When you feel like everyone around you is having more fun and spending more time with friends, it can make you feel bad about yourself — even if it’s not true.
But according to Ashley Whillans, an assistant professor at Harvard Business School who studies how our view of the world affects our view of ourselves, this perception can challenge us to become more social and make more friends.
This fear of missing out on parties or events is actually very common. It may be particularly acute among college freshmen because “entering into university is one of the key transition points in your life in establishing your identity in a new social environment,” Whillans says. In other words, it’s the first taste of navigating social situations as an adult.
Greg Walton, a psychologist at Stanford University, studies how to correct the belief that we are alone in our fears of being left out. His work focuses on helping minority students who are underrepresented in STEM fields to overcome their own fears that they don’t belong, and has demonstrated that doing so helps them improve academically and healthwise.
Read the whole story: NPR