NYC Psychotherapist Blog

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Sunday, November 20, 2022

How to Cope With Feeling Left Out

At some point, everyone has had the experience of feeling left out. This can be a passing experience or it can be a chronic problem where you might be unaware of things you're doing that contribute to the problem.

Feeling Left Out 

How to Cope With Feeling Left Out
  • Accept Your Emotions: It's normal to feel upset when you feel left out. If you find out that a friend invited other mutual friends out for dinner and you weren't invited, you can feel hurt and excluded. Before you react, take time to accept how you're feeling and that you might not have all the information. For instance, there might have been an unintentional break down in communication or a missed call or text.
  • Take a Deep Breath: Take a moment to breathe before you respond without having all the facts.
  • Do Some Grounding ExercisesGrounding means getting centered and calm. Using certain mind-body grounding techniques can help to calm your mind and your body (see my article: Using Grounding Techniques).
  • Write About ItJournaling can help you to understand what you're feeling and whether what happened might be triggering old feelings from the past, which would add intensity to what you're experiencing in the current situation.
  • Talk to Someone Who is Impartial and Outside the Situation: Talking it out with someone you trust can help you to see other possibilities.  You could gain perspective from talking to someone who is objective.

How to Be More Approachable in Social Situations
Sometimes when people feel left out in social situations, they don't realize they're doing things that make them seem unapproachable.  

Feeling Left Out

It can be challenging to look at yourself and think about how you might be affecting the situation where you feel left out.

If you're uncomfortable in social situations, you might be coming across as aloof, bored or uninterested in what's going on around you.  People might also misinterpret your discomfort as annoyance.

The following tips can help:
  • Be Aware of Your Body LanguagePeople pick up on social cues by observing body language much more than words.  So, for instance, if you're feeling uncomfortable and you're standing with your arms crossed, you look closed off and, possibly, unapproachable.  
  • Develop a More Open Posture:  Standing or sitting without arms or legs crossed with an open posture makes you look more open and approachable.
  • Make Eye Contact: When you do get a chance to talk to someone, make good eye contact, but don't lock eyes with someone you're just getting to know. A good rule is to make eye contact about 60% of the time.
  • Smile: Although it might be difficult to smile when you're uncomfortable, try to think about something that makes you happy and confident. 
  • Avoid Distractions: Your cellphone is a distraction in a social situation. If you're on your phone, people won't want to interrupt you because you don't look open to communicating with them.
  • Avoid Blocks Between You and Others: If you're in a social situation, avoid placing blocks between you and others. For instance, if you're sitting on a couch at a party, don't hold a couch pillow against yourself.  This blocks you off from others and signals you're not accessible.
  • Avoid Nervous Habits: Fidgeting and other nervous habits might be interpreted as not being open to talking with others. This includes nervously scrolling on your phone, playing with your hair, and other nervous habits that people engage in when they're uncomfortable.
  • Stay Attuned to Others: When you're having a conversation with someone, pay attention to what they're saying.  Aside from making eye contact, nod to show you're listening and interested.
When to Get Help in Therapy
Many people who feel left out because they have social anxiety.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, approximately 12.1% of people suffer with social anxiety, so you're not alone.

A skilled psychotherapist can help you get to the underlying reasons for your anxiety, help you to build confidence in yourself and learn skills to manage social situations that make you uncomfortable.

About Me
I am a licensed New York City psychotherapist, hypnotherapist, EMDR, AEDP, EFT, Somatic Experiencing and Sex Therapist.

I work with individual adults and couples, and I have helped many clients to overcome anxiety.

To find out more about me, visit my website: Josephine Ferraro, LCSW - NYC Psychotherapist.

To set up a consultation, call me at (917) 742-2624 during business hours or email me.