Following the restrictive nature of 2020 and 2021, it feels like the word ‘party’ has been thrown around more than ever before.
Recent Downing Street revelations show that while the rest of the UK was in a coronavirus lockdown, a number of social events allegedly took place at Whitehall and Downing Street while restrictions were in force.
One ‘BYOB party’, organised by Johnson’s principal private secretary, in particular, has caused quite a stir – with the Prime Minister himself admitting he attended, before claiming he believed it was a work event (if you can’t tell the difference yourself, read this).
But it seems not everyone was invited to these Downing Street garden drinks in May 2020 (when the rest of the UK was only permitted to meet one other person outside), as Dominic Raab claimed this morning he wasn’t actually invited to the bash.
Appearing on Sky News this morning, the Deputy Prime Minister insisted he ‘wasn’t invited’ to the May party and tried to squash claims the event was held in his honour.
An email uncovered last week suggested that 100 people were invited to this May 20 event – so it seems Dominic Raab wasn’t the only one missing an invite.
Rejection can be a tough one to stomach – but bitterness from a lack of invitation is never a good look.
So how do you deal with not being invited to a party? We asked experts for their top tips…
Validate your feelings…
‘Feeling left out or rejected is a natural reaction when you are not invited to a party or event. As humans we are social creatures who like to develop strong interpersonal relationships and often enjoy feeling a sense of belongingness to a group,’ explains Jade Thomas – a psychologist in training at Private Therapy Clinic.
Jade stresses that previous research has also shown that feeling socially rejected has the same consequences as physical pain, as the brain processes these reactions in similar ways.
So it’s important to be aware that how you’re feeling is completely natural.
She adds: ‘If you are struggling with feeling left out or rejected it is important to validate these emotions and remind yourself that this is a normal reaction to an unpleasant situation.’
… but don’t be bitter
However, life coach Carole Ann Rice says even if you feel upset or rejected, it’s a good idea to not let this filter out into your actions.
‘Don’t get bitter and start bad mouthing the host,’ she says.
’Be gracious or say nothing at all unless asked by the people you know are going.
‘If you do need to find out “why”, take it on the chin if you don’t like the response – don’t go into vent or prove mode – when you try and prove you lose.’
Try to think logically
As well as accepting your emotions, it’s important to be aware of jumping to conclusions and catastrophising the situation (or the reasons why you weren’t invited).
This is because catastrophising will only prolong and enhance the negative emotions you’re already experiencing.
Jade says: ‘Instead, remain thinking logically and pay attention to the facts and evidence of the situation. Also, it is important to remind yourself of your great qualities and what you can offer.
‘Social rejection can often lead to low self-esteem and lower self-confidence, so empower yourself though positive self-talk or discussing this with someone close to you or healthcare professional such as a therapist to help enhance your self-esteem.’
Talk about how you’re feeling
A problem shared is a problem halved, so it’s also vital to communicate how you feel about the situation to help you understand what happened and why – so you can address it.
‘If you are met with criticism about your behaviour, listen to the criticism before responding to it and then provide a thoughtful, considerate response,’ adds Jade.
‘If you respond with a strong emotional reaction such as anger or defensiveness, you can often be reinforcing the problem altogether.’
Be proactive to rejection
Jade suggests taking a proactive approach when feeling socially rejected – to reduce the negative emotions and anxieties around the lack of control.
She says: ‘By forming new relationships, having open communication about your feelings, and enhancing your self-confidence can help you to feel empowered during a negative experience such as social rejection or feeling left out.’
Avoid social media
David Brudö, CEO and co-founder of mental wellbeing and self-development platform Remente, says one of the most effective coping mechanisms for social rejection is to limit your time on social media.
It’s a good idea to avoid all social media postings about the event – or just stay off various platforms completely over the days surrounding it.
‘Instead of checking social media and comparing your life to those of others, try taking physical control – go for a walk, grab a book or even distract yourself with a game on your phone,’ suggests David.
Plan something for yourself
Remember to do something to make yourself feel better and to distract yourself from thinking about it.
Carole Ann Rice says: ‘Plan something awesome for yourself same day of the event – salon, big match, day trip, meal out.’
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