Whether you’re a teen or an adult, you never stop feeling the desire to be connected and wanted by those you care about. It can hurt when you find out that these very same people who you cherish leave you out of events, hangouts and experiences without any explanation. In this article, I want to share my advice on what to do when you feel left out.
What you should do when you feel left out is not blame yourself or turn inwardly to be unnecessarily critical. Instead, examine the situation to determine if there’s a justifiable reason for why you were left out and not included.
To do this, you must exercise some objectivity and assume the role of a third party who is looking in to determine whether you did something to be left out or if you’re dealing with people who are inconsiderate of your feelings.
The one thing that you should never do is chase after someone or people who leave you out for no justifiable reason whatsoever.
In fact, don’t chase after them at all.
You can have a fair conversation to determine why but don’t devalue your worth by chasing after people who are blind to your amazing value.
It’s not worth it and you just won’t feel good about yourself or them.
People do make mistakes and you could unintentionally be left out. It’s not common but it can happen once or twice at most.
If there’s a recurring pattern, then there’s a problem and you need to decide how to address it.
Below are some of the things I would advise you to consider on what to do when you feel left out.
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Express your feelings to those who genuinely care about you
I’ve heard that people will only keep doing things to you that you allow them to do.
In other words, when someone crosses your boundaries one time or does something to hurt you, they can only keep doing that if you allow them to.
If you want to prevent this behavior, you have to be willing to express yourself and re-establish your boundaries by voicing your thoughts.
If you don’t, then they may continue to treat you like a second grade citizen because you aren’t holding them accountable for their actions.
Granted, you shouldn’t have to ask your friends or family to do right by you.
It should go without saying.
The whole point of a relationship of this nature is to care for each other.
To care is to consider the feelings of those who you respect and love.
The fact that they make you feel left out is uncaring and so you must express this to those who claim to care about you.
The best approach is one that avoids confrontation and focuses more on problem solving or elicits an explanation for such behavior.
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Don’t just criticize yourself
I’ve been in this situation before, my sister has and my best friend went through this quite recently.
It’s so easy to shine a bright critical light on yourself to try and understand why you were left out.
But, it’s important to recognize that it’s not always because you did something wrong or that you’re not good enough.
Sometimes, you could be dealing with people who are inconsiderate and not real friends to you. You could be dealing with jealousy or a case of sour grapes that resulted in you being left out.
Very rarely would I say that you were left out because you may have been forgotten and there was a miscommunication problem on the part of those who were arranging things.
But, it does happen from time to time.
Instead of immediately resorting to a critical approach of yourself, try to objectively analyze the situation for what it is.
If you’re being left out because you’ve done something wrong, then you can address it and work on that.
But, don’t let that be your natural inclination.
Some adults can be so petty and bitter that they would want to make you feel left out intentionally because they’re insecure and resentful for silly reasons.
Would it make sense for you to beat yourself up over the actions of people who are negative, fake, resentful, jealous and insecure for no reason?
Don’t make excuses for those who leave you out
As I’ve mentioned above, people can only do to you that which you allow them to do continuously.
It is your duty to enforce your boundaries.
If someone doesn’t choose to respect your boundaries or feelings after you’ve expressed it to them and explained how their behavior makes you feel, then you must be willing to walk away.
A boundary is useless without consequences.
But, you can only exercise your boundaries by first acknowledging the behavior of those around you and then attempting to objectively examine whether their behavior is justifiable or not.
If it isn’t, then you should not offer excuses for subpar and inconsiderate behavior.
You’re a person of value.
You deserve to be treated with respect and love if you have been a good friend, lover or family member to those in your life.
If you are made to feel left out, then you should hold those accountable for their actions and that can only be achieved by being rational and objective and not making excuses for their behavior.
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Find people who will treat your like a priority
As much as I advocate for problem solving and giving people many opportunities to do right by you, there comes a point in life when you must be willing to leave behind those who consistently hurt and disrespect you.
I’ll be the first person to admit that I have a problem with letting people go.
It’s a huge problem because I can fight for dying relationships and friendships due to sentimentality and my own feelings.
I project my own desire and perception of value that I have for a friendship or relationship onto the other party.
The problem is that if they don’t feel the same way, you’re fighting a losing battle.
You’ll keep getting hurt and being made to feel left out.
You can’t force someone to care about you and neither should you.
The right kind of people are those who will cherish your presence in their life. They will treat you with respect and be proactive at including you in events, hangouts and experiences.
At a certain point, you have to be strong enough and self-loving enough to let go of those who no longer value you and find others who do.
It may be incredibly difficult to do.
I would never discount the amount of pain and strength it takes to do something like this.
But, the trade off is that you end up creating space in your life for the kind of people who will make you feel at home around them.
I’ve reconciled with the idea that not all relationships and friendships are meant to last a lifetime.
Some of them come into our life to teach us lessons and to help us grow as human beings.
We can cherish the time in which they were in our life for what it was but we can also let go with love and move forward towards the relationships and friendships that will be better suited for us in the present and future.
Related post: When should you give up on a friendship
My heart goes out to you because I know how it feels to be left out. The feeling of rejection is painful and bitter but it’s not a reflection of your worth and who you are as a person.
This is not to say that you can’t use this as an opportunity to introspect and weed out those traits or behaviors that may have driven people out of your life.
If there are habits that are destructive, you should use this time to address them and fix them.
But, don’t just hate on yourself for no reason or because selfish people left you out.
It’s important to look at the situation clearly and then determine what can be done and who should take responsibility.
With that being said, I hope this article on what to do when you feel left out was insightful and helpful. Please feel free to leave your questions or thoughts in the comment section below.