You heard it here first, folks: FOMO is real, and in some circumstances, really capable of serious damage to a person's overall mental state. It's true and convenient that feelings of FOMO and the general feelings of obligation to be ~social~ all the time diminish as we age. However, there are still some nagging ick feels that surface when we suspect everyone is hanging out without us and having a ball. Even if we're only six percent sure.
I could argue the gospel of homebodism until the cows come home and join me reclined on the couch. Not just that hanging at home and staying in more is awesome on their own, but doing your own thing can be pretty rewarding and enjoyable, too. We know all these things as actual fact, but brains sure do like to warp comfortable truths into glaring insecurities and varying degrees of anxiety. It's pretty chill. Jealousy! Self-doubt! Suspicion! Sadness! Anger! Hunger (that one's normal, though, I guess)! It's such a bummer our emotional hearts can overwhelm our logical brains and leave us in a bit of a tizzy when we suspect everyone is hanging out without us. Chances are you recognize this classical range of struggles/emotions in such a life/brain situation:
Maybe it's a stream of similar Instagram posts in succession from a specific friend group. Or, conversely, as I have actually experienced, several friends ask for help cat- or dog-sitting the same exact weekend. A string of events or evidence point to the idea that something fun is about to happen...but you are not invited.
You wanna ask...
Seriously? You're an A+ beach companion and everyone knows this as a fact. Who else on Planet Earth shares equally strong skills in both marg-mixing and sunscreen application? No one. You're super tempted to be frank and ask outright what's up.
...but you won't
Something seems pretty childish about calling this oversight out. Either it was intentional or it wasn't, but regardless, you weren't included. You know rationally that mistakes can happen and Airbnb capacities do exist, but it seems too much like accepting failure or missing a hint to verbalize.
Why wouldn't the gang want your bubbly conversational additions at happy hour? Was it something you said? Or didn't say? Suddenly you're re-examining everything.
You consider leaving your bed/bathtub
But it's hard and you're already here. Plus it's not like anyone is expecting you anywhere. CLEARLY, so.
OK — what? Everyone at the book club was invited for a clandestine Bahamas trip but you were somehow left out of the loop? Seems fishy as hell, but instead of saying something, you'll just stew in private. You can make and enjoy frozen mix drinks at home. With your cat. NOW WHO IS WINNING??
It doesn't so much matter you know it's a useless, bad, painful idea. You keep up obsessively with the social media evidence of this hang happening without you. There are hashtags and you keep detailed mental notes.
...Who cares? It sucks your friends/coworkers/reading club members/whoever didn't think to or deliberately decided against inviting you, but chances are it isn't personal. Now you just feel slightly ashamed and like you need a shower from all this silly sleuthing.
What if YOU should a plan an ultra-dope outing or house party and not invite whoever organized that thing you weren't invited to?? THAT WOULD TEACH THEM. At this point, you are backsliding some. A little.
You...don't...care?? This is hard to fake. But your sweet homemade juice upload on Twitter ought to help with the convincing factor.
Surely when these "friends" wake up to the glaring mistake of leaving you out, a huge dramatic apology will be in store. Perhaps by way of a cake. Hopefully by way of a cake.
Abandoning the wait for apology
This isn't going to happen. Because—
Do your friends hate you?
They don't hate you
Which is a thing you reasonably know and can trust as a true fact. These things just happen sometimes, and I'm sure you're guilty of leaving one or two crucial people out of an email chain planning the next night out dancing, too. It's human error, and occasionally that human error lends to forgetting you momentarily. It is almost definitely nothing personal.
Enjoying your solo hang time
Maybe friends recognized the fact you're not usually game for 12 mile bike rides when mostly routed upwards (hi, no). Or it could be your name slipped buds' radar — an honest mistake. Whatever is the actual culprit from your lack of invite, take this time off to regenerate and replenish for the next gang hang.
Images: NBC; Giphy (15)