Some client live life as though there is no tomorrow, suffer from the syndrome (FOMO) fear of missing out and end up in a mess being visible at all the places after saying ‘YES’ and feel miserable about it later. One ‘speaker’ confessed that accepting all those Christmas and New year parties was primarily to be the ‘guy’ around and avoid loneliness, although all the greasy food, alcohol, late nights did not agree with his more disciplined routine, he still opted to keep ‘busy’. The fear/anxiety of not being invited next year is another reason to say ‘yes’ to all the invites. Very often people feel lonely even when surrounded by family. My advice is to be compassionate to yourself and not be judgmental. Not blaming yourself is a good beginning.
Some have passed this phase and self assured enough not to be unhappy missing out on some of the outing. One of them also confessed “since I stopped saying yes to every other invite, I have become selective. I see that my productivity has gone up and I am able to have some ‘me time’ too. Life is less complicated now but more busy productively.
The contribution of social media cannot be denied but the narrative of your life ‘deficits’ or ‘progress’ should not be dictated by this. I would say that self compassion and your initiative should take the fore front in your life. Learn to disassociate with those bouts of lonelinesss by engaging in shared activities or volunteering for a cause which gives you happiness.
Sohail had this deep anxiety of failing in his duties for his family and kept up the social quotient for networking and being around, not to become a social outcast. In number of sessions of counseling he did show a side of his personality which was confident and happy. Over a few sessions his questions about ‘parameters of success’ ‘comparisons to his childhood/school friends ‘ were making it evident that he is not able to cope with the social pressures around him and was being judgemental and harsh on himself. Such apprehensions in your 40’s can lead to anxiety and fearfulness and that was what he was facing. The year end and new year syndrome was contributing to this too. It’s good to look at the blocks that you build instead of what others did and compare. Very individual life has a different narrative and no two situations can be compared. It took Sohail some long sessions and a structured disciplined life to overcome his ‘failures’ which were primarily comparisons.
Life is not a gamble …. Play your cards carefully.