social isolation


What's the adult version of being picked last in gym? 15 ways adults feel rejected, too.

Unfortunately, the feeling of being left out doesn't end in childhood.

A man looks out the window, feeling rejected.

Few things in life can make you feel lower than standing in front of your gym class and being the last person picked for a team. You stand there, staring at your feet, praying your name is called before the last person. It feels like being rejected socially and for your lack of athletic prowess simultaneously.

Unfortunately, the feeling of being left out doesn't end in childhood. Even as adults, there are experiences that can give us that same lonely, sinking feeling of being chosen last in gym class.

A Reddit user named JuicyCiwa posed a question to the AskReddit subforum so people could share the situations that make them feel rejected as adults. They asked, “What’s the adult version of being picked last in gym class?” and it received over 6,600 responses.

Initially, the post feels like a bit of a downer because it’s person after person describing the socially humiliating moments we all endure as adults but rarely talk about. However, it’s also affirming to know that we’re not the only people who suffer rejection from friends, coworkers or family.

Here are 15 moments when adults feel the same as being picked last in gym class as a kid.

1. Left out of lunch

"Seeing everybody in the office return from a lunch outing you were never told about. And the even worse flip side, arriving at the location for a group outing, and nobody else shows up because it was canceled, but nobody told you." — khendron

"How about: walking out to the parking lot for the office lunch outing? You walk toward the car you were assigned to ride in and watch it drive away." — JJohnston015

2. Am I invited?

"Watching people plan an event in the same room as you but not inviting you." — __DVYN__

3. Hello?

"When the group chat goes silent after you suggest something." — PositiveEmo4

4. Not being in the group chat

"Finding out there is a group chat you aren’t part of." — MaryJaneParker818

"Found out there was one with all the women in my family, but not me. Getting mean girled by your own mom/aunts/siblings." — ProfSkeevs

5. Being invited to a party as an afterthought

"'Oh you wanted to come? I didn't think it would be your thing. But yeah, I guess you can come if you want to.'" — JustMyUserName47

6. Friends fade

"Being well-liked but never reached out to. If you don't keep up the effort, everyone just fades away." — Minmidmax

"This has been most of my friendships these last few years. I moved away for school, and boom, there went 90% of my relationships. I moved back and tried to reconnect with some people, just to figure out that most of my old friends refuse to initiate now. It always has to be me to reach out, otherwise, they won’t make time for me. I finally stopped trying. It’s disheartening, especially when it becomes obvious that you care more than the other people do. On the bright side, it showed me who my real friends are. My friend pool is smaller, but it’s much stronger too and I couldn’t be happier." — Lovinlemon

"Especially as dudes cause we don't really make new friends after our 20s. Everyone is just a ‘mate’ when you start working. I knew all of my best friends before I was 25." — First_Time-Farmer1

7. Can you take a picture?

"Being asked to take a group picture of the group that you had come with." — Either-Sherbert-8845

8. Pushed out

"Walking behind the group on the sidewalk because there’s no room for you to be next to them." — BigRedStL

9. When your kid is left out

"Seeing pics on Facebook of your friend group having fun outings and sleepovers for their kids, but your kid wasn’t invited. Even though my kid is also seemingly good friends with all the kids that were there." — Honey1375

"Ooh, this one hurts bad because it involves both you and your kid." — No-Grocery-7118

10. Ouch

"Having your Tinder date leave the bar with someone else." — PMmeyourboogers

11. B-listed

"Getting a wedding invite a week or two before the wedding day." — Kyadagum_Dulgadee

12. Uber exclusion

"Having two Ubers to get somewhere, being someone who ordered one of the Uber, and everyone obviously wanting to ride with the other person." — OMGItsKells

13. Besties?

"When your best friend mentions their best friend and it isn't you." — According-News-5901

14. “Keep talking, I’m listening”

"When someone is telling a story in a group, but no one listens and they trail off talking. But you're doing the kind thing and making eye contact with them, so they know you are listening and can keep talking. They notice. But still choose not to finish what they were saying." — Jbkites

15. Facebook blues

"You post some quote or meme on Facebook and not getting any likes/comments. One of your friends posts the same quote or meme and they receive lots of likes and comments from your mutual friends." — Beigereige