These days, about the only time I get to read an entire magazine article without feeling either guilty or overrun with things on my to-do list, is when I’m at the hairdresser. About a year ago now, whilst enjoying an hour of pampering, I read an article in Psychologies magazine which identified a newly-diagnosed affliction: FOMO or Fear Of Missing Out.
I had barely got through the second paragraph when a knowing smile spread across my face….I recognised immediately that I was a sufferer, the article could have been written about me!
I guess the title of FOMO, speaks for itself – the person affected (mostly women of course!) can’t bear the thought of missing out on anything, so end up busting a gut to attend every activity/event that he or she is invited to, often to the detriment of self, health and family. Does this sound familiar? Part of me felt relieved that the ‘illness’ actually had a recognised name! Thanks to this article and the catchy title of FOMO, I now regularly ‘check’ myself before accepting an invitation:
- Don’t respond immediately with a ‘yes’
- Sit on my hands when in a meeting and someone is asking for a volunteer
- Check the diary to see if we already have a pretty full week
- Don’t commit to things 2 evenings in a row
- Reserve one day in the week with no fixed engagements
- Check with the OH before giving a definite answer (he calms down my need to say ‘yes’ to everything!)
- Remind myself that people will continue inviting me, whether I’m able to attend every time or not
- And last but by no means least….
- Remember that I need to put my family, health and bank balance first!
Over the last year, I really have made progress in this area. I actually turned down two invitations last week and felt quite liberated!
I no longer feel a twinge of envy/disappointment on perusing facebook only to discover that friends are meeting up and that I havent been invited (apparently that’s a major symptom!). I simply remind myself that I am very busy anyway and that this would have just tipped me over the edge.
I actually blogged something along similar lines approximately 4 months ago (here) and having re-read it, I finally think that I am on my way to being cured; whilst continuing to recognise of course, that I am merely a flippant ‘yes’ away from falling prey again!
I now proudly tell people that I am a FOMO sufferer – a recognised illness – it not only amuses them, but helps to clarify why I may later seek forgiveness, upon realising that I’ve over-committed (yet again) and need to back out!
Perhaps you suffer from FOMO? (Or now realise that you do!) I would love to hear your experiences….