146 - Fear of Missing Out

We all know what it feels like to experience FOMO -- fear of missing out. Whether it's scrolling through Facebook and seeing how much more fun everyone else seems to be having, or it's sitting at home watching a partner head out on an exciting date with a new partner, FOMO can make us feel anxious, angry, frustrated, or just plain sad. This week, we talk about the different pieces of FOMO, how social media can make it worse, and how to counteract it.

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Jase: On this episode of the Multiamory podcast, we are talking about FOMO - Fear Of Missing Out and how it relates to polyamory. Have you ever watched your nesting partner go out on a grand adventure with your metamour and feel intense envy that they were having more fun than you? Have you been in a secondary relationship where you are always glued to your phone watching your partner and their primary travel together or visit family without you? Do you always feel like you are missing out on the best experiences with your partner and someone else gets to have them instead? We are going to talk about all of this and how to combat these feelings in this episode. Emily can you start us out by telling us what is FOMO.

Emily: According to Wikipedia and a bunch of other highly impressive publications, FOMO or Fear Of Missing Out is a pervasive apprehension that others might be having a rewarding experience from which one is absent. This can manifest in a lot of ways that we're going to talk about today. It is real, it is a thing, it's not just a hashtag.

Jase: Right, like missing out on social interaction, missing out on novel experiences, you get to try something new. It can also apply to non-romantic or non-friend type things like missing out on a profitable investment or other satisfying life events or things that might lead to your success.

Emily: Yes.

Dedeker: The most interesting thing about this is the fact that FOMO is a fairly universal human experience. If you think about it, if we are going to go down that psychology route, you have to think about the fact that being hyper aware of what everybody else is doing is actually important for human beings - early human beings who were living in tribes. It helped to stay connected to everyone else who was in our tribe. It helped us stay aware of the basics of like, somebody has found some food over here or somebody is being attacked over here. Having this level of hyper-vigilance was something that helped us survive.

With a lot of things, we have a lot of hold-overs I believe in our psychology. Things that were developed in early human evolution. The thing is that when we are experiencing modern day FOMO when we freak out about maybe not being able to go to somebody's birthday party or seeing photos on social media of someone taking this great vacation to this place that we really wish we could go to. Obviously it's not a life or death matter the same way that, someone finding food or someone being attacked by an animal would be. But it still can be enough that it still triggers that really deeply ingrained ancestral fight or flight response within us.

Jase: Yes, it's like this idea as humans compared to a lot of other animals, we don't survive that well on our own, which is why we have lived in tribes, why we've been essentially pack animals, social animals, social primates. There's this deeply ingrained fear that if you're being left out of everything, that could lead to you dying. That' what carries over to this idea that, "If I'm not involved with my social group, I'm going to die because I'm easy prey for predators, I don't have really good claws or any armoring on my body. I'm just this fleshy little primate who's probably delicious."

Emily: It definitely feels like that from time to time. That really intense feeling of anxiety if you are not doing the best thing or if you are missing out on something awesome that your friends are part of. Especially if you watch your partners go off and do something else and you are stuck at home and they are upset about that. That happened very early on in our polyamorous relationship Jase. I would get really noxious because I knew, "Shit, he's going off and what if he's having a better time with a better person than me?"

Jase: Yes, that's something that we've talked about on previous episodes as well the way that those experiences changed for you over time. They are also not really unique to just beginning polyamory or something like that. I know that is the context we set up this episode in, but I feel like this FOMO problem is actually something that is much more universal. It affects basically everybody because what we were saying is that it's so ingrained in us. It is so evolutionarily programmed into us to be such an important thing. The fact that we live a much more isolated life now and the fact that we rely so much on social media, rather than in person interaction has definitely influenced us and made it a bigger part of everyone's lives whether they are polyamorous or not.

