Fear of Being Left Out. How do I overcome it?

Written by: Ankita Kathad– MA (Psychology)

Last updated date : October 06, 2022

Table of Contents Article title – DBT for anger
  1. Chapter 1
  2. Chapter 2
  3. Chapter 3
  4. Chapter 4
  5. Chapter 5
  6. Chapter 6
  7. Chapter 7
  8. Chapter 8

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Table of Contents Fear of Being Left Out. How do I overcome it?
  1. What Is Fear of Being Left Out?

We often hear the term FOMO. FOMO or fear of missing out is the human perception of not being a part of an event. It is the perception that others are having a lot of fun in an event where they are absent. This is becoming a very common feeling these days. This article explores this phenomenon of fear of being left out or fear of being left behind.

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Chapter 1:

What Is Fear of Being Left Out?

This is a constant worry that they will miss a chance, an opportunity, or important information. This has become more pronounced these days due to social media sites. This is because people post a lot of content on social media daily. Some people feel sad when they see other people’s profiles. This is because they feel that others are living a better life than them. They feel that others are happier than them.

Fear of being left out makes a person anxious. They feel that they are missing something very important. They believe that others are doing something very interesting. There can be many examples like an office party, a school trip a birthday party even. This situation has become prominent in the backdrop of social media. This is because people compare their lives with other’s highlight life. Social media allows adding filters to a picture. Many posts every little detail about their lives on social media. This is why a lot of people get upset and feel that their lives are not worthy enough.

Effect of Social Media and Fear of Being Left Out

We can post about anything online these days. People all around the world post pictures of their events. Some examples include posting about a date night, posting about daily exercise, or even posting about big events like marriage. All of this can evoke a lot of emotions in people who are looking at these pictures from a distance. Moreover, it can make them feel sad and lonely if they are not a part of them.

Social media does not show the reality. Therefore we only get to see the good parts of people’s lives on social media. There are many retakes and filters on the videos that we watch online. Therefore, they are not always perfect. Moreover, there can be several reasons for the person not inviting another person, however people fail to see such factors and feel bad about being left out.

This fear can exist in people of all ages. However, youngsters and teenagers who watch a lot of social media can feel more prone to this kind of feeling. Moreover, people with low satisfaction with life, in general, can experience this fear a lot. This is because they compare themselves to everyone around them. Even strangers whom they haven’t met.

Effects of Fear of Being Left Out

This kind of fear can affect the way you look at your own life, it can affect your mood as well as the way you rate your happiness. Here are some effects of this fear.

  1. You waste a lot of time, trying to stay updated with everyone’s life or the current trend.
  2. A sense of unhappiness and discontent with one’s own life.
  3. Engaging in unhealthy behaviors to drive away perceived loneliness. These behaviors can include drinking alcohol or smoking.
  4. Taking extra efforts to reduce the fear by spending a lot of money on events, shopping, and parties. The person can post pictures of such activities online.

How to Reduce the Fear of Being Left Out?

Many steps can be taken to reduce this fear of missing out. This fear is based upon self-perception and there are many ways in which you can reduce it. Here are some steps.

1. Acknowledge the Fear

When someone has a fear of missing out, they spend time trying to see what others are doing. However, keeping track of everyone’s life only makes the fear of missing out worse. Therefore it is important to realize that the fear of missing out leads to behaviors that make you feel more lonely.

2. Shift Your Focus

Try to focus on something else. Many things can give meaning to life. Social media does not always show reality. Therefore one can take up an activity that adds some value to life. For instance, Take up a hobby and give time to it. Try to add more positivity to life. Additionally, delete people who make you feel sad. You can customize your feed on social media. Try to add motivational quotes or people who make you introspect. Moreover, you can also reduce your time checking out what is happening in other people’s life.

3. Social Media Detox

Fear of missing out usually takes place due to the constant use of social media. Therefore take some time off and log out of a couple of sites. You will realize that you are left with more time to spend with yourself and finish off your tasks. Additionally, you will be less bothered by what people are doing around you.

4. Look Out for True Connections

You fear missing out because you seek some real connections. It is completely normal to seek friendships or companionships in life. All of us want to feel belonged. Which are we feel afraid of missing out. However, a lot of people try to seek such connections online. You can try making plans with a good friend or go out with a group of close friends. You can call up good friends to tell them how you feel. Additionally,t talking to real friends also helps you feel grateful for what you already have.

5. Practice Gratitude

When you focus on things that you already have, it’s hard to feel sad about what you lack. Therefore you can try gratitude exercises such as journaling or just introspecting upon things you have. It is important to remember that grass will always be greener on the other side. Therefore you should focus inwards and look out for things you already have.

An awareness of what you already have helps you from feeling sad about what others have. Moreover, when you are grateful for what you have, you don’t waste time looking for what others have.

Endnote

Fear of missing out is a real phenomenon. If you think that you have been feeling bad when you see someone else enjoying it, reach out to a special friend or family. This helps you raise that all of us have special people in our lives. Most importantly it is important to understand that all of us lead a different life. Therefore what we see on the internet is not something we should compare our lives with. Most people don’t put in the number of hours they had to put in to create content. People don’t even post the sad moments of their lives.

People with low self-esteem often fear missing out because they think that they don’t have the confidence to ask others. They also feel that people won’t invite them because of their low self-esteem. However, this is not the truth. People with low self-esteem can also feel more lonely when they see others enjoying and living their lives to the fullest. If you are facing low self-esteem, there are courses at Epsychonline such as Low Self-esteem that can help you out. These courses are curated by experts and are self-help in nature. There are several articles on the website which can aid you to feel better and more in touch with yourself. Do check them out.

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  • Self-reflection material
  • Suggestions & feedback
  • Worksheet, tips & tools to use

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