone unintentionally, too.

When you’re feeling alone, and unappreciated, and as though as you’re missing out, remember you’re not alone. A lot of us are looking up at the same sky as you, feeling just the same way. But we’ll get over it. Together.

”Sometimes, I feel like one who is on the sidelines, who has missed life itself.” – Nelson Mandela

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