Emily: Yes. I found a statistic that said 70% of all millennials experience FOMO in some way in their life. Specifically 56% or so over half of all social media users report being anxious that they'll miss out on vital information about their friends lives if they just don't keep constant tabs on social media. That's a lot of people and millennials were a very anxious group. [chuckles] It makes sense because we are the ones who are most tuned in as well.

Jase: That stat though is, that's over half of social media users. That's not just millennials.

Emily: It's everybody.

Jase: That's all social media users. That includes my mom, right? That being anxious that you will miss out on vital information about your friends lives. I think that key word Vital, is very interesting too. This idea that -- I don't know what it is. We are so dependent now on social media to get information out there.

Emily: What your friends are doing is vital.

Jase: Well. No, I just mean that there is something important happening in someone's life we wouldn't trust that they would actually reach out and contact us about it. They would just assume we heard about it on social media. That might be part of it too.

Emily: Interesting yes.

Jase: On the other side of this we also found a statistic saying that -- This is interesting. 52% of social media users have taken or considered taking a break from social media in the past year. I think this is interesting for a couple of reasons. One is that, the statistic is about, "Have taken a break or have considered taking it." [chuckles] I like that it's like, "I've considered taking a break, I wasn't able to do it though."

The part though, this is 52%. This is a very high number of people who've considered taking a break from it. I think what's interesting about that is that rather than saying, "Well, I'll use it less," or something like that it's actually, "I need to step away from social media completely." I feel like part of the reason for that is because of how addictive it is. That it's not so easy to just be like--

Emily: Yes, it speaks to the addictive nature.

Jase: Exactly, and showing that we think we are going to miss out on these vital things, that's a pretty serious deal. I think We are becoming aware of how negatively social media can affect us when we get caught up in this FOMO and this anxiety about missing out on things. Yet we can't. It's so hard to limit ourselves that people feel like it's all or nothing. How often do you see posts on your Facebook feed of, "Hey everyone I'm deleting my Facebook account," or, "I'm closing this. I'm not going to be on social media anymore?" Maybe a few months go by and then they are back.

Dedeker: We have definitely seen that; the proliferation of social media has changed the game in the way that we do many things, but also in how much an effect that has on our relationships. If we are going bring this back to talking about, how does this FOMO and FOMO that's generated by social media, how does this all relate to our relationships? How does it relate to people who are in multi-partner relationships? I think it's fairly obvious.

The thing that struck me when I was first starting to write my book is that in a lot of the classic books such as The Ethical Slut. This is before their updated version was released, but they didn't talk at all about social media and what a profound effect our uses of social media can have when you are trying to balance or when you are first trying to explore multi-partner relationship. It's fairly obvious that it's so easy to get caught up in what your partner is doing with somebody else, because it's right there. We're no longer in the days where your partner walks out the door and it's like, "Cool, I'll see you at 11.00 O'clock when I get home." Now, you can immediately get on Facebook and see what selfies you and your partner are posting with their other partner. [chuckles] You can get all this level of detail about what they're doing, where they're doing it and sometimes even worse, the fact that it's going to be all filtered and look pretty, perfect and amazing. I think the conversation around specifically polyamorous relationships these days, has to by default, also include a conversation about social media usage and what effect that has. We can't discuss that without including that in the discussion.

Jase: Yes, it's hugely relevant.

Emily: We are such a competitive culture. Especially here in America which is something we talked about in a recent episode. On cultural intelligence, but here it's very easy to slip into that pattern of wanting to be the best. The addiction of trying to be better than somebody else or trying to view, or at least look from the outside that your life is perfect and everything is all good. Especially to your other partners that you might be more desirable than someone else potentially.

Jase: It reminds me of the old saying of, "Keeping up with the Jones," that was this expression for when you would live in old housing in your neighborhood and making sure that your yard or your fence is nicer than your neighbor's or the car that's parked in your driveway is nicer. Now, I feel like we do more of that on social media than with our front yards. Maybe I am biased about that, maybe this is still going on in front yards and I'm just less aware, because I live in apartments most of the time. I do feel like there's this --

Emily: Yes, Not here.


