I’ve talked about exclusion of the “different” people. Perhaps there’s a flip side. Maybe you’ve experienced it when you tried to reach out to someone. You try to be nice, but they act as if they want nothing to do with you, or may even be hostile, or rude. Maybe they’re just a little guarded or aloof. These are, of course, defense mechanisms.
When a person is used to being excluded, or teased or rejected, they are suspicious of everyone and end up pushing others away, because they’re convinced they’ll just end up being hurt. While no one can blame you if you let it drop at that point, it could be fruitful to give it another shot. If you’re sincere, they’ll see that.
It shouldn’t be purely out of pity. Nobody wants to feel pitied. It also shouldn’t be done out of a sense of obligation or an overactive conscience. If it’s not your forte to be an ambassador to those left out, the “socially challenged”, that’s okay. But if it is your thing, give them a couple chances.
If you’re one of the people who is feeling left out, be ready for opportunity. Be yourself and don’t assume everyone is judging you or that they think they’re better than you. You must also give them a chance.
We’re all in this together.
Yesterday, I mentioned about my sister’s chattering driving me nuts, and it concerns me for her own sake. It’s hard for people to tolerate it, and I want to see her have a healthy social life.
While I can’t blame people, and I think she has to work to change that, I think people could give a little more of their time to talk to those who are a little different. I’ve been on the receiving end of exclusion and it hurts as much as direct bullying or snide remarks, if not more. I’ve been excluded even by friends when everyone did something without me.
I was shy and quiet in school and had anxiety, which made me socially awkward. I get that people don’t want to deal with that. I know I’ve done it myself, avoided someone who was “strange” or talks too much, or something. But, I have learned and grown from experience.
I think everyone has the capacity to do that, if given the chance. The more a person is around other people, the more “normalized” they become.
Is there someone in your life who needs that chance? Take the time to reach out to them once in a while. I know sometimes you just don’t have the time, or you’re tired or stressed, and that’s fine. You have to take care of yourself. But when you can, be inclusive.