FEELING LEFT OUT BECAUSE YOU WEREN’T INVITED BY FRIENDS??? Ah, that feeling of being excluded. Of discovering there was a party to which all your friends were invited, but not you. The shock of being excluded drags you into a spiral of misery, as you keep asking yourself ‘But Why?’ And then the agony of analysing and over-analysing begins. Did I do anything wrong? Why does no one love me? What did I miss out on? Then comes anger. ‘How dare they leave me out?’ ‘Who do they think they are?’ ‘I’m never inviting them to my place EVER again.’ And once the anger subsides, the misery sets in again, leaving you feeling lost, unloved and unpopular. So, how do you deal with all this emotional pain? Feeling excluded, unfortunately, is a feeling all of us have dealt with. Most of us have seen some version of it or the other in our own school playgrounds all those years ago, when you were deliberately snubbed by a group of ‘cool kids’. We carry that same vulnerability into adulthood and feel hurt and betrayed when good friends leave us out. Just the other day, I met a lady who felt excluded because 2 of her good friends met up for coffee without her. She was so upset that it was hard to get her to calm down. I explained to her that unfortunately, these things happen. And there are lots of reasons why 2 out of 3 friends may feel the need to meet up minus the third friend. While it can be hurtful, it really isn’t the end of the world. They may feel a closer bond with each other than they do with you. And while they enjoy your company most of the time, there may be days when they just want to have a heart-to-heart chat just between themselves. It doesn’t make you a terrible person. Neither does it mean they hate you. They simply want to be by themselves. And that’s ok! If you’re constantly feeling like a third wheel in that friendship, maybe it’s time to meet new people and become part of different groups. At the same time, you can enjoy their company whenever the opportunity pops up. Nothing stopping you from initiating a catch-up with the two of them if you really enjoy their company. Another reason why you may not have been invited somewhere by your ‘friends’ is because unknowingly you may have hurt one of them in the past. Or offended them in some way. Maybe they no longer agree with some of the choices you’ve made in your personal life. Whatever the reasons, you have two choices. You can either remain detached and shrug it off, refusing to waste any time overthinking about it. Or, you can approach the friend and ask for clarification. However, there’s no guarantee that the friend will tell you the real reason behind excluding you. If they come up with some vague excuse that you don’t believe for a minute and continue leaving you out, you need to ask yourself whether it’s time to move on from that friendship. Sometimes, people make the mistake of ‘assuming too much’. They may ‘think’ someone is a very good friend but the other person doesn’t believe that at all. Just because you feel particularly close to someone doesn’t automatically mean they feel the same. If you find yourself often not on the guest list of a particular friend, maybe one needs to view the relationship from a more realistic lens. Believe it or not, sometimes people genuinely ‘forget’ to invite certain people. They have no malicious intent. It simply didn’t cross their mind to invite you. Once again, it might be a case of assuming too much from that relationship. We, humans, are social beings. We want to feel loved, admired and accepted. Don’t feel guilty about the emotions that flood you when you’re excluded by people you thought were close to you. There’s nothing worse than over-analysing it again and again in your head. The 3 simplest choices ahead of you are to practise detachment, ask for clarification or move on if you’ve reached a dead end. Above and beyond those three choices is the mega mindset of loving your own company. Once we begin loving ourselves, we’ll never again feel the need for validation from an external source. So, if you’ve been miserable because someone left you out recently, don’t waste any more time making up stories in your mind about why it happened. Forget about it….Find out more…Or simply move on. The power lies within you. Nim Gholkar, 2018 www.nimgholkar.com #SuccessCoach #UnlockTheRealYou