Jase: Right, the sense of that your social media life is now your finely manicured front lawn. One quote that I want to talk about here that I thought was interesting is that -- This is a quote from the founder of Flicker. If any of you remember that? I guess Flicker is still relevant.

Emily: No, I used it recently.

Jase: People still use Flicker. Caterina Fake, she once said, "Social software is both the creator and the cure of FOMO. It's cyclical." I think this is interesting because I'm not quite so sure that it's the cure for FOMO. I definitely think it can cause. It's made us addicted to comparing ourselves to other people, but I'm curious how she thinks it's also the cure for it.

Emily: Probably because, if you are feeling shitty about yourself then you go off and create your own beautiful post on Instagram or something. Maybe for a few moments you feel good about yourself. In the same way, someone else may look at that and say, "Shit, Jase looks so beautiful on his Instagram post. Now I feel terrible about myself." That's the cyclical nature of it.

Jase: This isn't really about social media, this is about FOMO, but we can get caught up in the whole like, "I posted this thing and then people liked it," or versus, "Not many people liked this or commented on this. Oh gosh, I must not be very interesting enough." Or, gosh, it could definitely lead to some bad things. I want to be clear, I'm not saying that I think social media is necessarily this evil thing that's ruining society, I don't go in for that sort of thing. I think it's great.

I appreciate social media but I do feel like other addictive things, it is worth taking seriously and not blindly ignoring it. Just being like, "Whatever. We are going to do, we're going to do." It's something worth thinking about. To make a comparison, I really love video games and I've played some MMOs. Those World of Warcrafts can be hugely addictive for people and can ruin lives or ruin academic careers. There are things that, it doesn't mean they're inherently bad, but it does mean that we should take them seriously and realize that maybe, for us, this thing might be unhealthy. We have to evaluate that. We can't just take for granted, "This is the thing that everyone does, so it must be good, it must be fine. This must be how life is."

Emily: Yes.

Jase: Some of the results that can come from this feeling of FOMO, that comes up, I've seen especially in polyamory, especially early on in polyamory, but even after that is over scheduling or poly-saturation as we'd call it sometimes. Which is just this inability to say no to dates, to relationships or to sex. This just, "I have to be doing something all the time because I might be missing out and other people may be having better dates or better relationships that all seem so rewarding." So I have to say yes to everything or I always have to be seeking this out, asking people out and trying to fill my schedule all the time because, "Look at these amazing things everyone else is having. I need to get those as well."

Emily: There's also the possibility that you always want to be included in your partner's dates or in the relationships in some way. Like, "Okay, you can date other people, but we need to go on dates together with them or we should date them together." Inadvertently that's just placing yourself into the relationship in some way to make sure that you don't miss out in anything.

Jase: Exactly, that fear that you'll be missing out on part of the relationship.

Emily: Yes, if you are not there specifically in it or just going and obsessively tracking your partner's social media account when they are on a date with someone else. You sit down, the first thing you do is check over and over again to see if they've posted any selfies or what they are doing or if it looks like they are doing something way more fun than the dates that you've been on previously with them.

Dedeker: This whole thing with social media I think is one of the reasons why we often see people making rules in their relationships about, you can't put on social media with other partners. I think we are used to that being such a trigger. That's why that manifests in people actually going so far as to make rules about it instead of us talking about, what's underlying this trigger. Is it just that I'm afraid of missing out? Is it that I want to be doing that same thing that you are doing? What is it that we often resort to putting a band aid on a symptom rather than actually addressing the underlying cause?

I feel I have seen this more often in relationships where people have a stricter primary, secondary hierarchy which we'll get into a little more in detail a bit later on. Very often we see the phenomenon of you are allowed to post on social media your activities, selfies and stuff with your primary partner, but you are not allowed to with your secondary. Sometimes that's because you are not out yet, but often it also is because of this weird FOMO anxiety that we do pick up from seeing our partner's activities on social media.

