I am regularly plagued with the disease of the FOMO. I am an introverted extrovert so half the time I want to get real dressed up, put on red lipstick and party all night long while getting messed up with my platonic loved ones and romantic sex buddies (who I fingers crossed have coitus with later). But, the other half of the time I want to crawl into a ball of comfort and lie on my soft bed for 12 hours straight as I alternate between napping and watching Netflix and scrolling through the internet. All while wearing my polka dot fleece bathrobe and no underpants. Both sound like tons of fun, no? I do tend to opt for the latter more than the former as I age. My bones/muscles/soul are more tired than they used to be. I donate so much energy and effort and emotion into my profession these days that my social life suffers a bit as a result. I make time for my friends ˜cause damn I love them so much, but after an exhausting week of deadlines and anxiety and trying to pay rent, I gotta kick back with a foot bath and some Buffy.
This foot bath and Buffy mentality leads to me missing out on parties, events, dinners, gatherings, ladies nights, shows, alcoholic drinking, coffee hangs, dates and my own birthday party. Yes, one time I left my own birthday party early. (DON’T JUDGE ME. I AM A GROWN ASS WOMAN WHO CAN EXIT HER BIRTHDAY PARTY IF SHE WANTS TO.) When I’m incapable of going somewhere I actually wanna go due to sickness or fatigue or forgetfulness or straight up laziness, I find myself regretting said decision almost immediately. Hell, even when I have no interest in going to a particular superficial shindig hosted by a stranger, when the Instagram photos begin to surface my fear of missing out overtakes my mind and body. I debate putting on clothing, washing my bod, ordering an Uber and heading out NOW to make it before last call. But I usually get over that want real fast and return to my gross, lovely, cave of solo darkness.
It’s a struggle I face often. Luckily, non-FOMO me has developed some survival techniques for full-on-FOMO me. If you’re scared that everyone is having the best time while you drip garlic sauce on your pants, try out these tips. I guarantee these babies will help you maintain sanity and calm and non-jealousy when you know your friends are existing in a joyous state sans you.
Assume that thing is going to suck because it usually does
How many times have you gone to a party for someone you barely know only to discover that it’s lame five minutes after you get there? Is the answer MOST OF THE TIME? Recall those tragedies when you’re feeling insecure. This was likely not meant be the best night of your life.
Remind yourself that this is not the last day on earth and you’ll go out again
Talking about this not being the best night of your life, it’s also not the only remaining opportunity for you to experience any happiness before you die. There will be other chances. Like tomorrow. Or the day after. Next week? In a month. You’ll be laughing again in no less than two years.
Get drunk/smoke a joint/chug tea alone instead
Locate your vice and let loose, honey. Drink a bottle of wine. Roll some drugs. Steep that hot Earl Grey. Whatever it is for you, buy a whole bunch of it and get solitary messed up. One of my fave activities is getting high and re-blogging literally everything I see about women on Tumblr.
Make a list of the people you don’t like who might be there
There will guaranteed be guests at this gathering who you dislike or hate or think are nice but also very irritating. Look at who confirmed on the event and note the ones who annoy you. They might be there. Can you imagine having to converse with them? What a nightmare.
Go to bed way early and forget that fun is happening anywhere elsewhere
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind made a lot of good points about how it’s way easier not knowing than knowing your loved ones are having a blast. The best way to avoid knowing is by being unconscious. Give it a shot! Grab a pillow, close your eyes and take a long 14-hour nap. It will feel amazing. You’ll wake up in the morning not sure what year it is but you’ll be smiling.
Do your very fave thing by yourself
Write a list of the top five activities that bring you the most pleasure. Could be doing papier mache, writing poetry, listening to vinyl, watching documentaries or baking weed cookies. Can you tell that I’ve been very into weed lately? Whatever it is, do it. It’s your night in to do what you want with it. Forget those punks at that party. You have a glue gun and FELT!
Spend some good quality time with your roommate/pet/plant
Often when I stay in I end up chatting with my awesome roommate (who I don’t chat with enough) for like three hours straight and forget that I stayed in at all. If you don’t have a roommate, chill with your cat! If you don’t have a cat, buy a cactus and maintain its life.
Make plans for the future with folks you actually like
Reach out to your number one girls in a group message and suggest brunch/drinks/makeouts. By the next afternoon they will have all responded with enthusiasm and a cornucopia of HELL YES! and Umm 100% in and I’m busy that night JUST KIDDING THIS IS MY LIFE. Send a bunch of these messages to various individuals and soon enough your calendar will be jammed.
Post a super hot selfie on Instagram so you got something to show too
I’ll advocate for the importance of selfies until the day I die. They are especially important when you’re feeling alone and sad and need a boost. Get that lighting right and snap away, baby. As soon as those compliments come rolling in, you’ll forget that non-internet people ever existed.
Do that thing you’ve been putting off since forever
You’ve wanted to respond to that email you need to respond to for at least two weeks. You haven’t done it because you’ve been sooooooooooo busy and other excuses around those lines. Well, tonight all you got is time. Reply to that message. Clean that room. WRITE THAT BOOK.
Avoid the social media profiles of those attending said event
Other than posting that Instagram selfie, get the hell off of the media of the social. It is not your friend this evening. You don’t want to be scrolling through the highlight reels of your acquaintances lives while feeling like you made a mistake by not going out. Every time you want to go to Facebook, ABORT, ABORT, ABORT. Just go read all of Wikipedia instead.
Text all of your friends and tell them you love them SO THEY DO IT BACK
It’s the greatest feeling getting an onslaught of I love you too!! from your buddies. Trust.
Use those spare hours to really get to know your Netflix better
We always need more available time to truly dig deep into the vast black hole of this online streaming site. Did you know that all of the seasons of that show you’ve never heard of that was made in 2003 in Britain are available? Well, now you do. So much more to discover like this.
Find a pal who is also indoors and Facebook chat with them like mad
And then sometimes you have the greatest nights when you sit in your living room in stained sweats while you eat pizza and send hilarious gifs back and forth with a friend whose FOMO is as bad as yours. I have literally peed myself laughing while doing this. It’s kinda always the best.