Why Do I Feel Sad After Hanging Out With Friends?

Social interactions are essential for human beings, and hanging out with friends can be an excellent way to boost our mood and overall well-being. However, some people may experience sadness or feelings of emptiness after spending time with friends, which can be confusing and distressing. In this article, we will explore some of the reasons why people may feel sad after hanging out with friends and what can be done to address these feelings.

Social Comparison Theory

One of the primary reasons why people may feel sad after hanging out with friends is due to social comparison theory. This theory suggests that humans have an innate tendency to compare themselves to others, particularly those within their social circle. This can lead to feelings of inadequacy, low self-esteem, and depression, especially if we perceive ourselves to be inferior to our friends.

For example, if a person spends time with friends who are more successful or accomplished than they are, they may feel inadequate and experience negative emotions such as envy, shame, or self-doubt. These feelings can persist even after the social interaction has ended and may result in feelings of sadness or emptiness.

Fear of Missing Out

Another reason why people may feel sad after hanging out with friends is due to the fear of missing out (FOMO). FOMO is a pervasive anxiety that some people experience when they feel excluded from social events or activities. This can be especially prevalent in the age of social media, where people may see pictures or updates from their friends’ social lives and feel left out.

In some cases, hanging out with friends may trigger feelings of FOMO, especially if the person feels like they are missing out on other social events or opportunities. This can result in feelings of sadness, anxiety, or even depression.

Introversion and Social Exhaustion

Another reason why people may feel sad after hanging out with friends is due to introversion or social exhaustion. Introverts tend to feel drained after social interactions, even if they enjoy them. They need time alone to recharge their batteries and may feel sad or low after spending time with friends, even if they had a good time.

Similarly, people can experience social exhaustion, where they feel drained and depleted after spending too much time with others. This can lead to feelings of sadness, irritability, and even physical exhaustion.

What Can Be Done?

If you find yourself feeling sad after hanging out with friends, there are several things you can do to address these feelings. One of the most effective strategies is to practice self-compassion and self-care. This involves treating yourself with kindness, understanding, and non-judgment, and taking care of your physical and emotional needs.

Another strategy is to challenge negative thoughts and beliefs that may be contributing to feelings of inadequacy or low self-esteem. For example, if you find yourself comparing yourself to your friends, remind yourself of your unique strengths and accomplishments.

Finally, it may be helpful to set boundaries around social interactions to prevent social exhaustion or FOMO. This can involve saying no to social invitations when you need time alone, or limiting your time on social media to prevent comparison and FOMO.


In conclusion, feeling sad after hanging out with friends can be distressing and confusing. However, there are several reasons why people may experience these feelings, including social comparison theory, FOMO, and introversion or social exhaustion. By practicing self-compassion, challenging negative thoughts, and setting boundaries, people can address these feelings and enjoy more positive and fulfilling social interactions.

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