Jase: Yes, I was going to say that the idea of being out or not, can also be used as a way of holding on to that hierarchy if it keeps you closeted because gives more importance to your primary relationship because you are the only one who's allowed to be public, that other people are allowed to see. That can also lead to this really shitty situation where a secondary partner is constantly exposed to all these mushy, romantic posts, all the trips that you are taking together or all these things you are doing with your primary partner. While the secondary partner is sitting there seeing all of this and can't post with you, but also is sharing this unfair burden of FOMO; of seeing all the things that they are not doing. The fact that they can see it is part of the FOMO. There's also this fear of missing out of being able to post on social media, right? So it is compounding on itself when you have that sort of thing and it can be really difficult for that secondary partner.

Dedeker: It's one of the many reasons why here at Multiamory we are not super thrilled and super supportive of people in really strict hierarchies. Of course this whole FOMO thing is not just limited to people who do have some more hierarchical structure. Even if you do practice non-hierarchy or solo polyamory you still can be vulnerable to that sense of, "My partner is going on doing something way more fun with somebody else that isn't me." At the same time, it's not limited to just romantic partners. I think that of course we are all familiar with the phenomenon of, if you are single or if you haven't been on any dates in a while or if you are really wanting a relationship then seeing your friends post mushy posts about their romantic relationship can really trigger that same anxiety for sure.

Jase: Before we go on to talking about some ways that FOMO has shown up in our lives as well as techniques for combating it and making your life not fall prey to this depressing, upsetting thing of Fear Of Missing Out. Before we do that we want to take a moment to tell you how you can support this show if this is something that you get benefit from. The best way to do that is to join our Patreon. Which is at patreon.com/multiamory. There you can choose an amount of money to contribute every month to help keep this show going. It could be as low as $1 and that gets you access to some of the stuff that we post in the Patreon group on Patreon.

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Jase: I think it still is.

Emily: Yes, sex swing and also free shipping. It's very easy. You can use it as many times as you want. For all of your holidays coming up, just use our code over and over. You get 50%. Promo code, MULTI, M-U-L-T-I at checkout.

Dedeker: As we talked about, FOMO can be such a universal experience. In my own life, something that came up very early on when I first started travelling long term, about two years ago, a little bit over two years ago is something that I actually -- As I was doing research about the whole digital nomad lifestyle and about being location independent, something that I was actually warned about was FOMO. It being this weird reverse FOMO situation because the fact that when you are travelling a lot, people will often express to you, "You are so lucky. You get to go this place and that place." On your Instagram, they are going to be looking at pictures of you at the Acropolis, where the Parthenon is.

The reverse FOMO that happens is that you are going looking at pictures from home, of the Super Bowl party that you're not getting to go to. That's probably the case that happened when I started travelling, is I was going to some interesting places and I absolutely loved it, but then at the same time I couldn't participate in much of the events that all my friends were going to, the concerts that were happening or even just the small get-together parties that were happening.

For me, it's kind of a mixed bag because that sucked because even though I'm leading a life that a lot of people experience FOMO about, I'm still experiencing just as much FOMO looking at people's lives back home. For me, the thing that I had to constantly come back to and I saw to constantly come back to, is just having a sense of perspective of just knowing that -- It's a little bit of acknowledging the grass is always greener effect, but what you see on social media is obviously not always going to be an accurate representation of what life actually is like. Everyone's lives are equally pleasurable and painful to varying degrees.

Emil: Maybe not equally.

Dedeker: Equally in the sense that everyone has both pleasure and pain in their lives. To be missing out on the pleasurable part may mean that you are also missing out on the particular painful parts of this person's particular experience. For me, when it comes to FOMO that's always what I end up coming back to.

Jase: Yes, my experience that I actually talked about some in the blogspot I did about, "Wanting what I don't want." That's that, for me, a place where this would come up is when I see my friends getting jobs at bigger visual effects houses or working on big Marvel movies or these big exciting projects. That I'll feel envy about that, I'm like, "Shit, I should have been doing that, I should have been pursuing those jobs more or focusing more on that visual effects side of what I do."

