Fomo vs. Jomo: Neither Gives Inside Happiness


You know the drill: You get a vacation occasion invite with all your buddies, and excitedly RSVP sure. As the times creep nearer, you’re exhausted—work is hectic, the home is a large number, and also you’ve overextended your self by way of obligations. You need to cancel, however whether or not you ship the textual content bowing out doubtless is determined by the place you stand within the JOMO (pleasure of lacking out) vs. FOMO (concern of lacking out) debate. The issue with all of this, say specialists, is that you just’re basing your happiness and contentment on others.

“Placing your personal well-being and psychological well being first when you’re planning for occasions is necessary,” says instructional psychologist and habits analyst Reena B. Patel, LEP, BCBA. Analysis has proven that throughout many cultures, individuals who have increased vanity and self-worth are usually extra happy and happier, and fall sufferer to fewer adverse moods, indicating that after we discover self-contentment, we’re higher in a position to steadily stay blissful and drift.

What’s extra, whereas research point out that sustaining friendships and relationships may end up in happiness and an extended life, the standard of these relationships is clutch. Constructive relationships are helpful, however adverse ones can carry on feelings like anxiousness and stress. “People are social beings and evolutionarily we relied upon our inclusion in social teams with a view to survive,” says medical psychologist Jolie Silva, PhD, chief working officer of New York Behavioral Well being, “It is smart that we care about others’ perceptions of us; nonetheless, it turns into dysfunctional and even detrimental after we over-rely on what others take into consideration us and use this to make conclusions about who we’re as an individual and our worthiness.”

On condition that, let’s check out how it may be more healthy to seek out inside happiness and contentment, whereas additionally sustaining relationships that fill you up.

I’ve felt each JOMO and FOMO—what’s flawed with that?

Briefly, nothing. People are advanced and sophisticated and really feel totally different feelings at totally different occasions. So, if you’ve skipped an occasion and wished you’ll’ve been there as a result of your friendship group began an inside joke that simply gained’t give up, you’re not alone. And on the flip facet, in the event you’re somebody who’s canceled plans and felt the candy reduction of watching Gilmore Women on the sofa for the umpteenth time, know that you just’re additionally in good firm.

However having these feelings may also be a slippery slope in ways in which each Dr. Silva and Patel say are value considering. “Each JOMO and FOMO depend on exterior occasions and other people to carry you happiness when oftentimes happiness lies inside your self,” says Patel. “Particularly, if in case you have FOMO, you usually tend to attempt to attend every little thing, and chances are you’ll overextend your self. In case you have JOMO, chances are you’ll spend an excessive amount of time alone and will are inclined to isolate your self.” Beneath is a take a look at what’s at play with FOMO vs. JOMO.


With FOMO, Dr. Silva explains that there’s a nagging sense that, “attendance is tied to their self-worth, so when an individual isn’t in attendance their social stature could also be threatened and anxiousness outcomes,” she says. Analysis signifies that those that really feel FOMO are prone to have a substantial amount of stress of their lives, be extra anxious and depressed, and have their sleep recurrently disrupted.

A lot of that is as a result of present technological setting that we discover ourselves in. For individuals who expertise intense FOMO, social media platforms like Instagram and Snapchat can play a big position in exhibiting you every little thing that you just didn’t get to attend. “FOMO may end up in compulsive social media checking to see in the event that they ‘missed out’ on something, social comparability about how they fell brief, and a preoccupation with different individuals’s social lives, all of which could be detrimental to psychological well being and total well-being,” explains Dr. Silva.


“When it comes to on the spot reduction, canceling plans is like heroin,” jokes comic John Mulaney. It is a feeling that these with JOMO perceive nicely. When you’re somebody who feels JOMO vs. FOMO if you cancel plans or are overlooked of a giant group gathering (and I’m with you), know that Dr. Silva says it may possibly allow you to course of the truth of not having been invited or selecting to abstain from venturing out with your folks. “JOMO is a wholesome solution to deal with not being at sure occasions that includes utilizing expertise reminiscent of acceptance, mindfulness, and reframing adverse beliefs into more healthy, extra adaptive ones,” she says.

Importantly, nonetheless, this shouldn’t be a carte blanche name to solely “socialize” with Lorelai and Rory Gilmore (even when Friday evening dinners are your communing of selection). “Whereas JOMO seems like a very optimistic various to FOMO, we have to be cautious that individuals with social anxiousness aren’t purposely lacking occasions to keep away from social interactions, which can solely perpetuate the anxiousness,” Dr. Silva says.

On this case, the avoidance of occasions brings reduction and pleasure, however it may possibly additionally imply that you just’re isolating your self, which analysis has proven can carry on melancholy and loneliness. In consequence, it’s necessary to make sure that the enjoyment of lacking out doesn’t turn into the despair of being alone on a regular basis.

