Many of us have experienced F.O.M.O – the Fear Of Missing Out – but what about F.O.D.O – The Fear Of Disappointing Others?
It is something I am personally familiar with and it is both a blessing and a curse. In some ways, my fear of letting others down might grant me the titles of diligent or conscientious (qualities I pride myself in) but more often than not, I have to admit that it can make me feel anxious.
I’ve read about F.O.D.O online so I’m pretty sure it is not just me who feels it – but either way, I felt it merited a nod on this blog of mine in the hopes that, if any reader out there gives themselves a guilt trip every now and again, it might help.
F.O.D.O can occur socially but also in the workplace or school/college. It might seem hard to fathom but the pressure that we put on ourselves to please others can be quite an immense thing. It kind of reminds me of peer pressure – you want to keep up with everything and everyone but sometimes you just can’t.
Personally, I have found myself getting into a flap about missing the odd deadline or just not being available to hang out when someone wants to and it might sound silly and the epitome of #firstworldproblems but it actually can make me feel so uneasy and guilty.
Sometimes I seem to forget that I can say, “Thanks but no thanks!” or “Sorry, that doesn’t suit me.” I’m not sure how I got that way – eldest child syndrome perhaps?! – but I am making a conscious effort to change.
How? Mainly by trying to detach myself from a situation and see it from a different perspective. I think to myself about how I might feel if I was the other person I was supposedly ‘disappointing’ and so many times the answer is that I wouldn’t mind!
When one tends to overthink things we can think our actions are far more serious than they actually are so it is a worthwhile exercise to step back sometimes and look at things from a different angle.
There are many things to get flustered about in life and it is best to keep those times to a minimum. Life is too short to spend your time worrying about everyone else constantly and if sometimes you need to put yourself first, so be it! That might be cliché but in the words of Mark Sloan – Grey’s Anatomy fans, you know who I’m talking about – it is cliché for a reason.
Always remember that you are enough and you can only ever do your best – and sometimes you have to be the best for you: the race is long and in the end, it’s only with yourself.