What I realized is that, "Wait a minute. I made an intentional choice not to be doing that." While I do really love my work in visual effects when I'm doing it, I'm not someone who feels that drive to, "Yes, I want to spend 60 hour work weeks for months working on this big movie." That that just not something that I find as rewarding as having the time to work on this podcast or for us to go do live shows or to be location independent. All of these things that I've consciously decided, but I'll still have fear of missing out like a parallel life that I could have led while trying to work my way up in the world of visual effects and film production.

That's a good example of how, like Dedeker was saying that even if people from the outside would think that you are the one that's giving everyone else FOMO, that it can go the other way round too. For me what's been really helpful, is remembering, "Yes, you know what? I actually consciously chose some of these aspects of my life." Maybe there's other things where I'm like, "Yes, I didn't have a choice in this matter and I might feel left out or jealous of that."But to realize that there are actually a lot of things you did choose, or of things that you do find a rewarding life that you have, where you are because of the choices you've made.

This can come up with dates as well. When I've seen people go out on dates I'm like, "Man, I'm so jealous of this cool adventure date they're doing." Sometimes if I stop and think about it, it's like, "You know what? Actually, that's not quite the ideal date I would want to have, maybe I would rather just sit at home and play on our computers together instead of going out to this fancy wine bar," and realizing-- You're right. I'm buying into this idea that, because they think it's good, that I should think it's good and feel bad that I'm not doing it.

Emily: I appreciate that you were talking about gratitude again there for what you have and the choices that you make in your life. I definitely see that over time as well. Somebody said to me, "Oh my God. You are jet setting all the time." I'm like, "No I'm not. That's these guys that I work with." To somebody else, the fact that I got to go Tokyo with you is huge and that I helped create a company that allowed me to do that is also amazing and a really big deal.

Specifically, I wanted to do this episode today because the two of you watching you over the last year go on all of these trips has been challenging for me, for sure because I get to watch two of my best friends constantly having great times together then I feel left out often because of that. I had to tap in my own gratitude as well regarding how intimate I think my relationship with Dedeker is, how close we are when we speak to one another and Jase, how much I know about you and stuff. [sobs] All those things are great. Sorry.

Jase: Nice, I think you're really hitting too on something there too. I think we are all painfully aware of anything that's lacking in our own lives and we can ignore the fact that that's probably the same in everyone else's life.

Emily: Tell me about it.

Jase: But we know that when we post on social media about these cool places we go, I'm super tired from being on a plane all day or I'm really frustrated because I can't communicate with anyone here. I feel really lonely here sometimes. I know those things, but you wouldn't know those from my social media unless we were talking about those. Just like Dedeker was saying, the other way around too. You might know that, "Gosh I'm doing this lame Super Bowl party, that's the same one I've done the last four years, but someone on the outside is like, "Man you've had a Super Bowl party you've gotten to go to for the last four years and you have this community around you." Right? Just that perspective changes so much.

Emily: Yes that's true. It's crazy, but it's good to be aware of that and to also be grateful for what you do have with the people in your life and with the amazing things that you yourself get to do. I think that is how we are going to go on to where FOMO comes from and how to get rid of it; how to beat it.

It definitely starts with sadness in your own life. We often are just busy creating a life that looks good on the outside, rather than cultivating one that feels good on the inside. That is I think where FOMO can come from. Because we're so caught up resenting this perfect picture instead of really making ourselves happy which is difficult. We've talked about a lot of ways of how to do that and we can continue going on from there. But I think the Gratitude episode again is a great one to look at in combating stuff like.

Jase: Yes. Definitely.

Emily: Making yourself happier overall.