Does having JOMO or FOMO imply that I’m basing my happiness on others?

Not essentially. Initially, it’s necessary to grasp that it’s pure—organic, even—to crave connection. “Many people discover success in being social and included in issues, and having others contemplate us,” says Dr. Silva. “If you aren’t invited, and watching from the surface you’ll be able to…really feel like your life has gaps.” In different phrases, it’s not an inherent flaw that the second you need to cancel plans you both really feel a candy hit of reduction that you just don’t should crawl off your sofa or that nagging sense that you just’re lacking out. That you just really feel these issues is human.

Nonetheless, it’s simply necessary to be aware of these emotions and the way they modify over time. When you constantly are feeling such as you’ve acquired to attend each social obligation you’re invited to or in the event you’ve joyously canceled plans a number of occasions in a row and now the considered going out brings you anxiousness, it’s value tapping into these emotions and doing a little self-work to unravel what’s occurring.

“Discovering pleasure in a approach you’ll be able to management is a serious key to happiness,” Patel says. “You may’t at all times depend on others to carry you pleasure as a result of finally others cannot at all times be there for you and it isn’t their day by day accountability to ensure you are blissful. Solely you maintain that accountability.”

How do I make certain I’m discovering inside sources of happiness?

Okay, so now we’ve reached the portion of the programming the place specialists say you could begin to base your emotions of happiness and contentment on what you’re feeling—fairly than your response to lacking or opting out of plans with others. “If you could find pleasure in your passions, independence, pursuits, hobbies, and way of life, these are issues you’ve gotten management over. You wouldn’t have management over different individuals,” says Dr. Silva. Beneath are a couple of methods that can assist you try this.

1. Take a while for self-reflection

We are able to get so caught up within the day-to-day grind that we are able to neglect to take inventory of what makes us blissful exterior of plans with others. “Oftentimes it takes self-reflection to grasp who and what you’re counting on to seek out pleasure and shifting that considering to seek out areas in your life you’ll be able to management,” says Patel.

To permit your self to recollect what brings you pleasure, take a minute to assume again on actions that you just participated in or one-off plans with buddies that made you actually blissful, after which plan to do extra of these within the yr to return.

2. Write it down

Generally, placing one thing on the market on this planet by telling somebody or making a bodily report by writing it down will help you notice what your priorities are. “Take a minute to put in writing down an inventory of all of the issues that make you cheerful,” says Patel. “Then cut up them up by issues which might be in your management and out of your management. Be certain there are sufficient issues you are able to do and depend on day by day that carry you pleasure which might be as much as you.”

3. Begin with small steps

You don’t should go from zero to 100 in a single day, says Patel. So in the event you’re feeling intense FOMO if you see others perform plans with out you, don’t anticipate to by no means ever really feel these emotions once more. As an alternative, “take small steps in discovering what brings you pleasure and happiness. Oftentimes it is the small adjustments that make the largest affect over time.” Patel says.

4. Do issues that you just’re nice at

Feeling pleased with your self since you’ve achieved one thing–one thing that you just’re nice at—could be extremely rewarding and produce happiness to your life. “Participating in actions that improve each pleasure and mastery [can help you feel in control],” says Dr. Silva. “Pleasure is feeling pleasure when participating in an exercise. Mastery is feeling as if you achieved one thing.”

5. Don’t fear about making excuses

When you perceive the issues that basically make you cheerful, you’ll be able to free your self from saying sure or no out of obligation and with out excuse. This could start to foster emotions of management and in addition permit you freedom to be at occasions if you really need to be there, and never if you really feel like you need to. “Many individuals at the moment are working towards saying sure and no to occasions with out excuses,” says Patel. As a result of, as she reminds us: “Oftentimes you need to love your self and be in an excellent place your self earlier than you’ll be able to love and be there for others.”

Effectively+Good articles reference scientific, dependable, latest, sturdy research to again up the data we share. You may belief us alongside your wellness journey.

  1. Baumeister, R. F., Campbell, J. D., Krueger, J. I., & Vohs, Okay. D. (2003). “Does Excessive Self-Esteem Trigger Higher Efficiency, Interpersonal Success, Happiness, or More healthy Existence?” Psychological Science within the Public Curiosity, 4(1), 1-44.
  2. Liu, Xinyang et al. “The impact of concern of lacking out on psychological well being: variations in numerous solitude behaviors.” BMC psychology vol. 11,1 141. 1 Could. 2023, doi:10.1186/s40359-023-01184-5
  3. Matthews, T., Danese, A., Wertz, J., et al. (2016). “Social isolation, loneliness and melancholy in younger maturity: a behavioural genetic evaluation.” Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology, 51, 339–348.


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