Yes! Tomorrow is my last day of NaBloPoMo! It’s been a good month of daily blogging that is NOT a 365 day photo project and it made me able to post all things I’ve been meaning to post about and some days I’m so stumped I’m typing up at 11 pm.
So I know throughout the month and pretty much majority of this blog, I’ve been talking about relocation as an adult and a professional and even though it’s nice to have a change of scenery, inside it screams social anxiety. Maybe because growing up, I did not have the best social skills and I’m still learning. It brought me out my inner anthropologist–or is it sociologist? Whichever it is, my head writes field notes. I’ve noticed even as an adult, we still act like high school students from work to a house party–there’s still gossip and peer pressure. Or is high school really a microcosm of the rest of your adult life? Anyways the thing that did surprise me the most so far is cliques in your adulthood.
God, I never thought I’d ever encounter this word again. Before I was always taught to never do the clique thing and don’t exclude people out if they want to get to know you and how cliques retards your growth as a person. And now when I talked about my parents how people just seem so self-segregated in their comfort zones, my parents go “what’s wrong with that?” Now “cliques” has a twisted meaning and I don’t understand how someone can teach me that something is wrong to exclude people who want to be your friend throughout my school career and now tell me it’s kind of all right. I always believed in widening and making various circles of friends to create myself a well rounded person and I’d like to keep it that way. But then again, I am the type of person that does talk to anybody about anything. And even if I don’t know about something, like let’s say about my conversation with my pharmacist friend and his colleague on holistic health–something that I don’t understand too well but I already have an opinion about it, I’d still ask without slamming it down. I’d like to understand more about all these alternatives to conventional medicines and pharmaceuticals and their research behind it. Anyone I’ve talked to who had acupuncture told me it works after going through 5 years old back pain and hey, it’s been around a lot longer than ibuprofen so it has to work. Also I like to share with other people about things I learned in my convos from other people, before people thought it was cool and interesting and they share something they found. Now I can’t seem to hold people’s interest or I get a slammed or that I’m told I’m talking nonsense. Now I’m left with gossip. I hate hate hate gossip and telling stories that aren’t mine. Now I wonder how does one start a conversation?
I always thought this clique thing would be over after I finished school. I never felt like I needed to be part of any special group in high school and in college and if I felt excluded out, to me, it didn’t matter. I’ve got other people who would like me anyways. But why do I think this feeling of being excluded hits harder as an adult/professional? Maybe because now the relationships you make do matter. Being excluded in the work place means an opportunity being shut down from moving up the ladder at work. It doesn’t matter if you’re talented, smart, and good at what you do–if you can’t work with people or people can’t work with you, then those qualities don’t matter. And life is sure lonely–it’s a topic brought up by someone every week.
Here is an excerpt from an article on BellaOnline, Mandel talks about dealing with feelings of exclusion:
Move past the small, limited world of the clique. Meeting new people is energizing and stimulating. Moreover, friendships are forged on many levels fulfilling different needs. They don’t all have to be equally intense. By the same token, newcomers to any group need to be patient, taking things slowly and lightly. Friendships take time to deepen.
It all boils down to cultivating a strong core of self-confidence. Accept who you are. Comparisons to others drain you of personal power, robbing you of a perception of your own uniqueness. Express yourself genuinely and take yourself out of the competition.
Here is how adults can move past feelings of exclusion:
Get involved at your child’s school: class mother, committees, school programs, etc. You will help your child by being in the know about school. You can be creatively involved, suggest improvements and be there to have some input
- Don’t let others have power over you. Realize that even the most popular feel insecure. In fact, you might be excluded because you seem unapproachable – they might feel undermined by you hanging on the sidelines! Reach out; leave your comfort zone to make the first move.
- Emit positive vibes. People gravitate to positive people. Be the best that you can be and others will be attracted to you.
- See the basic comedy of manners in the clique. Don’t take them so seriously. Laughter generates endorphins and will help you see other possibilities.
- Get rid of that air of desperation. If you act like a victim, you will be treated like a victim. Living well is really the best antidote. Act as if and soon you will be feeling much happier and relieved. Have confidence that things will work out in the end.
- Focus on past successes and what qualities you incorporated to make them a success. Transfer these qualities to other areas of your life- like making new friends.
- Keep growing. Get out and learn new things and visit new places. If you have other sincere friends in your life, who cares about one or two less. Focus on who and what you have- not what you are missing.