Jase: Something that I heard years ago that really just annoyed me when I heard it, but I thought about it since then and it's been probably 10 or 11 years since I heard this. That's that essentially that everything we do in life is a choice except for dying. That's the one thing that we don't get a choice in the matter. People would argue this against the person who is saying it, but they're saying, they're like, "No actually it's true." Literally everything, your choice to eat food is your choice even. If you wanted you could choose to starve yourself to death and die. The dying part is the one you don't get to choose.

They're doing it as this radical statement about realizing how much control you actually do have in your life. Because I feel like for most of us it feels like we're not very in control most of the time. Anyway just wanted to throw that out there. You can do what you will with it. I don't want to dwell on it too much.

Another thing about where FOMO comes from, we've talked a lot about social media and I do want to be clear that I don't think that Facebook is evil. Or that other social media are evil, but I do think it can be really dangerous and that it can lead us to rely on it for our happiness or for our validation. As we talked about a lot of people consider taking a break from social media, perhaps try it. Perhaps actually do it instead of just consider doing it. Consider putting more effort into being present with the people you're actually around. Instead of focusing on the ones that you're not around.

Because there's always going to be people in the world that you're not around and the more you're focused on them, the more you're feeling like you're missing out on everything. The irony being of course that you might be missing out on the people that are actually around you at that time.

Another thing I found actually is that with Facebook specifically, I've been trying to develop a sense of being a little more in tune with myself about how I'm feeling and how being on social media is actually impacting my life. I found that when I'm just doing the scroll through my Facebook feed, I've realized that I can only handle so much of that before these red flags that I've trained start going off. These alarm bells start going off being like, "You're feeling shittier and shittier the more that you're doing this. Let's stop. Let's just close it move on to something else." Sometimes that's easier or harder than others, but I find that just moving on and being like, "You know what, I'm going to do a different thing. I'm going to do something that makes me feel good."

Or for myself doing things like instead of having Facebook open on my computer while I'm working, because I want to be able to get Facebook messages from people. Instead of having Facebook open I'll just have messenger.com open which is the just the messenger part of Facebook. Then I'll only go to Facebook to check on for example the Multiamory Patreon only group. For people on the Patreon group because that's a group that I do find is much more constructive and is actually a place where everyone's contributing. Rather than just showing what they're doing in their life or just posting inflammatory news articles.

For me it's that. It's limiting the amount of time I spend in facebook and also limiting it to a part of Facebook. That is one that I find more productive and more uplifting. More connecting rather than disconnecting. Then the rest of the time only having messenger open. It's just about essentially another way of texting or messaging with my friends instead of constantly looking through their Facebook.

Dedeker: Another strategy like I talked about earlier is just bringing yourself back to the truth that social media does not tell the whole story of somebody's life. It doesn't tell the whole story of your life either. I don't think that it would even be possible to use social media to truly display every single aspect both good and bad of your life. I think that I found especially, if I'm falling into the very passive just scrolling through social media feeds and if my mood is starting to tank or if -- Especially if my mood is starting to tank in response to other people's successes as well that, first of all it's a good clue to step away for a little while. It's also a clue to remember just that nobody's life is perfect and that you're getting this tailored specific version of what's going on in everybody else's live.

It's just being able to stop on a dime and be able to give yourself a little bit of a reality check as well. I think helps with the whole FOMO thing.

Jase: Yes, I also wanted to mention something that I just thought of while you were talking about that. Part of what leads people to stay addicted to that feed is what we were talking about before the statistic that Emily mentioned, of feeling fear that you're going to miss out on some vitally important thing about your friends.

Something that I've found now that I'm spending less time going through my feed, is that yes I do miss out sometimes on life events that are going on with my friends. But I find that then when I do talk to those friends we actually have a lot more interesting stuff to talk about. Because we're actually catching up instead of this assumption that I already know everything about you, because you've been posting about it in your social media feed. So just to put it out there that that fear that you're going to miss out on some important thing. That somehow that's going to hurt your friendship with your friend, I don't think is necessarily as true as we think it is. It might actually give you more things to talk about and maybe more reasons to touch base with your friends and actually have conversations with them.

