Fear of Being Dropped
Fear of Being Dropped or FOBD is anxiety about being expelled from a group. It comes about when you are involved in groups which bully and exclude people on a regular basis.
It seems to be more prevalent since the rise of cool “tribes” who are great fun until you fall out with someone. Tribes can be found in every sector of society. In the school room, at the sports club or online. You may belong to just one tribe or several. The more influence the tribe has over you, the more you can fear being dropped.
Fear of Being Dropped from Facebook friends, Whatsapp groups, and even a sports group can sometimes make you do and say things you are uncomfortable about. It can lead on to being involved in many different forms of bullying. This is understandable because everyone wants to be popular. However true friends will never make you do things which will cause hurt to others.
FOBD can lead to:
- Depression and overuse of social media sites
- Obsession with group rites of passage
- Cutting off with family members
- Exclusion, such as ignoring or isolating someone who is uncool
- Taking part in spreading rumours
- being controlled or manipulated by the group leaders
Signs of FOBD
It can be hard for parents to know whether or not their child is being negatively influenced by a group. And it may be a child is may well keep quiet about it because they’re scared parents will try and stop them joining in with their chosen set. The cooler the set of friends the more they will want to be part of it.
It is often difficult for teachers or parents to detect when a child is growing overly anxous about being dropped from a set of friends. But some of the signs include:
- Becoming obsessed with Facebook or other social media sites.
- Changing patterns of behavour to fit in with the group.
- Rejecting family values in favour of the group
- Being particularly anxious
- Losing confidence
- Becoming easily distressed and withdrawn
- Fixation with appearance or other group members
- Bullying others to stay in with the group
Who is affected by FOBD?
Nearly all children will be anxious about losing friends or being dropped by a group. They might already have been isolated or they may bully others to keep up with group norms.
Even if they aren’t directly affected, it’s likely they’ll know another child who is overly anxious about ‘staying in’.
To find out more click on the links below:
We’ve made quite a splash with our campaigns. But with your help, we can continue to change social attitudes on bullying and abuse wherever it occurs.
To make a donation
Promoting peaceful solutions to abuse. Campaigning to influence policy, advising victims, teachers and parents. Building pro-social media support.