FOMO is actually normal when we are a teenager. It’s the development stage when we are forming our sense of self — deciding what our personal values are, and what we want our life to look like.
And there is nothing wrong with being an extrovert with changing interests who likes to be out there experiencing new things.
But if you are well into your late twenties or thirties, frantically rushing from one event to the next no matter how tired you are, and stalking others you admire on social media to make sure you are ‘in the know’? It’s time to ask yourself if your constant patching together of an ‘approved’ exterior is actually a way of compensating for your lack of interior development.
Sometimes it is simply neglectful ormanipulative parenting that leaves us in a constant identity free fall as an adult. If you had to be ‘good’ and ‘happy’ to receive love as a child, you would have quickly learned to hide any other parts of yourself that were ‘unacceptable’. This false self becomes all that you know.
Think connection sounds hokey, or can’t be such a big deal?
Research at the University of Nottingham found that FOMO is often the result of ‘a deficit in psychological need, such as social connection.” And the researchers concluded that, “For this reason, living a socially fulfilling life where psychological needs toward social connections can be met may also help overcome anxiety associated with FOMO.”
Try therapy. A counsellor or psychotherapist creates a safe, non judgmental space for you to get honest about how you really feel about yourself and your life. You can then start to recognise the ways you can move forward and feel more confident.