The fear of missing out (FOMO) can be emotionally exhausting. Say you choose to stay home and relax because you feel like you deserve some you time. Your friends invite you to hang out, but you say no and settle down with some Netflix.
Then you see pictures of your friends having a good time, and part of you gets jealous.
You get into a state of "what if?" Like what if you did go? You could've made new memories with your friends, maybe met some new people.
We shouldn't have to feel guilty for having boring or relaxing nights or time to ourselves, but FOMO makes it really hard not to sometimes.
And that's not the only way that FOMO can be mentally straining. It could just simply mean the fear of not being included in something. Like if your friends are a part of something and you're not.
Anything like that gives them the opportunity to have a conversation about something that you can't contribute to.
Even though that's not their fault, and everyone has their own individual lives, it can just suck to feel like you aren't even a part of the conversation. It's like they have an inside joke that you don't understand, but you smile anyway so they don't feel bad.
There's a lot of thoughts that can go through someone's mind when they feel like they're missing out. They could feel like they're wasting their time when in reality they are just relaxing, something everyone deserves every once in a while.
They could feel like they're the odd man out like they're excluded, and that can make people feel really small and useless sometimes.
The anxiety can be even worse when you see your friends hanging out without you. That's next level FOMO. That comes with not only the normal "what ifs," but there's also the question of "why". Why did they not invite you? Are they mad at you? Did they even want to hang out with you at all?
So, even though there are a lot of different types of FOMO and situations that can bring it about, it's still something that a lot of people struggle with.
It's terrifying to get caught in a state of wondering "what if," because then you fall into a loop of just doing things so that you don't have FOMO, not because you actually want to do them.
So next time your friend gets upset about not being involved in something, understand that there may be a lot more questions bubbling in their brain and that it can actually be really tough to sometimes get over those fears.