Emily: To go back to what Jase said earlier of things being your decision. That you create everything that happens in your life and you decide about everything that occurs to some degree or the other, that you also decide where to place your attention. You can decide that you want all of your attention to go to your social media feed, into what other people are doing and how upset you are about that. Or you can decide to be happy and place your attention on the things that you are happy about in your life, the great aspects of your friendships and what makes those special and unique instead of placing all of your attention on what somebody else is doing, or what you don't have in your life. So just stop focusing your attention on things in your life that you feel bad about, instead focus your attention on the good things.

Jase: Even without social media that can apply.

Emily: Yes. Absolutely.

Dedeker: I just want to cut in with a little bit of a disclaimer be. Because I think this whole everything being a choice thing, I want to clarify and just let our listeners know that we're aware that there is definitely the camp. I think called "The Love and Light Camp," that will be very quick to go in this very secret style thing of like, "Well, if you're unhappy that's your own fault. If bad things are happening to you that's their own fault." You need to just look at the good and look at the positive. Of course that completely invalidates a lot of people's experiences who have less choice in their lives, because of a lack of privilege or because of their circumstances or things like that.

I don't want anyone to misconstrue when we talk about these things that we thought this is a blanket statement about everybody's lives and everybody's psychology. But if we're hyper focusing in specifically on if you're struggling with FOMO specifically, that this might be a helpful shift in perspective for you to place your attention on positive things in your life. To recognize that you have a choice in what kind of social media you consume, that you have a choice in how you think about other people's lives. But I don't want people to think that we're applying a blanket statement across the board.

Jase: Well yes. It's important to make the distinction that having power over what actions you choose to take, is a very different thing from implying that you have power over the rest of the world. That you have power over what happens to you or that you have power outside of your own actions or even to say that you have entire complete power over your own thoughts. While Buddhists might say you do, that takes a lot of training to get to that point. Most experienced Buddhists will tell you it doesn't work all the time. It's not this perfect bullet proof thing, but it is something that you can train to get better at. It's more to say that you do have power over what you do with what you're given. I guess is more appropriate than saying that you have power over everything, like, "The Love and Light Camp."

Emily: Yes. I know. I think I'm also just going along the lines of like my own shift in perspective regarding, for example, the two of you. It being together and me feeling left out along those lines. When instead, I shifted my perspective to being grateful for the things that I do have with each of you that are really unique and really special to me. That in no way takes away the fact that sometimes I wish that I had got to be on trips with you two more often than I am, but simply that I can be grateful for the things that I do have that are great regarding both you

Dedeker: : To Bring it back to our list of strategies of ways that you can combat feelings of FOMO. I know something that's very effective for me is very actively choosing to put my attention on enjoying the time that I have to myself, particularly if I'm in a situation where partners are out on a date. It's they're out of date doing something that I wish that I could be taking part in or just they're on a date at all, that I wish I could be going on a date, but I'm not. I think especially for people who find themselves poly-saturated very easily remembering to enjoy the time that you do have for yourself, to care for yourself ,and to give yourself the things that you want, can be still an incredibly valuable and important thing

Jase: Yes, definitely.

Emily: Absolutely.

Jase: I think even intentionally making time alone can be really valuable too. Then instead of time alone being like, "I'm alone because I had no other choice and I'm so left out," but it's like, "I'm alone because I chose to be. I chose to have maybe this one night a week alone or maybe this couple hours or something." Yes

I think to go on to the next one, which is gratitude which is something we've talked about a lot already, I also wanted to mention that I think the goal of all of this also isn't to be happy all the time, because as we talked about in Our Well Being episode, that's not an actual attainable goal that. To go back to my example of Buddhists, the goal in Buddhism is not to be happy all the time, it's to try to eliminate suffering. I think those are two very different things.

