Four young people playing table football.

What to do if you're feeling left out

6 min read
07 February 2024

Topics mentioned: loneliness, friends, self-esteem, anxiety, alone and misunderstood

About: Our bloggers share their experience of feeling left out and lonely, the impact on their mental health, and their advice for anyone going through this too.

Before I started college, I felt very lonely and struggled to make and keep friends. I felt that I was constantly being left out because I was a little bit different from everyone else.
Holly

Try new things to meet new people

Holly, 16

It’s a really horrible feeling when you’re being left out. When I realised that my friends were leaving me out of meet-ups and group chats, it made me feel really lonely and isolated. I felt like everyone around me was laughing and having fun and I felt trapped, like I had no one to turn to, but it’s important to remember that you’re not alone.

Lots of people know what it’s like to feel left out. I’m going to give you some of my top tips for when you’re feeling left out or lonely.

This is a great way to make new friends, learn new skills and connect with others over a common interest. I know joining a new club can be very daunting, especially if you don’t know many people there. But try to remember that everyone is there to just hang out and have fun.

See if there’s an extra-curricular activity at your school or college that you’d be interested in, such as a chess club or a sports team (not to mention that exercise can release endorphins that help reduce stress!). Or maybe you’ve been dying to pick up a hobby like crochet or learning an instrument.

I was very nervous when I went to the first session of my college book club, but now I love going to learn about the new books that everyone is reading and catch up with friends.

Volunteering is such a great way to branch out and meet new people while also helping your local community. Loads of charities are crying out for volunteers to help with all sorts of jobs, from organising events to coaching children. There really is something for everyone and it can make a massive difference in somebody’s life. Isn’t that a great feeling?

Volunteering also gives you some experience in different workplaces and environments and looks great on your CV. Plus, it’s a great opportunity to meet people you wouldn’t otherwise meet. It’s so worthwhile and I’d highly recommend getting involved.

Before I started college, I felt very lonely and struggled to make and keep friends. I felt that I was constantly being left out because I was a little bit different from everyone else.

So, during my summer break, I brainstormed some qualities that I wanted in a potential friend. These are things that I held highly important to me and were things I wanted to look out for when making new friends. For example, I wanted a friend who matched my high energy, who was understanding and open-minded as well as kind and honest.

By doing this, it made it easier to figure out who I could see myself being friends with and who I couldn’t. Maybe it’s important that you have a friend that makes you laugh or is a great listener. Write some ideas down and see which qualities are the most important to you!

Ultimately, being left out is not a nice experience, but it can be a chance to start afresh and try something different. Try to remain optimistic and always speak to a trusted adult or friend if you’re struggling.

It made me question my worth, and I didn’t know how to fix it, and I thought I was just going to have to deal with it forever.
Anonymous

Three ways to be kinder to yourself

Anonymous

Feeling left out is something so many young people go through all the time, especially at school. It can make us feel anxious, lonely and just really ruin our moods.

Just six months ago I was there too. Friends hanging out without me, ignoring me, never inviting me… the list goes on. It made me question my worth, and I didn’t know how to fix it, and I thought I was just going to have to deal with it forever. I was missing school, spending most of my time up in my room, and was just really having a hard time with everything.

In the end though, I got through it, and to help you get through it too, here are my three tips for when you’re feeling left out.

A group of young people walking on the street and talking.

1. Feeling left out is not your fault

When you feel left out, it’s easy to put the blame on yourself. You might think it’s because you're too loud, or you’re not funny enough. But I promise you it has nothing to do with you and everything to do with them! They might be going through their own troubles, or maybe they just aren’t thinking.

2. Find ways to get your feelings out

Whether you talk to a parent/guardian, a friend or write in your favourite notebook, getting your feelings out and off your chest can help you work through them better!

3. Remember, your feelings are valid

It’s easy for us to feel guilty for having problems or think, ‘they all have much worse problems and they aren’t even upset.’ We all feel like that sometimes. But you should answer yourself with, ‘I am allowed to be upset about my problem, because my feelings are just as worthy’. You are human, things will upset you and that’s normal and ok!

These tips are hopefully things everyone can do or keep in mind to make things easier. Remember you are strong, and you can get through it.

Ultimately, being left out is not a nice experience, but it can be a chance to start afresh and try something different.
Holly

More information and advice

We have tips and advice to help you find the support you need. Take a look at our guides.

Where to get help

However you're feeling, there are people who can help you if you are struggling. Here are some services that can support you.

  • Childline

    If you’re under 19 you can confidentially call, chat online or email about any problem big or small.

    Sign up for a free Childline locker (real name or email address not needed) to use their free 1-2-1 counsellor chat and email support service.

    Can provide a BSL interpreter if you are deaf or hearing-impaired.

    Hosts online message boards where you can share your experiences, have fun and get support from other young people in similar situations.

    Opening times:
    24/7
  • Youth Access

    Provides information about local counselling and advice services for young people aged 11-25.

    Put in your location and what you need help with into their 'Find help' search, and see what services are available in your area.

  • Tellmi

    Formerly known as MeeToo. A free app for teenagers (11+) providing resources and a fully-moderated community where you can share your problems, get support and help other people too.

    Can be downloaded from Google Play or App Store.

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