Today I wanted to share my thoughts and tips about feeling left out – whether that’s by your friends, work, or just in your industry.
I’ve had my fair share of all of these and because I’m an introvert, the feelings that come from being left out are multiplied. The most recent story I want to share with you opened up my eyes to some of the things I could have done and understood so I wouldn’t feel so negative about it.
I want to share this in hopes that my readers get a behind the scenes look at what running The Petite Bijou is like at times and how I sometimes have to deal with situations that can make me feel uncomfortable in the pursuit of making this blog a helpful resource.
I attended an event this year in which I felt very much left out and uninspired afterwards.
Brands putting on events for bloggers is pretty standard. I love putting on and attending events (it’s my PR specialty) so this was an exciting time for me.
More often than not, a lot of us “smaller” bloggers feel the burn of the bigger blogger cliques – in events and outside events.
And cliques do exist.
Pretending that they don’t is just burying the negative aspects of this industry. We need to talk about this because it’s an honest mean girls type of situation that about 90% of us feel. Not talking about it doesn’t do us any good and honestly? It’s ok to feel these feelings.
Let me paint you a picture of a blogger event I attended earlier this year.
My “Left Out” Story: Attending A Blogger Event
First of all, I’m not really sure how I got invited to this event in the first place. I had never worn the brand nor ever shared any clothing from the brand on any of my socials or my blog. It was a very last minute invite. I thought to myself that perhaps I was put on the B list and was given one because someone else couldn’t make it? I really didn’t mind. At this point, I love events and I will go to every single one if I can. I use these events for networking purposes and just meeting other bloggers I can befriend.
Again, I’ve never worn this brand before so I was a wee bit confused as to why I specifically was invited. Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t disappointed at all. In fact, I was honestly just pleasantly surprised! I mean…wow, thanks! The brand was pretty huge so I was very happy.
I RSVP’d to the brand event director and excitedly got ready that morning. When it comes to blogging related events or networking events, I become insanely nauseous and nervous. Give me a stage however, and I have no problem what so ever delivering speeches, being filmed, or having a spotlight on. Networking however? Completely in shambles. I get very shy about my facial scars and obvious visual impairment. It’s embarrassing for me to still ask someone to read directions on labels, signs, etc.
My anxiety is still something I can’t get a handle on and whenever that happens, the moments leading up to the event are a blur to me. So I don’t remember much except feeling that “what if no one chats with me” feeling.
And it happened – no one chatted with me for longer than 15 seconds.
It was literally the oddest feeling in the world.
When I got there I didn’t know I was in the company of some of Chicago’s biggest bloggers. When I saw them, that “odd one out” feeling hit. The guest list was private and I wasn’t quite sure who would be there.
So it was like an aha moment where I thought “wow, perhaps I’m doing well if I’m even here.”
But the only person who greeted me or even turned to look at me when I walked in was the event director from the brand. She quickly offered me refreshments and helped me find me seat. I placed down my purse and stood there awkwardly drinking my sparkling water as I watched the multitude of IG stories and boomerangs being made.
For the next hour and a half, I sat silently while they continued on with the event. At one point we went around and did introductions (it was only like 15 people?) and not one person looked up while I said my hellos and did a quick one liner about my blog. Everyone was looking down at their phones and 2 people where whispering to one another.
“It’s lovely to be here, thank you for having me” my last words died down as that overwhelming feeling of “where the hell are everyone’s manners” hit me.
The rest of the night continued on with occasional “so what do you do? where are you from?” from the person sitting next to me (who was the only person that chatted with me), but most of the time I just listened in on other conversations.
Cliques of 2-3 people at every corner chatting away about their next blogger adventure, paid collaborations, and how they would introduce xyz to their contact too.
At that point, I decided I would get up and try to join a conversation. I had made my decision to not be so shy and stepped up to a group I had already known through being blog followers of theirs. I had even been a freelancer for one of them and we had only ever talked via email. Some of these bloggers were my biggest clients and they hadn’t even noticed me or my voice.
I said my hellos and asked them how they were, introducing myself again and got the most confused looks. They quickly did unconvincing half smiles and “fine, thanks” before turning their backs and continuing with their conversation.
That stomaching sinking feeling as they turned around made my mind up for me, I wasn’t going to stay.
It was pretty pointless. No one was facilitating larger conversations. Everyone had groups in corners – backs turned to each group. I literally stood in the middle of the room with my can of Sprite and just whipped out my phone to text my mum I was leaving.
This is sadly something a lot of us smaller bloggers (and I’m sure even bigger bloggers) face every time we go to these types of get together and networking events.
What I Could Have Done To Feel Less Negative
There were definitely some mindset shifts I could have had to make this event less negative on me and I want to share my conclusions with you below.
For one, I should have shrugged it off – people are rude and don’t care about inclusion of others. Only those that have been left out know how it feels – so they make sure that everyone is involved.
But there are people who just don’t realize that the kind thing to do is try to include people into your conversations.
Secondly, I should have brought a plus one – even if they weren’t another blogger. I always ask for a plus one because I love including my blogger friends to events. This particular brand didn’t offer one but at the same time I didn’t ask.
Having a plus one helps you feel less alone. You have a trusted friend by your side and both of you can work together to network with others. And yes, it helps you feel better.
Third, I should have just not cared so much. So what if no one was looking up from their phone? I should have just walked up to them and chatted with them. If they turned their backs on me, I should have moved on to the next group. Instead I just left. I felt defeated. If one group wasn’t going to chat with me, others wouldn’t either.
But that’s not necessarily true. So what if someone is rude? Why should that stop you from being in the group.
Part of my problem here was a confidence issue. I felt intimidated by the bigger bloggers. And you know what/ I shouldn’t have. I have just as much talent, skill, and self value to be there right next to them. We’re all just people – regardless of our instagram follower size, brand collaborations, or how expensive our clothes are.
We’re all the same people. We all deserve a spot on the stage.
In conclusion – don’t let anyone or anything make you feel left out. And you will have struggles with rude people or people who think they are above you. At the end of the day, you are a unique individual and no amount of factors can change that.
My advice for not being left out? Include yourself into things. Just do it. Just go up to people. Just go to events. Don’t let stress, people, or self esteem stop you.
Have you ever felt left out? Perhaps by friends, coworkers, or even family? Share your story with me below.