No matter how old you are, it is always painful to feel left out. While it’s normal to experience rejection from time to time, the feeling of abandonment that comes with it causes sadness and loneliness. To overcome the feeling of exclusion, there are several solutions. It is important to consider everyone’s feelings, including your own. Start by thinking about how you feel, take heart and talk to your friends about how you feel, so that you can perhaps find the comfort you need.
1. Understand why feeling excluded is painful.
The feeling of exclusion usually comes from being left out, rejected by a group of people you like and would like to be liked in return. It is possible to feel excluded after being rejected by a group of colleagues or friends. When you feel left out, it is normal to feel sad, because everyone feels a need to belong. This need is real and when it is not fulfilled, it is normal to feel sad and hurt. However, while this pain is normal, it is also real, which is why it is important to put strategies in place that will help you overcome this feeling of exclusion.
- Recent studies have shown that the pain of feeling rejected is processed in the same way by the brain as physical pain, such as that caused by a broken arm.
- Feeling rejected can cause anger, jealousy, sadness and even anxiety or depression.
- Studies have shown that it can even be painful to feel rejected by people you don’t like!
2. Keep in mind that this is a part of life.
Everyone feels rejected from time to time and there is no reason for it to happen too often, unless you are angry with or hurt the feelings of those closest to you. You may find it comforting to know that the feeling of rejection is temporary and will not last.
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3. Be objective.
Sometimes people feel rejected for no real reason. To find out if you have good reason to feel rejected, you must analyze the situation objectively, looking at it from all angles. Take into account all the elements of the situation, yourself, others and even the context. To analyze the situation objectively, use the following tips.
- Can you prove that you were really left out or is it just a feeling?
- Ask yourself if the behavior that caused you to feel rejected was intentional. It is possible that your friend simply has something on his or her mind right now or needs to get somewhere in a hurry.
- Is your perception of the situation based on fact or feeling ?
- Ask a neutral person if your perception of the situation seems objective.
- Until you have evidence to the contrary, assume that your friends had good intentions.
4. Move on.
Once you’ve identified how you feel, it’s time to move on. Take your mind off it. It won’t help you feel better to dwell on what made you sad. Instead, try to find something to do that will take your mind off the situation and make you feel better. Why not focus on the good things in your life by writing down three things you are grateful for? You can also engage in an activity that you enjoy, as in the following examples.
If you feel stuck at home while your friends are out having a good time, take the opportunity to take care of yourself. Why not settle into a nice bubble bath and read your favorite book, or maybe you’d rather go for a walk, go for a jog with your headphones on, or go on a shopping spree? Choose any activity, as long as it makes you happy.
5. Breathe to calm yourself.
The feeling of rejection can be very painful. It can also cause stress and agitation. Studies have shown that simply breathing deeply for a few minutes can help restore a sense of calm and reduce stress.
- To practice deep breathing, take a deep breath in for a slow count of five. Hold your breath for another count of five, then exhale slowly. Breathe at your natural pace twice, then repeat.
- To help you regain your calm, you can also try meditation, yoga or tai chi.
6. Use positive self-talk.
To encourage yourself after a feeling of rejection, use positive self-talk. Rejection can lead to feelings of sadness and belittlement. Counteract these negative emotions with positive self-talk to make yourself feel better. Look in the mirror and say something nice to yourself, whether it’s something you really think or something you’d like to think about yourself. Use these examples of positive affirmations for inspiration.
- “I am a funny and interesting person.
- “I am a good friend.
- “People like me.
- “People enjoy spending time with me.
7. Take care of yourself.
Taking care of yourself will make you feel loved and not rejected. Since everyone is different, this can take many forms. You may decide to cook yourself a nice meal, take a nice hot bath, work on something you’re passionate about or watch your favorite show. Also make sure you take good care of your health and body, this way your brain will register that you deserve to be taken care of. Make time to eat, sleep and move enough  .
- Try to get half an hour of exercise every day.
- Eat a balanced diet. Make sure you eat mostly fruits and vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins.
- Get eight hours of sleep a night.
8. Be aware of how you feel.
When we feel rejected, we sometimes tend to ignore our feelings in an attempt to put the pain aside. Rather than ignoring how you feel, allow yourself to be sad for a moment. If you are really hurting and feel like crying, don’t hold back. Feeling your emotions fully, even if they are negative, will help you work through them so that you can move on more easily .
