It happens to all of us at one point or another. Friends or family get together and you seem to have missed out on an invite. You might hear about it afterwards and you think, “wait, what about me? Why wasn’t I invited?”
We feel hurt, offended even. We develop the FOMO sense and we start trailing down the rabbit hole of self-doubt and insecurity.
WHY didn’t they invite me? Our brain tends to spiral out and starts offering up a lot of reasons why. Maybe they don’t like me. Maybe they didn’t really want to talk to me. What did I do wrong?
Then our very efficient brain starts rummaging through the files of past memories with this new lens and filter and again offers us up reasons and now evidence to back up those claims.
“They used to complain about so and so and would purposely not invite them. See, they’re doing the same to me. They ALWAYS get together and they NEVER invite me.”
“they made a weird look when I was talking last week. Maybe they were already planning to leave me out. This is the same thing that happened when I was in the sixth grade and Patty Leland and Michelle Gerald went to the park and purposely didn’t include me.”
Then we start believing this story we’ve concocted in our minds and we feel awful. Most of the time we don’t even stop to question whether or not we really even WANT to believe this scenario. We just assume that we know exactly what happened and why you weren’t invited.
It feels worse when it involves family. A previous client shared an experience where her sister in laws would always get together and hang out and never include her. She was hurt thinking thoughts like, “I’m only an in-law. I’ll never be a real member of the family. They’re never going to accept me. They’re probably upset that I married into the family at all.” and on and on those thoughts went because when you start trailing down that rabbit hole, you never quite know just how far it’s going to take you.
Because she believed the thoughts that she’s not a “real family member” she felt offended and sad but most of all rejected.
What would happen though if we could interrupt that spiral and just pause for a moment.
Grab a sheet of paper and just start writing. The problems, the pain always lessens when you can take it out of your head and look at it, really view all the thoughts that are circling. Then ask yourself, Is this really what happened?
How could you possibly know.
As Byron Katies likes to ask, IS IT TRUE?
Can you really know it’s true?
The answer is always no btw. We can never really, fully know the intents of the hearts of others and truthfully, it’s NONE of our business to know. The only thing that really matters is what YOU think about them. What THEY think about you isn’t causing the pain. What THEY do without you isn’t the reason you feel rejected.
They CAN’T hurt you.
Feelings come from your thoughts. Your thoughts about them, about the situation is what causes you pain. Be aware of that. Take ownership of that. When you do, you take back all your power and ability to CHANGE how you feel and what reality you’re creating for yourself.
Does it feel good to think they left without you?
So here’s the key to your relief and your “get out of jail free” card – or in this case, get out of pain card: Your thoughts, this story you’ve created in your mind, IS OPTIONAL. You don’t HAVE to believe it. You don’t have to feel terrible. Suffering is optional.
My favorite two words to think at times like these is,
It’s possible they really did forget.
It’s possible that it wasn’t intentional.
It’s possible that they had really good reasons and I don’t need to know any of them.
It’s possible they love me.
It’s possible this has nothing to do with me.
It’s possible that what they do isn’t any of my business.
It’s possible that everything is exactly as it should be.