What is social exclusion? In this case, it is when a group of people or so-called friends decide to keep you out of their circle. When they don’t want to sit with you, or even be seen talking to you. If social exclusion isn’t blatant bullying, it is its first cousin. The reason I say that it may not be bullying is that no one has to hang out with you. You don’t have to be a member of a particular group… but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt. It does. But, as Izzy Kalman of Bullies 2 Buddies points out, there are different ways to deal with the situation…and some are definitely more effective than others.
What I find interesting, is that the scenario used in the video – a group has decided that they no longer want to include a person who has been a member of the group and one person is “deputized” to tell the person they’re out! – happened to me while in high school. Well, a similar situation. In my case, it was the one person who told me I was no longer welcome in the group who didn’t want me around, the rest of the group didn’t have anything to do with it. She was jealous of me (why????) and was threatened by me, and felt I might somehow take her place in the group. Believe it or not, I actually did understand all of this at the time, and saved my hurt and anger for the person who went out of her way to hurt my feelings. And I chose to hang out with other friends because the stress of being around the one person just wasn’t worth it.
In the below video, Izzy goes through the scenario a few times showing the different ways you can react to the situation. I had to hang on through the first scenario because I have a low tolerance for whining, but he makes some very good points, so stick with it through the whinging. (And in case you didn’t know, whinging means to complain or protest, especially in an annoying or persistent manner.)
On the YouTube channel for this video were some comments from some folks who were angry about the methods recommended in the video. I understand where they are coming from… they have been hurt and feel that their emotions are normal, and don’t understand why they are being told to suppress those emotions and be understanding about being kicked to the curb. Well, that’s one perspective.. from too close to the situation. Taking a step back, it goes back to the fact that just because you want to be friends with someone doesn’t mean they want to be friends with you. Sometimes when we’re rejected, although it hurts, it is an opportunity to assess why the rejection came, and maybe, just maybe we can make a change so it doesn’t happen again.
Or maybe you’ll discover you were trying to friend the wrong people, and find much better friends to hang out with: ones who have similar interests, know how to laugh with you, and comfort you during times of sorrow. True friends.
And don’t forget… It does get better.