Take a moment to identify what you are feeling, why you feel rejected and why it is affecting you so much. For example, you may be thinking that you feel rejected because your friends went to a party without you this weekend. You feel betrayed and sad because you feel like they don’t really appreciate you .
Try writing down how you feel in a journal. If you don’t like to write, you can also try to express your emotions through music or drawing to help you cope.
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9. Eventually, talk to someone about it.
Sometimes it helps to talk to a family member or trusted friend about how you feel. What’s more, it will help you see that some people care about you, even if your friends have made you feel like they don’t want you there. If you decide to confide in someone, choose someone who will really listen to you and support you. If you vent to someone who doesn’t care, you will feel worse.
10. Talk to your friends about how you feel.
Another great way to deal with the situation after your friends have made you feel rejected is to talk to them about it and ask them why they did it. Explain to them why and when you felt rejected and why you would have wanted them to stay with you or invite you to a certain situation. Also politely ask them why they didn’t. Don’t assume that they have something to be ashamed of, just ask them in a respectful way so that it leads to a real discussion. Consider the following examples.
“I felt bad that you were going skateboarding last Saturday and didn’t ask me to go with you. Even though I was tired on Friday night, on Saturday I was up for doing things and it was only when X told me you were there that I knew you hadn’t invited me. I felt rejected. Did you have any reason not to want me to come?”
“I loved the party we went to last week, but I felt abandoned when you and X left the conversation. I was left alone with this unknown boy who wasn’t too keen on talking to me and when I looked for you, I couldn’t find you anywhere. Maybe you didn’t realize that I was all alone at that party and wanted to spend time with you instead of strangers?”
11. Listen to your friends’ responses objectively.
They may be surprised to learn that you have felt rejected. Their decision not to ask you out may be based on many reasons, such as a recent illness, a recent break-up, lack of money, family visiting you, or parents who don’t allow you much freedom. This may be an opportunity for you to correct any misconceptions your friends may have about your situation that have caused misunderstandings between you.
Be honest with yourself. Have you done things that might have given your friends reason to leave you out? Perhaps you are too demanding or insensitive to their problems, or perhaps you have suppressed them slightly? Your friends may have left you out to get some peace. If this is the case, it is up to you to apologize and make an effort to change.
12. Including others.
The best way to overcome a feeling of rejection or abandonment during a conversation or event is often to make others feel welcome. In this way, rather than focusing on your negative feelings, you can change your perception of the situation by taking back control. To include others and make them feel welcome, you can :
- smile and greet others,
- initiate conversation,
- ask people questions and get to know them,
- be a good listener,
- be attentive and caring,
- show genuine interest in what others have to say.
13. Plan activities with your friends.
If part of the reason you feel left out is because of your own situation (e.g., demanding work or study schedules, time-consuming family responsibilities or hobbies), suggest activities for your friends at times when you are free. They will appreciate the effort you make to see them too.
- If your busy schedule prevents you from seeing your friends, you can ask one of them to accompany you on one of your daily activities, for example if you have to run an errand downtown or go to the gym.
- Do your best to schedule things with your friends, but recognize when it’s pointless to insist. If you are turned down repeatedly, your friend may want to end the relationship. If a friend turns down most of your proposals or cancels appointments at the last minute, stop making plans with them.
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14. Ask yourself if you need to make new friends.
If they keep letting you down, your friends simply may not be. It’s better to make new friends. Make a decision to find new friends who like and respect you. Even though it’s hard sometimes, it’s really better than continuing to see people who don’t value you. You deserve better than that.
For example, you can join a club or volunteer to meet people who share the same interests as you. By surrounding yourself with like-minded people, you’ll be sure to meet people with whom you have things in common. This can lead to new friendships.
If a group of close friends suddenly start to ignore you or are hostile towards you, it may be because someone is talking badly about you behind your back. Ask a trusted friend what is being said about you in your absence. A malicious rumour is often enough to destroy someone’s entire social life. Sometimes it’s even a made-up lie that you can’t defend yourself against because you can’t even imagine having done it. If something like this happens to you, try to identify the liar. Sometimes it is simply someone who is jealous. In this case, confront his or her version of events with your own and let others know the truth.
If you are often confronted with this type of situation and you have no one to confide in, you can consult a psychologist. He or she will be able to help you rebuild a healthy environment and understand what may have caused these situations. Sometimes, an outside view is necessary.
If your friends are constantly making you feel rejected, they are probably not real friends.
Try to focus your attention on the people around you who deserve it or on an activity you enjoy to take your mind off things.