Untitled-3Photo by Brian Goddard

I know if my little buddy Amaya saw me sitting on a bench by myself, she’d be over immediately asking if I wanted to play. (I am also happy to report all of her buddy benches have been funded so no child has to ever feel alone at her school. Bravo Amaya!)

Sometimes, we feel like we’re sitting alone on a bench and no one is asking if we’re OK, or inviting us off that bench. Yep, benchwarmer.

I have a busy calendar but I see similar social media feeds you do, the private dinner parties, influencer brunches, and though I am part of some, I’m not invited to all. When I’m invited to one I feel like I won the invite from the popular girl at school and I have to buy a new dress just for the party! Who’s the cool girl anymore in the real world, anyway?

There are also many parties I’m not invited to, the collaborations I wasn’t invited to be a part of, or events I didn’t know about that I kinda wish I did. The reality is, we all can’t be invited to everything and we can’t do it all. I realized I’m not alone in feeling this way after talking to a girlfriend and so I figured I’d put myself out there and tell you how I deal with feeling left out, and how I resolve it – because we’re all people who want to be accepted, and we all have insecurities, no matter how confident we wish we were. It’s alright, we’re human.

1/ Understand what you are actually sad about

Sometimes we see parties but we already had something planned so we couldn’t have gone anyway.

Or we see a gorgeous collaboration we didn’t get to include our talents in but the reality is we have our plates full with paid opportunities so we may have had to turn down the collaboration anyhow.

Or we see a group of friends having fun and we don’t even know any of them but we just see how much fun they’re having and we sorta wish we could have that much fun too – but not with them because well, they’re strangers.

Perhaps the issue has nothing to do with wanting to be there, but just getting an invitation.

Don’t let a party or collaboration define you – your attendance doesn’t validate you. If the real reason is you wish you knew that cool person or you could say you hung with the cool crowd – reminder, we’re not in high school even though our feelings can take us back to acting or feeling like we are.

2/ Nothing against you. You too can be there – kind of

Oh social media…when people share they are at an event, they can be genuinely excited about it, or they are a social media influencer (hence why they were invited) and they are expected to share about it. Most don’t purposefully post to say, “Hey you look at what I’m doing, neener neener,” so I assume they aren’t. Don’t be hard on yourself if your invitation somehow got lost in the mail.

If there was a collaboration, no one intentionally (usually anyway) said, “Hey, let’s leave so and so out.” They just thought of a few buddies and got them together and the deal was done.

By the way, many of those things you can go to – they are usually paid workshops or attendances. Cough up the dough if it makes you feel better so you can use the hashtags the cool kids are using, no big deal. ;)

3/ Plan your own happiness

Grab your own friends, or invite new ones for a get together.

In our minds we put other people on pedestals because they seem to be doing what we wish we were doing – good businesses, staying busy, lots of pretty friends, dinner parties, pretty hair, free swag, etc. That’s great and that’s fine if you want those things too, just know you too can create that – just schedule it with your own. Don’t have a group? Make some new friends! More than likely there are many feeling the same way you do and would love to be friends.

If you’re missing community, find it – ask your best friend to coffee, pick up the phone and start a girl gang where you can spill your guts, struggles and cheer for one another.

4/ Celebrate others

I don’t struggle with jealously, I do find other people’s success motivating. I know not everyone feels this way and we all have different struggles.

When I feel a tinge of bitterness, something about me just not wanting to celebrate another person for whatever reason, I will force myself to go back to the photo and like it. I refuse to let bitterness invade my heart.

The more I practice celebrating others, the more I genuinely mean it. The heart can follow the action and instead of being envious or bitter, be inspired. Be enlightened, encouraged, and motivated that if they can do it, you certainly can too. Also, don’t overthink that because someone is over happy in one area, they must be miserable in another that we don’t see. Let’s not play that game and just give each other grace and acknowledge we’re all trying our best whether we post about struggles or being on our A game.

5/ Get off or limit social media

I took two years off Facebook and it was one of the best decisions I made at the time. In this post I explained why.

“All this to say that removing the distraction of others and worrying about what my status update will be today, to remove the ability to shout from the rooftop (or through a Facebook post) what I’m accomplishing tomorrow, has left me calmer, quieter, and sane.” – January 26, 2013 post.

I’m back on Facebook now for blogging group reasons and thankfully my unnecessary status updates is under control. I’ll share a few business updates on my personal, and a few life highlights or any advice I think would help others.

A friend has a three post rule. She posts on Instagram then goes back three posts and if nothing catches her eye, time to shut down and move on. If you find yourself getting a high or feeling deflated over like counts, oh my love, your day and life is so much more than a hundred likes. If you shut down the busy feeds and take time to see your life instead of being immersed in others, you won’t feel left out – you’ll feel so in love with your own life.

Next, I’m working on a post about how to deal with being unfollowed by people you know… oh my.