Last weekend, I found myself at a bar I had no interest being at surrounded by people I had no interest in mingling with. I was wearing too-tight jeans when all I wanted to be wearing was sweatpants and I was holding a beer when all I wanted to be holding was pizza. How did I end up there? The answer is simple; FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out).
I can trace back every activity I didn’t want to participate in and every party I didn’t want to go to FOMO. The annoying little voice in my head saying, “What if they all have the best time ever and you’re not there?” Or “what if the guy of your dreams is there and you miss him,” or “What if they’re handing out free mozzarella sticks?” In reality, I know that whatever my friends end up doing that night probably won’t be much different from any other night, and the chances of meeting my future husband at a bar I don’t even want to go to is incredibly slim, but there’s always that tiny nagging feeling in me that wills me to go anyway. And here I am, my favorite memories of nights that I hadn’t been dragged out and my favorite ex-boyfriends ones I’d met when I least expected it.
If it weren’t for FOMO, I could have saved probably hundreds of dollars, a couple extra pounds, and a lot of sleep. Recently I’ve been pondering how to cut down on this fear of missing out so as to save that money and get back into summertime shape, and I’ve come up with a few solid ideas.
1. Ignore all social media.
I find one of the things that causes the highest degree of FOMO for me is seeing pictures on social media. I’ll be totally fine with not going out one night until I see a picture of all my friends pre-gaming on Instagram or a status with all my friends tagged on Facebook. Seeing everyone but you doing something supposedly fun on social media strikes a nerve in most people and can cause you to want to partake. If you truly don’t want to do something, don’t go looking for pictures of it online. It will make it look way more fun than it probably was and just bum you out.
2. Don’t incessantly text your friends about the event.
If you decide not to go to a certain party or not to go to the beach on a certain day, don’t blow up your friends phones with questions of “how is it??” or “who’s there?” First of all, having been the friend receiving the “who’s there” texts, it gets kind of annoying thinking that your friend is only debating coming if there are cute guys there, when in reality you know that’s why you’re there too. Second of all, knowing how the event you’re missing out on will do you no good. If it’s awesome, you’re going to regret not going. If it sucks, you’re going to wonder if she’s lying, and then probably think of how you would have made it fun anyways, and again regret going.
3. When someone says to you, “The best nights I’ve had were the ones where I didn’t even want to go out in the first place,” IGNORE THEM.
I understand the sentiment behind this statement, but if you really think about it, it’s not that true. Most people can probably name one or two times when they’ve been dragged out by friends and had fun. And even still, you probably only remember it as a super fun night because your expectations were originally literally at zero, so after that anything is going to seem fun. But out of the amount of times you’ve gone out against your will, if only one or two of them were memorable, the odds aren’t really in your favor. Personally, my best nights were one’s that I was looking forward to, in the mind set of going out and having fun, and enjoying myself at full energy level. Not the ones when I was exhausted and forced to put on makeup and get hit on by guys wearing backwards baseball caps.
The bottom line is, if you originally aren’t interested in doing something, you should probably stick with that. The bar you’re going to isn’t going to be more exciting if you’re in the Instagram picture, and the minute you utter the phrase, “Maybe the guy of my dreams is there,” you’ve pretty much guaranteed he won’t be. It’s okay to want to order delivery and watch Netflix in bed all night once in a while, or in my case, every Friday night. Just remember, you’re probably not missing much, and there almost always is a next time. Unless they really are handing out free mozzarella sticks, then you better be sure not to miss that.