Why It’s Important to Miss Out on Things

Being absent and missing out on things can be turned into a positive if done right. A primal human need is to be made to feel important, as popularized by Dale Carnegie. This is what makes us attend social events and gatherings, and not want to miss out on events that we hold dear to our ego. When you choose not to be in attendance for any particular gathering or event, all your ideas, your words, your thoughts, and actions that may have made it into reality if you were present, did not. You can look at that as missing out, or you can look at it as not messing up.

Every thought and action that you put out in the world will be used against you if the time is right. The best way to limit content that can be used against you is to be strict with the type of content you put out, and how much of it gets put out. Absence works to limit the amount of data your friends and enemies have to use against you. You will better be able to control your narrative and separate out those who do not need to hear or see any content of yours.

Another critical aspect of leveraging absence is to always be absent for events that are out of the habitual context related to the group that attends. That is a complicated way of saying to not attend social gatherings with your colleagues. Controlling what context you are seen in and limiting it to only one is critical in maintaining power. If you always hang out as friends with a group of people, do not hold a business meeting with them as your friendship with will hurt the business tasks at hand. If you work with a group of people, do not attend a social gathering with them as friends, as your work relationship will hinder your social relationship with them.

It is always best to swallow the fear of missing out and not attend cross-contextual events with the people that a part of those contexts. Keep the groups of people in your life separate, and have your presence and absence dictated by the appropriate context.

There are many reasons to miss out on cross-contextual events. Humans are bad at separating relationships and managing relationships that fall into multiple categories. Attending a social event at work may seem to be a good idea, but when in the heat of a work-heavy day in the future, things you say and do at these social gatherings may definitely be brought up to hurt the professional work that you do.

Another reason to miss out on cross-contextual events is that once you go to a select few, and no matter how hard you try to keep your contexts separate (work/play), you will be expected to attend more in the future. The difficulty of keeping things in their proper contexts becomes much more difficult the more chances you give yourself to screw up.

It is never worth mixing contexts and attending gatherings in which the proper context of the groups’ relationships is not followed or is broken. You will do more harm than good by attending them, and being absent from these events will save you in the long run.


Book Recommendation:

Managing Up: How to Forge an Effective Relationship With Those Above You

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