Monday, June 20, 2016

When you're the one left out

I remember it clearly. I was a sophomore in high school. I was at youth group. It was a pretty big group, but I had been going to this same youth group for awhile so I felt like I knew a lot of the kids. And given the fact my older sister was in the group, I felt some of them were even my friends. Then I heard it, It wasn't as if I was eavesdropping. We were all standing in a group and someone mentioned the plans they had for that weekend. It was obvious from the nervous glances that this wasn't an open event. It was only for a select few. And I was not on the inside. It was a punch to the gut. A feeling so terrible, I can still see my sixteen year old self standing awkwardly among them with that unmistakable realization that I was not part of the in crowd.

I wish I could say that I've matured and grown past that feeling of insecurity. That feeling of not being cool or enough. But that's not the truth. The truth is that I still struggle with feeling good enough. When I hear about plans other people made or events that happened I wasn't invited to, it makes me feel pretty crappy. I still get upset and angry. I'm just better at hiding those feelings.

I know in my head it's not about me. People have every right to make their plans and be with the people they enjoy. I want to be with the people I enjoy and sometimes I've been the one to make people feel inadequate. I hate that. You would think I know better. But it's just part of being human. We want to be included. We want to be noticed. We want to be seen as worthy. Those emotions are powerful. I believe they override our empathy sometimes.

I don't know that there's a solution. Sometimes we are going to be left out. Other times we will be the ones leaving out others. The best approach for me is to remember that people are not against me, they are for themselves. It's not personal, however much I might believe it is.

So the next time I start to feel like my teenage self, I need to remember I'm an adult. I've got my big girl shoes on and I am wonderful. You are too.


  1. It's amazing how some insecurities never go away. I always feel left out in social situations since a lot of my colleagues and even friends are single and childless. As a single mother, it's just not easy for me to attend certain get-togethers. I know my friends do not have any ill intent when they have spontaneous meetings, but often times even at long-planned events, they might not even bother to ask me to attend. It hurts, but they are my friends, and I know if I was ever in any trouble, they would be right there for me. But yes, it's just a basic human need to want to feel wanted and accepted.

  2. Replies
    1. Thanks for your comment. I recently left a solid group of friends because I moved. And I've been struggling with that not feeling included. But yes, they would be there if I needed them.

  3. Couldn't have been explained any better, as far as I'm concerned. We all need to feel wanted and accepted.That's very important in living happy with everyone you know.