The harsh reality of exclusion

Put simply, exclusion, in a personal sense, sucks. The concept of being left out of something isn’t one that I imagine anyone desires, and further, it shouldn’t be one that we wish upon others. Exclusion can be isolating, depressing, and lonely.

I firmly believe that we exclude others, from time to time, unintentionally. I say this because I like to think that people aren’t deliberately doing this to others on a relatively consistent basis.

Say, for example, you want to get together with a friend for dinner who you haven’t seen in a while. Say that this particular friend is a component of an old friend group that consisted of three of you. So, when you make plans with one of the people, if the third happens to find out about it, there is a strong chance they’re going to feel left out, even if that was in no way, shape or form the desire of the two friends that met up for dinner.

As someone who deals with anxiety, exclusion, when it occurs, can be a bit of a double whammy, if you will. Those of us who encounter anxiety in all elements of life are arguably going to be feeling a little sad if we are excluded from something, accidental or not, but throw anxious thoughts and fabrications into the mix and you’re looking at a full-on shit show. It is instances such as these in which anxious thoughts and tendencies tend to misconstrue logical thinking; we catastrophize and materialize false assumptions which only make the feelings and emotions affiliated with being excluded that much worse.

I find that refraining from thinking too much on the matter is one of the best and most effective ways to curb the negativity we experience when we are excluded. We can’t change the situation, nor does it benefit anyone to dwell. Easier said than done, yes, but ultimately, we cannot force what we wish and desire onto others.

Best to let that shit go, my friends.

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