To go back to using gratitude is taking that time to appreciate the things that are good in your life. Not just the things that you already have, but also just little things that go well each day. It's training yourself to recognize the things that do go well. I've found in my life it's been so easy at times to get so focused on the things that didn't go well, or the things I didn't get to do; or the things that I can't do; or the opportunities that I don't have, that I fail to miss out on some of the really cool things. Even little things that happen in my life and so that idea of gratitude and I really do recommend trying out writing down three things before you go to bed of, "What went well today and why they go well?"

There's also apps out there to help you do that. I prefer writing it by hand when I can, but if I can't I'll use an app or just a little note taking up on my phone to do that. It's definitely been really helpful for me.

Dedeker: I think going back to -- I'm sorry I was just trying to look up which Episode we did I want but I don't want

Emily: Towards the beginning of the year, right?

Dedeker: Yes, I think so. If you go back and look at the episode on, "Want and what you don't," that's another thing to keep in mind too. That often when we're presented so often with these triggers in social media specifically have successes that other people are having, or places that they're going ,or new relationships that they're getting. That sometimes that can be helpful it's got to have a reality check of like, "Wait, do I actually want this thing or is it just that somebody else is getting something good?" Because you may actually sit down and realize, "Actually I don't really want to go to Abu Dhabi. I just want a vacation or I just want some time to myself. It can be helpful to sit down and actually truly examine what's going on underneath the surface as far as what it is that you actually want or in the case may not want at all.

Jase: I don't yeah it's episode 117 if you were searching for that one.

Emily: There you go and also Jase's blog post on it as well

Jase: right.

Emily: Yes and finally if all else fails use FOMO to propel you to do something awesome in your life. Which is interesting that I found this in doing research on this episode. A lot of things were like, well you're going to have it so you use it to your advantage. Which, I think, is not a bad way to look at it, because if you always wanted to go out there and take a yoga class, or take a salsa class, or something and you see your friends doing it, then you know heck go out there and do it yourself. Or if you see your partner constantly going on all these exotic dates then plan that exotic dates for you and them, go on it and take it or get in shape or whatever you want. If nothing else it could be helpful to propel you into being the kind of person that you think you should and want to be.

Jase: Yes, totally. I would want to say to that use it as motivation to maybe try things to see if you do want them. I think a lot of times we can get caught up in this FOMO being like, "Man that might be something I'd really love. I don't know because I've never done it. " Maybe use that as an opportunity to say, "Hey, I'll try that thing," and maybe I'll do it and go, "Yes, that was cool I'm glad I had that experience, but I don't have to be so envious when other people do it because it's not for me."

Emily: Yes, because now you did it.

Jase: You might find an awesome new hobby that you love. Cool. One last thing that we want to talk about before we sign off on this episode is those of you who are in our Patreon only Facebook group already know about this, that is that we now have Multiamory shirts. If you're watching the video you can see that I'm wearing mine right now. I changed into it before we started recording this because it's also the most comfortable T-Shirt that I own.

Emily: Mine too.

Jase: There's also the things from you know accessories like phone cases ,or you know journals, or notebooks, or tote bags, things like that, but also these super comfy shirts, some company lounge pants,tank tops, hoodies that are really nice. Anyway, if you want to do those, a portion of that goes directly to support us in doing this show and you get some super comfy fun things to wear. There's also a mix of some that say Multiamory on them and some that just have the logo or just have the super polys.

If you want to be able to wear something that you can wear out and maybe another person goes, "Hey, you too?" That isn't right on the front of it outing you.You could just be like, "It's a cool design or whatever, it's a podcast I listen to." Other people who know will go, "I see. I see what you've got going on there. Let's talk."

Emily: Yes, make some awesome connection through Multiamory wear. Don't get FOMO. Go get your Multiamory

Jase: If you want to get at the place to go is Multiamory.com/store. That will forward you to our store. Also from our home page from Multiamory.com, there's a link at the top now that says, store. Where you can go check out all the fun clothing and accessories.