When I was younger, I longed to be a part of the cliques of those who I perceived as being the “cool kids”. You know, the ones who always seemed to be having more fun and never felt the need to include anyone but their small set of BFF’s in that fun.
It’s a tough feeling being left out. And I often was.
Fortunately, I wasn’t “disliked” but I wasn’t the go-to friend to hang out with either. I was the girl that everyone loved to talk to in English class but outside of those walls – I wasn’t the choice for Saturday night fun.
If I’m being honest with myself, I think all of my own insecurities about my station in life permeated my thoughts and held me back from feeling like I belonged in any group. Because I grew up as the free lunch kid, I was made very aware of how kids can judge and be hurtful which really took it’s toll on me.
But, I can’t blame my lack of set group on others entirely. I often held myself back. If I had been confident in my own self worth, I would have found myself a part of many of those groups, I have no doubt about that. Because I’m actually super nice, very loyal and a lot of fun to be with.
If I do say-so myself.
But, like with anything else, there still would have been those select few groups that would exclude more often than include others and I’m not sure anyone can ever escape that entirely.
When I left those clique heavy school years behind, I really thought I would be able to move on from those nonsense, exclusive scenarios. But, it seems it still lingers in the adult world as well. There are the work place cliques, the Mom’s group cliques, the church cliques, the Bunco group cliques and even the blogger cliques. And I’ve found that maybe I never really fit into a clique mentality in the first place. Perhaps it wasn’t my thrift store clothing that was the problem. Perhaps it was just my own intolerance for nonsense that kept me out of the cliques.
I will say that I have people that I will naturally gravitate to and so I surround myself with those who seem most like me. I gravitate towards those I can have an easy conversation with – if it feels forced, I often won’t seek out future interactions.
If a new person does comes up at the Mom group or on my twitter feed – I try to welcome them, not exclude them from the group. I try to get to know them and see if they might be a new friend. Sometimes it clicks, and sometimes it doesn’t. (no pun intended). If I take the time to really assess if we “fit” as friends and it still doesn’t work – then I’m comfortable with not pursuing that friendship and I refuse to feel guilty for not being BFF’s with everyone.
I will not be blatantly exclusive. Because I know that feeling all to well and it’s not acceptable to me.
I think the important thing is that I don’t exclude to the point of unkindness. I try to be polite and thoughtful regardless if I think this new person will be my long term friend or just a mere acquaintance. I know how it feels to be left out in a way where it really drives to the heart of you and I am not a fan of that kind of behavior.
Talk to Me!
What are your feelings on cliques? Have you ever struggled with a group of people who left you out as an adult? Do you hold yourself back from feeling included by hanging onto negative thoughts? Do you make a conscious effort to be inclusive versus exclusive? Sound off!
**You can respectfully disagree with me or other posters, just keep it polite so we don’t ruin the fun of debate.