It’s like a sickness. The fear of missing out. A modern phrase for a feeling I think has been around for much longer. In my eyes, FOMO is so much more than wishing you were at your barista’s sister’s twenty-first birthday dinner in the Eiffel Tower because the Instagram photos just looked “so cool.” It’s a lot more personal. And I think that’s where we get the misdiagnosis. To me, it doesn’t matter as much what you see—it’s about who you see.
One of my favorite hobbies is hanging out with my friends. It doesn’t matter what we’re doing as long as we’re having fun together. And so I think when I’m not a part of a football tailgate or shopping trip, that’s when my FOMO really starts to act up. And I think it also makes me extremely insecure about the company I’m giving. Like if they wanted to hang out with me, if they liked being around me, then why wasn’t I invited?
But here’s the thing…I’m one person. That means I’m not available for a wine and movie night every single night of the week. It also means I’m not their only friend. And I shouldn’t expect anything else. So why should I be upset when I’m not a part of every single friend group memory?
For those of you who have felt this way before, please don’t think I’m attacking you. I’ve been in your shoes—in fact, I often still am. But I think we have to be mindful and understand that it’s not healthy and that it’s no one’s fault. I tend to hold a lot of resentment when a friend doesn’t invite me to get coffee. But maybe they wanted to bond more with this other person in our group. I’m not in the business of telling people they can’t have other friends. And maybe it’s okay if I skip out on game night—I wasn’t feeling Monopoly anyway. I can guarantee that it’s harder to sit through something you don’t want to do just because you’re afraid something extraordinary is going to happen if you’re somehow not there than to just have a comfy night to yourself.
It’s hard not to feel like your missing out when you’re not there. It’s hard not to imagine some fun inside joke will be made and you’ll forever regret not being there for it. But, you can’t be there for everything. So why torture yourself about it? It’s not easy, but it’s definitely better.
How do you guys get over missing out on invites and hangouts with friends? Is it something you’re not all that familiar with or is it something you’ve just grown to ignore? Share your thoughts with me in the comments section down below! And don’t forget–it’s one moment, not a lifetime. See you next week!